HACIENDA DEL CEREZO, 100 Camino del Cerezo, on 336 acres, 12 miles NW of Santa Fe, is only a 25-minute drive from Santa Fe, yet the feel of the new premium lodging is one of complete isolation, thanks to its five-mile dirt road and the surrounding public lands and Tesuque Indian Reservation. The sand-color adobe building, which cups a patio on three sides, is entered through hacienda gates. A long hallway with gold-plated sconces leads to an austere great room with a large fireplace, antiques, and rugs topping Saltillo tile floors. Overhead, beams taken from an old trestle bridge add a patina of age to this one-year-old. Candlelit dinners, open to the public as space allows, are drawn from a five-course menus overseen by a celebrated East Coast chef. Breakfast is a gourmet presentation, and lunch is served buffet style. Guests can take meals in the courtyard or in the loggia or portal areas on either side of the great room. There is no dress code, but guests are requested to remove their cowboy hats. The library is also under a vaulted beam ceiling. Guests can choose a novel and settle into soft leather sofas and upholstered armchairs. A wall of windows faces a big patio that drops down to the impressive black vanishing-edge pool. Arches frame the scene, and the pool tumbles off the hillside, optically speaking. Additional amenities include a gym and a tennis court, and massage is by appointment. Each of the 10 suites has a theme -- Corn, Crosses, Grapes, and Pottery, for example -- and though floor plans differ, all hold to high premium standards, right down to the bidets and remote-control air conditioning. Even the radiant heating in the floors is divided into two or three zones, each adjustable by thermostat so that guests can micro-manage their climates. Rooms are designed to optimize their mountain views, with Sangre de Cristo to the east and the Jemez to the south (along with the nightly glow of Los Alamos). Kilim rugs top Saltillo floors, kiva fireplaces glow with wood fires, and duvets plump up king beds. Desks, dressers, and vanities are of black walnut, and TVs are built into faux-adobe sitting areas. Baths are a high point with bidets, stall showers, whirlpool tubs for two, and double basins set into sandstone counters. Walled-in patios provide plenty of privacy. This newcomer is sure to please a top-drawer clientele for whom price is no object.
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