Hotel La Fonda de Taos, Taos, New Mexico $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Occupying prime real estate on the Plaza within walking distance of galleries and restaurants, La Fonda has the best location in Taos. The three-story property was built in 1882 and has 24 rooms, most of them standard queens. Like most old adobe buildings it has small windows, but a 1999 renovation heightened the ceilings. The rooms are unremarkable but well maintained, with basic wood armoires, Mexican tin mirrors, and tile bathrooms. Rooms are without individual temperature controls, which will trouble some guests. The third-floor penthouse, with its full kitchen, dining area, and private roof deck, is a good place for an extended stay. Two other plus points: Joseph's Table, one of Taos's best destination restaurants, and a parking lot reserved for guests (even in tiny downtown Taos, parking is a hassle). No surprise that the building is rife with Taos history. The hotel's former owner, Saki Karavas, who died in 1996, was an infamous lothario about town and an avid art collector. In 1956 he acquired nine of the 13 so-called "Forbidden Paintings" by D.H. Lawrence, who lived in Taos for a short time. The somewhat lascivious paintings were banned from English soil in 1929, and they're still on private display— just ask the staff for a viewing.
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