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El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa, Taos, New Mexico

Editor's Pick
New Mexico, United States, North America: El Monte Sagrado
317 Kit Carson Road
Taos , New Mexico
Tel: 505 758 3502
Tel: 888.213.4419's insider take:

When this 36-room lodge opened in 2003, it gave Taos the destination resort it sorely lacked. The stand-alone suites and many secluded, landscaped acres made it feel at once open and intimate. In fall 2007, however, the room count was more than doubled, to 84. The good news is that the staff is as well trained and gracious as ever, and the additions are set away from the original suites. The bad news is the new "Rocky Mountain" rooms are in a mundane two-story building, intended to accommodate conferences and wedding groups. Stick with the original rooms, which have more character and charm than the additions. The least-expensive casitas are sweet (some have patios), but the top-of-the-line Global Suites are worth the premium: Set among terraced waterfalls and ponds, they have one or two bedrooms, massive showers and tubs, and well appointed living rooms with a wet bar and dining table. Each is decorated in the style of a different country, a gimmick that's nonetheless pulled off particularly well (handpainted tiles and Andalusian shawls in the Spain suite, bamboo shades and kimonos in the Japan room). All rooms have wood or gas-burning kiva fireplaces. The spa has been enlarged to accommodate the added guests, but it's hard to believe that groups won't invade the serene public spaces such as the plunge pool or De La Tierra restaurant, which serves New American food with Southwestern accents (try the elk chop and chicharrón chimichanga).

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 87.8
  • Activities: 87.2
  • Design: 92.0
  • Food: 85.7
  • Location: 84.0
  • Rooms: 94.0
  • Service: 84.0
"You can't deny the serenity and peace this hotel conveys." The pueblo-style resort incorporates Native American elements like a "sacred circle." Casita rooms are "quietly Southwestern," while Global Suite decor varies from Argentine to Moroccan to Chinese. Both have private courtyards. At De La Tierra, where "every bite is better than the last," meals include sea bass with lobster ravioli and mashed English peas. Staff throughout are "kind and fun." The spa has a Japanese soaking bath.

(84 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Spa

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.