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Step Into Taos History

Since 1936, The Historic Taos Inn has welcomed famous folks like Greta Garbo, D. H. Lawrence, and Pawnee Bill. More recently, celebrities like Robert Redford and Jessica Lange have been spotted sipping margaritas in the lobby.

The Inn was founded on a rich legacy of excellence. Our guests are eager to sample the atmosphere of old Taos yet expect modern amenities. So our goal is to deliver just that. We aim to provide personal service in a warm and relaxed surrounding.

What's so special about The Historic Taos Inn? Just this. When you step into the Inn, you step into Taos history.

The Historic Taos Inn is made up of several adobe houses, which date from the 1800s, and which surrounded a small plaza—now the Inn's spectacular lobby. A community well was located in the center of the plaza. In its place today, a fountain is surrounded by vertical vigas, which rise two-and-a-half stories to a stained glass cupola.

In the 1890's, when Dr. Thomas Paul (Doc) Martin came to Taos as the county's first, and only, physician, he bought the largest of the houses—now Doc Martin's Restaurant. Doc was a rugged individualist, but was dearly beloved because of his deep concern for his fellow man. Covering the county to treat his patients meant hitching up a team of horses—and later his tin lizzie—to travel for miles through mud and snow to set bones, break fevers and deliver babies.

Doc's wife, Helen, was noteworthy in her own right. A gifted batik artist, she was also the sister-in-law of artist Bert Phillips, one of the "Taos Founders." It was in the Martins' dining room in 1912 that Phillips and Ernest Blumenschein founded the Taos Society of Artists. The Martins later purchased additional buildings surrounding the plaza, renting them to writers and artists. When the only hotel in Taos burned the same year that Doc died, Helen entered the hospitality business. She bought the Tarleton house which was the last remaining property on the plaza (and now the site of the Adobe Bar). With the aid of Doc's former patients, she enclosed the plaza. The Hotel Martin opened in 1936.

Through the years, the Hotel Martin was the hub of Taos' social, intellectual and artistic activity. Later owners renamed it the Taos Inn, added the popular neon thunderbird sign (Taos' oldest) and the carved reception desk. In 1982, the Inn was placed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.

The Martins' tradition of service and commitment to the arts lives today. The Inn's Meet The Artists Series, continuing invitational exhibits of the best northern New Mexico art, and its founding sponsorship of the Taos Talking Pictures Festival pay tribute to our founders and the vibrant tri-cultural community we serve.