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Innkeeper's Blog


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Pumpkin Spa Specials at Absolute Nirvana Spa

Fall is in the air, with its crisp cool nights, falling leaves, and heavenly aromas of pumpkin pies, sugar and spices, inspiring us to create two sensationally yummy Pumpkin Spa Specials for Absolute Nirvana Spa (located just across the street from Hacienda Nicholas).

Along with its heavenly aroma, pumpkin is rich in carotenoid antioxidants that repair skin damage while polishing and hydrating dull skin. Pumpkin is also full of natural plant enzymes that accelerate the exfoliation process to peel away dry dead skin cells, reduce fine lines and sun damage, leaving skin renewed, refreshed, and amazingly soft and glowing.

Pumpkin Decadence
Restore your skin's natural healthy glow with a full body massage and exfoliating body scrub of brown sugar and cinnamon, followed by a nourishing mask of warm pumpkin, buttermilk, honey and cloves, and ending with a luxuriating steam shower.
1.5 hours of massage, exfoliation, mask, steam and shower for $165.

Delicious Pumpkin Facial
Rejuvenate sun damaged and dull skin with this hydrating and healing facial; incorporating the natural exfoliating and nourishing properties of Naturopathica's Pumpkin Enzyme Peel to increase collagen production, leaving the skin firm and radiant, with increased elasticity.
One hour of cleansing, exfoliation, hydrating mask, steam and nourishing creams - $105

Save by combining both of these yummy treatments.
2.5 hours of Pumpkin Bliss for just $250.


21st Annual Wine & Chile Festival

The second most favorite event in Santa Fe for guests of the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn, after Indian Market, is the upcoming Wine and Chile Festival. This event, now in its 21st year, features five days of fabulous wine tastings and some of the best food the town has to offer.

The festival is a food and wine connoisseur's Disneyland, with cooking demonstrations, wine seminars and a myriad of special luncheons and dinners at Santa Fe's most highly-acclaimed restaurants. Choose from Wine Dinners at Amavi, Restaurant Martin, The Compound and many more top Santa Fe Restaurants. Capping off this glorious five-day abundance of food and wine is the Grand Food & Wine Tasting, where guests savor food from 75 of Santa Fe's best restaurants and great vintages from 90 world-class wineries. These festivities take place under huge tents at the Santa Fe Opera, with its scenic mountain vistas and dramatic sunset view enhancing the evening's enjoyment.

Because this is such a popular event, tickets tend to sell out. If you are planning on attending, I advise getting your tickets right away.

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta
539 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505.438.8060

Final Weekend of The Santa Fe Opera

It's not too late for guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn to purchase tickets for the closing weekend of the highly acclaimed Santa Fe Opera. This has been a stellar season, with rave reviews for all 2011 productions. The final weekend features the two most treasured operas of the summer, with La Boheme on Friday, August 26 and Faust on Saturday, August 27. Both productions begin at 8am - much more civilized than those early summer productions that don't begin until 9pm.

Consider arriving early (the parking area opens 3 hours before the performance) to enjoy a tailgate supper while gazing at the stunning mountain and sunset views of this venue. It's too late to order one of the opera's delicious tailgate dinners, but Whole Foods Market has a tantalizing deli section where you will surely find all you need for a memorable meal.

Tickets prices start at $81 (or $35 for standing room only) and can be purchased online or by calling 800-280-4654.

The 90th Annual Indian Market

Indian Market, now celebrating its 90th anniversary, will take place on August 20 and 21st at the Santa Fe Plaza. Because it is the most prestigious and well-known Native Arts Market in the entire world, it attracts both major collectors and those just curious to see what all the fuss is about. Serious buyers are known to camp out in front of the booths of the most sought-after artists for half the night in order to get first pick at the best items.

Featuring 1100 vendors from over 100 tribes, Indian Market brings together jewelers, potters, weavers and visual artists, along with film-makers, musicians, dancers, writers, culinary artists and more.

We recommend to our guests that they try to get to Market early in the day, before things got too hot, and when the selection is best. Of course at the end of market there are some terrific deals to be had! Remember, wear a hat and drink plenty of water along with that tasty fry bread.

Saturday August 20, 7am-5pm
Sunday, August 21, 8am-5pm
At the Santa Fe Plaza
Free Admission

Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program

Calling all opera-lovers! Coming up this weekend and next is a chance to see and hear the Santa Fe Opera's "stars of tomorrow", at rock-bottom prices. For just $21 for adults and $7 for children, you can see fully staged scenes from popular operas by the Santa Fe Opera apprentices.

Get your tickets now at santafeopera.org or by calling 505.986.5900. Who knows, you may just see the next Luciano Pavarotti or Marilyn Horne!

Santa Fe Opera
August 14 and 21
8pm

Bandelier and the National Forests are Open Again!

July was a frustrating month for those planning on hiking and visiting the National Monuments of Northern New Mexico. The Bureau of Land Management had closed off all the national forests and parks due to severe fires throughout the state. These bans were lifted on Friday, July 29, as we have been blessed once again with our regular monsoon rains and our fire danger is minimal once again. The term 'monsoon' is a relative term here in the high mountain desert, not to be confused with the monsoons of India!

Guests can once again visit such treasures at Bandelier National Monument, Puye Cliffs and hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The only area still closed off is the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. This land has been the staging area for fighting the nearby Las Conchas fire, and there are flooding concerns in the area as well.

So pack your hiking boots and mountain bikes - we have 13 million acres of public land in the New Mexico open for your outdoor fun.

Spanish Market - July 30 and 31

Plan to check out this summer's highly-acclaimed Spanish Market, held at the Santa Fe Plaza on July 30 and 31. Spanish Market actually began way back in 1926, and is now the largest and most spectacular of any such market in the country. You will see traditional Spanish Colonial art and contemporary Hispanic Arts, including santos, boltos, straw applique work and more. With over 250 vendors from New Mexico showing their work, plus music, dance, food and demonstrations, the festival is a great opportunity to experience both past and present New Mexico Culture.

We recommend that you go early in the day so as to avoid the heat of the afternoon. Also, if you are interested in buying a more serious piece, you will want to get there at the crack of dawn on Saturday for the best selection of the top artists, many of whom are nationally-recognized.

The International Folk Art Market, July 8, 9, 10

The upcoming International Folk Art Market is a not-to-be-missed event for visitors to The Hacienda Nicholas. Now in its 8th year, this festival of folk art, food, music and dance continues to get bigger and better with every passing year. The market is the largest such event in the world, with a mission to preserve and support folk art culture and traditions of the over 50 countries represented.

This year's market features 170 different artists, showcasing and selling everything from masks to baskets, embroidery to pottery, jewelry to musical instruments and so much more. In addition to beautiful handwork from around the world are drummers, flute players, singers and dancers from continents all around the globe. Last but not least is a vast selection of ethnic food from some of Santa Fe's top restaurants.

The remarkable success of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market was key in Santa Fe being designated a UNESCO City of Folk Art. The highly-acclaimed organization is also a member of the Clinton Initiative.

If you are anywhere near Santa Fe this weekend you will want to check out this fabulous event - a riot of color and sound. Of the thousands of unique handmade pieces of folk art available, you are sure to find memorable gifts for friends, family and yourself.

Museum of International Folk Art
July 8, 9 and 10, 2011
Ticket prices range from $5-50, depending on Date & Time
Buy Tickets Online or at the Market Itself
**Be sure to ask about the parking/shuttle service to and from the event!

Grab your Boots - it's Rodeo Time!

The Hacienda Nicholas was built in the 1920's, back when the west was truly wild. For a taste of the cowboy scene in the present day, check out the Santa Fe Rodeo de Santa Fe, now in its 62nd year. The rodeo, running from June 22-25, is one of the top 60 rodeos in the country.

The show begins each evening at 6:30pm with "Mutton Bustin", followed by bareback and saddle bronc riding, team roping, tide down roping, steer wresting, barrel racing and the most exciting of all - bull riding! Get some laughs and admire the skill of the rodeo clowns, and admire the beauty and finesse of the Rodeo Queen and her entourage. The rodeo is great fun for one and all.

Want some cowboy duds to wear to this event? Check out Kowboyz for some great deals on boots, hats, shirts and skirts. They have all you need at remarkable prices.

Ticket prices range from $17-$27 ($7 for children under ten and seniors)
Tickets available online or by calling 505.988.1234.

Rodeo de Santa Fe
3237 Rodeo Road
Santa Fe, NM
505.471.4300

How the West was Really Won!

The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn (sister inn of The Hacienda Nicholas) is named for my daughter, Madeleine, now age 14. She is a wonderful and inspiring powerhouse of a young lady! A new exhibit that is opening at The New Mexico History Museum, Home Lands - How Women Made the West - explores other truly remarkable women were instrumental in the making of the West. This exhibition runs from Sunday, June 19 through September 11, 2011, and includes historical artifacts, art, photographs, and biographies of individual women who played often-overlooked roles in settling and developing the West. Guests are also invited to take advantage of a series of lectures, demonstrations and workshops dedicated to these generally unknown women who worked right alongside the men.

In tandem with this primary exhibit are related exhibitions focusing on particular contributions of Native American, African American, Anglo and Hispanic women.

We have recommended the New Mexico History Museum to hundreds of guests since they opened in May 2009, and hear rave reviews from each and every one. As one of the newest and most interactive history museums in the country, it is a great way to learn about the rich history of New Mexico.

New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM
(right around the corner from The Palace of the Governors)
505.476.5200

10 am - 5 pm Mon. through Sun.
(Open til 8 pm on Friday)
$9 out-of-state visitors (includes admission to The Palace of the Governors)
Free to children under 17
Free Friday Evenings, 5 to 8 pm

Santa Fe's New Flea Market

Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn spent many a weekend at the famous Santa Fe Flea Market by the Santa Fe Opera, but after a change in ownership several years ago, the place just wasn't the same. Many of our favorite vendors moved to the back area of Jackalope, while others simply disappeared. The flea market scene suffered terribly.

Now, however, a new flea market has come into being out by the Santa Fe Downs - the old racetrack area. This new market brings back the same fun and good vibe as the original market, and adds even more! With 150 vendors, selling everything from antiques and vintage items to pawn jewelry, photographs and collectibles, you are sure to find all sorts of fabulous goodies.

In addition, there is now an Art Tent, your one-stop shopping source for handmade jewelry, textiles, pottery and crafts made by New Mexican artists. Last but not least is the La Cienega Grower's Market, selling fruits, vegetables, soups, cheeses and plants.

Yeah! Fun at the Flea once again!

The Santa Fe Flea Market
Open weekends now through October 14, 2011
Saturday and Sunday 9am-4pm
Fridays in July and August only, 9am-4pm

This Summer with the Santa Fe Opera

Every summer The Hacienda Nichols Bed & Breakfast fills up with opera lovers, in town to enjoy the world-renowned Santa Fe Opera. This summer's season, running from July 1 through August 27, includes Faust (making its Santa Fe debut), La Boheme, Giselda (the first major production of this work in the U.S.), The Last Savage and and Wozzek.

The Santa Fe Opera brings together some of the best voices in opera today, attracting opera lovers from around the world. Along with spectacular performances, the stage itself is truly unique - its open air design allows guests to enjoy New Mexico's scenic beauty and dramatic summer lightning storms while simultaneously being transported by the heavenly voices on stage. Even if you are not a seasoned opera aficionado, you can't help but be mesmerized by the performances in this spectacular setting.

Tickets are already on sale and go fast, so if you are interested, so you will want to book right away. Ticket prices start at $35, and can be purchased online or by calling 505.986.5900.

Many attendees choose to arrive a few hours before the opera to enjoy a tailgate dinner while watching a fabulous New Mexico sunset. A wide array of tailgate dinners can be purchased through the opera itself for a reasonable $29 per dinner, or simply put together with a visit to Whole Foods. I have seen people up there wearing jeans, eating a sandwich on the ground, while others are in black tie, eating the most elaborate of meals on fine china while drinking champagne in crystal glasses, with crisp white damask on their picnic table. The Santa Fe Opera is truly a remarkable scene.

Santa Fe Farmer's Market Open for 2011 Season

The Santa Fe Farmer's Market is a favorite destination for guests of the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn. This lively gathering spot for locals and visitors alike is now open for another glorious season, offering the best in locally grown, organic foods and products. Even if you are not buying much, you will enjoy the scene - musical entertainment, happy people and yummy foods to munch on. The market is also a great place to buy some chile souvenirs or picnic supplies.

Summer brings the most abundant produce, but even in springtime you will delight in a tremendous variety of goods. Fill your bags with tender asparagus, nutritious spinach, sprouts, root veggies, herbs, goat milk, yogurt and cheeses. Bing along a cooler for grass-fed meats, and leave room to carry baked goods, an assortment of lotions and potions and plant starts.

The Farmer's Market is open on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, from 8am-1pm, in the Santa Fe Railyard. If you are lucky the Railrunner Train will pull into the station while you are there, which is always an added bonus.

The Life and Art of Tony Da

Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn will want to set aside time for a visit to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture to view "Creative Spark! The Life and Art of Tony Da". The exhibition, which is up now through December, is the first comprehensive retrospective of pottery and paintings by Da. Incorporating traditional motifs (his favorite being prehistoric Mimbres designs) with his own contemporary ideas, Da created some of the most innovative and varied art of any Native American artist of his time.

Tony Da came from a long lineage of talented potters from the San Ildefonso Pueblo. His father, Popovi Da, was one of the first pueblo potters to break the tradition of creating only black-on-black pottery. His very famous grandmother, Maria Martinez, was also a ground-breaker. Rather than work exclusively with the traditional polychrome pottery that was the style in the 1900's, she is actually credited with creating the black-on-black pottery we now associate with San Ildefonso.

Unfortunately Da's exciting career was dramatically shortened after a motorcycle accident in 1982 left him with severe head injuries at the young age of 42. He did some work between the time of his accident and his death in 2008, though the bulk of his work occurred before the tragic incident. With such a brief career, the work of Tony Da is rare and becoming quite valuable.

The exhibition showcases about 40 pieces of pottery - red, black, and polychrome pots, jars and plates, along with some sculptural animal pieces. Also on display are about 20 paintings, both abstract and representational. This retrospective includes work done from the 1950's through the 1980's.

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
710 Camino Lejo (Museum Hill)
Hours: 10-5 Tue-Sun (open Mondays during the summer months)
Admission: $6 for New Mexico Residents
  • $9 for non-residents
  • FREE for children under age 16

Wine Tours of New Mexico

Most people do not immediately think of New Mexico in conjunction with fine wines, but there are actually twenty-five noted vineyards in New Mexico, six of which are in the vicinity of Santa Fe. Many of our guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast have enjoyed tours of at least one of these vineyards, though I don't know of anyone who has toured all six at a time. Perhaps hiring a driver would be in order if you had such a plan. It is important to remember that alcohol is two to three times more potent when you are at 7000 feet above sea level, as we are here in Santa Fe.

The first New Mexico vineyards were planted from cuttings brought by Spanish missionaries about 400 years ago. Along with these colonists came Franciscan monks who needed wines for their daily mass. Initially they were forbidden from producing their own wine, however since it was such an arduous and lengthy journey to get wine from Spain, the Church finally relented and began allowing the monks to produce their own wines.

The six wineries in and around Santa Fe are the: Estrella del Norte Winery, Santa Fe Vineyards, Wine of the San Juan, Vivac Winery (currently getting certified as organic), The Black Mesa Winery and La Chiripada Winery. These vineyards are generally open for tours and tastings from 10-6, though you will want to check, as hours can change during the winter months and Sundays. For something unusual, you may want to check out The Falcon Meadery for a taste of mead, a wine made from honey, said to be 'the nectar of the Gods'.
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Hacienda Nicholas • info@haciendanicholas.com • (505) 986-1431 or 1-888-284-3170 • 320 East Marcy St, Santa Fe New Mexico 87501