A favorite of international celebs, this green-built luxury resort and spa is also a prized sanctuary for locals
From the exquisite accommodations inspired by Native American and global culture to the dramatic art collection from world-renowned and local artisans collected by the Kessler family specifically for the hotel, El Monte Sagrado lures guests into a world of serenity promoting wellness and relaxation.
As a well-known leader in alternative energy, El Monte Sagrado blends its setting of indulgent luxury with its commitment to sustainability. Even at 7,000 feet above sea level, El Monte Sagrado is able to sustain a lush and fertile year-round environment in the Biolarium which houses the award-winning Living Machine.
The Living Machine system reclaims wastewater collected from buildings on property, cleanses it with natural water treatments utilizing microorganisms, filtration systems and ultraviolet radiation. Along with captured runoff from rain and snowmelt, the water is reused for landscape irrigation and surface ponds via the Stormwater Management System.
By incorporating various plants from around the world into a self-sustaining ecosystem, The Living Machine creates an enclosed, lush sanctuary around the resort’s pool replete with orchids, fruit trees and cascading water.
Additionally, a geothermal heat transfer system helps control the climate of interior spaces. A closed loop underground water system harnesses the steady temperature of the earth to assist in cooling during summer and heating during winter.
In accordance with these green-friendly practices at the resort, extraordinary treatments at the Living Spa are sure to heal mind, body and spirit through all-natural and organic locally made signature products. Treatments are administered in exquisitely designed treatment rooms featuring added benefits of rain showers, Japanese soaking tubs and waterfall ventilation systems that naturally cool rooms year-round.
For post-treatment meditation, The Sacred Circle, an on-property relaxation area revered for hundreds of years by the local Taos Indians, invites guests to unwind among towering Willow and Cottonwood trees. After soaking up the sun, the Cenote, a fresh-water naturally-filtered swimming pond filled with exotic fish and natural flora, or the resort’s saltwater pool and Jacuzzi, further revitalize body and soul.
The award-winning De la Tierra Restaurant treats guests to a creative menu of global and local influences within an awe-inspiring architectural setting.
For a more casual setting, breakfast and lunch are offered in The Gardens, located in a lush tropical atrium open to sunlight amidst an orchard of exotic fruit and spice trees. Adjacent to The Gardens, the mighty anaconda sculpture slithers across the ceiling in the Anaconda bar.
Whether guests come to immerse themselves in an ancient culture, stroll through local galleries in town, satisfy their adventurous spirit, or simply sightsee among the breathtaking New Mexican landscape, El Monte Sagrado and Taos offer visitors an experience that is never forgotten.
This article appeared in the 2010 print edition of HighCountry.