2011-2013 Bed & Breakfast Guide

Location: Casa Escondida, 64 County Road 100, Chimayo, New Mexico, 87522 Dates the Stash Tea B&B Guide Coupon is applicable: Any days from November to March; Sunday through Thursday only from April to October. Excludes holiday periods and special events.
Email: info@casaescondida.com Number of Rooms: Eight
Phone: 505-351-4805 Cost: $105-$165
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About the Area

Casa Escondida is located in Chimayo, New Mexico, a small, historic village in a “high desert” area of northern New Mexico. Chimayo is situated between Santa Fe (to the south) and Taos (to the north).

While many nearby New Mexico residents come to Chimayo for a quick but restful getaway, most visitors find that an extended stay in Chimayo is best. In addition to the attractions that are actually in Chimayo, this is also a perfect central location to conveniently visit the entire northern New Mexico area.

Photo credit: Luca Galuzzi

What to Do

Chimayo is only a 35-minute drive to Santa Fe, with plenty of galleries, museums, opera, entertainment and fine dining options. In addition, in 40 minutes you can be at Bandelier National Park where you can visit ancient cliff-dwelling type ruins and hike the trails or you can arrive in Abiquiu (Georgia O’Keeffe Country) with its magical landscapes. In the same amount of time you can also be at Ojo Caliente Hot Mineral Springs to spend part of your day enjoying a soothing soak in the hot springs or a relaxing massage.

In just under an hour you can be in picturesque Taos, which is home to the famous Taos Pueblo. There are over eight Native American pueblos in northern New Mexico and they are all easily accessible from Chimayo.

Located in Chimayo is the sacred Santuario de Chimayo. This church is one of the most visited in the entire state of New Mexico. It is known for its miraculous healings and is a destination for many religious pilgrims. It is often referred to as the "Lourdes of America". The church still holds mass seven days a week and visitors are always welcome to visit or attend services. If you plan to visit over Easter weekend, book your room far in advance as there will be 40,000–50,000 people making a religious pilgrimage to Chimayo over the span of that holy weekend. Otherwise, you will enjoy the quiet surroundings of this centrally located village that is normally a population of about 3,000.

If you love to golf, the courses in the area are unbelievable, as well as surprisingly affordable. Skiing is a popular activity during the winter months, and Chimayo is surrounded by six different downhill ski areas. Rafting, horseback riding, fishing, biking, hot air ballooning and train rides are all available close-by. While Chimayo oozes with rustic charm, it doesn’t offer much in the way of night-life. However, if you need a bit of excitement, the casinos are just a short drive away. Good luck!

Activities: art & culture, galleries, fine dining, outdoor activities, casinos, concerts, golf, rafting, bird-watching, wine tasting & winery touring, mountain biking, hot-air ballooning, train rides, horseback riding, biking, scenic drives, fishing, alpaca trekking, Hispanic culture

Great drives or views: Take the Enchanted Circle Drive. It begins in Taos and ends in Taos. This is one of New Mexico's most scenic drives.

Best souvenir: Do you love to cook or know someone that loves to cook? Chimayo is also known for its Chimayo Red Chili. People travel great distances to purchase the locally grown Chimayo chili. There is even a Chimayo Chili preservation program that is dedicated to preserving this unique (and delicious) red chili. Good cooks covet this local food commodity and it is available in a mild, medium or hot variety. Chimayo chili can be purchased in the form of a chili powder, crushed chili or whole chilies that are strung together to make what is referred to as a "ristra". Once you try the Chimayo Red Chili, you will never again be able to cook with store bought chili. It's lip-smacking good!

Best places to eat:The Rancho de Chimayo is an old, historic hacienda that was converted into a restaurant, so the ambiance is truly authentic. They are a full service restaurant that has been serving-up traditional northern New Mexico food for over 40 years! They are open seven days a week most of the year but they close on Mondays during the off-season. Try one of their famous Chimayo Cocktails; their Margaritas are pretty good too! Outside dinning is available during the warmer months of the year. They will also accommodate dinner guests that are traveling with their pets as long as your pet is well behaved and you dine in the outdoor dining area.

Great shopping areas: You’ll want to visit the internationally known weaving shops of Chimayo. Many of these weavers are 7th or 8th generation weavers. Some have even had weavings in the Smithsonian! Many have won awards in the famous “Spanish Market”. This is the largest juried Spanish art show in the U.S. Weaving is a time-honored tradition in Chimayo. You are able to purchase hand-crafted rugs, blankets, wall hangings, placemats, hand bags, vests, coats and much more. You are even able to custom order hand-woven pieces for a minimal up-charge. They are happy to customize the size, design or colors to your exact specifications.

Best day trips:

  1. Head to Taos and spend a day visiting its many shops, restaurants and art galleries. Don't forget to stop by the famous Taos Pueblo!
  2. Love to hike? Bandelier National Park is 40 minutes away and features the ruins of magnificent ancient cliff dwellings as well as great hiking trails.
  3. The eight Northern New Mexico Indian Pueblos (Taos, Picuris, San Juan, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Nambe, Pojoaque and Tesuque) are all an easy drive from Chimayo. Experience their culture, arts, food, and language.
  4. Spend a relaxing day at the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, where you can be pampered with a massage.

Photo credit: Eric Ward

Interview with the Innkeepers

How would you describe your bed and breakfast?
Casa Escondida Bed and Breakfast is a secluded B&B that sits on 6 acres (1/4 mile off of the road), in the foot hills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There are several shops and restaurants that are just over 1 mile away, in the historic village of Chimayo (just 35 minutes north of Santa Fe). However, you will definitely need a vehicle for touring the northern New Mexico area (Santa Fe, Taos, Bandelier National Park, Ojo Caliente Hot Mineral Springs, Pueblos, etc.). We are happy to direct you and make recommendations.

We are the perfect central location for visiting all of the most popular destinations throughout northern New Mexico. Unpack your luggage one time and see it all from one great location that also provides a very authentic New Mexico experience.

We have four pet-friendly rooms, and five of our rooms can sleep up to four guests. (Extra guest and pet fees apply.) Enjoy a full, hot breakfast included in the room rate! We keep our outdoor hot tub running year-round, free Wi-Fi and free parking!

What types of vacationers is your bed and breakfast perfect for?
couples, seniors, romantic getaway, pet-friendly, families, solo traveler, hiking, foodies, Native American culture, retreat, sight-seeing, secluded get-away

What is special about your inn? Is there history or a story behind it?
The main house is an authentic adobe house. It was occupied as a family home for many years. In 1992, the home that had been lovingly hand-built was sold and Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast was born! Some of the genuine northern New Mexico architectural features of Casa Escondida include vigas, kiva fireplaces, bancos, wooden tongue and groove ceilings, coved ceilings, Saltillo tile floors, hand-painted tile throughout the kitchen and guest bathrooms, brick floors, portals and more! In 2012, we are celebrating our 20th anniversary of serving the traveling guest. We invite you to come celebrate with us.

What type of breakfast do you serve?
We serve a full hot sit-down breakfast each morning. We have a fixed but rotating menu so that our guests never have the same breakfast twice during a stay. Some examples of our hot entrées are green chili soufflé, banana nut waffles, eggs Florentine, mixed-berry pancakes, quiche, cinnamon-orange French toast and Spanish eggs. We always serve a breakfast meat, such as sausage or ham. Depending on the main entrée, an herb breakfast potato or a sweet breakfast bread may be served. We always serve a fresh fruit cup, orange juice, coffee and Stash teas. When notified in advance, we can typically accommodate special dietary needs.

Are there any special events held in your area?
Albuquerque Wine Festival – May
Santa Fe Spanish Market – July
Santa Fe Opera – July and August
Santa Fe Indian Market – August
Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta – September
New Mexico State Fair – September
Whole Enchilada Fiesta – September
The Hatch Valley Chile Festival – September
International Balloon Fiesta – October

What is the best time of year to visit?
The best time of year depends on why you are coming. Obviously those that want to ski will be here during the winter months. Others will be here during the spring, summer and fall. Summer is opera season and Indian Market. Fall if great for those that want to see the vibrant fall colors. No matter what time of year you visit, there will be plenty to see and do.

Will guests be able to meet the innkeeper?
We have friendly, accommodating, attentive, capable staff, most of which have been with us for years. The innkeeper is in and out throughout the day, but doesn’t keep to a strict schedule.

What is your favorite thing about your inn?
We are a TV-free bed and breakfast. Guests are really able to disconnect from the hectic day-to-day chaos.

What is the one thing guests return year after year for?

Do you have any advice for someone staying in a bed and breakfast for the first time?
Expect a much more intimate, memorable and personal experience versus what you experience at a hotel or motel. The other travelers that you meet are one of the best elements of the bed and breakfast experience.

Innkeeper’s favorite Stash Tea?
Stash Peppermint Herbal Tea!