There aren’t too many places more “Mesilla” than Hacienda de Mesilla. Splashes of festive cobalt blue are the running theme throughout, from glassware to linens to decorative Talavera tiles. On Friday and Saturday nights, musicians set up on the rooftop terrace to provide the sounds of local ambience. Chefs from the cantina and grille turn out New Mexican flavor with a fine dining twist in dishes like queso fundido, green chile crab bisque, and arrachera steak. And every balcony and terrace boasts views of the Organ Mountains or the traditional rooftops of authentic Southwestern and adobe architecture. The vibe is reminiscent of everything locals and tourists alike find charming about the tiny town perched on the south corner of the Las Cruces city limits.
Hutchinson family takes the reins
This wasn’t always the case, however. In its previous incantation, the property maintained a more Tuscan vibe and often struggled to find its niche in the local food and live music scene. That all changed in March 2017 when Tom and Jerean Hutchinson, owners of the famous La Posta de Mesilla restaurant for over 25 years, took over. Their son, Christopher, who attended college and worked in the restaurant industry in Dallas, moved back to Las Cruces to serve as general manager of both the inn and restaurant.
By May, they’d revamped the bar area into a traditional cantina, and a month later, they opened the grille, offering fine dining steak and seafood selections. The onsite boutique hotel stayed open during the transition, but the rooms got a refresh with luxurious linens, and a complimentary coffee and tea bar in every room, much like you’d see in a traditional hotel. Most recently, the parking lot was expanded and a brand new front entrance welcomes guests into not just a hotel/restaurant, but an entire experience.
“This is a nontraditional stay, however,” Tom is quick to note. “We’re a mom and pop, we depend on social media marketing and word of mouth for our bookings. The rooms are probably more European in terms of size. If I had to label or tag it, I’d call it a ‘full-service, boutique inn.’ This is Mesilla’s destination stay. If you’re looking for more privacy and uniqueness, this is where you come.”
Restaurant and boutique hotel
The Hacienda de Mesilla inn consists of 12 rooms on the upper level, plus two casitas tucked away in a cozy ground level alcove. All the rooms are very well appointed, with thoughtful extra touches included, like a woven basket stocked with blankets so guests can wrap themselves up and venture onto one of the many shared verandas to enjoy the sunrise or sunset. While a couple suites currently only have Jacuzzi tubs, Tom says their next project will be re-engineering those rooms to incorporate showers.
There are a few B&B type properties in Mesilla, but Hacienda de Mesilla is the only full-service inn, offering 24-hour concierge service for all guests. “And you can’t beat the location with our proximity to the plaza; it’s literally just steps away,” Tom point out.
Beyond the pretty much mandatory walk to explore all Mesilla has to offer, guests won’t need to leave the property to have a relaxing vacation to remember. “You can check in and you really don’t have to leave again,” says Sarah Holguin, Hacienda’s special events coordinator and office manager. “From your hotel room to the pool to the bar and grille and the rooftop terrace, it’s dine in and stay; you don’t have to leave until you’re ready to go home. There aren’t many hotels in Las Cruces that offer that.”
For breakfast, guests receive a voucher to eat at locally-owned coffee shop, The Bean Café (just a three-minute walk away) or at La Posta. Lunch, dinner, drinks, and snacks are offered onsite at the cantina and grille, or guests can experience full-service dining poolside or on the rooftop terrace. Sarah adds that dine and stay packages are one of their big promotions right now and they’ve been tapping into the “staycation” market for people from El Paso and Juarez in need of a quick weekend getaway.
The Hacienda de Mesilla grounds and amenities are also ideal for weddings, corporate meetings, and other events. “Again, it’s that concept where everything you need is right here,” Sarah says. “We hosted a conference a few weeks ago and they stayed in the hotel rooms, had their meetings in our conference spaces, mingled with drinks from the bar, and we set up a private dinner in the atrium. We also catered their breakfast, lunch, and afternoon breaks, and gave them all packets with things to do nearby in their free time. Some of the wives came and while their husbands were in meetings, they booked spa treatments and did some wine tasting.”
Hacienda de Mesilla has been open just over a year now and Las Crucens have probably noticed the influx of vehicles filling the parking lot at all hours of the day. Tom says while there’s really no magic formula for ensuring a business succeeds, he admits their family has always fallen back on the idea that it’s all about creating an experience that people will want to come back to. “It’s about how you treat people, both with service and your product,” he notes. “I think Hacienda de Mesilla offers a quaintness, a uniqueness, and a warmth that everybody seems to acknowledge when they come here.”
Tom Hutchinson says, “If I had to label or tag it, I’d call it a ‘full-service, boutique inn.’ This is Mesilla’s destination stay. If you’re looking for more privacy and uniqueness, this is where you come.”
Posted by LasCruces.com