Find your happy place, or — at the very least — your quiet place, at this cozy bed and breakfast in Taos, New Mexico.
Palacio de Marquesa in Taos, New Mexico.
Taos has a reputation for hippie-heavy aura readings and turquoise necklaces. But the cozy New Mexican town also draws a crowd of A-list celebrities who come here for the unique brand of laid-back chic. This is a town where even its wealthiest visitors wears jeans to go to the grocery store and where hole-in-the-wall galleries let you get up close to million-dollar works of art. Palacio de Marquesa is a beautiful and conveniently located hotel that highlights the best that Taos has to offer.
The Palacio has only eight suites, and each one is slightly different. But there are several key elements in common, such as bathtubs you can get lost in and dreamy fireplaces that can be switched off and on. And while it’s normal for hotels to have paperbacks lying around, the Palacio de Marquesa kicks it up a notch by providing reading nooks with desks, overstuffed chairs, and a stack of books from across the genre range. These nooks are separated from the rest of the room with a set of double doors, which is great news for the night owl and early bird alike.
One of the treats about this hotel is how it manages to be both luxe and cozy. Some hotels give off that “it’s so fancy you’re afraid to actually touch anything” vibe, but not the Palacio. Morning breakfast is served in a communal dining room, along with a steady supply of coffee and tea from the nearby Keurig. Later in the day, the same dining room hosts champagne tastings and complimentary sweets. There’s a comfy living room space piled high with photography books highlighting the best of Taos and of New Mexican art and architecture.
Claim to Fame
The hotel was acquired by the New Mexico-based Heritage Hotels & Resorts group last year. That has only upped the Palacio’s commitment to state pride, as there is now a particular focus on displaying works by women artists from New Mexico.
What’s on Site
Make sure to explore the Palacio’s private garden, dotted with local willow and cottonwood trees under which you can sit and relax with a sketchbook.
Although the family breakfast in the common room is a good way to bond with your fellow travelers, the Palacio’s staff can also bring a morning meal to your room in a basket. There’s also the option to hire a private chef who will work with you on a customized menu for your stay — a plus for travelers with food requirements or allergies. Expect an emphasis on locally-grown produce and New Mexican specialties, from green adobo chilies to biscochito sugar-and-cinnamon cookies.
This Place Is Perfect For
Couples, whether on their honeymoon or simply looking for a romantic place to get away for a few days; anyone who could benefit from fresh air (Taos is 7,000 feet above sea level) and home-cooked meals.
But Not So Perfect For
Taos’ average visitor age skews a bit older than Albuquerque and Santa Fe’s, so young people looking for a late-night party scene or specialty cocktail bar won’t find much of that here. And the hotel’s art books and quiet corners won’t be very suitable for young kids who want to run around and play.
Good to Know
Hotel manager Chad Ozment is almost always at breakfast, getting to know guests and even introducing them to each other and making connections. He has been known to give guests a lift — in his own car — to the Rio Grande Gorge, a dramatic, gorgeous landmark about ten miles outside of town.
Taos is a small town, and it’s quite easy to get around on foot. The Palacio is a short walk away from Taos Plaza, where most of the art galleries are, and the rest of the historic downtown area. The plaza is also home to live music events and dance performances.
What to Do Nearby
Since people come from all over the world to explore the city's art scene, it’s no surprise that the hotel wants to make sure its guests get the full overview of what Taos has to offer. Palacio gives its guests a special pass for a 15 percent discount to museums and other attractions. If you can bear to skip one of the hotel’s tasty meals, make sure it's for dinner at The Love Apple, where the seasonal menu includes everything from blue cornbread to fried avocados with chimichurri. During the winter months, the nearby ski resorts are open but with far smaller crowds than the ones in Colorado and Utah, so novice skiiers won’t have to worry about adrenaline-pumped pros zipping by.
Palacio de Marquesa
405 Cordoba St.
Taos, New Mexico 87571