We love to ski and will go any chance we get. We’ve been to a lot of mountains throughout Colorado and New Mexico, but one of our favorites is Ski Santa Fe in New Mexico. We went there again this year and fell in love with the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe. From soaring mountain views, to fresh produce grown on site used by the chef, Rancho Encantado is one of the most exclusive and rejuvenating resorts you can find.
When we arrived at Rancho Encantado we were greeted by tremendously polite staff and doormen asking if they could take our bags. Having just finished a very long 12 hour car ride through snow and ice (on New Year’s Eve no less!), we were tired, hungry and on the hunt for some traditionally delicious New Mexican food. The front desk staff was more than accommodating and had insightful recommendations (including their own restaurant) for dining in the city of Santa Fe, which is about 15 minutes away.
We walked away from the front desk feeling inspired by the cuisine options that awaited us, but first we went to check out the room. We stayed in a King Sized Vista Casita. The room was, how do we say this, AMAZING. For starters, the fireplace actually works. Each room comes with a special number you can call 24 hours a day to beckon the “fireplace engineer”, basically the guy who lights your fire. The tile bathroom floors are heated (a must in the brutal New Mexico winter) and have their own independent thermostat. The oversized tub came with fragrant bath oils and soaps and was a perfect compliment to the walk in shower.
The bed was quite cozy and was positioned towards the floor-to-ceiling windows that faced the mountains. I’m not sure there’s a better way to wake up in the morning. Sliding glass doors put you out onto the furnished balcony, but we didn’t make use of this because of the below-freezing temperatures.
The atmosphere of the resort is one of appropriate privacy. It’s secluded in the mountains and is very peaceful. I’m not sure what it is — perhaps the soaring majesty of the Rockies, or the frigid pines whispering in the wind — but it almost felt like people were reverently whispering to each other rather than boldly conversing. But not in a bad way. Rancho Encantado is truly focused on a rejuvenating experience, and they certainly achieve it with some help of nature.
With original paintings and works of art from local artists, the lobby and public spaces of Rancho Encantado become a veritable art museum. Heck, even our room had an indian drum made by local indian tribesman. The aesthetic is decidedly southwest with a minimal flair. During the trip, we fondly dubbed Santa Fe “The Portland of the Southwest.” The art, much like the natural landscape, is composed only of what’s necessary.
I mentioned we were hungry, right? The dining at Rancho Encantado was phenomenal. The highlight is Terra Restaurant, which boasts a grand eating hall with panoramic views of the mountains. Chef took us through the kitchen and into the herb garden that they have on the premises. By the end of 2015, Rancho Encantado is poised to have all of their produce grown on site. This commitment to fresh ingredients and unique dining experiences makes Terra a must. We enjoyed traditional jeuvos rancheros and other breakfast foods while we were there. There’s even a cooking class that anyone can participate in where you will learn how to cook authentic New Mexican food. If it’s seclusion you’re seeking, there’s always the in-casita dining option (which we made use of on at least one occasion).
The atmosphere of the resort is certainly one of calm and quiet, but the fitness facilities, movement studio, pool and adventure excursions are more than enough to keep the adventurer happy. There are daily one hour hikes that meet at the lobby entrance each morning. The departure time varies depending on the season, but they all follow the trail that circles the property while talking about the history of Rancho Encantado and the surrounding geography. There’s also biking tours that take you off road on guided biking excursions and cultural excursions that go into the city of Santa Fe for some in-depth historical exhibits of the Native Americans that inhabit the southwest.
Overall, our time spent at Rancho Encantado was nothing short of blissful. The serenity of the mountains, the short drive to the ski slopes, the relaxing spa and the luxurious accommodations all made for a great stay. Few brands do it is well as Four Seasons, and Rancho Encantado is no exception.
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