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THE DESERT HACIENDA
What: Galisteo Inn
Where: Galisteo, New Mexico
The pitch: The high desert landscape around the village of Galisteo, a village 25 miles south of Santa Fe, is quintessential Wild West, or at least enough that All the Pretty Horses was shot here. But there's nothing rough-and-tumble about the pastoral Galisteo Inn. Resting among giant cottonwood trees, it's a 300-year-old Spanish hacienda reincarnated as an enchanting 12-room inn. You'll love the clean adobe walls and historical touches like hand-carved missionary doors and a 500-year-old Catholic confessional in the lobby (it serves as a pay phone). Southwestern decor often veers into kitsch territory, but here it's decidedly stylish, the earthy browns complemented by vibrant shades of burnt orange, turquoise, and maize yellow. Gorgeous and secluded as the inn is, you'll want to get out of doors, whether horseback riding beneath the vast blue skies, hiking Glorietta Pass, or simply having a margarita on the patio.
The details: This is the Southwest, so you won't escape the hanging cow skulls and lassos, nor the Navajo rugs and hand-woven baskets. But what seems silly elsewhere fits in perfectly with the desert setting, and three rooms have wood-burning fireplaces to keep out the winter chill. Four also have patios.
The killer app: Meals at La Mancha Restaurant & Bar, which can be either taken on the outdoor patio overlooking the pool and garden, or next to the dining room fireplace. Chef Enrique Guerrero dishes borrow liberally from Mexican, Spanish, French, and American flavors: His mac-and-cheese with orzo pasta, black truffles, seasonal mushrooms, and goat cheese is transcendental.
Tel: 866 404 8200
Doubles from $115 per night, including breakfast