I recently mentioned that I wanted to focus my April posts on a selection of hand-picked green hotels in commemoration of upcoming Earth day (April 22), and I’m keeping true to my word.
Two weeks ago, I blogged about my first amazing place, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Uganda. I look forward to sharing with you a few more exceptional “eco-chic” places the rest of this month. Their locations are quite scattered – Brazil, Peru, Vancouver Island, Bahamas, Antartica, Mexico and California – and each one is a knock-out.
But for now, I really want to talk about Encantado Resort, one of the newer Auberge Resorts properties (it opened in August, 2008) located 10 minutes north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is the first and only AAA 5-diamond resort in New Mexico (this is a coveted accolade as there are less than 100 such properties in the U.S.). And not long after it opened, it received Travel & Leisure Editors’ Choice Awards for Top New Hotel in 2009.
If you ever were lucky to stay at any of the other Auberge properties such as Auberge Du Soleil, Calistoga Ranch, Inn at Palmetto Bluff or Esperanza, you know you can expect a special experience. Each resort has its own distinct personality and Encantado (whose name translates to “bewitched” or “enchanted” ), with its soothing and contemporary interiors, is no exception.
There are so many reasons (which will take too long to get into here but see for yourself on their web site and recent stellar reviews on TripAdvisor) to put this 57-acre property of 65 casitas on your travel wish list. Today I was excited to receive in my e-mail box a new reason. Opera.
I don’t know bupkis about opera but the special summer Resort/Opera package that I received sounds really appealing. The Santa Fe Opera is one of the world’s leading opera festivals and more than 1600 performances and 140 different operas have been hosted here. But more interesting is that you get to watch performances al fresco in a striking, open-air theater with the backdrop of mountains to the west and east . The current theater (the original burned down to the ground in 1967) opened in 1998 and has won several important design awards. You can see the 2010 season opera schedule here – Madame Butterfly, which has not been staged here in 10 years, is amongst them.
Here are the details of the package, available July 1 – August 28:
- 3 nights in a casita at Encantado Resort
- Two opera tickets – best seats available
- Dinner for 2 in Terra at Encantado, rated one of the “20 best new restaurants in America” by Esquire
- $200 spa credit per person
- Gourmet Breakfast for 2
- Mercedes Benz round trip transportation
But back to what makes this enchanting place stand out on the ec0-front. Encantado was built with green designing principles and it shows throughout their property. Just a few of the many ec0 features I found unique (you can find all on their “responsible luxury ” page):
- They have a rain water catch system that holds 150,000 gallons of water!
- Gemcars (extremely energy efficient) are used for guest and employee transportation
- Organic Herb and Vegetable garden on premises and produce sourced primarily through local, small organic farms
- Custom-created natural and organic bath amenities used in all guest rooms
- The spa uses local and organic items such as blue corn, honey, Adobe clay, and chili peppers for healing body ailments.
A great long weekend getaway for a couples break!