“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow” – Anita Desai
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some of the most beautiful places in the world, and I’ve learned quickly that these places truly change who I am, how I view the world, and how I make decisions about how to spend my time in the future.
One of the most enchanting and extraordinary places I had the chance to visit recently was the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The resort is tucked into the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, such that it feels set apart from the Santa Fe downtown, but in reality, it’s only about a ten minute drive. This is one of my favorite aspects of the resort.
As mentioned, the property is set in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, which creates a lovely uphill drive into the resort property, and an expansive view of the resort and the nearby mountains. Here is one of my favorite images of the main entry drive and front area:
In its earlier days, the resort was a former cowboy ranch, and as an homage, you will see a number of lovely works of art featuring horses such as the horse featured in this image. I loved admiring these pieces of work, and you can feel the spirit of nature while wandering the property and thinking of how the horses and cowboys experienced it long ago.
The resort checks in at one of the most intimately sized Four Seasons I’ve ever visited with 65 rooms, which highlights the enchanting experience in terms of its sights and sounds (mostly of serenity). While the resort is positioned in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, the rooms offer spectacular views on the resort’s south-facing of the Rio Grande River Valley and the snow-capped peaks of the Jemez Mountains. Here is one image, just breathtaking.
The entire property is designed in a Southwestern flair, and we enjoyed a stunning Casita with luxurious appointments and beautiful views.
I generally rise early in the morning so that I can tour a property’s Spa and Fitness Areas without disturbing others, and I was extremely fortunate to have these areas generally to myself for about an hour. I’ve visited many luxury spas, and the Spa at Rancho Encantado is quite simply the most prestine and serene spa I’ve experienced. Here is the outside of the sophisticated yet sleekly designed Spa:
As the website notes, the interior of the Spa is designed to reflect the sacred Kiva Rooms of the indigenous Pueblo Indians. The Spa offers a luxurious selection of restorative body works, Eastern-inspired treatments, and a variety of massages. I unfortunately had some challenges with the light that morning, so I couldn’t capture great photos. Thanks to the Four Seasons for providing some excellent images so you can see the true beauty of the Spa:
The property also features a resplendent heated pool and jacuzzi area, which captures the mountain view. Thanks again to the Four Seasons for providing an image.
The highlight of the visit however was our dining experience at the property’s signature restaurant Terra, which is brilliantly led and inspired by Chef Andrew Cooper. Please if you visit the property, make certain to dine at Terra. It’s quite spectacular.
The dining room is cast in a dramatic southwestern setting, wrapped in glass windows to the sides, and a lustrous rear wall featuring a stunning portrait of a white horse with a long mane. Behind the rear wall resides a lovely glass wine storage space.
I had the special opportunity to visit with Chef Andrew, and he mentioned that his menu design is inspired predominantly by his vast experience in cooking all over the world, and by the local foods that he can source from the local farmer’s market and the local area. Chef Andrew credited the property’s relationships with local providers with helping Terra develop a flavorful and fresh array of menu items, and it’s quickly apparent when you try the food.
We started with a Fried Pork Belly & Poached Apples appetizer, then a Sauteed Scallop with a Grapefruit Reduction dish, and finished with Grilled Lamb Chops. Chef Andrew’s flavors are full and textured, and as you can see, the colors are vibrant. Just lovely.
We finished with a sublime double dessert, a Caramel Mousse Chocolate Cake, and a Coconut Flan. Chef Andrew was also most kind to indulge me with a photo! So cool!
This visit was so very special. I’ve had the pleasure of reliving it as I’m writing this article, and I find myself smiling with each image and word. The resort is truly enchanting, and I can’t recall a more clear night and starry sky than the one we experienced on this trip.
Thanks very much to Jim G., our lovely server Arianna at Terra, Chef Andrew, and everyone at the resort for an absolutely glorious and memorable stay. I very highly recommend that you visit the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe. The resort will find a sacred place inside of you and your memories, and you will be gratefully and forever changed.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado – Info and Social
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado (Website): 198 State Road 592, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506
Location by Google Maps
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/101345068103873662291/posts
Thanks again to everyone at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Cantado! Please note that the property accepted me as a special media guest, but that as always, my opinions and observations are entirely my own.
Thank you for reading!