Taos lodging: two diverse choices

Taos has beckoned travelers for years and offers a great getaway both for Santa Feans and visitors from other places. While a day-trip is possible, it makes more sense to spend a night or two in the historic town to get to a better feel for it. National Geographic just named Taos One of the Best Fall Trips 2014. What are you waiting for?

Taos Lodging options range from the Four Diamond El Monte Segrado to sustainable earthships with a lot in between. On a recent trip, we stayed in two places that could not be more different; the Palacio de Marquesa (cited in the National Geographic shout-out in their “Where to Stay” section) and the Inn on La Loma Plaza.

Palacio de Marquesa

Palacio de Marquesa, Taos photo Steve Collins

The entrance to The Modernist room, photo/Steve Collins

Placio de Marquesa, a chic, contemporary bed and breakfast, occupies the quiet estate that had that ws the home of another B & B, Casa de las Chimineas, for years. Because we’d stayed here in 2009 under its former incarnation we were curious to see what Heritage Hotels, who bought the property in 2013, had done with it. After extensive renovations, it was reopened in the spring of 2014.

The Taos Room, at Taos' Palacio de Marquez,photo/courtesy Heritage Hotels

The Taos Room, at Taos’ Palacio de Marquez,photo/courtesy Heritage Hotels

The 1912 estate still looks the same on the outside as it did on our previous visit: an inviting hacienda beckoning travelers to stay. The inside is where you see the changes. Fan of minimalism will love it here. The contemporary décor offers a break from the ubiquitous “Santa Fe Style” that permeates Santa Fe and Taos. The eight rooms and suites are all named for “Notable Women of Taos.” We stayed in The Modernist, honoring abstract painter Agnes Martin, a Taos resident for years. Other local icons honored include Mabel Dodge Luhan, Millicent Rogers and Georgia O’Keeffe, who, though she visited the town, never called it home. Our bright, comfortable room had a modern metal four-poster bed. The mattress was delightfully firm and covered with 400-count Frette linens. At the end of the bed there was a gray and black weaving done by award-winning Chimayó weaver Irvin Trujillo. We loved the big flat-screen TV hanging opposite the bed as we love to watch a bit of TV before turning in. The adjacent bathroom had a spacious walk-in shower and twin retro-modernist pedestal sinks.

Smoked salmon plate for breakfast at Palacio de Marquesa, photo/Steve Collins

Smoked salmon plate for breakfast at Palacio de Marquesa, photo/Steve Collins

Guests will find a breakfast menu in their room. Fill it out and hand it on your door by 9pm and it will be waiting for you the next morning. There is a range of selecitons that from just a cup of coffee, to cereal, eggs, waffles, and even smoked salmon with a bagel. Coffee aficionados will love that they offer a choice of coffee prep method: drip or French press. Steve, our java junkie, went for the latter and loved it. If you want, they’ll even deliver breakfast to your room. We felt pampered by innkeeper Chad Ozment, Resident Manager, who oversaw our breakfast. We stayed at the inn before renovations were completely finished. They were still waiting for the artwork for the rooms to be delivered and some of the landscaping wasn’t complete. The artwork has been installed and waiting for you. What are you waiting for?

Inn on La Loma Plaza

The lush grounds at Inn at La Loma, photo/Steve Collins

The lush grounds at the  Inn omLa Loma Plaza, photo/Steve Collins

The Inn on La Loma Plaza, housed in a historic property that backs up to the historic La Loma Plaza, is the antithesis of the Marquesa. Set behind thick adobe walls with beautifully landscaped grounds, you’ll think you’ve gone back in time and you have.

The old adobe is on the National Historic Register. The oldest part of the house, dating to 1800, was fortified to ward off Indian attacks, is on the. Décor is pure Taos and the inn is filled with wonderful pieces of local art, pottery and more. This is our kind of place.. Each themed guest room or suite is named and decorated to reflect that.

Inn on La Loma Plaza, Taos, NM photo/Steve Collins

The cozy Spanish Colonial room at Inn at the Inn on La Loma Plaza, photo/Steve Collins

We stayed in the spacious Spanish Colonial,” which is decorated to reflect New Mexico’s Spanish Colonial history, complete with large wooden vigas, a wood burning kiva fireplace, and Spanish Colonial-inspired furniture, textiles and art. Our bathroom boasted a large jetted tub and walk-in shower. The only downsides were a small TV (we were too busy to care) and a fairly busy road outside our window (we didn’t hear it at all with the windows closed and it wasn’t an issue when we opened them at bedtime). If that could be an issue for you, request a room facing the back of the property.

Inn on La Loma Plaza, Taos NM photo Steve Collins

The book and art-filled sitting room, at the Inn on La Loma Plaza, photo/Steve Collins

Take a short stroll behind the inn to the old La Loma Plaza and steep yourself in the history of the area. Breakfast, served either in the large sunroom or out on the patio in warm weather, features an ample buffet loaded with breads, pastries, fruit, cereal, and yogurt. In addition, the hot dish of the day that will be delivered to your table by your server. Innkeepers Jerry and Peggy Davis have been running the inn for 23 years and they do it well. They know Taos and can expertly direct you to activities, interesting places to explore, restaurants, shops, and galleries as wellk as offering unique insights into the area’s rich history. Thanks to Peggy, we discovered the Wild Rivers Recreation Area north of Taos and had a wonderful day checking it out. Looking for a bit of homey luxury? The Inn on La Loma Plaza is a perfect choice.

There are many more lodging options in Taos, something for all budgets and tastes. Here are some other Taos Lodging options.

Wherever you stay, Taos, from the historic Pueblo to the art museums to outdoor adventure, is waiting for you with open arms.

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