We decided to stay at Canon del Rio because of the great reviews on TripAdvisor and because it seemed to be the only place in Jemez Springs with a hot tub and one of the few places with WiFi. We had planned to do some long afternoons of x-country skiing and wanted to be able to soak at our hotel afterwards. My first interaction over the phone with the innkeeper/caretaker (apparently not actually the person who owns the inn but someone who stays there in her stead) should have been a tipoff. She came across as gruff, unenthusiastic, and ignorant about the area, saying she "had no idea" where people went to ski. This in an area known for its skiing and hiking trails! She did assure me that the hot tub was functioning when I asked. After getting to town and hearing from locals that Canon del Rio was one of the best places to stay, we went over to see it. The front door was locked in early afternoon. We knocked for a while, and finally the caretaker came to the door and said she only had one room left. It turned out that only one other couple was staying there, so perhaps they only keep two rooms up and running in the winter? The place smelled odd and was cluttered with Native American kitsch. The roof was leaking into the great room. The bedroom she showed us with small and in no way took advantage of the spectacular views to the south. Instead it gave onto a little, iced-over courtyard, with a giant patch of ice right outside our sliding door which required careful navigation to get past safely. The mattress was decently firm. One side of the bed had a nightstand and reading light, while the other side abutted the door onto the patio and had neither amenity. The bathroom was clean and unremarkable, with a standard, small tub/shower and institutional-looking wall dispenser of soap, shampoo, and conditioner. We took a quick look at the hot tub, which is in a nice location that should provide great views of the surrounding cliffs, but more on that later. Despite some misgivings, we decided we did not want to spend a lot of time looking for another place to stay and so took the room. My husband told the caretaker that he had seen the sign on the front door saying that check-in was not until 4pm (although I think their website says 3) but asked if we could just leave our laptop in the room so we didn't have to leave it in the car at the ski site. She reluctantly said ok, then added in an irritated way, "But for future reference, check-in is at 4!" Turns out future reference will be unnecessary for us. We returned after skiing to hop in the hot tub before heading out to eat....donning our swimsuits, we dashed through the frigid air and stepped down into the tub, only to discover that the water was barely lukewarm. I went back, dripping, into the building to find the caretaker, who came out of her usual hiding place to say that she had had to fill up the tub that morning and that it should be hot "in a few hours from now." We returned after dinner out to the inhospitable great room--deserted, with a cold kiva fireplace and synthesizer music droning from the huge TV in the corner. Another unpleasant discovery awaited us: there was no WiFi to be had, and we could not access the bed and breakfast's network, even once we had been given the keycode. Unable to sleep on the incredibly stiff pillow, I checked the hot tub at 1 AM, and it was still colder than body temperature. By the morning of checkout, the water was bearable, so we sat in it for a little while. There is an odd, glassed-in wooden structure built over the hot tub, which serves to obscure much of the view because all but one of the sliding glass windows are stuck or frozen, and most are iced over (in the winter) as well. Why not just use a standard cover to conserve heat when it's not being used, we wondered, and then completely open it to the air for periods of use? As it is, the tub water evaporates, condenses on the inside of the roof above you and then drips down unpleasantly onto your head and other exposed body parts. The grandparents who were watching our children called early the evening before to speak with us, but only got the voice mail and left a message. The morning we left, the caretaker mentioned they had called, but they later told us they had some concern that no one had returned their call, nor did they then feel they had a reliable way of contacting us should they have needed to. Breakfast was pretty good, though we were a little worried at first, seeing the giant coffeemaker with packets of Folgers at the ready, orange juice concentrate, milk from two months ago, and fridge otherwise empty save for 20 foil-wrapped baked potatoes in the bottom. The cook, a friendly man from the community who cooks at a local restaurant as well, arrived in the morning and made a big, hot breakfast of blintzes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. We did get the orange juice concentrate, alas. There is little warmth or hospitality about the Canon del Rio these days; it is devoid of the little personal touches and comforts you hope for in a bed and breakfast, and it is not cheap. It was really a disappointment, and we would not go back there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our Adobe Inn is set in one of the most picturesque areas of the Jemez Valley. We have six rooms with baths that open to a courtyard with a meditative fountain, hot tub and the most beautiful pool. We offer a wonderful gourmet breakfast as well as a day spa, fishing, art gallery and a six-acre garden. There are many wonderful hiking paths here in Jemez Springs with wonderful scenic views. We have added a day spa with spa treatments and massage, outdoor heated pool with romantic gardens. ... more less