Turning Heads Linkup- My Taos and Santa Fe Vacation- Part I - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Turning Heads Linkup- My Taos and Santa Fe Vacation- Part I


( The view outside our room) This was just one small area of the expansive grounds at the hotel.

Hello Friends! Wow. We had an amazing trip! I have come back feeling motivated and refreshed. I went with my hubby, younger brother Matt, and his wife, Shannon. When we choose the hotel, The El Monte Segrado, in Taos, months ago, I knew we were in for a special stay. We were celebrating both our 15th Anniversary and their 3rd Anniversary, so we were due for some pampering, and it exceed our expectations! I knew I had to break down these blog posts into several posts as we had done so much in a matter of 5 days. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to do as well as I did as we walked a lot, and did quite a bit.


The grounds were spectacular! Golds and greens, mixed with bronze and browns from the hotel’s architecture and nature that surrounded us. I will share PART II of the trip next Monday, as we visited historic Vineyards, Taos Mesa Brewery, the Rio Grande, the Gorge, great places to eat, walked Canyon Road, saw the sights in Santa Fe and the jewelry/ art by the magnificent artisans. We enjoyed the Spa, the Hotel and it’s amenities and some really great food. So enjoy these pics, there will be more~


The hotel was in the New Mexico style, a large Pueblo building with many amenities and gorgeous details. We took so many pictures, it is going to take some time for me to go through them all. The entrance of the hotel lobby, was spacious, and we were told many people forget to look up at the swirl-like design, and the large antler chandeliers that adorn the hallways throughout the hotel. The rooms were quite large, bathrooms decadent, with a huge soaking tub, I would certainly enjoy each night! A western flair with brown and white fur on the cabinets, and turquoise adorned cattle skulls above the fireplace were indicative of the Taos style.


You bet I soaked in this tub each day!


The weather was perfect every day! Gold, green, and red trees throughout the grounds


Where we took a dip the first night in the saltwater pool. This pool was 10 feet., Good thing I can tread water 🙂


Just one half of the room. The bathroom was divine!


This is a vintage inspired necklace I love. However, I look forward to wearing and sharing with you the gorgeous opal necklace hubby bought me when in Santa Fe. I will tell you that story as there were so many jewelers and artisans in Santa Fe, where we spent the 4th and 5th day.


( These antler chandeliers were throughout the hotel, this is the entrance! If I had a cabin, I would have one of these for sure!) This burgundy velvet dress is from Zara, and it is pretty basic here. I will be styling it again on the blog with jackets, more color and also worn with turlenecks underneath.


( With all of the exploring we did, it was important I had on comfortable slip on shoes. I would go back to this hotel for sure!)

The first day, we took 2 planes, then arrived in Albuquerque and drove the long, beautiful drive known as the “Taos High Road”. The landscape was just amazing, with dry flat land dotted with green shrubs and surreal mountains. While driving this scenic route we stopped at a restaurant, as we drove through Santa Fe, called The Shed , authentic Mexican food  with our favorite beverage “The Prickly Pear” a magenta colored margarita. ( I would never have a margarita taste this good ( or strong, again!) it was delicious! I will tell you we went FULL CIRCLE as the same waiter waited on us the day we arrived and again as the day we left.


A bit about the restaurant, The Shed is world renowned for its red chile enchiladas and other blue corn specialties, as well as tempting desserts and, of course, margaritas! A dining tradition in Santa Fe since its beginning when Polly and Thornton Carswell opened it on Burro Alley. The Shed structure had formerly been used by wood gatherers to protect their burros while the “Lenadores” quenched their thirst in the cantina around the corner. 


The food was so good! At the Taos Mesa Brewery, I had Mahi Mahi blackened fish tacos, here at the Shed, I enjoyed some enchiladas made with blue corn tortillas, and we had a “few” margaritas! Let’s just say we ate well on the trip. “The margaritas were our favorite, they were so good!


( Would my HOA have a problem with these if I had them on the side of my house?)

Day 2 we had some pampering in mind, which was much-needed after all of the flying, driving and walking that was done the first day. We had a sumptuous breakfast, of waffles, Eggs Benedict with a spicy sauce, and colorful fruit, My sister in lawn, Shannon and I were excited about the beautiful spa and looking forward to our first facial. We waited in the quiet meditation room, sipping strawberry water and enjoying the atmosphere. We went into separate rooms where I experienced a sensory overload that I knew I was going to have to seek out a facial when I returned home. Layer after layer of various creams and serums, scents such as lavender, and calming new age music played on the speakers. Hot towels on my face were peeled off in a gentle motion, and later they would be used as wraps for my hands and feet.  Later we joined each other in another room, with fur blankets covering the cushioned chairs where we would both treat ourselves to pedicures. Navy blue was the color we both had chosen. This is only the middle of day 2.. More to come via INSTAGRAM and the blog, as we go.


The entrance to The Anaconda Bar, which featured a long snake sculpture and a 1,000 gallon fish tank. The favorite margarita of the trip was called ” The Princkly Pear” a magenta colored drink that was like no other margarita I have tried! so good.


Just a small part of the spa, where I indulged in an amazing facial and pedicure. Numerous serums, Vitamin C wrinkle repair, creams, and hot towels were all a pair of this treatment. She also wrapped my hands and feet in steaming hot towels, while I relaxed. I could get used to this!


The landscape and scenery was breathtaking!


( hotel ceiling) Entrance in the lobby.


( Amazing Antler Chandelier- these chandeliers could be found in different scales throughout the hotel and spa)


The Gorge! I was able to look at this wonder of nature, but I am afraid of heights, so I did my best!img_9132

I want this above my fireplace! why not! Lots of interesting cultural sculptures and art in Santa Fe. View more pics on IG and next week on the blog.


So rich with culture, it really felt like I was in another country, not state. Skulls were seen as a popular artistic image in various shops and hotels.


( Just one of the hundreds of sculptures, metal art and paintings found on Canyon Road.)

As the grounds were spectacular with stone gardens and ponds, rock designs and metal statues, I am wearing my Zara burgundy velvet shift dress, brought a black ruffled cardigan for the chilly mornings, and am  wearing black patent leather block strappy heels also from Zara. It will be the base for other outfits as I plan on wearing it with other rich fall colors.   Most of the trip was causal dress, with the exception of a dress for dinner. More about Santa Fe and my trip on Part II-next week! We visited several vineyards, Taos Brewing for lunch,  took pictures at the Rio Grande and Gorge, and checked out the artisans and artwork at Canyon Road..Enjoyed the Roof Top hot tub in Sante Fe…. Hubby bought me a gorgeous necklace from Santa Fe in one of the many shops I will wear next week. 


Ill be back to posting the Most Clicked and the Pinterest Pic of the Week, next week, as I get back to the “swing of things!”

  • clairejustine
    Posted at 08:00h, 29 October Reply

    Beautiful pictures Jess, this place looks amazing. I would love to visit!! Lovely outfit, love your black shoes 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:58h, 30 October Reply

      Hi Claire, thanks very much. It was amazing, the shoes are comfy too from Zara. 🙂

  • Anna Parkes
    Posted at 02:21h, 29 October Reply

    Wow, how amazing the hotel and spa looks Jess! All of the art and sculpture is pretty impressive too. I was keen to see how your capsule wardrobe would work out and it’s looking great. Can’t wait to see the next installment of your trip.
    Anna x

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:10h, 29 October Reply

      Thanks Anna, yes this was such a great vacation. Loved the landscape and art. I always pack lightly on a trip. Ill be posting Pt 2 this week! xx

  • Sabina M. Brauner
    Posted at 04:57h, 28 October Reply

    Never been to Santa Fe so I was looking forward to your pics. It reminds me a lot of SoCal but still quite different. American has got such incredible landscapes and I adore the scenery. If I weren’t so hopelessly in love with SoCal it would totally be a major must-see on my bucket list <3 Thanks for hosting and have a great weeekend. Sabina

  • Nicole
    Posted at 02:29h, 28 October Reply

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Sounds like you had a great time. The velvet dress is stunning. Another example how great redheads can look in the right red!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:38h, 28 October Reply

      Thank you Nicole, I am going to have to wear this with some layering.. Yes, the trip was amazing! xx

  • Meagan Brandon
    Posted at 09:39h, 26 October Reply

    Wow, Jess, these photos are amazing–your trip looks like it was incredible! And margaritas sound heavenly…that’s definitely not something you find very often in Rome (a good one anyway). Prickly pear is always one I have wanted to try, too. Thanks so much for sharing–I am showing these to my husband and putting it on our bucket list! 🙂


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:13h, 26 October Reply

      Hi Meagan!
      Thank you! Hubby took most of them. I suppose I would find some amazing red wines I would enjoy in Rome, though. But yes, the prickly pear will live in infamy! I am sure you would enjoy this area, just beautiful. We have been talking about in 2 yrs we want to visit Italy 🙂 xx

  • Meagan Brandon
    Posted at 09:37h, 26 October Reply

    Wow, Jess, these photos are amazing–your trip looks like it was incredible! And margaritas…oh my…you can’t find a good one here in Italy, that’s for sure! I’ve always wanted to try a prickly pear one, too. I am showing my husband this place and putting it on my bucket list! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing


  • suzannecarillo
    Posted at 09:16h, 26 October Reply

    Wow! You got some great photos. Looks amazing!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:13h, 26 October Reply

      Thanks Suzanne! It really was a wonderful trip, great memories. xx

  • Victoria
    Posted at 02:40h, 26 October Reply

    It looks like such a magical place, Jess! Congrats on such a nice trip! 🙂

    PS Your hair is crazy beautiful! 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:14h, 26 October Reply

      Hi Victoria, thank you, it was wonderful. Thank you for the lovely comment! xx

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    Posted at 21:59h, 25 October Reply

    It looks and sounds like a wonderful trip! Your post makes me want to visit Santa Fe! What a beautiful hotel!

    I’m so happy for you that you seem to have managed okay on the plane rides, the car ride and with the walking!!!

    I love the red dress on you!

  • plutrell
    Posted at 19:45h, 25 October Reply

    Your trip looks amazing. It has been many years since I have been to New Mexico, but I always thought it was beautiful. thanks for the link up Jess.

  • Sheela Goh
    Posted at 17:44h, 25 October Reply

    Oh wow, Jess. You must have woken up to the most breathtaking view each morning 🙂 and your velvet dress is GORGEOUS.

  • ee0926
    Posted at 15:05h, 25 October Reply

    This trip looks amazing! Beautiful photos!

    xx, Elise

  • Laura B
    Posted at 14:20h, 25 October Reply

    I’m so glad y’all had fun! This place looks great!

  • Kirsten Wick (@TheLIFBIssue)
    Posted at 12:37h, 25 October Reply

    Oh that definately looks like the most wonderful trip. Love, Kirsten x


  • Ana from Mrs. American Made
    Posted at 12:21h, 25 October Reply

    Beautiful photos of a magical place. We were there earlier this year for the first time and loved it. So glad you were able to enjoy the lovely trip. : )

  • Jacket Society
    Posted at 11:57h, 25 October Reply

    Amazing photos Jess, I am glad you had a wonderful time 🙂

  • Monika from Styleworld40plus
    Posted at 11:31h, 25 October Reply

    What a beautiful place dear Jess. I think you spent a wonderful holiday there and you look great in this Zara dress.

  • rosie
    Posted at 10:21h, 25 October Reply

    the hotel looks gorgeous absolutely gorgeous

    Life is just Rosie

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 16:21h, 26 October Reply

      Thanks for stopping, yes it was, I would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Laurie Duncan
    Posted at 10:09h, 25 October Reply

    What a wonderful place, I’ve never been to New Mexico, but it looks gorgeous! And your velvet dress looked just perfect in that setting! 🙂

  • LittleItaly2008 (@LittleItaly2008)
    Posted at 10:07h, 25 October Reply

    Wow, these pictures bring back so many memories of my own trip to Santa Fe. It was one of my favorite vacations ever. Love the area. You seem so refreshed, excited, and happy after your trip.

  • Mary Murnane (@MaryMurnane)
    Posted at 09:47h, 25 October Reply

    Sounds like an incredible trip. Looks incredible, too! This photos are fantastic. Glad you’re back!!


  • Highland Fashionista
    Posted at 09:35h, 25 October Reply

    What an absolutely amazing looking place! LOVE those driftwood “antler”-style chandeliers! That’s a part of the world I’ve never explored, but I hear GREAT things about the jewellery that is available there. Cant wait to see your opal!

  • Laura
    Posted at 09:18h, 25 October Reply

    This looks like an incredible place to visit!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:35h, 25 October Reply

      thanks Laura it was! Just amazing and beautiful landscape.

  • Amy Arnold
    Posted at 09:13h, 25 October Reply

    Wow, looks like you picked the right time of year to go. It’s gorgeous!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:35h, 25 October Reply

      Hi Amy, it really was. October one of my favorite months to travel.

  • robjodiefilogomo
    Posted at 08:26h, 25 October Reply

    Man…what a breathtakingly beautiful place Jess!!
    I’m so glad you were able to have such a fantastic time and not be too tired or hurting from it all!
    Which of you found this particular hotel and how? It really looks so spectacular!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:37h, 25 October Reply

      My sis in law looked up hotels in Taos and this hotel is award winning and got high marks. I was very impressed! thanks Jodie.

  • Martina Elegant40
    Posted at 08:07h, 25 October Reply

    All those great photos of wonderful places! Joining the link up today 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:37h, 25 October Reply

      Thanks Martina! it really was something to see.

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    Posted at 07:57h, 25 October Reply

    What a fun start to the trip. That hotel looks divine. Now I want to go just to stay there- I’m a sucker for a nice hotel! 🙂 So glad your health held up for you and can’t wait to see more. Thanks for hosting too.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:39h, 25 October Reply

      Hi Julie. the hotel was amazing! I could have stayed a bit longer there… Yes, I felt fortunate as I didn’t have any bad days there with my health. x

  • dousedinpink
    Posted at 06:59h, 25 October Reply

    Beautiful scenery! Looks like it was a wonderful trip!

    Doused In Pink

  • Shelly
    Posted at 06:46h, 25 October Reply

    Wow! That looks like an amazing trip. My kind of vacation a little relaxing, exploring and yummy food. Really all I need. Can’t wait to see the rest of your recap.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:38h, 25 October Reply

      Hi Shelly, thanks so much. YEs, great food and my brother said it was one of the most relaxing trips. I love to explore new places.

  • Tiina L
    Posted at 06:38h, 25 October Reply

    What a beautiful place! And it sounds as if you had a great vacation, too. I particularly love the artwork on the walls, great little lizards!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:41h, 25 October Reply

      Tiina, I know arent those lizards cool? I know you’re a traveler and I certainly want to visit more places now. It was a great vacation!

  • Carrie
    Posted at 06:18h, 25 October Reply

    What a lovely trip. Hope you had a great time…it looks as though you did!

  • dawnlucy
    Posted at 06:17h, 25 October Reply

    What AMAZING photos! I wanna go! Thanks for sharing with us.

    Dawn Lucy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:43h, 25 October Reply

      Thanks Dawn Hubby took over 600 pics! Since I did well traveling, we hope to go to Italy in 2 yrs. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. xx

  • Andrea Nine
    Posted at 06:10h, 25 October Reply

    Yay, your trip Southwest was a success!!! That spa sounds wonderful and LOVE the red velvet dress. Slips ins were a great idea and super chic!! I’m thrilled you had a wonderful time, great way to recharge and refresh!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:45h, 25 October Reply

      Thank you Andrea! The entire trip was so wonderful Great memories. Glad you liked the dress, I was able to pack light!

  • Lady of Style
    Posted at 05:46h, 25 October Reply

    That sounds like an absolutely fabulous vacation, Jess! The great landscape (the mountains remind me of Bavaria!), the beautiful architecture and design of your hotel and of course the relaxing SPA. I am glad you took some time off!

    Annette | Lady of Style

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:46h, 25 October Reply

      Annette, I was happy with what I accomplished as 10 yrs ago I was lying on a couch! This trip was wonderful and yes the scenery was amazing. Bavaria sounds beautiful. It was a great trip and I will cherish the memroies

  • Jill James
    Posted at 05:29h, 25 October Reply

    I so enjoyed the photos from your trip, stunning scenery and the hotels and restaurants do look so very special. I hope one day to return to the US , so I must keep this area in mind. You look really beautiful in the luxurious velvet dress. So glad your trip went well, will look forward to your next post.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:48h, 25 October Reply

      Jill, thanks very much. It was a very memorable trip. I was glad I got to share it with my brother too. The dress you will see again on the blog as I want to layer it.

  • Nancy Baten
    Posted at 02:58h, 25 October Reply

    Looks so wonderfull! Everything, the weather, the food, the hotel! And how wonderfull it is that you could walk so much, often we can do so much more when there is no stress!

  • vanityandme
    Posted at 02:46h, 25 October Reply

    This looks wonderful Jess. I love the chandelier ! A holiday with pampering thrown in is exactly what I need. Beautiful photos xx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 16:25h, 26 October Reply

      Thanks Laurie! Yes it was perfect! I love the chandelier too, if I had a house large enough… xx

  • Mica
    Posted at 01:31h, 25 October Reply

    Wow you managed to do so much! The spa sounds wonderfully relaxing too 🙂

    Thank you for the link up!

    Hope you’re having a good start to the week and aren’t missing that lovely hotel too much! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • Sheree
    Posted at 01:13h, 25 October Reply

    Looks like a great vacay and your burgundy dress is beautiful!

    ~ xo Sheree
    Posh Classy Mom

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 16:26h, 26 October Reply

      Thank you Sheree, I dont like to pack alot on vacation, so I didnt layer the dress, you will see it again. It was wonderful! xx

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