Tamaya — Rio Grande Lounge

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Tamaya is a civilized resort and spa north of ABQ.
The place is amazing, as is the lounge.

Tamaya from the Bosque

Living Room (Lobby)

Living Room (Lobby)

Third visit: July 28, 2013 
First visit: May 19, 2013 

Jane and I wanted to spend our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary in a very special place where we could be pampered and fed like royalty. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa won the honors. Good choice.

We ate and relaxed in three of the major restaurant areas: Corn Maiden, Santa Ana Cafe, and the Rio Grande Lounge. Each in its own special way was a treat — visually and gustatory. The service was impeccable: they could give lessons to some of the other fine-dining places around here.

The Website says:



“Step into the sacred lands of the Santa Ana Pueblo to experience a hotel like none other; Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. Situated between Santa Fe and Albuquerque at the base of the Sandia Mountains, our resort is minutes from a host of activities and miles from the ordinary. Enjoy breathtaking vistas blended with intriguing Tamayame culture and pampering amenities at a New Mexico resort designed to please every guest. Luxurious pueblo-style guestrooms showcase traditional designs created with natural materials and enhanced with modern comforts and pampering amenities.

kiva pool

kiva pool

“Discover a remarkable combination of old and new in the endless activities at Hyatt Regency Tamaya– relax in our soothing spa, play golf on our nationally-ranked course, take a thrilling hot-air balloon ride, gocross-country or downhill skiing, learn to fly fish, raft the Rio Grande River or immerse yourself in the lifestyle of our gracious hosts learning everything from jewelry making to pottery construction and adobe building. From memorable conventions to incredible family vacations, you’ll find our New Mexico hotel and resort a unique adventure to treasure.”


Tamaya — The Resort: Our First Impressions

Entrance Panorama

As we drove along the winding road through hilly high desert, we had no idea where Tamaya was until we rounded the final corner where Tamaya loomed like a sacred place hidden away in the desert.  The siting and architecture is spectacular. We knew that we were in for a lovely weekend.



Located at the resort’s arrival entrance stands one of the most prominent sculptures at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya. The untitled bronze sculpture stands at nearly seven feet tall and represents four

Pueblo members including; the elderly grandmother named “Water Woman,” who represents the pueblo’s relationship with the Rio Grande river; the young man in the cornfield named “Farmer,” who represents the tribes agrarian past; the elderly grandfather named “Storyteller,” who represents the way in which tribal members pass their history on to each generation; and the young woman named Welcoming Woman,” who welcomes guests to the resort with one hand extended, much like the way her ancestors welcomed colonists and travelers to the Pueblo.

LPPC at the Entrance

LPPC at the Entrance

The main entrance to the lobby is a fine example of Pueblo Architecture. A small portale with traditional features such as latillas shading the visitors.

This style of architecture is used throughout the grounds, and is very welcoming. Beautifully done. Walk inside, and you find yourself facing a large living room. About fifty feet or so to the right is the Rio Grande Lounge. The living room and the lounge open to a lovely patio. Sit out there in the late afternoon and watch the watermelon (sandia) miracle.

Twin Warriors

Twin Warriors Golf Course

Twin Warriors

If you are a golfer, you must play the Twin Warriors. Named after the  twin prince sons of  the Santa Ana king who let his people out of the underworld, this is one of the best courses in the area. Jane’s brother, Bill, played here during a recent visit from Pittsburgh, and is ready to return at the drop of a hat.

The Rio Grande Lounge

Sandias from the patio

If you can find a table on the patio, grab it. Get mesmerized by the mountain. Any time is a good time to be here, but I urge you to come here between the second and third weekends of October.  The row of cottonwoods growing in the bosque will be wearing their indescribably beautiful golden fall colors. This sight is every bit as spectacular as the DC cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in April. If, in addition, you manage to get here shortly before sunset, the watermeloning of the mountain will take your breath away. I promise.

The food? Simple stuff: salads, appetizers (guacamole, nachos, and more), barbecue, pizza, burgers, sliders, and some enticing sides.  sides. Having overextended our caloric allowance on the two previous nights, we opted for a light Sunday afternoon meal.

Guacamole and Chips

Guacamole and Chips with a Margarita and a Campari and Soda

Guacamole and Chips 

Big plate of delicious (and moderately spicy) guacamole with house made lightly salted chips. The chips were every bit as good as the dip. We ordered these as an accompaniment to m excellent standard Margarita and Jane’s Campari and Soda with lime. Expertly made and quite delicious. Nice way to relax.

Sliders Three Ways

Sliders Three Ways

Sliders and Sides 

We each had a plate of three sliders: Chopped Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Smoked Turkey with Red Chile Cole Slaw and  Green Chile Macaroni Salad.  Three sauces are available for the sliders:

  • Pecan Chipotle — Chef’s choice – smoky with a slow burn,
  • Green Chile Vinaigrette — Locals gotta have their green chile, and
  • Kansas City Style — From the world’s barbecue capital both spicy and sweet

Experiment with the sauces. Served with sliced pickles and sliced jalapeños. These sliders are worth a big rave. Among the very best I have ever had anyplace. The meats were tender, moist, and quite smoky.

This dish earned a place on my Best Dishes of 2013 List, and the year is less than half-way finished.

This is a fine place for snacks or a light meal with a stunning view. There is often live music (check the schedule on the Web site). I could make this place a regular hangout.

See you there.

Going Home

Going home after an amazing weekend. We want to return for our thirty-seventh


Rio Grande Lounge

Rio Grande LoungeIn the Hyatt Regency Tamaya

(505) 867-1234 

1300 Tuyuna Trail
Santa Ana Pueblo,NM 87004

Brews and Beverages

Rio Grande Lounge HoursRio Grande Lounge on Urbanspoon


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