As we bid farewell to 2023, Tom and I would like to express our deep sense of gratitude to all our family, friends, and guests. When it is all said and done, it is you all who make possible everything that we do and the experiences that we offer in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
This year we experienced both highs and lows. We had a wonderful season where many of you traveled to The Grand Hacienda and Abiquiu, and others followed along through social media. We published a beautiful book on Abiquiu and introduced new technology to simplify the online experience. We introduced new recipes and expanded our food offerings. We used new seasonings, herbs, and spices discovered during our off-season travels through South America. But we also lost several loved ones this year, including my mother, both of Tom’s sisters, and his aunt. Our small Abiquiu neighborhood lost two close friends. For those who couldn't travel this year due to health concerns, know that you are missed and loved. Through it all, 2023 was a year of blessings and holding tight to our family, friends, guests, and all those who love this community.
We welcomed both first-time guests and many returning guests back to The Grand Hacienda. What a wonderful year – from preparing meals made with love, sharing this
beautiful land, and spending time with so many of you. Together we watched the eclipse; agreed on the best wines through wine tastings; hiked this amazing land; explored the lake; honored the Tewa and Navajo who lived here before us; celebrated Georgia O’Keeffe; rested, relaxed, and renewed our spirits; and shared laughter and love. We thank you all – you all are the inspiration behind what we do each and every day.
Here at The Grand Hacienda, we celebrated some important achievements this year. For the first time, we closed during the off-season. We didn’t make this decision lightly – but in the end, we joined in with O’Keeffe Home and Studio Tours, New Wave Rafting, the Lavender Farm and so many other businesses that close during the winter months. Mother Nature is not always kind, especially in northern New Mexico. We used this time to reset, update the property, travel, enjoy new experiences, take cooking classes, create new menus, and relax! We continued to focus on health, wellness, and longevity – so Tom will have more updates for all of you interested in that. We thank all of you who organized your travel in the spring, summer, and fall months when we are open.
This year’s guests came to us from two countries and sixteen different states. 15% of you came from our home state of New Mexico, followed by Colorado, Texas, and California. The rest of you represented Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Washington. We also welcomed travelers from Mexico and England.
95% of you made your reservations directly with us, through the website, mobile phone, or by calling. We launched a new reservation system which simplified the availability calendar and online reservation process. The reservation process allows our guests to personalize their experience by selecting packages and services and sharing dietary preferences. It’s now easier than ever to book online. Remember, you will never pay booking fees when you book directly with us, and you will always receive the lowest price. Our repeat guests also get our “BestGuest” discount when they book directly! Gone are the days of being charged booking fees for reserving through third-party sites!
We are thrilled and honored to have been selected to join a partnership with the Select Registry family of distinctive inns. Select Registry accepts properties that are deemed to be authentic accommodations that showcase local culture, artisanal craftsmanship, locally sourced food, and personalized recommendations. We love our partnership with this organization and the benefits it offers our guests.
Another milestone was publishing Discover Abiquiu from A to Z! This book was authored by Carolyn and illustrated by guest Wendy Cuyler. It’s a wonderful book that allows you to relive your Abiquiu memories, page by page. It is a family book that can be enjoyed by adults and children equally. The book is available for $32 online at The Grand Hacienda Mercado, through Amazon, or locally at The Grand Hacienda Mercado, Abiquiu Inn, Café Sierra Negra, and Nest Gift Shop. It's becoming a local bestseller! Since the book arrived from the printer in late September, we’ve sold 94 copies and we are so thankful!! If you bought a copy, please leave us a review on Amazon as that will help others find the book!
The Grand Hacienda remains committed to supporting our local community and local businesses. We are only as strong as our surrounding community. From hiring locally, shopping locally, and generous donations, we recognize that we are all better when working together. Finally, we are honored to have received several awards this year: Sustainability Distinction from Booking.com, Wellness All-Star from Select Registry, Certificate of Excellence from Hotel.Social, Best Cultural Accommodation in Northern New Mexico award from New World Report Awards, and Top-Rated Lodging from TripAdvisor.
Have you seen Oppenheimer or Surrounded? Both were filmed in Abiquiu this year. Oppenheimer is the story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb. Surrounded is about former Buffalo Soldier Mo Washington who travels West to lay claim on a gold mine.
Ghost Ranch now offers Oppenheimer set tours. Ghost Ranch also hosted the Blossom & Bones music festival this year, featuring Spoon, Yola, Japanese Breakfast, The Breeders, and more.
A Look Ahead to 2024
As we turn our attention to 2024, we look forward to delivering another great year of travel experiences, pleasure, and the great food and relaxation you expect from us. On some level, we always have you in mind as we prepare for the new year. Our guests are an inspiration to us. So, thank you! We re-open after the winter season on May 1 and look forward to welcoming you all back to our paradise. Reservations are now being taken for 2024 and 2025. We continue to focus on sustainability and health/wellness, and you will find new recipes and more plant-based options on the menu in 2024. Our greenhouse will be loaded with more herbs, sprouts, and veggies – and what we cannot grow, we try to buy locally.
2024 travel trends indicate that people remain captivated by travel, and the desire for a travel “experience”, wellness, and sustainability is rapidly increasing. Our promise to you is to deliver a true New Mexican “experience”, not just a stay.
In terms of Abiquiu happenings, the Blossom & Bones music festival at Ghost Ranch will take place September 13 and 14 (line up not yet announced). The Abiquiu Studio Tour will take place on October 5, 6, and 7, 2024.
Thank you, on behalf of everyone at The Grand Hacienda. We wish you and your loved ones a happy New Year, a year of good health, and great travel. 2024 - we are excited for you!
Carolyn & Tom Calfee