Look no further than Hacienda Vargas.
Located in the iconic small village of Algodones, this charming, history-laden bed and breakfast boasts the only lodging almost halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
"This bed and breakfast is located in a place that makes it really convenient, so we get to go to all the places we wanted to see," says Bill Tracey, who traveled to New Mexico from Seattle, Washington with Lani Torkelson.
"You know what they say, 'Location, location, location!'" says Gary Wilson, who journeyed with his wife, Gail, from Brooksville, Florida.
The Wilsons ventured north to Taos, where they rode a hot air balloon and explored the Taos Gorge before exploring Santa Fe's unique cuisine and farmer’s market. Bill and Lani ventured south to Albuquerque, enjoying the 2010 International Balloon Fiesta, riding the Sandia Peak Tramway, decrypting ancient rock art at Petroglyph National Monument, strolling around the native american jewelry and other distinct shops of Old Town. Then they, too, turned north, exploring Coronado State Monument's kiva in an ancient pueblo dating back to AD 1300 and riding the Rail Runner Express train from Albuquerque, where they explored many of the unique cultural and shopping opportunities in Santa Fe.
Guests can travel back in history, as well. "From what I understand, this place was a train stop and a stagecoach stop," Gary says. "When you hear the train today, it's like a piece of history going by."
One thing that has not changed over time is the value. One of the most pleasant surprises for visitors to Hacienda Vargas is the room rate, which ranges from $89 for the comfortable Acoma room to $149 for the tranquil, two-room Santa Ana Suite.
Says co-owner Richard Spence, with just a touch of pride: “We haven’t changed our prices in 10 years.”
After a day of adventuring, Hacienda Vargas's iconic style and soothing atmosphere makes it a perfect destination to relax and soak in New Mexico's stunning sunsets and starlit skies.
"It's real relaxed and nice," Bill says. "We found ourselves coming back early from our adventures and just doing nothing. Tonight we're going to barbecue some steaks."
And that's not the only spark ignited by this bed and breakfast, as Bill adds with a smile: "It's a good place for romance."
True enough, Hacienda Vargas offers roaring fireplaces, private jacuzzis, an antique clawfoot tub and cozy beds adorned with Native American linens to enchant lovers within its authentic adobe walls. In fact, the inn is a popular, award-winning destination for couples wanting to tie the knot. Spence is an ordained minister and the inn boasts a small, beautifully decorated chapel, large lawn for receptions and even a bell tower.
“We have couples that get married here, hold the reception and stay here for their honeymoon,” says co-owner Cynthia Spence.
Perhaps best of all, they wake up to one of Spence’s “killer” breakfasts, like New Mexican eggs (a quiche made with mild green chile), Mesa High eggs (a herb soufflé topped with cheese), or his signature dish – pumpkin pancakes with pinon nuts.
These pancakes just may have a little more zing than most.
“We have a couple that came here, had the pumpkin pancakes, and believe their first child was conceived here,” Spence says with a little grin. “They come back almost every year and have the pumpkin pancakes.”