New Mexico Road Trip | Inn of the Mountain Gods - SantaFe.com
Inn of the Mountain Gods panoramic photo

At Inn of the Mountain Gods, the Mescalero Apache have created a guest experience unlike any other. The gorgeous resort and casino were thoughtfully built with consideration both for the enjoyment of all guests and for the surrounding environment. The intent is that every person on the property feels the blessings and spirituality of the sacred mountains, while honoring and preserving the natural area.

Whether you are celebrating with friends, getting married, or just wanting to get away with that special someone, this destination, ensconced in a beautiful forest and full of interesting activities to enjoy, provides opportunities for a variety of indoor and outdoor pleasures. You can get rest and relaxation or get your heart racing — or maybe a bit of both!

Pulling up to the property, each guest is greeted by the breathtaking sculpture Mountain Gods, created by Apache artist Frederick Peso. Frederick dedicated his life to representing and preserving the culture of the Mescalero tribe. While this magnificent piece is the first artwork you see at the Inn, it is certainly not the last. Inn of the Mountain Gods lays claim to having the largest collection of Apache art in the world. The precision, technique, and quality of each piece tell a part of the story of the Mescalero.

As you head to the front desk, another stunning sight awaits. The fourth wall in the lobby is glass. While most casinos want you to never look outside, Inn of the Mountain Gods gives you breathtaking views of the sacred mountains, glistening lake, and massive zipline.

There are many ways to enjoy your stay at Inn of the Mountain Gods. There are six different types of rooms to choose from, ranging from standard suites to the presidential suite for those looking to spoil themselves. Besides the hotel rooms, guests may choose to stay at an RV park right on the property — great for a weekend getaway or getting away for weeks at a time. Another feature not often seen at resorts and casinos is big game hunts. The Mescalero are dedicated to building strong and healthy elk herds, and the hunts ensure the herds and future hunts will be successful for years to come. If you are not after big game, the Inn’s hunting lodge has a clay range for you to practice your marksmanship.

“We have the best of both worlds,” says Sarah Kahze Kirgin, the Inn’s marketing director. “People can find spirituality and healing here, whether it is being together with nature or being pampered at The Spa at the Inn.”

The Spa offers guests a myriad of options when it comes to pampering. From hair and skin care to massages and manicures, the facility is tranquil and world class, and many brides-to-be have found it the perfect place for wedding parties and family to spend time together relaxing before the stress of the big day.

All this excitement is going make you thirsty and whet your appetite, and the Inn has got you covered. The Broken Arrow Tap House has more than 60 beers on tap and gastro-pub style cuisine. If luxury and decadence are more your style, Wendell’s Steak and Seafood is the place to be. The menu is perfect for the high roller, and Wendell’s hand-picked wine list has received accolades from Wine Spectator for its excellence in diversity and selection. Just looking for a tasty beverage? Wendell’s Lounge or the Big Game Sports Bar are sure to have something to quench your thirst.

You can also enjoy a fine meal and cocktail at Apache Tee after playing 18 holes at Inn of the Mountain Gods’ championship golf course. Then again, if you like golfing without the walking, you can reserve a bay at the Topgolf Swing Suite. The Topgolf Swing Suite offers virtual gaming options in a comfortable private setting — great for spending time with friends or even corporate outings.

For nighttime fun, Inn of the Mountain Gods attracts some of the best acts in entertainment. World-renowned musicians and comedians love to do shows and spend time in Mescalero because of the beauty of the environment and venue, as well as the fan base and the sold-out shows.

In addition to hunting, those looking for outdoor adventure can enjoy horseback riding, fishing (with a permit), or take a kayak, rowboat, pedal boat, or paddleboard onto Lake Mescalero. Before you know it, you’ll be far away from your daily grind and recalibrating your soul and perspective.

Ski Apache has a busy ski season, but during the summer gondola rides give passengers beautiful views of the majestic mountains. If you feel a little more daring, the world’s third-longest zipline is available year round. Inn of the Mountain Gods zipline

Down the road from Inn of the Mountain Gods (but still part of their complex), Casino Apache Travel Center is a well-kept secret known to locals. You can also get a great meal at Smokey B’s that features something for everyone in the family.

Inn of the Mountain Gods is a treasure that the people of Mescalero have given all of us in Southern New Mexico. Wendell Chino, president of the Mescalero Apache Tribe from 1954 – 1998, had the vision and dream to create Inn of the Mountain Gods. The first property opened in the 1970s and the property we see today opened in 2005. Wendell’s vision and leadership not only moved the Mescalero to a place of prosperity after generations of persecution, but also gave the gift of sharing the culture and land with visitors. I feel fortunate that I was able to spend time getting to know more about the property and have a glimpse into the wisdom and generosity of the Mescalero Apache.

“I don’t have to come to work, I get to come to this beautiful place every day,” Sarah tells me as we look out over the glass wall above Lake Mescalero. “Wow! is all I have to say, this is Yusun’s [the Supreme Being’s] country.”

Whether you are here for a night or a week, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino will rejuvenate your soul with its superior class, quality, and unique spirit.

Written by Daniel Gonzales • Photos courtesy Inn of the Mountain Gods

Originally published in Neighbors magazine

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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