My husband, our 2 Maltese and I just returned from a 12-day pleasure trip to New Mexico, and the first night we spent in New Mexico was in Chimayo at the Casa Escondida. Because we had pets, we stayed in one of the pet-friendly rooms, the “Casita.” The Casita is in a separate building just steps from the main house. After a really long day’s drive, we were totally exhausted, but as soon as we entered the Casita, our spirits were instantly revived. There were delicious wrapped biscochitos on a porcelain plate for my husband and me, and on another porcelain plate were wrapped doggie treats for our Maltese. The Casita is very charming with its saltillo tile floors, kiva fireplace, wooden ceilings, vigas, and Southwestern décor. Since we were there in February, it was chilly at night, and we couldn’t wait to get the kiva fireplace going with the pinon wood that was conveniently provided for us. The Casita is really a self-contained unit that can be entered from 3 different doors. The largest room is a bedroom/living area that contains an iron queen-sized bed, night stands w/ lights on each side of the bed, 2 rocking chairs in front of the kiva fireplace, a console table, a chest containing extra firewood, and a“kitchenette” complete with microwave, toaster oven, fridge, sink, and all the related kitchen items such as dishes, glasses, cooking utensils, paper towels, etc. A clock alarm and portable stereo are also provided. There is a second room between the main room and the bathroom that can be used as a breakfast room/livingroom/bedroom. This room is carpeted and has a small table with 2 chairs, a daybed and a small coffee table. The bathroom has a tub/shower combo and wonderful radiant-heated saltillo tiled floors. Two robes and extra blankets are furnished, as well as extra towels for the hot tub.
Because we arrived at night, we really had no idea what the surrounding area looked like, and we were very happily surprised when we awoke the next morning to a rooster crowing, to a sun-filled room, and to find we were totally surrounded by glorious mountains. We couldn’t wait to get up and “explore” after breakfast. The breakfast room in the main house is very cozy and one wall is all French doors that lead to a covered patio. There is a huge bird feeding platform outside the breakfast room, and it was enjoyable to watch the birds at the feeder while we were having our breakfast. Field guides and binoculars are provided in the breakfast room. Our breakfast, served by a very sweet lady named Janice, consisted of coffee, juice, delicious fresh fruit, silver dollar pancakes w/ powdered sugar, warm berry compote and ham. Also provided on a buffet console are an extensive variety of teas, cocoas, milk, hot water, cold cereals, etc., to be used at any time during your stay. There are snacks provided in the kitchen and lemonade in the fridge for guests’ use as well. The living room is a wonderful area where you can make a fire, listen to music, check your e-mail, read from a wealth of books, or just hang out and enjoy the quiet.
After breakfast, we had plenty of time to “explore” before our 11:00 a.m. checkout time, and we were delighted to find that our Casita also had a small deck on the back of it with a table and chairs. There is an outdoor hot tub, a hammock, and a covered porch on the front of the main house with a table and chairs for guests to use.
We were really disappointed that we only got to spend one night at Casa Escondida, and left for Santa Fe wishing we were still in Chimayo. After spending the next 2 (disappointing) nights at a B&B in Santa Fe, 2 nights at a relative’s in Alamagordo, and 1 night in Carlsbad, we totally re-routed our trip just so we could come back and stay one more night in “our” beloved Casita at Casa Escondida before heading back to Indiana. We especially enjoyed our early-morning coyote “serenade,” which was a first for us Hoosiers. This time we also had the pleasure of meeting, and being served another delightful breakfast by, the owner, Belinda. Belinda is very gracious and professional, and was very helpful providing information about area restaurants, art galleries, weavers, sights to see, etc., and we found everything she recommended to be spot on.
While in the Chimayo area, here are the absolute “musts” to do: 1) visit the Santuario de Chimayo; 2) eat at Rancho de Chimayo; 3) visit Trujillo and Ortega Weavers; and 4) visit the delightful and talented Theresa Montoya at Theresa’s Gallery in Santa Cruz. If you have more time, I would highly recommend a trip to Bandelier National Monument and to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch. The drive from Chimayo to Abiquiu has some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever experienced, and if you are a Georgia O’Keeffe fan, a “pilgrimage” to Ghost Ranch is a definite “must.”
The 4 of us absolutely fell in love with Chimayo and Casa Escondida, and can’t wait to return again one day. (If it's this beautiful in the dead of winter, we can't wait to see it when everything is in full bloom!) Belinda and her staff were very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and the charming and comfortable accommodations more than met our needs. Our dogs didn’t even mind Griffin and Leo, the resident felines. The next time, we will skip Santa Fe altogether, using the “Casita” as our home base, as we prefer a quieter, more natural environment. If you are someone who prefers a blaring TV, video games, fast food restaurants/convenience stores on every corner, and a nightlife of bars, the latest dance music or slot machines, then Casa Escondida is NOT for you. However, if your idea of a wonderful evening consists of reading a great book in front of a crackling pinon wood fire, taking an evening stroll or a soak in the hot tub blanketed by a billion twinkling stars in a clear indigo sky, and then drifting off to sleep to the sounds of Mother Earth’s lullaby, then Casa Escondida might just be your little slice of heaven in “The Land of Enchantment.”
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in historic Chimayo (only 35 minutes north of Santa Fe), this is the perfect, central location for visiting all of the most popular destinations in northern New Mexico (Santa Fe, Taos, Bandelier National Park, Pueblos, hot springs and more)! Six acres of mountain serenity. Guest rooms are filled with hand-picked antiques and accented in a rustic southwestern style. Start your day in our sunny breakfast room. Conclude your day in our outdoor hot tub. ... more less
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