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“Fabulous (But Not Flawless) Stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Monte Sagrado, Autograph Collection

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El Monte Sagrado, Autograph Collection
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   317 Kit Carson Road, Taos, NM 87571   |  
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Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Taos
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
301 helpful votes 301 helpful votes
“Fabulous (But Not Flawless) Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2009

My friends and I stayed at the El Monte Sagrado for the New Year's holiday and had a great time. The resort is beautiful, and staff is very friendly. We stayed in the Caballo casita, which is a charming little room with lots of personality (including an antler chandelier!). The spa is relaxing, and the restaurant serves tasty food.

There is, however, some room for improvement. For a 5-star resort, I think it is woefully understaffed. Requests can take a while to fulfill because the staff is trying to accommodate about a million requests at one time. Furthermore, the resort tends to be a bit stingy about toiletries. Normally, I expect new toiletries (shampoo, lotion, etc.) to be provided when the room is cleaned the next day, but they were not. I'm sure the hotel would have provided more if we had asked, but again, for a 5-star resort, we shouldn't have to. We were squeezing that lotion bottle for the last little bit by the end of our stay. I also find it annoying that they charge parking each day. Given that the only way to reach the resort is by car (there are really no taxis or public transportation to speak of in Taos), they should just bake that into the cost of the room, so the full cost of the stay is more transparent.

Also, and this may just be a matter of breakdown in communication, we had three adults in our party and had booked a room with two queen beds through a third-party website (i.e., not the hotel's own website), but when we arrived, they placed us in a room with only one queen bed. To their credit, the resort did not charge us for the extra rollaway bed that we absolutely needed and comped us free breakfast for two days.

  • Liked — Decor, Spa, Friendly Staff
  • Disliked — A bit understaffed, extra parking fee
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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697 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (167)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
charlotte
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2009

Didn't stay at resort, although it looked beautiful. Instead had massage at the Spa. The massage itself was great, but the actual spa setting was a little less than I expected. For example, the Steam room is a tiny closet that can fit perhaps 3 women if all petite and the Sauna is outside and coed (not a fan). The pool, jacuzzi etc are also coed as they part of the regular resort- so bring your bathing suit. Lastly, no ammenties or products available after you shower. Still overall, the massage was top notch and the signature room I was in was gorgeous. Take a day off the slopes and enjoy this place. BTW, friends went to Edleweiss Spa in Ski Valley & also raved about the massage but said the ammenties were non existent.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, NM
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2009

My husband and I had a wonderful weekend stay at El Monte Sagrado in Taos! I found out about this resort from a Travelzoo.com top 20 deals email. The resort is advertising a GREAT deal through February '09 including a greatly reduced room rate, continental breakfast, valet parking, and the resort fee. We thought we'd take advantage of the deal and spend a weekend skiing in Taos. The resort is in a beautiful location, a little ways off the main road that runs through Taos. The grounds are spectacular with lots of open space, statues, fire pits to warm yourself in front of, and bridges that lead you over running streams. It's a "green" resort where they treat their own wastewater for re-use. They have greenhouses ("biolariums") that you can tour and learn more about how their enclosed system works. It's very cool.

Our room was a standard king room, but there was nothing "standard" about it! The room was very beautifully appointed with an extremely comfortable king bed with luxurious linens, large wardrobes covered in animal hides (faux?), a sliding door out onto a patio overlooking the grounds, a gas fireplace, and a fantastic bathroom with a large jetted tub and walk-in shower. A curtain separates the tub from the rest of the room so you can actually watch tv from the tub. Very lovely!

The continental breakfast that was included in our package wasn't the traditional "serve-your-self" buffet. The breakfast area is behind the bar and regular restaurant and has a lovely glass ceiling with plants and trees growing throughout surrounding the tables. We were brought plates of melon and berries with two muffins and coffee. It was a nice start to the day.

The valet parking was great and we were told to call ahead so they could warm up our car for us--it was always nice and toasty when we got in. The valets were very friendly and gave us some great restaurant recommendations (Michael's Kitchen and Orlando's for great New Mexican food!) The resort is about a half hour drive to the ski hill, so it's not a bad drive.

We didn't use the spa, but we did check out the pool area which seemed quite nice. The second floor above the lobby had a nice library with a pool table where we spent some time in the evening. After a long day of skiing we definitely took advantage of the jetted tub in the room to relax sore muscles!

All in all, we had a wonderful stay. I feel like we got a great deal for such a nice resort. We would definitely stay at this property again.

  • Liked — Beautiful room and surroundings
  • Disliked — Too far to walk to restaurants or shops during the winter
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2009

I stayed here on a whim while spending one night in Taos. It's not cheap but it is Taos and was ski season. Location of this resort is great, walking distance to town center. I had a casita which would make anyone over 6 ft feel claustrophobic but that's not a problem for me. The casita had two big beds, mini kitchen, full bath, beautiful tile floors, private patio, and fireplace. It was wonderfully decorated. I had breakfast at the restaurant and my breakfast burrito was delicious. Staff was very friendly and accommodating but not overbearing. Everything inch of this place was beautifully decorated.

  • Stayed December 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2008

I have stayed many times over the years at this beautiful property in Taos NM always having a wonderful time, but this last stay will most likely be my last.
The staff I have come to know is all gone. The wonderful food I enjoyed in the past is history, and this once 4 or 5 star hotel is at best a 3 star hotel.
Most all the staff seemed very new to the luxury hotel business, and the food was just fair at best.
The wonderful paintings and artwork (Basquiat's in Lobby) that were in this property when it was built , seem to have been all looted and interestingly replaced by some very bad paintings of the current owner, a Mr. Kessler? I can only imagine what his ego must be like. The large fish aquarium between the lounge and dining room was so dirty my son become so worried about the fish inside.
The highlight of our stay was a Saturday night in the lounge with a dj playing the most amazing music but when we asked the bar manager who he was he didn't even know.
Turns out he's an international dj based in Albuquerque that was not even booked by the hotel. I surely miss El Monte Sagrado.

  • Liked — not much this time
  • Disliked — food, cleanliness
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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USA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2008

Taos's El Monte Sagrado is a delightful, small property with a world class spa, a welcoming staff and an excellent formal restaurant. The property is located just four blocks from the Taos Plaza, allowing you to walk to in-town shopping, dining and galleries. It is a great spot if you want to stay "in town", but still be convenient to Taos's ski scene and surrounding attractions. As described below, we loved El Monte Sagrado and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

El Monte Sagrado's standard guest rooms were refurbished in an American Indian motif in 2007-2008 and are attractive and comfortable, with excellent showers. We enjoyed our standard room tremendously.

For a special occasion or for family travel, you might want to opt for one of the themed suites, named for and decorated in the style of exotic locales (Morrocco, China, Japan, Caribbean and others). The suites are arrayed along a series of charming, landscaped walkways near the spa, which confers the feeling of visiting an enchanted village. We were able to experience a suite for half of our stay, and thought that it was well worth it for a family or for a special occasion.

The formal El Monte Sagrado tour (given during our stay on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons) is well worth taking, to enjoy the green features of the property (a succesion of pools and wetlands acts as a water filtration system, and crystals and natural woods are used in the lobby and adjoining areas), and to admire subtle design elements invoking indigenous and other spiritual traditions.

El Monte Sagrado also offers well-appointed facilities for group functions, including a corporate boardroom and meeting rooms. A plus is that these facilities are tucked away, so that the hotel retains an intimate look and feel. (We became aware of these facilities only several days into our stay, when we asked what was on the floor above the lobby and concierge area.)

The spa is world class, with a rich array of treatment options and a kind and caring staff. (We've been to terrific spas throughout the western U.S., and El Monte Sagrado compares favorably with them all, including the justly famed Mii Amo at Enchantment in Sedona.) Service throughout El Monte Sagrado is prompt, personal and friendly, and General Manager Tom Cherniavsky takes a sincere interest in his guests. The formal dining room has an interesting and well-executed menu, although (if you want quiet) you might note that it is open to noise from the nearby bar area.

In addition to the spa, El Monte Sagrado has a pool, a hot tub and a fitness room. The concierge staff will facilitate your "off campus" activities. We spent most of our time hiking, visiting Native American pueblos (the famed Taos pueblo is less than 30 minutes away), and enjoying the beauty of northern New Mexico. El Monte Sagrado is about 45 minutes from Taos's ski area. Because the property is a smaller one, we'd highly recommend that you contact the spa and the concierge to book treatments and activities before your arrival, especially in peak season. (Many guests rely on the concierge, and, when we stayed, there was occasionally a wait in the mornings to consul the concierge about the day's activities. We were glad that we had booked some of our activities and treatments in advance. We were also pleased that complimentary coffee was available in the concierge area to pass the time during the morning rush.)

Not sure what the high season rates are like, but we found the shoulder season rates extremely affordable for a property of this caliber.

New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment, and El Monte Sagrado is a hotel in keeping with this theme. This is a property whose charm unfolds gradually throughout your stay: we were happy upon arrival, but grew even more relaxed and-- yes-- enchanted throughout our vacation.

We recommend El Monte Sagrado highly and look forward to returning. We had a wonderful time and want to thank Tom Cherniavsky and his crew for an outstanding experience.

  • Liked — Comfort, style, spa, great service, friendliness, location, excellent value, nearby activities
  • Disliked — Would encourage older people or infirm people to book a room near lobby & ask for assistance
  • Stayed October 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2008

If you are an environmentally conscious, discriminating traveler, stop whatever you are doing and head straight for the El Monte Sagrado in Taos, New Mexico!

Only Richard Kessler, and the talented staff he attracts to his properties, could have created a beautiful, water themed, calming resort, in the heart of a high desert. But don't worry about the valuable water resource being wasted. Each fountain, botanical garden and lush pond is a part of the natural water reclamation system that combines with solar energy to make every aspect of the El Monte Sagrado in tune with minimizing our impacts on the environment.

When my wife and I were checked into our themed suite, we were greeted by soothing music playing on the Bose system, an adobe, chiminea style gas fire place and our own private patio with a hot tub. Suddenly, we weren't in such a hurry to run to the Central Plaza and shop, but shop we did.

On the first evening of our two night stay, we went to the Anaconda Lounge for a quick drink before retiring back to the room. Little did we know that this particular evening was the first night of a return engagement for Christine Autumn and her small jazz ensemble. Her voice and song selection kept us riveted to our seats and she was the icing on the cake for our story book start in Taos.

As we went off to sleep, I filled out and hung our breakfast order on the door. Right on time the next morning, we were awakened to a gentle knock on the door, a steaming pot of Starbucks coffee and a hot, fresh cooked breakfast exactly as I had ordered it.

Again prying ourselves away from the resort, we spent the second day hiking, bike riding and shopping in and around Taos. Even though we are from Central Florida and the tempurature was moderate in Taos, we made it back to our room from our day's adventures tired and over heated. A quick change of clothes and a short walk immersed us into the picturesque pool area that has to be seen to believe. We swam in the deep part of the pool, stepped over into the adjacent hot tub and relaxed in the shallow pool, a perfect opportuntiy to recharge our batteries and prepare for dinner.

Since we were so immersed in the environment, we chose to stay on property and enjoyed a meal in the casual restaurant that inculded excellently prepared New Mexican food, ice cold beer and friendly, efficient service.

As someone who has traveled all around the world, I can honestly say that this stay and Richard Kessler's El Monte Sagrado Resort created the happiest experiences and memories for my wife and me than any other.

Except maybe for the Grand Bohemian in Orlando!!!

  • Liked — The encapsulating environment designed inot the architecture and supported by staff.
  • Disliked — We had to leave too soon.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Monte Sagrado, Autograph Collection

Address: 317 Kit Carson Road, Taos, NM 87571
Location: United States > New Mexico > Taos County > Taos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Taos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — El Monte Sagrado, Autograph Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 84
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Also Known As:
El Monte Sagrado Hotel Taos
El Monte Sagrado Taos

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