Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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ROAD TRIP!

A visit to Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm is a perfect getaway that combines art, architecture, relaxation, great food, and a rural atmosphere. It’s in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, a corner of Bernalillo County on the outskirts of Albuquerque.

Here’s some background: The Los Poblanos land was originally inhabited by the Anasazi (ancient pueblo Indians) in the 14th century. Many of the original settlers in this area were thought to have come from Puebla, Mexico, a citizen of which is called a “Poblano.” The land became part of the Elena Gallegos land grant around 1716 and the original ranch land was owned by Ambrosio and Juan Cristobal Armijo through the 19th century. It was reassembled by Albert and Ruth Simms in the 1930s.

Los Poblanos today encompasses the original headquarters of the 800-acre ranch owned by the Congressman Albert Simms and his wife Ruth Hannah McCormick Simms that extended to the crest of the Sandia Mountains. The historic inn was their private residence and the center of operations of their dairy, farming, nursery, art businesses, and dynamic cultural and educational endeavors. In 1932, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms commissioned the great Southwest architect John Gaw Meem and numerous artists and craftsmen (including Peter Hurd, Laura Gilpin, and Gustave Baumann) to renovate the ranch house and create the Cultural Center for political and community events and recreation; she also commissioned the American landscape architect Rose Greely to design the gardens.

See some of the rooms, below.

Guest rooms in the original ranch house are in a classic New Mexican style with kiva fireplaces, original artwork, carved ceiling beams, hardwood floors, and antique New Mexican furnishings. With the simple charm of spaces created by architect John Gaw Meem, the Inn has classic wrought iron fixtures, views from each room to our expansive gardens, and a large interior hacienda-style courtyard. This is Meem One, a suite with a king bed and sitting room.

The Simms Room is surrounded by views of the lush gardens and the Sandia Mountains.

The Girard Guesthouse is a two-room casita with a king-size bed and decorated with classic Mexican folk art.

One of the two Greely suites, original buildings from the 1930’s that open into the historic gardens designed by Rose Greely. They have separate living areas (seen just beyond in the image) and private patios.

The pool.

Los Poblanos was a model experimental farm in the 1930s and 1940s. It was home to the original Creamland Dairies, and supplied Albuquerque with a considerable portion of its milk. It boasted one of the finest purebred herds of Guernsey and Holstein cows in the Southwest and played a significant role in building up the dairy industry in New Mexico.

Los Poblanos also experimented with raising sugar beet seed in an effort to wean American dependence on imported sugar beets. Alfalfa, oats, corn, and barley were also grown on the property. At the base of the Sandias, purebred rams were raised with the intention of helping sheep herders of the state improve their flocks. The greenhouse was used as a laboratory for raising new varieties of roses and chrysanthemums commercially. Today, the farm has a thriving 25-acre lavendar operation.

The menu changes daily and always features fresh ingredients right off the farm (often harvested that day) such as farm eggs, honey from the farm’s own bees, and fruits and vegetables from its fields.

The Los Poblanos lavendar farm uses an on-site steam distillation process to extract essential oil and ensure purity. The oil then goes into the farm’s line of spa products and amenities. The Inn also offers seasonal workshops on cultivating lavender and aromatherapy.

On the way to The Farm Shop.

Los Poblanos products serve as amenities in the guest rooms and are available for purchase at The Farm Shop. The line includes body lotion, hand-made soap, salve, shampoo, and conditioner, all made locally with natural ingredients. Other items available are food, garden and kitchen tools, gifts, books and cards, toys, and apparel.

Some local color.

Come back soon!

Photos courtesy of Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm

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