PLACES TO STAY AND PLAY
Hospitality — Taos style
by Dena Miller
WHEN VISITING YOUR CHOICE of a place to stay can be just a pillow to rest your head or an engaging part of your experience. Taos offers a plethora of sophisticated choices close to town, the Taos Ski Valley or favorite hiking trails, all at appealing price points – a charming inn, a B&B, an historic building, an Airstream or an Earthship.
Whatever adventure you’re looking to have, our hospitality industry has you covered.
On the south-side Hotel Don Fernando de Taos, 1005 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, (575) 751-1444, recently underwent an extensive rejuvenation. Though a member of the Tapestry Collection of Hilton, which is known for “hidden local gems in unique neighborhoods,” Joshua Herrera, Don Fernando director of sales, noted the hotel is privately and locally owned and is an “authentic immersion into the culture of Taos and all that we know Taos to be.”
Herrera, who oversaw the renovation of the 6-acre, 125-room property, said meticulous detail was given to the comfortably furnished rooms, the sprawling property and its artisan restaurant. Decor relies heavily upon local artists, including Charles Collins and Ann Huston.
Head up to the north side of town to the similarly transformed Kachina Lodge Resort Hotel and Meetings Center, 413 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, (575) 758-2275. Owner Pinder Gill, formerly of Birmingham, Alabama, said he has been out each day with his own hands tending to the landscaping, overseeing the ongoing renovation of the property and gathering the historical stories of this 1960s pueblo-style hotel.
“The Kachina Lodge used to be the biggest employer in Taos,” Gill said, “hosting dance nights and conventions, and having guests such as Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda walking its halls. It’s this pedigree that I want to preserve,” going so far, he said, as to get high-tech matches on the original paint colors used a half-century ago.
“The mood of Taos is so far removed from that of the concrete jungle,” Gill continued, “so our mind is set to sustainable growth in both our landscaping and our business. We want native plants, Native art and Native food.” Inroads have already been made, he noted, with four massive murals he commissioned and the carving of three tree trunks by master woodcarvers.
“We wanted to represent our three cultures, so we had the trunks carved into the shape of the pueblo, a bison and a family,” Gill said.
Any discussion of lodging in Taos would be remiss without a mention of the 45-room Historic Taos Inn, 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, (575) 758-2233, its Doc Martin’s restaurant and its Adobe Bar. Long dubbed “the living room of Taos,” this property is home to nightly live entertainment, award-winning margaritas and a resident ghost or two. Who needs more than that?
Enjoy your visit, wherever your suitcase winds up.