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Why It Might Be Time For You To Elope

November 27th, 2015 by Innkeeper

1098079_10153313811260413_301005082_nIt’s true, eloping isn’t for everyone. If you’ve always dreamed of having that huge wedding with all 500 of your relatives on hand to watch you walk down the isle, then maybe elopement is not for you.

If, however, you love the idea of a small, intimate ceremony that’s low stress and won’t break the bank, then you are in the right place. Hacienda Vargas Bed and Breakfast and Wedding Chapel is a highly recommended, picturesque  location that has been home to many quick, stress-free and extremely happy marriage ceremonies.

A recent Cosmopolitan article by Nancy Dunham really encompasses how elopement can be some couple’s ideal option when it comes to getting married. The title is “Why Eloping was the Best Decision I Ever Made”. She notes how it was the right decision for her and her fiancé. They didn’t have time or money to spend on all the details that come with planning a big wedding. Instead, running off to somewhere quiet was the perfect solution.

Consider the stress of wedding details. Everyone has probably experienced engaged friends or family members, or seen a reality TV show, in which the couple struggle with the horrendous details of gold printed napkins, the perfect wedding dress and the reality of being able to pay for the huge, dream party splashed across the pages of wedding magazines and neatly organized on Pinterest boards.

Instead, take a deep breath. Browse the photos of the quaint, relaxing Hacienda Vargas property. Imagine coming here for a quiet day, getting married in a simple ceremony in our 200-year-old chapel, then taking the rest of your visit to just be with your partner.

Following your ceremony, we are happy to provide an intimate, candlelit dinner in your suite. If you prefer to venture out, the two of you can check out some of the most romantic restaurants in Albuquerque, Antiquity or Prairie Star, before returning to your private, jacuzzi suite for a restful night with a complimentary bottle of champagne or sparkling cider.

There is some preparation required if you want your elopement to go smoothly. Make sure you take care of all the legal arrangements beforehand.

One thing you won’t have to worry about before heading to Hacienda Vargas is finding witnesses for your ceremony. Cynthia and Spence, long time owners of Hacienda Vargas, are there to happily be your stand in family members, helpers, and all around support on your special day.

Also, we have a special photography package with Bryan’s Photography available to you to capture those precious photos of you both on your special day. Then not only will you have something to have for your photo album, but you can use them on your marriage announcement when you let everyone know that you both have successfully tied the knot.

Will some people feel like they missed out not being included in your special day? Possibly. It’s not that they really wanted to do the chicken dance at your reception, they just want to see you both happy. When you tell them about the beauty and joy of the elopement, they should understand that it was an important step in you and your partner’s future happiness.

Hacienda Vargas supports everyone in their pursuit of being happy and whole by welcoming both same-sex and heterosexual marriage ceremonies.

Hacienda Vargas is in-between Albuquerque and Santa Fe – the perfect place to use as your wedding destination, “hub” for sightseeing, or as your quiet retreat. No matter who you are, if you are excited about hiding away for your perfect elopement then give Hacienda Vargas a call at (505) 273-6618. You can also make your reservations online.

It’s Time to Unplug and Unwind

November 6th, 2015 by Innkeeper

IMG_6427 (1)At Hacienda Vargas Bed and Breakfast and Wedding Chapel, the idea is to not only unplug, but to unplug in a place that radiates rest and relaxation. Hacienda Vargas is a bed and breakfast that’s in a beautiful location with friendly people, a great breakfast, and a quick hop from the highway and many tourist destinations.

Support for unplugging has come from recent research that has shown that exposure to blue light from devices like TVs and computers can disrupt our sleep cycles and keep us from falling asleep at night. At Hacienda Vargas you won’t find any Internet connections, or televisions (although there is cell coverage). But this idea also just works with the whole Hacienda Vargas atmosphere. Located in what was part of an old stagecoach stop with some original adobe walls and historic feel, it would seem strange to have the glow and the racket of a television.

And if you find you need to get on the Internet while you are staying at Hacienda Vargas, no worries! Hacienda Vargas may be in a quiet, farming neighborhood, but there is a Starbucks only five minutes up the road in Bernalillo. When you drive 313 from the bed and breakfast, you’ll drive past farms and historic posts, and then suddenly you’re in the heart of Bernalillo near restaurants and casinos.

It’s all because Hacienda Vargas is located in the quiet, small town of Algodones, but only a short distance from all the places people want to see in New Mexico. The big plus of the tasty breakfasts is hash browns, pumpkin pancakes, bacon, coffee, and more. And unlike staying in a hotel, you’ll get friendly, personal service. Consider checking out other reviews to see how we fare like on Trip Advisor.

Unplugging is also a great way to focus. If you are looking for a way to concentrate, consider coming to stay at Hacienda Vargas to work on that project of yours, maybe that book you’ve always wanted to write. We have tables in the dining area, as well as places in the garden and around the bed and breakfast to relax.

Or if you are coming back from a day of sightseeing in Albuquerque or Santa Fe (each are only a short distance away), come back to Hacienda Vargas, put your feet up and read a good book, do some yoga, get to know the other guests, or the B&Bs friendly dogs.

The research from Harvard also found that exposure to bright sunlight during the day will help you sleep. Where else can you find that but in sunny New Mexico! On average we get 280 sunny days a year, and our weather is generally mild.

Hacienda Vargas is in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe – the perfect place to use as your “hub”, and as your quiet retreat. If it’s time for you to give your eyes a break and your body the recharge it needs before returning to “normal” life again, then give Hacienda Vargas a call (505)867-9115 or make your online reservation today.

Helpful Hints for the Balloon Fiesta

October 7th, 2015 by Innkeeper

Darth (1)

As Balloon Fiesta draws near, I think it’s important to share with everyone some things to know, especially if this is your first time coming out to one of Albuquerque’s biggest events.

A big insider tip is that driving to Balloon Fiesta from the North makes a huge difference. The reasoning is that the Fiesta is held North of the city, making about 90% of the attendees (coming from Albuquerque hotels and locals) driving from the South. What’s awesome is that Hacienda Vargas is North of Balloon Fiesta and only 20 minutes drive away. This saves anyone coming from our b&b a lot of time in traffic.

Another thing to keep in mind is there are balloon lift-offs for nine days straight (from Saturday to the next Sunday), and there are opportunities at night to enjoy a balloon glow. If you don’t want to fight the crowds on the weekend mornings, consider the other options.

If you want to see a morning liftoff, it all starts with getting up early, in the dark of morning, around 4:00 AM. I know, that sounds terrible, but it’s worth it to spend a few hours watching hundreds of balloons launch all around you. Getting in early to the fiesta ensures that you are walking around with the balloons instead of stuck in traffic, waiting for a parking spot.

What I love about Balloon Fiesta is walking among the balloons while they expand, taking candid photos of the balloonists as they focus on getting ready, and photos of the insides of the balloon envelopes as they’re on the ground. Last year I got a great photo of the Storm Trouper guarding the Darth Vader balloon. I also love digging into the food from the vendors like breakfast burritos and a hot cup of coffee.

I’d also suggest keeping a close eye out for hazards. For example, don’t step on the balloon envelopes when they are lying on the ground. When the balloons are being inflated, they’ll suddenly start rising. You don’t want to be in the way of the rope person, hanging on to the top of the balloon and rushing forward with the rising. He or she is there to make sure the balloon doesn’t rise too fast and fall the opposite direction. You’ll also want to keep close tabs on your friends, family and children. It can be easy to get separated with so many people and so many distractions. I suggest picking a location to meet if anyone gets lost.

I’ve been there a few times and each time I think I’m not going to take so many photos, and I always end up with over a thousand images on my camera. Definitely make sure to have plenty of space for digital photos. And if your camera uses batteries, bring extra. I remember my first time there, using an older camera. I went to take a perfect picture of the bee balloons. They always set them up so they look like they’re holding hands as they ascend. That perfect picture was lost, as my camera went dark from no battery power. Super annoying, and I plan to never let that happen again.

And, as for our weather here in New Mexico, well we are a desert. In the morning, you’re more than likely going to need a sweatshirt, knit hat, maybe some gloves because of the cold, crisp October air. Once the sun rises and is warming up the fiesta, you’ll probably be in a t-shirt, but keep in mind we don’t get too hot. So, I highly suggest wearing layers.

 Make your plans as flexible as possible. The weather in New Mexico is usually sunny and not too hot, but we also occasionally have storms, or sometimes the winds will be to strong for the balloons to take off. If that happens, be ready for them to cancel, spend your day enjoying something else, then plan to hit balloon fiesta the next day.

Once your done at Balloon Fiesta, come back to your comfy room at the Hacienda Vargas for a nap, then check out the many other things to do in and around the area. We’re in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe – the perfect place to use as your “hub”.

I hope everyone enjoys his or her time in and around the fiesta. This is a great time of year to be here.

Ghostly Sightings

December 3rd, 2012 by Cynthia Spence

We are always asked, “Is the Hacienda haunted?” We always answer that we have never seen any ghosts or felt anything but peace and good feelings at Hacienda Vargas.  We’ve lived here for 12 years and have spent time in every square inch of the property at all times of day and night, but, maybe we’re just not meant to see!

Over the years, we have had several sightings of “guests” in a few of the rooms that were not the paying guests!  For the most part, all the experiences have been of a benign  nature.  But the interesting part is that each instance has been very different – there has never been a central character, theme  or specific resident, etc. that the experience can be tied to.  There have been at least four reports to us and a few of them repeat guests that have had experiences on several occasions! 

For those of you wondering, most of the sightings orexperiences have been located in our casitas, which are the suites in a separate building and there is absolutely no extra cost for any manifestations you may encounter!

On another note, if you aren’t lucky enough to run into a ghost at Hacienda Vargas, you should go on a ghost tour in nearby Old Town; a 90 minute, lantern lit adventure, searching for the lost souls who have made Old Town their eternal home.  It’s lots of fun and you never know if you will have an actual sighting, see an appartion or catch some orbs on your camera!

All Things Enchanting – YOGA

April 16th, 2012 by Cynthia Spence

yoga retreat in New Mexico

Treat yourself to a yoga retreat, complete with a massage and river trip.

The newest Enchanting event scheduled at Hacienda Vargas is a Yoga Retreat on May 19 and 20th.  We are partnering with two other local businesses, Quiet Waters Paddling, and Hummingbird Day Spa to make this a well-rounded retreat.

We’ll have plenty of YOGA, plenty of DELICIOUS and HEALTHY FOOD, plenty of PAMPERING OPTIONS and plenty of ADVENTURE!  Does that catch your interest?  It should, read on . . .

On Saturday the 19th, there will be 5 sessions of yoga led by certified Yoga Instructor Chris MacIntyre.  A light and healthy breakfast will get us started, followed by a couple of yoga sessions, then a delicious energy packed lunch.  We’ll work our lunch off with a local walk in Algodones.  Following lunch, there will be 3 more yoga sessions include a Yoga Niedra.  We’ll end the day with another delicious, nutritious dinner.

Optional add-ons may be accommodations (at special Yoga prices), a massage, manicure or pedicure on-site by Hummingbird, and a river trip the following morning with Quiet Waters.

Make a weekend of it by spending Friday night, yoga retreat and massage on Saturday, spend Saturday night, have a full and delicious breakfast on Sunday morning before heading off on a river adventure.

What a wonderful way to renew and refresh yourself, a friend or relative!  Call (505)867-91115 or email (stay@haciendavargas.com) for more details and pricing.


Enchanting Things to Do in New Mexico

June 4th, 2011 by Cynthia Spence

One of the most enchanting things about New Mexico is the blending of cultures and a perfect example of this is the Hummingbird Day Spa in Bernalillo.  Nestled in the heart of historic Bernalillo, NM, just 5 miles south of Hacienda Vargas.

This Day Spa is owned by Valentina, a Native American woman, from the San Felipe Pueblo just 5 miles south of Hacienda Vargas.  Valentina exhibits the grace of her home Pueblo and has integrated it into the pueblo style ambiance of the treatment rooms and retail space.  Valentina says the Spa “has been a labor of love since its inception.”  She fashioned the treatment rooms after her grandparents’  home in the San Felipe Pueblo –Nurturing, Warm and Full of Love!

Holiday Happenings in New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment

November 18th, 2010 by Cynthia Spence

The Hacienda Courtyard in the Fall


One, not very highly publicized, event is this upcoming weekend’s   Placitas Holiday Sale.

Placitas Holiday Sale Banner

Placitas Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale

The Placitas Holiday Sale is a juried fine arts and crafts sale held every year for the past 28 years, the weekend before Thanksgiving, in the Village of Placitas.  82 of the finest artists and artisans in New Mexico and surrounding western states meet in the quaint, mountain Village of Placitas in three separate locations to show and sale their wares.  There is a wide array of crafts offered, all is handmade and many are items that the artists created just for the holiday season – all at affordable prices.  What’s so special about the three separate locations is that you can drive to all three or you can park your car and enjoy the fresh air by walking the ¾ mile between the three locations.    Placitas HolidaySale Map

Location # 1 is the Anasazi Fields Winery  http://www.anasazifieldswinery.com/ that sits on the western edge of the old village of Placitas.  Its orchards and vineyards surround the winery and are watered by a spring-fed irrigation system that dates back over a thousand years  to a time when the Anasazi people farmed the Placitas Valley.  They hand-craft dry table wines from grapes and other fruits and berries and are famous for their Cranberry wine.  This year, at the Placitas Holiday Sale, the Anasazi Fields Winery will be featuring a new release of their American Cranberry Table Wine and serving cups of hot, mulled cranberry wine. anasazifieldswinery.com.   They will be featuring Little Smokies where they will service salmon on a stick with lettuce and cheese as well as shrimp dogs, shrimp tacos and cheese stuffed bread.

Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas

Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas

Location #2 is the Big Tent on Hwy 165, just east of the Presbyterian Church, the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church (www.lasplacitaschurch.org) which has been serving the Placitas community since 1894 and will be serving their own delicious frozen chile, coffee and handmade Christmas gift bags to benefit Habitat for Humanity right out of the tent.  Then, across the road the Church will be selling homemade food for everyone out of their church kitchen, Chili Pepper Café featuring breakfast burritos, pulled pork sandwiches and more.

Location #3 is the Placitas Elementary School where the 5th grade parents will be selling hot foods like frito pies, hamburgers, drinks and desserts in addition to all the wonderful arts and crafts ready for you to shop!

The fair is from 10:00a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21. Located 6 miles east of I-25 on Highway 165 (take exit 242). Colorful signs and banners will mark the way through the scenic hills to the historic village of Placitas.

Hacienda Vargas one of New Mexico’s Bed and Breakfasts, is only 10 minutes from the Placitas Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale.  A perfect weekend might be to spend a night at the Bed and Breakfast  in one of their 7 rooms with your own private entrance, fireplace and jacuzzi tub, have a delicious breakfast in the morning and head out the Placitas Holiday Sale for the day.

Kiva Bedroom with Kiva fireplace

One of Hacienda Vargas’s 7 rooms

Placitas is Spanish for “little places”, and is a collection of unique communities nestled in the foothills at the north end of the Sandia Mountain range that reaches heights of 11,000 feet.  The Village is located in the center of the 1745 San Antonio de las Huertas land grant and was an early home to Spanish settlers who may have been drawn by the areas of fresh spring waters and fertile soil that remain in use today.  A few miles east of the village of Placitas, just off the dirt portion of Highway 165, is Sandia Man Cave where prehistoric spear points were discovered in 1936 by Dr. Frank Hibben, establishing the presence of man in this area some 12,000 years ago. Placitas is Spanish for “little places”, and is a collection of unique communities nestled in the foothills at the north end of the Sandia Mountain range that reaches heights of 11,000 feet.  The Village is located in the center of the 1745 San Antonio de las Huertas land grant and was an early home to Spanish settlers who may have been drawn by the areas of fresh spring waters and fertile soil that remain in use today.  A few miles east of the village of Placitas, just off the dirt portion of Highway 165, is Sandia Man Cave  where prehistoric spear points were discovered in 1936 by Dr. Frank Hibben, establishing the presence of man in this area some 12,000 years ago.Sandia Man Cave.

Sandia Man Cave

Sandia Man Cave

Combine an enchanting day shopping and eating at the Placitas Holiday Sale, maybe hiking to Sandia Man Cave and spending an evening at   Hacienda Vargas and you have sampled some of  the enchantment of New Mexico.

All things enchanting in New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment,