Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa: A Luxurious Getaway With a Hint of Adventure
Lisa Valadez | 9/20/2019, 11:42 a.m.
Between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, you will find a resort like no other – Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa; a large-scale resort flawlessly nestled upon more than 500 acres on the Sana Ana Pueblo, offering glorious panoramic views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
My weekend stay at Tamaya was perfect for a much-needed escape filled with relaxation, cultural experiences and a hint of adventure. So come along this escapade with me and find out why Tamaya Resort and Spa should be your next destination getaway!
Upon my arrival to Albuquerque, everything was different from the busy hustle and bustle of Houston city life. There was less traffic (ok, a lot less traffic), slower welcoming pace, beautiful views of the scenic mountains and best of all - no humidity. (My hair rejoiced!)
I opted not to rent a car since my mission was to simply “resort and relax”. Instead, I had a private company drive me to my destination. As we departed for a short 15 to 20 minute drive from the airport, we came upon a winding road that would eventually lead us to Tamaya Resort and Spa. I kept looking out of the window wondering exactly the resort was. All I could see was beautiful mountain terrain. The road seem to go on forever as I was anxious to visually see and experience the “Oasis in the Dessert” as my driver described it.
Upon my arrival, the staff greeted me, promptly checked me in, and sent me off to my room with a complimentary margarita. Now that is a way to greet your guests! The room was very comfy and spacious with large bathrooms and plenty of counter space. (Because you know us ladies are all about the counter space!). But that’s not the best part. Not only was my bathroom stocked with the regular hotel amenities – you know, the small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, but also there was an entire basket filled with name brand toiletries. From toothbrushes and toothpaste, to dental floss, deodorant, hairspray, razors and shaving cream, all the toiletries necessary provided by the resort just in case you’re like me and always forget to pack something here and there.
Quick note: When booking your room, make sure to ask for a view of the Sandia Crest. The mountain’s different hues throughout the day are a delight. Whether enjoying room service on the patio or sipping on a cocktail during the evening, the view is definitely one to be admired. And for my Instagrammers, this set up makes for the perfect photo opportunity to showcase your vacation retreat.
For the vacationist wanting to get away from it all, Tamaya is the perfect stay. From your large comfy room with a view to the the Kiva Adult pool, where quiet is key, Tamaya provides plenty of resort opportunities to escape from it all
However, if you want some poolside enjoyment with fun activities, then the large Plaza Pool area featuring a multi-story waterslide is just for you. This is where you will find the poolside bar (yay!) along with recreational activities such as volleyball, ping-pong, biggie sized lawn chess, horse shoes or perhaps an evening bike ride along the trail by Snake Head Rock or the Rio Grande River. No worries – there are various sized bikes for all you shorties like me. Oh, and if you just happen to bring along your beloved pooch, there are even bike attachments available to tote your doggie. Yes, Tamaya is a pet friendly resort – HOORAY! Or should I say “woof, woof”?
Time to strap on those boots and giddy-up! Tamaya Resort and Spa offers horseback riding. So of course, this city slicker took on the opportunity to ride off into the sunset to bring the cows home. Ok, I really didn’t round up the herd but hey, a girl can still pretend, right? Since this was my first time ever on a horse (please don’t judge this Texas girl), I must admit that I was more than a bit nervous but the good people from the Stables at Tamaya made sure I got the right horse just for me. Our group horse ride took us through a peaceful, scenic ride through the Pueblo backcountry. About 30 minutes into our journey, it was just like a movie; the thunder began rumbling in the distance and the clouds began to darken and encompass us from each and every angle. In my head, there he was - Garth Brooks singing "The Thunder Rolls" (lol). Then all of a sudden, lightning. Our horses started to get a little rattled but our trail guides rode directly by our sides directing us and making sure our horses were ok. The guide leader in charge made the call to head back before the rain drenched us. And the right call he made. My only regret is not having a camera crew with me. This would have been the perfect opportunity to make a mini movie - “City Slickers Part 3” – starring me of course!
After freshening up for the evening, sunset cocktails and shareable plates at the Rio Grande Lounge, offering both indoor and outdoor seating, was just what I needed. If you’re into everything spicy like me, then I recommend the Green Chile Margarita paired with the Crispy Green Chile Strips. For all the vegetarians, there are several menu options that are guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.
Note: On certain nights, this vibrant gathering spot offers live music entertainment.
The stars shine brightly during the Tamaya nights. This makes for a perfect backdrop for an evening stroll or perhaps sitting by the campfire where you’ll more than likely stumble across s’mores by the pit or even Native American Story Telling Under the Stars.
Personally, I just sat there by the fire staring at the stars in the sky letting all my woes escape me. Doing the things I don’t get to do in the city are what makes travel so amazing for me, especially one where I get to connect with nature and just unwind.
The following morning, I headed off for a leisurely walk on one of the nature trails on the property and from there I went to my lesson in adobe brick making. Too bad I didn’t have my very own Patrick Swayze to have my Ghost pottery making moment! But seriously, it felt good to get my hands dirty while learning about the native culture. Once your brick is completed, and after a full day of drying in the sun, the staff will have it available for you at the front desk. If you want to fly back home with it – take it in your carry on and tell TSA that it’s pottery (insert smiley face). If brick making isn’t your thing, the resort offers an array of Srai Wi (our children) Cultural Activities, which are led by a tribal member.
After an oh so hard day of brick making, what’s better than pampering yourself at Tamaya Mist Spa & Salon, the resort’s award winning spa? Offering a variety of treatments to help you unwind and rejuvenate, the spa is split into male and female-only, clothing optional sections for your pre and post treatment relaxation. I wish I could elaborate more on the amenities offered at the spa but I immediately went into a sleep coma in the comfy lounge area after my “Royal Renewal Treatment”. I think one of the staff members had to wake me up – sorry if I was snoring (lol). Yes,that’s how good my treatment was.
Make sure to enjoy dinner at least one time at the Corn Maiden, the resort’s fine- dining establishment. Reservations are recommended, as diners celebrating special occasions often frequent the Corn Maiden. Whether dining in or on the expansive patio, the views of the Sandia Mountains while enjoying a glass of wine will not disappoint. The Southwestern décor, along with the corner fireplaces and subdued lighting make for a perfect backdrop to enjoy good conversation and the tastiest of foods inspired by regional flavors. Do yourself a favor and order one of the restaurant’s signature rotisseries such as the beautifully plated Classic “K’uchininak’u”: Native Beef Strip Loin, Buffalo Sausage, Fresno Chicken Breast served with Hatch Green Chile Au-Gratin Potatoes, Market Vegetables, Mole, and Cholla Pico.
Not that you will want to leave the resort once you’re there, but if you’re wanting to learn more about Native American culture, then plan on visiting during the month of July. But wait, because later I will tell you why you should definitely also visit in October! Annually, on July 26th, the Tamayame people gather to celebrate their patron saint, Saint Anne. Feast Day, as it is called, includes traditional dances, cultural activities, food, and arts and crafts. However, I was lucky enough to observe so much more as I witnessed the community in their traditional wear, dancing, giving thanks for providing sustenance, spreading feast day offerings – a line of what seemed like never-ending food offerings to share. And if witnessing this all of this wasn’t euphoric enough, a lucky encounter with Travis, a native willing to share some insight about the day’s festivities, invited me into his home to sit at his family’s dinner table and share a traditional meal with other friends and family members. This was truly an unforgettable, once in a lifetime occurrence that is indicative of a true New Mexico experience.
Another one-of-a-kind experience, and a first for me, was the hot air balloon ride! Thanks to Rainbow Ryders Inc., who picked me up from the resort, I was able to cross another “to do” off my bucket list. It was an early start (5am. yikes!) but well worth it. From watching the staff unload the balloon equipment to hopping into the basket and slowly lifting off to watch the sunrise, this girl was so giddy – I literally had butterflies in my tummy. To my surprise, the experience was quiet and peaceful; literally floating on air away staring off into the majestic colors of light reflecting off the Sandia Crest Mountains. Flight time lasts about an hour, give or take a few minutes. And while exploring the beautiful city of Albuquerque from above was exhilarating,the landing was even more fun! My knowledgeable and skillful pilot guided our balloon to a safe landing spot in the city, and once we touched ground and safely departed the balloon, I, along with my riding mates were treated to the historical background of how hot air balloons came about while sipping on some fresh mimosas provided by the Rainbow Ryders crew! Sorry, I can not divulge on the history of hot air ballooning because I want you to book your trip to the Tamaya Resort & Spa so you could indulge in all of the luxuries and adventure. After all, this is a once in a lifetime experience!
Oh yeah, and why should you visit in October? Every year, the city of Albuquerque is home to the largest hot air ballooning event in the world. The 9-day festival, filled with vibrant balloon-filled skies is being held from October 5th – 13th this year. The event also includes tons of entertainment activities such as live music, chainsaw carving, rodeos, fireworks, balloon glows, and so much more. And in case I failed to mention, there is a railway that will take you from the resort to the city of Albuquerque so that you can enjoy all of the festivities.
*There is complimentary shuttle service from the resort to the railway station.
So, what are you waiting for? Look up Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa and click on the “book now” tab – yes, right now! After all, I know and you know that a getaway to the luxurious Tamaya Resort and Spa is well deserved.