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A Honeymoon Escape in Taos, New Mexico

Words by Samantha Payne
Photos courtesy of El Dorado Hotel and Spa
Crisp blue skies, the fragrant aroma of pine trees and breathtaking snow-capped mountain ranges set the backdrop for an enchanting exchange of vows. For couples craving anything from luxurious hotels and restaurants, rustic mountain towns, and adrenaline-filled activities, to culture lavish with art, New Mexico is sure to please. Within a two-hour drive of Santa Fe, romantic vacationers can also escape to Taos, Red River or Angel Fire Ski Resorts.

Rich with culture and class amidst the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe offers virtually every type of experience and luxury to the adventure-seeking traveler. Charming adobe structures line the streets of this 400 year-old town that is seeping with art. Santa Fe is one of only nine cities worldwide that has earned the esteemed title of “Creative City” by UNESCO. Within walking distance are dozens of photography, fine arts and crafts galleries, as well as historic site attractions. If unique dining experiences are craved, couples can enjoy flavors that appeal to every pallet. Santa Fe is known for its love of exquisite cuisine. The Old House at the El Dorado Hotel and Spa has a diverse fine dining menu that boasts the Four-Diamond rating and the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence. With their Presidential Patio, Anasazi Ballroom and gorgeous Pavilion, saying “I Dos” here would surely be memorable.

After a restful evening at one of the many fine resorts such as the Hotel St. Francis, or more reasonably priced and charming alternatives, like the Hotel Plaza Real, a new day of thrills await. Guests can escape into the art lining the streets, get pampered at one of the many spas, or escape for a lively day on the slopes. Only 16 miles from Old Town is Ski Santa Fe. Here skiers and snowboarders alike will find a mountain that exceeds the standards for any level enthusiast with a 12,000 foot summit, 650 acres and 72 trails. 

At 9,000 feet and covering 1,200 acres, the highly recognized Taos Ski Valley is another New Mexico must-see. Don’t be fooled by the rustic, European village-style as this destination is one of adventurous elegance. With steep slopes and phenomenal snow, the trails on this mountain will challenge any snowboarder or skier. After a long day of skiing, relax over a glass of wine and delectable cuisine at The Bavarian Restaurant. This ski-in/ski-out lodge sits at the base of the Kachina Peak and has amenities to meet the needs of any party, large or small. The décor mimics the Bavarian Alps and keeps with the old European style of Taos.

The quaint and picturesque town of Red River is a hidden gem. Abounding with activities for summer and winter, escape into this slower-paced lifestyle. Mountain biking, spa treatments and hiking will entertain guests of all ages and fitness levels in the summer. In winter months, the slopes are challenging, yet fun with fluffy snow and wide-open trails. After sunset, take a guided snowmobiling tour of the mountain as you check out some historic gold-mining sites. With a variety of hotels and restaurants, Red River will not disappoint.

If an all-inclusive resort stay is desired, Angel Fire offers skiing, snow tubing, fine dining and nightlife. Inside the resort are accommodations large enough for entire families. Enjoy a nightcap, live music and tasty appetizers at En Fuego. And if you’re starving for some prime choice, dry aged steaks, or light deliciously prepared seafood, Caliente is just upstairs. Angel Fire Resort is not only rated one of the top family ski areas in the Southern Rockies, but during the summer months guests can also treat themselves to outstanding golf and pampering at the brand new country club. With gorgeous views of the Moreno Valley, couples can say their vows on the terrace or in one of the exquisite rooms with floor-to-ceiling views of this stunning green backdrop.

All within a two-hour drive of Santa Fe, it is no wonder New Mexico is coined “The Land of Enchantment.”
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