In this era of the autonomous Airbnb, it’s easy to forget the comforts of a good, old fashioned Bed & Breakfast Inn.
Situated in a tree lined neighborhood that could be way out in the country, but is right in town, the Dreamcatcher B&B offers classic Taos charm and comfort.
The new owners – Mary Beth and her husband Boyd Earl – intend to carry on the tradition of being a welcoming home away from home for the many return guests, who book their favourite rooms at Dreamcatcher, year after year.
The couple, who are from Buffalo, New York, are recent empty nesters, following a dream of their own.
“Or his own,” Mary Beth quipped when we spoke recently. “Boyd has wanted a B&B forever!” She laughed.
Boyd, an attorney who still practices remotely, and Mary Beth, a nurse practitioner, were ready for a change, and the West beckoned.
“We looked in Colorado first,” Mary Beth told me, ” but didn’t see anything we really loved, so when our realtor suggested we look in New Mexico, we thought “why not?”
They saw the Dreamcatcher and knew immediately it was exactly what they had been looking for.
“It was our dream come true.” She smiled.
When the former owners, John and Prudy Abelin bought the Dreamcatcher, it had already morphed from a private home, built during the 40’s, to the Ruby Slipper – its first iteration as a Bed and Breakfast Inn. The owners prior to John and Prudy, had added casitas to the existing property, which is verdant and lush in the Summer months negating everything you imagined about the High Desert.
The entire area changes and delights with the Seasons, inviting one to leave one’s room and go outdoors. Find a spot under one of the old, shady trees to linger with a book, or simply sit and watch the myriad species of birds who also call this neighborhood home.
Mary Beth and Boyd are already at work further enhancing the property’s beautiful gardens with more landscaping and hardscaping, including an outdoor fireplace. The hardscaping and landscaping features help to improve the overall appearance of a property. Even the things that you would consider relatively small compared to some, such as the pathways, garden patios and flowers can make the biggest difference. Of course, they made sure that they had an efficient silica dust control plan in place before carrying out the hardscaping process, to ensure that they, and the property, has the relevant protection from any dust that can cause them harm. There is eager anticipation surrounding the end product.
“We really want to draw our guests outdoors,” Mary Beth explained. “The gardens here, with all these old trees, are so lovely, it seems a pity not to encourage our visitiors to really enjoy them.”
More outdoor “rooms” are being envisioned, along with hammocks in the aforementioned trees, where one can lazily spend a warm afternoon.
Dreamcatcher’s rooms are decorated in classic Taos Style. Carved wooden beds covered with South West weavings, Kokopellis and other familiar motifs associated with the area, abound. A wall in one of the suites is painted with a mural of hollyhocks by the late, beloved local artist, George Chacon.
All the rooms but for two, have working Kiva fireplaces and all open onto the large and courtyard behind the main house. No detail has been overlooked. There are coffee makers in every room, along with lovely amenities in the bathrooms and fluffy robes in the closets.
Prudy and John added modern decorative touches ; slighty retro arm chairs – some upholstered in bright leather hues – add comfort and style to the rooms and give a knowing nod to the adobe’s vintage provenance with their sleek mid-century design.
“We don’t intend to change the rooms that much,” Mary Beth said, “except for new linens and small things, we’re pretty focused on the gardens and grounds for now.”
Mary Beth and Boyd have also made a few changes to the breakfasts they serve daily, including more local, organic produce, bought at the Farmer’s Market. Once the Market ends in October, they intend to keep buying the fresh meats and eggs from the vendors directly.
The couple like the former owners (who have become fast friends), love to travel.
“Boyd is currently renovating an old school bus,” Mary Beth informed me. “We plan to bring it out here soon and park it somewhere.”
“It could be rented out as well when not on the road,” she said. “We are a bit adventurous,.” She laughed.
And resourceful! The couple also have a place in Ecuador where they spend time whenever they can, and rent out the rest of the year.
The day I visited, they were busy with a zillion things; contractors and bookkeepers were coming and going, guests were leaving and arriving. Even as improvements were being made, the Dreamcatcher continued to operate smoothly, as if nothing had really changed at all.
And on the surface, it appears exactly as it always has; a cosy and comfortable place to rest one’s head for a night or a week. Or longer.
A couple of mornings later, I was on my daily walk around the neighborhood (the Dreamcatcher is just next door to where I live), and I ran into a couple walking their dog along the road, just as a peacock from the nearby Neem Karoli Baba Ashram crossed the street.
They asked me about peacock and we chatted for a minute.
They told me they have stayed at the Dreamcatcher each time they have visited Taos for almost twenty years! For them, it truly is their home away from home. Apparently they are not the only return guests, several have been coming back for years.
“Our guests come from all over,” says Mary Beth, ” many are repeat visitors while others have never been to Taos before.”
“It makes for very interesting and stimulating breakfast conversation.”
Named for the Ojibwe talisman that has become synonymous with Native American Culture, sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops,” dreamcatchers were traditionally used to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares.
Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad. When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.
At the Dreamcatcher B&B, good dreams are a given!
To discover more about the Dreamcatcher B&B please visit their site linked below this post for more pictures of the property, and much more information.
All images thanks to Dreamcatcher