Taos Ski Valley's first resort hotel. (The Blake/Facebook)
The first resort-owned hotel at Taos Ski Valley opens for business in February, replete with contemporary luxury and a strong sense of its history.
The four-story, German-style structure rose up in the middle of the base village on a footprint that previously held ticket windows, rental shop, ski school office, photo store and the U.S. Post Office. Given tight confines, architects worked to fit the large hotel into the overall European style and feel of the existing resort, which cranked up it first lift – a Poma – in 1956.
Known informally as “The Blake,” the new hotel has 65 standard rooms and 15 suites – some with balconies – that begin in the $250 a night range. Guests will be treated to underground parking, a heated outdoor pool, two hot tubs, a spa and wellness center, and a restaurant. Visitors will have a short walk to the base area and Lift 1 – and great view of famous Al’s Run and the looming Sangre de Cristo Range.
In an effort to keep close ties with the area’s roots, rooms and common spaces have been decorated with works from the pantheon of Taos fine artists as far back as the 1920s, and Native American pieces from the nearby Taos Pueblo.
Skiers and snowboarders now have a new location for the former Taos Ski & Boot, now Taos Sports, in the lower level of the hotel. The restaurant, named “192” after the tail wing number of founder Ernie Blake’s airplane, will feature tapas, flatbreads and pizzas, and wines, beers and après-ski cocktails. Private dining for up to 24 can be had, too.
The Blake is another hallmark of a renaissance at the New Mexico resort that began in 2013 after hedge fund manager Louis Bacon bought out the founding Blake family. Already, Bacon’s investments have produced the alpine Kachina Lift, a much-needed upgrade in utility connections, the purchase of the renowned Bavarian Restaurant & Lodge, a major increase in snowmaking – and a minimum $10 wage for resort employees.