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!
- 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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