Albuquerque’s Los Poblanos Inn is a luxurious rural retreat

Thanks to growing interest by travelers to connect with the history of destinations and the land on which they are built, agritourism and farmstays have become increasingly popular in the past couple years. There are farms that allow visitors to dig in and help out by feeding the animals or picking produce. Others offer a serene spot to spend the night and immerse yourself in country living. And all tend to have authentic farm-to-table dining. One of the country’s top farmstay properties is Los Poblanos, a historic inn and organic lavender farm in the heart of Albuquerque’s Rio Grande Valley.

A view of the farm buildings from the lavender fields at Los Poblanos

New Mexico’s past and present

This celebrated property can trace its history back to the ancient Anasazi and 14th century. Originally, the land was inhabited by Pueblo Indians and later was part of a 500-acre ranch owned by a businessman and U.S. Army colonel. Then it became the homestead for local power couple Albert and Ruth Simms, who began developing the buildings and landscaping in the 1930s. The farm that we know today was built by renowned New Mexico architect John Gaw Meem. Centuries-old lofty cottonwood and elm trees dot the 25-acre grounds, which is broken up by luxuriant formal gardens and fragrant lavender fields.

Today, the farm is a mix of rustic simplicity and luxurious elegance. Situated midway between Balloon Fiesta Park and Old Town Albuquerque, it is surrounded by large and historic estates with expansive lawns and lush greenery.

Grain silos and a red tractor show that Los Poblanos is a working farm.

Down the tree-lined drive and past the rows of lavender, you’re greeted by twin grain silos. The property comprises multiple buildings, including the Front Desk, Farm Shop, Campo restaurant, which were original farm buildings. Similarly, guest rooms are located in multiple buildings. In addition, there’s also a spa, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. And, the La Quinta Cultural Center, built in 1932, hosts meetings and corporate events and is the perfect spot for an intimate wedding.

Stay at Los Poblanos

There are 45 guest rooms in three categories at Los Poblanos: Farm, Field, and Meem. All channel Southwestern sophistication. Both the Farm and Field rooms are in new buildings that were inspired by the original 1930s diary buildings, complete with tin roofs and contemporary white interiors. The Farm rooms are located near the offices, farm shop, and restaurant, with views of the acequias and lotus pond. The Field rooms have views of the lavender fields and Sandia Mountains. According to Los Poblanos, the Field suites also have separate kid-friendly bunk room.

Vine covered historic adobe building that houses suites.

I stayed in one of the Meem Rooms & Suites — the Greely 1 Deluxe Suite, to be exact — which are housed in an original 1930s structure built by Meem. They are located behind the historic hacienda overlooking the Greely Garden, which was designed by landscape architect Rose Greely. Each features a sitting room, kitchen, bedroom, large bath, and a private patio.

The suites’ territorial revival style is attributed to Meem. As such, they include classic Meem touches including a massive kiva fireplace, plaster walls, hardwood floors, exposed vigas, and tin light fixtures.

Amenities include eco-friendly bed linens, handmade artisan pottery dishware, a beverage refrigerator, French press coffee, and body products made from the farm’s own lavender. In addition, guests receive ear plugs to block out the high-pitched calls from the resident peacocks. I didn’t hear the birds at all while I was in my room, however, some people said the peacocks were hanging out in trees right outside their rooms.

Kiva fireplace, wood furnishings, Pueblo architecture and tiled kitchen of the Meem Suites

Farm to fork

Bon Appétit named Los Poblanos one of the best food lover’s hotels in America. A big part of that is due to Campo, the hotel’s restaurant. The magazine praised the eatery’s “regionally inspired, seasonally driven, locally sourced, and almost completely organic” cuisine, which is served amid the “quiet elegance” of its setting.

Housed in a former dairy barn building, this casual fine-dining restaurant is helmed by head chef Christopher Bethony and sous chef Kennedi Martinez. The menu is rooted in seasonal organic ingredients from the hotel’s own harvest as well as provisions sourced from local farmers and herdsmen. You will find a lot of corn-based dishes because the culinary team sources heirloom corn varietals. But you won’t be overwhelmed by New Mexico’s signature item: green chiles. There are plenty of other places in town for that.

Campo is open to both hotel guests and local residents. Therefore, you’ll find large groups celebrating special events and romantic couples enjoying an intimate meal by candlelight.

Charcuterie board with meats and cheeses

Start your meal off with a farm-fresh cocktail. Los Poblanos distills its own line of gin, offering both a Western dry gin and a lavender gin. As such, a section of the drink menu is devoted to gin-based tipples. The Lavender ’99 is a popular choice.

The dinner menu showcases elevated comfort foods. We sampled a variety of dishes, each one more flavorful and expertly prepared than the last. For example, the appetizer Nosh Board is a charcuterie board filled with artisanal meats and cheeses and house-made pickles. And the Sweet Potato Pierogi are not to be missed. Entrees include a mix of meat- and plant-based meals. In short, whether you choose house-made pastas or Mexican favorites such as tamales and birria, or you stick with classic cuts of beef and duck, you won’t be disappointed.  

Farm living

One of the main attractions at Los Poblanos is the Provence-esque rows of lavender. They bloom in stunning shades of purple in late June and July. You can join the farmers in the field and help with the morning harvest. Or, simply relax on your patio and enjoy the fragrant aroma that permeates the air.  

The lavender is harvested for its essential oils, which then goes into the inn’s line of bath, body, home, and culinary products. You can find these and other local products and tasty treats in the Farm Shop. In addition, the Lavender and Farm Food sets make great gifts for the folks back home.

Gift set of lavender food products

In addition to the peacocks, the farm also is home to variety of animals. For example, there are guinea hens, sheep, chicken, and alpacas. Also, a Slovenian-style apiary houses bees. Their lavender honey is found on the menu and in the Farm Shop.

Of course, no farm is complete without a farm cat. Mouse, a large orange tabby with a clipped ear, welcomes guests from his sunny perch near the Front Desk building. And, if you’re lucky, you might even get to spend some quality time with the friendly feline. During my stay, the weather was cold and damp. As I walked back to my room after a late dinner, I was joined by Mouse. He followed me across the property and came right into my room. He curled up on my lap while I tried to get some work done, and then spent the night cuddled up next to me on the bed. Perhaps he realized that I missed my own cats.

Orange farm cat curled up on chair

If you go to Los Poblanos

Room rates start at about $400/night and are dependent on the season. The inn is family-friendly. And because this is working farm, there are live animals and machinery on the property. As such, no pets are allowed.  You can check Hotels.com or your favorite booking site to see if you can get a better rate.

Albuquerque is full of historic hotels and renovated roadside properties. Check out our previous reviews of some of these fabulous accommodations.  

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