Complex of Adobe Houses in Taos Historic District
In 1895, Taos physician Dr. Thomas Paul Martin bought a number of thick-walled adobe houses situated around a small plaza and a community well, living in the complex and renting space to writers and artists until his death in 1936. That year, Dr. Martin’s wife enclosed the plaza and opened The Hotel Martin, which eventually became today's Historic Taos Inn. After years of updates—including a vintage neon thunderbird sign, a bubbling fountain, and a lobby replete with a carved reception desk—Martin's 19th-century plaza has transformed into today's inn, which honors the property's past while adding modern touches. "It's rare to see a hotel that has withstood the years with grace, but the Historic Taos Inn has done just that," Frommer's says of the inn, which is on both the State and National Register of Historic Places and has become one of the most iconic structures in Taos’ historic downtown district.
The inn’s 44 individually decorated guest rooms spread out across four buildings, showcasing southwestern flair with hand-carved Mexican headboards and hand-painted trasteros. The recently built Helen's House comes outfitted with kiva fireplaces and viga-style ceilings, and antique armoires and other Spanish colonial furniture fill the older rooms in the two-story main building. In the tradition of Dr. Martin’s support of the arts, some rooms also feature paintings and other artwork by native Taos artists.
Chefs at the onsite Doc Martin’s Restaurant source meats and produce from regional farms, crafting southwestern fare such as green-chili cheeseburgers and blue-corn chicken enchiladas. More than 400 wines make up Doc Martin's wine list, but locals are drawn to the restaurant’s specialty margaritas, including the Cowboy Buddha made with Herradura Silver, Cointreau, and limes squeezed by sentient lassos. Guests also mingle in the Adobe Bar—adjacent to Doc Martin’s—where live musicians perform native folk songs, jazz, and other genres nightly.
Taos, New Mexico: Artistic City Close to Popular Ski Mountains
The adobe architecture of Taos—some of it centuries old—harmonizes with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains towering above it. Taos has inspired many artists, including D.H. Lawrence and Georgia O'Keeffe, with its scenic landscape and culture spanning from ancient Taos Pueblo people to Spanish colonial influences. The area’s art scene thrives today, and more than 50 galleries and the popular Taos Art Museum fill the town's plaza.
During the winter, Taos transforms into a bustling ski town with Taos Ski Valley about a 30-minute drive north of the inn. Here, dry powder coats the alpine-studded slopes of the Rockies and 110 trails and bowls cut through the area—half of which are steep inclines designed for expert skiers and snowboarders. The flatter terrain at Angel Fire Resort—about 45 minutes east of Taos—is better suited to beginners and offers a lowrider park with a set of small rails for practicing snowboarding skills and sharpening icicles to fend off snowman salesmen.