PUBLISHED WORK > Hotel, Resort and Lodge Reviews > Casa de las Chimeneas Taos, NM
iTraveliShop.com October 2007
Casa de las Chimeneas - Taos, New Mexico :: Hotel Review
Love the convenience and hominess of an elegant B&B but the idea of literally staying in someone’s house makes you uncomfortable? Me too, which is why I love Casa de las Chimeneas Bed & Breakfast Inn which puts the emphasis on the “Inn” in its name with plenty of respect for guests’ privacy while still offering a fantastic communal experience.
Casa de las Chimeneas literally means “house of chimneys” and every one of the six rooms and two suites at this bucolic hideaway does, indeed, have a fireplace (most are flip-switch gas types, but Willow, Blue Room and the Library Suite have wood-burning versions). All guest rooms have a mini-refrigerator stocked with complimentary Knudsen and Blue Sky organic juices and sodas, lively Southwestern décor including exposed beam ceilings and hand-painted talavera tile in every bathroom and original art on the walls—some of it done by staff members.
Amenities that win the someone-was-thinking award include humidifiers to help you deal with the relentlessly dry air in New Mexico and a ski boot dryer in every closet (Casa de las Chimeneas is only minutes away from Taos Ski Valley). Nightly turn down includes a carafe of water charmingly spiked with a citrus wedge and a grape—just what you need to stay hydrated during a pre-bed soak in the outdoor hot tub in the back garden. Guests also have the use of a small but serviceable fitness center and the Wellness Spa offers a full range of indulgences (in an on-site treatment room or in guest rooms) using all natural products from Iris Herbal (this is New Mexico, after all).
The personality (or multiple personalities) of the place really becomes apparent in the details of each room. The Blue Room is the most feminine with a canopy bed and a soaking tub while the Rio Grande room is the airiest with not one but two skylights. Sombraje wows with sheer square footage (more than 500 square feet) and two queen beds and La Sala de Patron (which can be combined with the Sombraje room to create one massive suite) features a two person steam shower.
No matter which room you choose, you’ll have a private entrance eliminating the need to traipse through the Inn’s common area to get to and from your room. However, the homey and comfortable common area is exactly where you’ll want to be at breakfast time when a full, hot, freshly cooked meal is served featuring dishes like baked French toast, omelets and homemade fruit frappes along with oatmeal and cold cereals.
Room rates also include what the Inn describes as a light evening snack which was more than enough to constitute dinner with homemade serve-yourself offerings like black bean soup, cornbread and jicama salad. If you want a fuller meal, an extensive in-room dining menu is available ($70 per person) and includes more elaborate dishes like Chateaubriand for two, stuffed pork chops and New Mexico crab cakes.
In a town where peace and quiet is a fast-disappearing commodity, the Inn’s location—in a residential neighborhood just a few blocks from bustling downtown shopping hotspots (a must for anyone in the market for southwestern treasures from art to jewelry to cowboy boots)—is also noteworthy. Tucked behind 7’ adobe walls, you get the feeling of coming home every time you drive into the place. That feeling is enhanced by the lovingly tended flowerbeds and flower pots that explode with color every spring and attract wild birds who provide your wake up call.
Casa de las Chimeneas, a member of Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America since the property opened in 1988, is surprisingly kid friendly too with plenty of lawn to run around on (with no fear of car traffic thanks to those 7’ walls), a selection of games in the common room and an accommodating kitchen happy to churn out grilled cheese and chicken fingers in addition to their more sophisticated fare. Inn staff will even call up their own trusted babysitters and arrange for them to come to the Inn so mom and dad can have an evening out in Taos.
My advice? Come back at least eight times so you can sleep in each of Casa de la Chimeneas’ comfortable and unique rooms before picking a personal favorite to call your own.
Casa de las Chimeneas
In April, 2006 peripatetic journalist Karen Catchpole left her job as deputy editor of SHOP Etc. magazine in New York City and embarked on the Trans-Americas Journey, a three year, 100,000+ mile working road trip through North, Central and South America. When she's not reviewing luxury hotels, resorts, ranches and B&Bs, she can be found enjoying the nearest campground. .
Resort, Lodge & Hotel Review Keywords: Casa de las Chimeneas, New Mexico, NM, Taos, Bed & Breakfast, B&B, visittaos.com, hotel review