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“Great to Re-visit and Exhale!”
Review of Touchstone Inn

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Touchstone Inn
Ranked #20 of 23 Taos B&B and Inns
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great to Re-visit and Exhale!”
Reviewed March 30, 2014

In 2010 I took my then 88-year old mom to Touchstone Inn for the Christmas holidays. We wanted to attend the Christmas-eve activities at the Pueblo andto travel outside of Denver for the season since the rest of our family wasn't coming to town that year. It turned out to be one of the coldest Christmases on record there, and my mom (an Alabama native) and I braved the freezing temperatures and reveled in Mary's procession from the Chapel to the Sangre de Christos foothills and back with bonfires ablaze throughout the Plaza.

Anchoring the experience was our stay at Touchstone Inn. To this day Mom still recounts Christmas dinner with Innkeeper/artist Bren Price, other guests, and Bren's family of friends. It's difficult to describe it other than to say that it was magical afternoon--inter-generational, cross-cultural--filled with meaningful exchanges and great music (one of our fellow guests was a itinerant musician). Add to this, great food, great art, and regional explorations on the days that followed. Our stay was an abundant experience.

Since then, I've introduced friends and acquaintances to Touchstone with comparable success, and just this winter (February) after a two-year absence, I returned for some R & R with my partner. It was just the tonic for winter doldrums. In the off-season we had the town practically to ourselves, and even in winter, the grounds at Touchstone are beautiful.

The Inn is conveniently located just north of the downtown Taos District and evokes the uniquely casual experience everyone seeks in Taos. The historic property (which includes a great visual arts education facility) is situated in a glorious outdoor setting and the rooms are well-equipped with really good amenities including satellite TV, jetted tubs, etc. But they're designed with an artful, eclectic eye that evokes the creativity and romance of northern New Mexico. You won’t find it anywhere else in this town.

Okay, so to be honest, the current on-site cuisine isn't what it once was based on this last visit (but I think they're trying out new things, and breakfast is now optional), but the town's #1 rated restaurant, The Love Apple, is a garden path away and it’s a wondrous complement to the Touchstone stay.

It’s my understanding that Bren had given up the day to day helm at Touchstone for a while, but clearly she’s back with a vengeance. The place is sparkling and the service is, per usual, top notch. (We arrived extremely late for check-in without a hitch.) We’re working on scheduling a return visit this fall. It remains high on our list of great nearby destinations and experiences!

Room Tip: We like the larger exterior rooms with private entrances and wood burning kivas.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank KJL-0613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013

This is the worst experience I've ever had with a Bed and Breakfast! I urge you not to book here!! I booked a reservation at the Touchstone Inn, which is listed all over the internet as a Bed and Breakfast (as it is here on Google). As our reservation got close, I sent an email to the owners to let them know that my sister and I are gluten and dairy free in our diet. Brad, the owner wrote me back and said that they had quit making breakfast and had no food acommodations available. I wrote back to him and told him that they should not advertise as a B & B since they don't serve breakfast. After Brad received my email, the day of our planned arrival, he called and spoke with me in a very angry tone, telling me that he was canceling our reservation. This left us scrambling to get a place to stay because we were literally a couple of hours away from Taos and our expected stay at Touchstone Inn. We would have stayed, even though the Inn was incorrectly advertised as a B & B and couldn't believe that they cancelled us because of an email advising that they are incorrectly advertised!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank magnusonc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
worldwatchingwoman, Owner at Touchstone Inn, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
I am very sorry about the bad experience of these guests. Brad, our innkeeper and breakfast chef at the time was dealing with health issues and had spinal surgery in early November; in October, prices were reduced to reflect lodging only with no breakfast temporarily. We now have a new innkeeper with breakfast which features gluten free and accommodates non-dairy diets. These guests were refunded their money, but should have been given help to find another inn and I apologize for their inconvenience and for the fact that our high standards fell below the mark in this instance. I hope these guests will give us another chance in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abilene, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Gary & I had our simple wedding ceremony in the gardens amongst the natural landscape July 19th 2013. We came from Texas to elope and could not have ask for more. Nice, quiet. No interruptions, seldom seen anyone. The owners were such nice people. They introduced us to Susan Carpenter Sims who performed the wedding (wonderful person) and provided us with artist "Bren Price" to take our photos. Bren has some awesome paintings hanging throughout the Inn.
This historic home has lots and lots of history within, it was one of the original Mabel Dodge homes.(Check out the History)
Thank you again, Touchstone Inn for everything.

Gary & Lesa Gossett

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Lesa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, New Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 29, 2013

I have a very limited travel budget and don't get to take many trips, so choosing a place to spend my money on a rare opportunity to treat myself to a solo "retreat" to recharge and renew was a big decision for me. I stayed at Touchstone Inn for two nights and I'm SO glad I chose them out of the many B & Bs in Taos. I truly felt nourished and pampered while I was there. My room was cozy and clean, breakfast was absolutely DELICIOUS, and Amber and Brad are wonderful people - the real deal. They have an authenticity and kindness about them that can't be faked. I felt truly cared for by them, less like I was a guest at a business than reconnecting with long-lost family. The property itself is also inspiring and incredibly peaceful, with an outdoor walking labyrinth, a beautiful breakfast room, and a tangible sense of history and culture. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a genuine Taos experience and the sense of comfort, peace, and intimacy that a great B & B can offer.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mandy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I stayed five nights at Inn taking a workshop. My room had the trash taken out once during my visit per my request. My bedsheets were never changed nor room straightened. I bought paper towels for room because only paper available was toilet paper. The room had no AC and screen door could not be locked. The hosts were not only unwelcoming but downright hostile especially Brad. The size of room was adequate for two and closet space was generous. I see many favorable ratings for this Inn and am astounded. I rarely write reviews and this is my FIRST negative review. I would have ignored any problems with this place had the hosts been halfway pleasant. I think being nice takes care of a lot of inconsequential problems--too bad Brad and Amber haven't learned this lesson.

Room Tip: Request upper balcony
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank suzis75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
worldwatchingwoman, Owner at Touchstone Inn, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
In a workshop environment the protocols set up between the presenter and the inn prevail - daily housekeeping, in the case of a workshop is an extra charge, of which this guest chose not to take advantage. Participants of workshops stay at a reduced room rate with the option to have housekeeping or not. It is unfortunate that this was not communicated by the presenter and I am sorry for the inconvenience this guest experienced. Clash of personalities often get in the way of a good inn experience and we apologize for any bad behavior experienced by you. .As owner, I assure you that we strive to make our guests welcome and well served; to that end, we now have new innkeepers and plans for new workshops on the horizon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We just returned from a week long trip to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. We spent four lovely nights at a B&B (Casa Cuma) in Santa Fe and then drove to Taos for the last three nights.

For the last three evenings of our trip we stayed at the Touchstone Inn in the D.H. Lawrence room. We have stayed at 16 B&B’s from Maine to Vancouver to Hawaii and have a lot of experience staying in different bed and breakfasts. There are 3 factors that make a B&B a wonderful place to stay on vacation. Those factors include the 1. beauty of the property/room; 2. friendliness/helpfulness of the hosts; 3. the quality of the breakfast. The Touchstone Inn failed to deliver on all three levels as I will describe below.

After reading the glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and looking at the website, the inn seemed to have several things going for it: the professional chef owners, the view of the mountains and the spa.

Quote from the website:
“The Taos spa offers massage, yoga, facials, and therapeutic baths and wraps. Guests enjoy choice vistas of Taos Mountain looking out upon Taos Pueblo lands and walking the Labyrinth in meditation where one stops in contemplation gazing upon Taos Pueblo mountain tops.”

We were not offered to purchase any spa services while there and learned that the owners call someone from an outside service to deliver any of these advertised treatments. Therefore, they should NOT call themselves a “spa.”

There is NO VIEW of the Taos mountains from the back of the property. The mountains are TOTALLY obscured from view by trees and foliage. The mountain view is listed as selling point for this inn which is very misleading. At the entrance to the property the grounds are weed covered, dusty, and neglected. There is no effort made at landscaping this property. The “Labyrinth” meditation circle is overgrown with weeds as well.

The breakfasts, were a big disappointment, considering that both hosts are professionally trained chefs. For breakfast there was coffee, tea, orange juice(good),and cranberry juice available. There was no fresh fruit served. The breakfasts were one course and not very tasty.

Quote from the website:
“Our breakfasts are two course meals that will pamper you and get you ready for your day in Taos.”

Day 1 – very dry blueberry pancakes w/two small sausages and lemon sauce. We had to ask for butter and maple syrup to make them edible.
Day 2 – an egg dish with raspberry sauce and dry toast (no bacon or sausage)
Day 3 – 2 slices of pumpkin bread (I think homemade) very dry with a cranberry sauce and cranberries (no bacon or sausage)

The D.H. Lawrence room is on the ground floor of the hotel and has a sliding glass door entrance which also serves as the only window in the room. Once in the room it was apparent that it had not been updated in a very long time. The room was in serious need of a paint job, had black lacquer lion’s head bed frame and old sheep skin rug draped across the chair. In addition there were two rugs hung on the walls which themselves were fine; however, one rug to the right of the fireplace obscured a door that had a large piece of white cardboard stapled to the lower half of the door. The door opened onto a small bedroom. The other rug was hung in an alcove and hid a pink mattress that was tied to hide a set of double doors. When it fell down two days into our stay we found that its purpose was to muffle the noise from the icemaker on the other side of the double doors.

The other noticeable thing about the accommodation was that no soap for the shower or tissues were provided. There were two bottles of SoftSoap brand supermarket soap on the two sinks in the bathroom area.

We also read the information notebook in our room which revealed some odd information. The notebook indicated that 1. Taos in on a fragile power grid and if the power goes out to take the flashlight on the wall and meet the owners in the living room. 2. There are stray/feral dogs and cats in Taos and we should not approach them if we encounter them on the property(we appreciated the warning) 3. Certain rooms (ours) are equipped with a “panic” button in the event of an emergency. Thankfully, there were two of us staying in the room together, for a single woman staying alone, this would have, I think, been very unnerving to say the least. Since the sliding glass door is your only means of fresh air, there is a security chain that you can lock so that you can keep the door open about 5 inches for air.

We did not express our feelings about our room, food or stay to the hosts, but oddly enough, Brad, one of the hosts apologized for the condition of our room and said it is the only one that has not been updated, because, it’s the most popular and people always reserve it. Since the inn appeared to have only 3 guests the first night and no other people staying there, why not offer to put us in one of the other “updated rooms” so that we would have a nicer stay and experience? As owners of a B&B your first consideration should be the quality of your guest’s stay and experience.

The final factor that we have to comment upon was the lack of warmth, friendliness or helpfulness on the part of both hosts. Neither Brad nor Amber seemed to be suited to interacting with guests. They were not particularly engaging or helpful. The oddest example of this came when we asked Brad about whether the Taos Pueblo had a feast day and dancing on June 12 as we had read in a magazine in the room. His response, was “ I don’t know, “they” (meaning the Taos Pueblo people) don’t tell us what they do”. Then Amber came out with a magazine and incorrectly told us that the next feast day was in a few weeks. Considering that the property backs up to the Taos Pueblo, it's a primary tourist attraction in Taos, and his wife’s family has ties to the pueblo, we thought his response was strange and indifferent.

We did enjoy Taos otherwise. We had a lovely dinner at Sabroso’s in Arroyo Seco, hiked in the Carson National Forest, visited the moving Vietnam Veteran’s museum/memorial in Angel Fire and enjoyed dinner at Orlando’s restaurant. Also, the Taos Visitor’s center has an excellent supply of information, maps and brochures for the entire state of New Mexico.

In closing, we would definitely NOT recommend staying at the Touchstone Inn.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Dil02231994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
worldwatchingwoman, Manager at Touchstone Inn, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Typically, we do not respond to reviews ... good or poor. But in this case we would like to reiterate that when asked how things were from room to food we were told -- with a smile -- that everything was "fine" or "great". As far as us being friendly, we are and were, but the male in the party made my wife feel so uncomfortable due to the degree of ogling that she experienced that she requested I not leave her alone with the gentleman in any room or on any part of the property. No, we don't know all of the goings on in Taos and Taos Pueblo is its own sovereign nation and although an event may be posted (which there was no event on June 12th) they may, can, will, and have closed their gates to the public. The Lawrence has not been undated yet, I pointed that out, apologized, and they said that was “fine.” If they had actually said that they were disappointed prior to posting it on Tripadvisor then we certainly would have moved them to an available room on the back side of the property with a view of Taos Mountain (this is commonly our practice when we know a guest preference).
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 8, 2013

Highly recommended. Walking distance to everything, but the B and B is on spacious and beautiful grounds so you don't feel like you are close to downtown. The owners were very welcoming and helpful. We spent a lot of time in the comfortable living room. Breakfast was creative and delicious.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mangi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Touchstone Inn

Property: Touchstone Inn
Address: 110 Mabel Dodge Lane, Taos, NM 87571
Location: United States > New Mexico > Taos County > Taos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Taos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Touchstone Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A secluded inn close to everything Taos! Touchstone is a secluded historic estate at the edge of Taos Pueblo lands. The native peoples consider Touchstone to be medicine land and a place for transformation. Touchstone offers cozy rooms with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs in most of them. We cater to couples as a romantic getaway and to groups as a retreat center, workshops and weddings. Both USA Today and Fodor's Guide say Touchstone is the #1 place to stay in Taos. ... more   less 
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