Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Country Inns: The Galisteo

Join us on a visit to The Galisteo Inn, a gracious 1740 hacienda in the high desert near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Built when present-day New Mexico was a Spanish territory, The Galisteo Inn remained a private residence for more than 200 years. Landscape architect Joanna Kaufman and landscape contractor Wayne Aarniokoski purchased the property in 1989, five years after its conversion to an inn.

Drawn by the high-desert setting and regional architecture, the couple now invites guests to share the serenity of their adobe hacienda, a half hour southeast of Santa Fe in Galisteo, New Mexico . . . "land of enchantment."

Tranquil Surroundings

A guest finds the perfect place for an afternoon siesta in a hammock strung between native cottonwood trees on the eight-acre grounds of the Galisteo Inn. The exterior of the 200-year-old hacienda reflects the true beauty of southwestern architecture, with its sun-baked adobe walls, terra cotta tile roof, and beam-supported veranda, which shades the dwelling from the intense heat of day.

The brilliant periwinkle blue used on doors and trim is a color traditionally thought to ward off evil spirits. Today it serves as the perfect complement to the weathered exterior and vivid New Mexico sky.

Hacienda Haven

The main entrance and reception hall -- or sala -- reflects the historic significance of the inn. Common to the area and the period in which the hacienda was built, the walls are made of double- and triple-thick adobe, and the ceiling incorporates a traditional beam and log construction technique known as "vigas y latilla."

Rustic furniture, colorful patterned Indian rugs, and various regional accents, including the rough-hewn bench and Indian drum on the left, provide a warm western welcome to visitors and overnight guests alike.

Western Charm

The warmth from a kiva fireplace keeps overnight visitors comfortable in the casual, intimate guest rooms. Like the rest of the hacienda, the rooms feature authentic beam-and-plank ceilings and adobe walls. In fact, the depth of the window in this room reveals the double thickness of the adobe construction.

Western-style pine furnishings and Indian blankets, rugs, and pottery complete the rooms. They are simple yet comfortable, for a restful night following a day of busy sightseeing, hiking, and horseback riding, or simply shopping in nearby Santa Fe.

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