This landmark inn has been around since 1936, when it was known as the Hotel Martin—and the adobe homes that comprise the property date back even earlier. Originally built in the 1800s, the structures are clustered around a central plaza that, today, serves as the hotel lobby. The largest residence is now the restaurant Doc Martin’s, named after its onetime owner, Dr. Thomas Paul Martin, the county physician as well as an avid supporter of the arts. In fact, the Taos Society of Artists was founded in his dining room in 1912, and he later bought the neighboring houses to rent out to writers and artists. When the only hotel in town burned to the ground, Doc bought the Tartleton House (the last on the square and now home to the Adobe Bar) and he and his wife Helen opened for business. The property has been maintained and upgraded over the years (most recently in 2006), but the look (Spanish colonial antiques and brightly patterned bedspreads) hasn’t changed much since then—and that’s part of the charm.
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The hotel is located in downtown Taos, a few blocks north of the Taos Plaza and within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. Head to Michael’s Kitchen for huevos rancheros, Christmas-style, then hit up Paul’s Western Wear for hats, boots, and bolo ties. Taos Ski Valley and Angel Fire Ski Resort are both about a half-hour drive away, and the Rio Grande Gorge is worth a venture out of town.
Need to Know
Rooms: 40 rooms and four suites. From $75. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Both Doc Martin’s and the Adobe Bar are institutions in and of themselves, the former for New Mexico–meets–New American fare (the rattlesnake-rabbit sausage is a surprising must) and the latter for live music, kitschy ambiance, and excellent margaritas. Spa and gym details: There’s no on-site spa or gym, but complimentary access to Shree Yoga Studio and Northside Fitness Center is included.
Who's it for: During the past 78 years, the hotel has seen its fair share of famous types, from Greta Garbo and Jessica Lange to D.H. Lawrence and Pawnee Bill, but it’s less of a celebrity hot spot and more of a magnet for artists and intellectuals. Our favorite rooms: Rooms in the back of the courtyard are the quietest, while #204 in the Sandoval House, with its purple hues, kiva fireplace, and king-size four-poster bed, has a romantic air. Local secret: The inn is allegedly home to ghosts, including that of Thomas Manby, a shady type who was found beheaded in his home.