Last Updated on August 15, 2023

D. H. Lawrence once described Taos as a “state of mind.” As one of New Mexico’s most fascinating towns, Taos fittingly embraces the state’s motto as the ‘Land of Enchantment.’

Located in northern New Mexico, a two-and-a-half-hour-drive from Santa Fe, Taos is renowned for its mystical, magical charm. Life forces flow down from mountain peaks here and well up from deep canyons. Taos is often associated with the concept of energy vortexes, believed by some to be places where the Earth’s energy is concentrated and have a unique and sometimes transformative effect on people’s experiences. These places are thought to have spiritual, healing, or energetic properties.

Whether or not visitors believe in or feel the power of these vortexes, Taos is blessed with clean air, rich spiritual traditions, natural beauty and a unique blend of cultures making it an ideal destination for anyone interested in such experiences.

History of El Monte Sagrado

El Monte Sagrado in Taos, “The Sacred Mountain,” is a place I’ve had on my wish list for years. I finally made it – and oh, what an incredible experience it turned out to be. This exquisite, luxury, Pueblo-style retreat located just a few blocks from the heart of Taos embodies the very best of the cultural and spiritual traditions of New Mexico.

Featuring world-class relaxation, meditation, and rejuvenation experiences, El Monte Sagrado isn’t just a “place to stay.” Rather, it’s a retreat locale to escape, unplug, and reconnect with both nature and ourselves. A place that has stories of its own to tell.

The magnificent, four-diamond resort was constructed in 2003 and underwent a renovation in 2007. The verdant green space in the heart of the retreat surrounded by 100-plus-year-old cottonwood trees represents the “Sacred Circle,” a relaxing site where Native Americans once held rituals and celebrations.

When El Monte Sagrado was constructed, architects consulted historians on the placement of buildings so as not to disturb those specific locations perfect for meditation and relaxation. When the land was first purchased, religious leaders from all over the world, including the Dalai Lama, came to bless these sacred grounds.

Design of the Resort

El Monte Sagrado entrance
El Monte Sagrado entrance © Noreen Kompanik

Each and every aspect of the resort was thoughtfully planned and designed with special meaning, respectfully paying homage to the great cultures of the world. El Monte Sagrado’s spectacular circular lobby with its high-domed ceiling takes it inspiration from Kivas, the sacred underground ceremonial structures of the Pueblo Indians. The ceiling swirl represents the journey of life. The crystal in the center of the ceiling is a 90-pound Citrine, a topaz-like semiprecious gem from Brazil. 

Panes of glass above the entryway are perfectly aligned to reflect the light of the crystal throughout the day. A sun mosaic on the floor features a combination of sandstone from India and New Mexico limestone. The same goes for floors, tables, bars, and chandeliers – each artfully constructed and carefully selected from a specific region for a specific healing purpose.

Serene Grounds

Water from a spring-fed creek meanders throughout the 11-acre resort adding to its peaceful calm and serenity. Three monolithic rock sculptures frame spectacular views of the pools and waterfalls, serving as a monument to water, the precious liquid upon which all life depends.

A natural freshwater cenote winds its way throughout the resort and past its international casitas. Even the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance remind us that nature is a precious commodity to be revered.

Biolariums, the resort’s elegant ‘greenhouses’ located alongside the saltwater pool and spa, are filled with a myriad of flowering plants and trees.

Globally-Inspired Rooms

Living area of Morocco suite at El Monte Sagrado in Taos
Living area of Morocco suite at El Monte Sagrado in Taos © Noreen Kompanik

Accommodations at the resort include 48 Taos Mountain rooms, 18 Native American Suites, six historic Casitas and 12 luxurious Premiere or Global Suites.

Global suites are internationally themed featuring two opulent bedrooms, two baths, a spacious living and dining area, gas fireplace, and a private courtyard. These represent the beauty and culture of such world destinations as Japan, Spain, Bali, Tibet, Egypt, and Mexico.

My stunning and perfectly themed Moroccan Global Suite even included an outdoor patio jacuzzi.

Book your stay at El Monte Sagrado in Taos

The Living Spa and Wellness Center

I must say that over the years I’ve had amazing spa experiences, but nothing like the one at El Monte Sagrado in Taos. The Living Spa is an eco-conscious, world-renowned rejuvenation center. Treatments are focused on healing the mind, body and spirit. Proof of this occurred after I’d sustained a leg injury two days before my arrival in Taos, necessitating the use of a wheelchair. After the massage, the pain miraculously disappeared and I was able to walk independently and free of pain.  

Though the spa features a menu of treatments, each health intervention is completely individualized, focusing on the part of the body needing soothing attention. Natural and organic products are used in conjunction with highly trained therapists to give guests a relaxing, revitalizing, rejuvenating, and healing experience.

Treatment rooms blend harmoniously with the resort’s natural surroundings.  

One unique spa experience features Native American musician, composer and artist Patrick Shendo. This artist draws his music from cultural experiences and has been performing indigenous music for over 20 years. His personal one-on-one soul ceremony utilizes four Native American instruments to connect the four sacred elements within each person, creating and holding their spiritual place of meditation to bring balance and healing to the soul.

Dining at El Monte Sagrado

Looking down into De La Tierra restaurant
Looking down into De La Tierra restaurant © Noreen Kompanik

The serenity of this breathtaking property carries through to its elegant signature restaurant, De La Tierra, open for breakfast, brunch and dinner. With a Zen-like-garden setting and relaxed ambience, it’s the perfect place to enjoy award-winning cuisine. Inspired by New Mexico’s seasonal offerings, Executive Chef Cristina Martinez’ dishes artfully meld Southwest culture with European, French and Asian influences. 

Everything here is delectable.

Regional standout starters were the Cast Iron Cornbread and Cornbread Crusted Hatch Green Chile Relleno. Main course favorites were a Pan-Roasted Duck Breast, and of no surprise, the delectable Wagyu New Mexico Burger. If Ruby Red Trout is on the menu, and you’re into this freshwater fish, I guarantee this is one of the best preparations you’ll find, served over forbidden kimchi fried rice and topped with miso-carrot purée and accompanied by oyster Bok choy with a sake beurre blanc.

In the artsy town of Taos, a sign in one of its charming boutiques read, “Magical places are always beautiful and deserve to be contemplated…Always stay on the bridge between the visible and the invisible.” That’s exactly what it felt like to drink in the magic and mysticism of El Monte Sagrado in Taos.

Book your stay at El Monte Sagrado in Taos

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