We spent a week in Taos in late February, and it was truly one of the best, most relaxing vacation experiences we’ve ever had.
First, I think we owe most of the thanks to Premier Properties for matching us with the perfect place. www.taosvacationhomes.com. Our accommodations were incredible. Our casita was professionally decorated and extremely well equipped. The booking agents and caretaker were first class. Everything about the place was totally luxurious even the towels, bedding, right down to the mattress. The compound was once a Taos chapel. Believe it or not, it was at least $100 per night LESS than all the hotels and B&B’s I priced. It was located one block from El Monte Sagrado and an easy walk to the Plaza. While my husband was skiing, I walked over to the El Monte several times, once for a tour (they actually offer tours, just give them a call), once for a spa treatment, and we also went for cocktail hour.
The Plaza was good for a day or so of wandering by myself, but the extremely well equipped kitchen and the hot tub at our casita kept calling me back home.
After purchasing a local cookbook, I piddled around in our gourmet kitchen testing new recipes, but I think we had our best meal at Graham’s Grill. The salads and vegetables were fantastically fresh but the macaroni skillet was my favorite (I’m a southern girl after all). Not only was the food excellent, the ambiance and staff were wonderful too.
We also enjoyed Eske’s Brew Pub – great local flavor, and I’m not just talking about the food. Everyone in the place was friendly and willing to chat. We never got a chance to get to Relleno, but we heard so many good things about the prices and food from the locals, we wanted to, just simply ran out of time before we got there.
We spent our last day visiting (and photographing) the Rio Grande River Gorge, then wandering Ski-Valley. After the photography session our first stop was Columbine Inn and Conference Center, as I am an event planner and had read good things during my research, I wanted to check it out. They gave us a brief tour. Nice place, great prices for clean, spacious rooms, very nice owners. If you are looking for a nice, clean place to stay in Ski Valley on a budget, this is your place. Complimentary breakfast and shuttle service to ski and dinner in the valley – can’t beat that!
Continuing up, we stopped at the Martini Tree and watched the skiing. I love people watching, and this was the place – inside and outside. From here, we went all the way up to the Bavarian, and had a beer and very friendly conversation with the staff as they were setting up for dinner. I love that the whole place screams “Bavarian”, right down to the server’s attire. The drive up & back was during sunset and absolutely breathtaking. Aside from the Rio Grande Gorge, this was a big highlight for me. On the way back down, we had dinner at Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina. I had the hamburger with chilies. Pretty good for someone that doesn't love hamburgers much. It was getting close to closing time; I think most of the folks in there were people that just got off work around the valley. Very friendly crowd – we had a great time – then headed back down to the Old Blinking Light with some new friends. It was one of heck of a way to end a great last day in Taos.
I almost forgot about the skiing part. My husband skied every day and loved it. It was the perfect vacation –I even found a copy of "Ski Pioneers, Ernie Blake, His Friends and the making of Ski Valley", so while my husband was skiing Taos Ski Valley, I was sitting in the hot tub reading about it. I relaxed, got to move at my own pace. He got to ski as much as he wanted. Everyone was happy.
Honestly, the friendliness of the locals is what truly made it enjoyable for us. I don't think I could live there (again, I'm a southern girl), but without hesitation, I would go back tomorrow for another vacation if I could.