This was the most beautiful, serene and peaceful place we've ever stayed in. The grounds are wonderful and the Guesthouse was great. The owner was especially nice and very hospitable. I would recommend staying here to anyone looking for, "that special place".
I found El Santuario on the TripAdvisor vacation rental page for Taos. We had been to Taos many times and stayed in B&Bs and hotels. For this trip, I was looking for a casita or house where we could cook most of our meals, relax, read, maybe paint/draw, and in general unwind. El Santuario looked like the perfect place.
The casita and grounds were beautiful, but they didn't meet our needs. What wasn't apparent from the listing is that this on the edge of Arroyo Seco, farther out from Taos than I expected. Despite being farther from Taos proper, and situated at the end of a winding suburban road, the house is quite close (as the crow flies) to the highway that runs north out of Taos, and we heard traffic noise pretty much all the time. We tried sitting outside to relax a couple of times but the noise made it hard to enjoy the beautiful grounds. It was a lot like being in our quasi-urban backyard at home.
The casita was well equipped with lots of things, but again, not what we really needed. The kitchen was a little kludgy, with almost no counter space and involving the use of many extension cords. Making even eggs and toast was challenging, and involved a hot plate that took up most of the counter. We gave up altogether on preparing any other meals. For me, a vacation rental includes a full (even if small) kitchen. The living room furniture was not laid out well for most purposes, although with rearranging it could have worked much better. The lighting was too low (relative to the seating) for comfortable reading. The only other lighting was the track lights on the high ceiling -- good for general lighting but not for specific tasks. The bedroom was very cozy but again, lighting was problematic.
There was mention in the listing about fresh eggs plus produce from the greenhouse, but we didn't get a chance to sample those.
On the plus side, the bathroom was extremely well set up and there were thoughtful touches like robes and flip flops to use for the outside hot tub, plenty of towels, etc. The casita has beautiful artwork throughout, which we thoroughly enjoyed. The grounds are truly beautiful. The property is in a nice neighborhood. Vivien seemed like a very accommodating host although we didn't get a chance to meet her. The caretaker was pleasant but didn't interact with us very much.
We've booked vacation rentals elsewhere, and had wonderful experiences with all of them. I was so excited about the prospect of staying at El Santuario. I expected to love it, but sadly, I did not.
The grounds are beautiful and relaxing. There must be 20+ areas to read a book, catch some rays, admire the mountain views, and share coffee or a drink. The hot tub is crystal clear and inviting. The interior is very open and filled with beautiful works of art. However, you don't feel like you're in a museum. Instead, you feel comfortable. Every morning there feels like a lazy Sunday morning. Vivien is a very friendly and accommodating host.
One could not land in a more enchanting spot in New Mexico. The grounds were jaw dropping gorgeous with beautiful foot paths and points of interest at every turn. One could simply stay here and never venture to sight see and still have an experience of a lifetime. Vivien, the owner, will make you feel at home and provides you with a piece of Heaven all to yourself.
I booked this peaceful get away for my husbands 40th birthday. We had such a great time at this place, it was beautiful and the weather was great. Vivien was a great host, we couldn't have asked for better. We will be back for sure!
This beautiful, relaxing Casita has lovely artwork and is beautiful inside and outside. Several acres of land with patio, picnic table, barbecue, hammock and hot tub. Located in very relaxing and quiet location. Vivien, the owner is very welcoming and friendly. She is not intrusive at all but is definitely available with recommendations for the area and other assistance. I had a health issue while there and Vivien was very helpful! Could not have been better! I would definitely return and recommend to my friends. Would give El Sanctuaria more than 5 stars if I could!
Our stay at El Santuario was more than wonderful. We, my wife and I, had a magnificent time. The property was beautiful, the hot tub was ready and warm, the house was more than cozy (it was even decorated beautifully). We stayed for four nights and enjoyed every one. Nothing will ever compare. That is why we have decided to make our stay here an annual event.