AirBnB comes to Northern New Mexico
By Mel A. James
Since AirBnB came to Taos, the landscape of vacation rentals has changed. While rentals used to be in the realm of hospitality business professionals, now your average Taoseño can offer up their spare bedrooms to out-of-town visitors. And for a town like Taos, that means a wide variety of creative and interesting places to stay. The way AirBnB works is through a peer-to-peer exchange, rather than through a company. It’s part of the new trend of a shared economy, where businesses like AirBnB and Uber give average people the opportunity to earn a little extra cash by using what they already have: their own homes and cars.
If you were looking to stay in a really unique property, you would be hard-pressed to find a location with a wider variety of unusual and interesting choices than Taos. This town has a history of experimental architecture, with Earthships and strawbale homes dotting the landscape. But if you are looking for a warm, sophisticated and modern adobe, that option is available as well. Interested in something a little more vintage? You can find an Airstream trailer or two. How about a railroad boxcar or school bus? Or perhaps you’d like the experience of staying on a farm and collecting eggs for your breakfast omelet. If you are interested in something with some history, there are a number of properties with ties to Taos’ past, some of them once serving as homes or studios of famous Taos artists and some of them on the National Register of Historic Places. Whether you want something rural with stunning views of the Milky Way and local wildlife, or a historical adobe right downtown within walking distance of shops and restaurants, Taos has got it.
The advantage to peer-to-peer rentals is that the places where one stays often feel more like a home and less like a rental. Sanjay Poovadan, a local realtor who has three properties on AirBnB, shared his experiences as a renter as motivation for providing satisfactory service to his guests. When traveling with his family in Colorado for ski events, they would stay in vacation rentals and it got him to thinking about how he would do things differently. “We realized that there was so much we wanted, but didn’t get,” Poovadan said. “We asked ourselves what we would like to see in a vacation rental.” He stresses that it is important to feel welcomed, and that he wants his properties feel like a home away from home.
The uniqueness of Taos is what draws people here — the landscape and the architecture hold fascination for many visitors. By staying in a Taos home, one can truly experience what it is like to live in this remarkable and special place. Find your special home-away-from home and stay awhile.