Occupying a 225-acre compound at the foot of Black Mesa (a 40-minute drive north of Santa Fe and an hour south from Taos), New Mexico's only Relais & Châteaux property is a spectacular desert getaway. Four of the 13 regal rooms here are clustered around a sunny courtyard, while the rest are in casitas scattered across the property—but all offer plenty of creature comforts, like Frette robes and linens, Aveda bath products, and wood-burning fireplaces. Deluxe rooms up the ante with huge corner windows overlooking Black Mesa and the Ojo Caliente River Valley, double whirlpool tubs, and private covered porches (called portals) with lounge chairs. Local foodies frequently visit just to dine at Rancho de San Juan’s ultra-exclusive restaurant—The Restaurant; chef-owner John Johnson's menu changes weekly, and his deftly prepared world-beat New Mexican cuisine is well worth the drive.
Tip: A short hike leads to a dramatic shrine chamber that the hotel’s owners had carved right into the sandstone hills: it’s a lovely place to meditate, and its huge windows have gorgeous views of the valley below.
Room to Book: Casa Valdito, with its massive sandstone fireplace, 12-foot ceilings, hand-carved beams, and Mexican marble shower.