Travelers tend to split into two groups when the question of bed-and-breakfasts comes up: either they adore them and actively seek them out, or they dislike them and never consider them as options.
I’d never before seen my dislike for B&Bs so accurately summed up than on an episode of Parks & Recreation. They’d wandered in, needing rooms, in the middle of the night, to face the proprietress standing primly in her evening gown on the stairs, clearly put out at the hour, explaining the house rules and describing the very early morning, limited-choice breakfast.
“What if we want to sleep in and get up at a normal time?” Asks one of the party.
“That would be very rude of you,” is the waspish reply.
There it is, right there. That’s what’s always put me off about B&Bs. I generally dislike the awkwardness of being a house guest in the first place—and that’s among people I already know—so what’s the point of paying money for that same awkwardness in the home of a stranger?
The apprehension that I would be staying in a B&B on my recent trip to Taos, New Mexico melted away in the first couple of e-mails from the Adobe & Pines Inn proprietor Christine. Check-in is normally between three and five P.M. but I wouldn’t be arriving until midnight. “No Problem,” was the response, “there will be a welcome envelope taped to the office door with your name on it and the key’s in the door of your room.”
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Rolling in around midnight, and stepping out into the crisp mountain air, everything was laid out exactly as described. Room keys also had keys to the office attached, so even when closed guests can pop in to browse restaurant menus or help themselves to some cookies or tea.
My room “Puerta Azul” (The Blue Door) did, in fact, have a blue door, and there was no mistaking the position in the property’s original 1832 adobe hacienda, for the door was at most about five-and-half feet tall. It’s also a Dutch door, so the top half can be opened to let the fresh air directly in (a separate screen door keeps out the critters).
Guests seeking out the secluded promise of the West will certainly find it here. Whether it’s languid days spent on the porch listening to the sounds of the wild or cozily snuggled up next to the outdoor firepit or in—room fireplace, there’s a tranquility here that is difficult to match in the more crowded environs of the East.
It’s easy to imagine the free-adventuring solitude of the early Spanish settlers who began winning land grants from colonial crown governors (in spite of the indigenous people already in residence in the Taos Valley) during the 18th Century. The land upon which the inn seats was first granted in 1710.
Puerta Azul is one of the most intimate rooms at the Inn, with space for two travelers. There’ also a wood-burning kiva fireplace and the room comes stocked with plenty of split logs and fire lights. The room is also adorned with sustainably-packed coffee, tea, and cocoa service in reusable containers and a selection of books about the area.
For guests who prefer more space, there are other accommodations sleeping up to six, some of which are casita-style with private patios and hot tubs. The largest room is Puerta Blanca, which has a private outdoor hot tub, full kitchen, and private parking.
Breakfasts are a can’t-miss affair. Not only are they included in the rates and served in the intimate, sun-filled solarium in the main lodge, they’re utterly delicious. The multi-course, seasonally-driven repasts kick off with an appetizer like stewed pineapple or chilled watermelon with mint, and alternate between sweet and savory mains.
One morning it was have-to-have-seconds French toast with crispy bacon, while another morning guests awoke to a Mediterranean Frittata. Some vegetables and herbs are grown on the property’s garden, and eggs come from the inn’s own chickens. It’s a low key way to start the day—wander in, pour a cup of coffee from the self-service station in the corner, have a leisurely meal and perhaps some conversation, and leave well-fortified for a day in the mountains.
Christine and her staff patter around the breakfast room inquiring about daily plans and offering suggestions. She’s also quick to offer suggestions whenever somebody browses through the restaurant menus. It’s tempting to spend a good portion of the day relaxing in the main lodge with its wealth of brochures and maps of the area sipping coffee or iced tea, but there’s plenty to explore.
Also on site at the Inn is the labyrinth, designed for encouraging meditation and self-reflection, set in the grass in front of Casa Blanca. The rest of the property is abundant with native plants that peak on their own seasonal timelines, giving the place a different look at different times of the year. A traditional acequia stream trickles along the front of the Grand Portal which makes up the main lodge and original adobe hacienda, which adds an almost musical quality to the serene stillness, and attracts a host of local critters.
Even for travelers who aren’t B&B fans, Adobe & Pines Inn in Taos is all but guaranteed to make fast converts.
The most intimate rooms start at $115 per night plus tax in the low season, the six-person casita Puerta Blanca starts at $269 per night plus tax. All rates include breakfast.
The grounds are spectacular, and the delightfully furnished breakfast room practically begs to be photographed and shared.
No loyalty program is required to draw guests back again and again.
Good To Know
There’s free WiFi, which is helpful as patches of Taos tend to have spotty cellular reception.
Guests arriving in electric cars can charge them on-site.
The inn is pet-friendly, and we did note several guests with pets during our stay.
Accommodations were furnished by Adobe & Pines Inn in preparation for this story.