With the second anniversary of national marriage equality just behind us — and since June is a traditional month for thinking about weddings — planning your nuptials in New Mexico is a natural fit.
In downtown Santa Fe, the Inn on the Alameda has celebrated same-sex weddings since 2013, when marriage equality became state law, and offers a “love package” that embraces gay and lesbian couples. The inn’s wedding garden accommodates 20 guests in an intimate setting of aspens. The locale is a quick walk to both the central Plaza as well as Canyon Road, the fulcrum of galleries in the city.
The Rainbow Riders is one of many ballooning enterprises in New Mexico, where hot-air balloons speckle the air like stars in the night sky. A hot-air ride is definitely a fun excursion, but you can make it more special by actually getting married in or around a gondola and celebrate by soaring over the land. (They can accommodate up to 75 guests and, as the name might suggest, welcome same-sex weddings.)
The Tamaya Resort and Spa welcomes same-sex couples to its lovely grounds with numerous packages. But even without marriage plans, it’s an excellent getaway destination.
Although managed by Hyatt Regency, the resort itself is located on the Santa Ana Pueblo (about 15 minutes north of ABX) — one of 19 such native lands that crisscross the state. The property not only benefits the ancestral tribe financially, but its operation reflects many of the principles of the Santa Ana people, including sustainability and respect for the land.
The main building is far removed from the main road, lending a secluded air that emphasizes one of the principle draws of New Mexico: Its peaceful aura. The decor mimics the adobe-style architecture and rustic appeal of the region, with woven rugs, exposed stone, brick and stucco and earth tones. It’s small enough that a wedding party could remain close without stepping on top of each other. Rooms are spacious and quiet, many with lovely balcony views of the mystical Sandia Mountains to the east. Elsewhere on the property, you can enjoy the huge pool area (a nice way to cool down, including a spiral slide for adults), wander the forested areas and trails on foot or bike, or take a jaunt to a stable where horses and other livestock are tended. Horseback rides can also be arranged. You can also relax by luxuriating at the Tamaya Mist spa, enjoying an invigorating “ancient drumming” massage that include a detoxifying red chile and mud scrub. Then soak in the outdoor hot tub for as long as you like — probably to seek out a meal.
The Corn Maiden restaurant, located at the foot of the backside of the hotel, serves regionally-inspired cuisine with excellent service and an impressive wine list, ideal for celebratory dinners. The Santa Ana inside the main hotel offers inviting fare from breakfast to dinner to cocktails, and the Rio Grande Lounge is an excellent late-night watering hole. Visitors can enjoy the benefits of the open-air Cottonwood Pavilion (ideal for a wedding reception and even ceremony), or keep things more traditional in one of the ballrooms.
The Rail Runner has a stop near Tamaya, for when your guests want to go into SF or ABQ. But with so many perks on the grounds, you could spend a long weekend here and never need — or want — to leave.
Inn on the Alameda, 303 E. Alameda St, Santa Fe. InnOnTheAlameda.com.
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, 1300 Tuyuna Trail, Santa Ana Pueblo. Tamaya.Regency.Hyatt.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 30, 2017.