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Apple Hill Farm - a Natural 'Green' Straw Bale Home

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


Half Baths
Minimum Stay
3 nights

About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms + Loft, 1.5 Baths, (Sleeps 2-5)

You can enjoy any of the 4 seasons in this beautiful custom designed straw bale house with an eye towards 'green and sustainable living'. Custom wood work throughout. Antique reclaimed doors and original art work give this charming home a wonderful sense of character. The now rare but traditional ' mud floors' add to the artistic and quaint charm of Apple Hill Farm. An incredibly gorgeous setting with valley and mountain views will refresh the spirit and soul of all guests large or small, young or old. Stroll the orchard or take a walk to the charming village of Arroyo Seco, a mile away, with shops, boutiques and eateries. Relax in the hot tub while watching our famous sunsets.

The open floor plan showing two lofts connected by a wooden bridge walkway adds intrigue and charm and two additional sleeping areas. For added convenience the lofts share an upstairs half bath. Located half way between Taos and the ski valley, winter guests will enjoy the convenience of the straight drive up to Taos Ski Valley or the easy access route down the mountain and into Taos for dinner or shopping.

This is a semi-private setting with 2 other houses sharing 3 acres of fenced land. See our other homes, Casita des Montes, VRBO # 279174, and Casa Manzanita, #650252, right next door to the straw house. Rent two or three for family gatherings or celebrations with friends and we will offer you a special rate. Your caretakers, family friends, will help in any way they can to take care of anything that might come up, or to answer questions about the house or the area.

Keywords: Home, straw bale

More Details

Anna Shelton
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 20, 2017

About Anna Shelton

I have been visiting the Taos area since the early '70's. My daughter owns Casita des Montes, #279174, right next door, so I visit often with her and my two grandsons. I am a retired Clinical Social Worker and enjoy reading, knitting and cooking up something new for family and friends.

Anna Shelton purchased this house in 2004

Why Anna Shelton chose New Mexico

Building an energy efficient and 'green' house on my daughter's property was a wonderful addition to the two other homes here. It was important to me that the home take little natural resources from an area that has challenges to it's water supply and that has abundant sunshine. The home's heat in the winter comes mainly from the sun, and it stays cool in summer due to the thickness of the straw bale walls.

What makes this house unique

I visit my home at Apple Hill Farm several times a year. The sunsets here are amazing and I never tire of anticipating each one. I have several close friends in the area and enjoy having them share dinners with me at the straw house. My favorite shops are Wabi Sabi, Common Thread, Twirl Toy Store and Southwest Weaving. Dinner out at Orlando's is always a treat.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(14 traveler reviews)

Apple Hill Farm - a Natural 'Green' Straw Bale Home
average rating of 4.928571 based on 14 reviews

Walk to Taos Cow or Drive to Ski Valley

  • 5 of 5

This charming strawbale home is the perfect place, summer or winter. Close to the hiking trails off the ski valley road and within walking distance of Taos Cow, we got our exercise in the morning and then walked to Taos Cow in Arroyo Seco in the afternoons when we weren't bicycling around Valdez.

The caretaker lives on the property, and we contacted him to change a smoke-detector battery in the second-floor ceiling (ladder required). He responded within minutes. He is familiar with all the trails and is happy to share his enthusiasm for the area. While we were there we looked for mushrooms but we will have to return next year!

The house is "green," and we were happy to recycle. The design of the home is the most interesting we have seen in strawbale construction. Not only is there a half bath on the second story, but there are nichos and other thoughtful details throughout the home. The owner has an eclectic mix of art and weavings that blend flawlessly with the riot of colors outside in purple coneflower, Russian sage, and various sunflowers.

We have rented 8 vrbo properties in the past two years, and this is the best for cleanliness, views, architecture, and location. You won't go wrong in renting this property for whatever activities you enjoy. A new plus is that it's close to a new restaurant, Common Fire, on the north side of Taos. We ate there 6 times during our month-long stay and enjoyed it like we had never been before every time. Sit close to the oven, or horno.

  • Submitted: Sep 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Aledo, TX


  • 5 of 5

We stayed for 5 days at the Straw Bale Home while we skied at Taos Valley. It was a beautiful place to stay and very warm and relaxing to come home to in the evenings. It was also nice to get away from all of the people at the slopes and have a peaceful evening while eating dinner and watching a movie. Our two college daughters were with us and we had a wonderful family time together. I would go back in a heartbeat and recommend it to anyone.

  • Submitted: Jan 2, 2015
  • Stayed: Dec 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Comfortable, cozy, great views

  • 5 of 5

This was a perfect choice for our family (parents + 2 older teens) during spring break. We were close to Taos and to the ski slopes, but spent a lot of time just hanging out at the house since it was so comfy and cozy. The photos are great, but don't truly capture the ambience and warmth of the house. It was very easy to "live" in for a week, with plenty of room for us all to have our space inside or enjoy the outside areas. The views were awesome from sunset to sundown. We highly recommend the property and can't wait to stay here again!

  • Submitted: Apr 22, 2014
  • Stayed: Mar 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

It was excellent. We really liked the place! The atmosphere was cozy, very clean and we'll decorated. It has a real southwest flavor. The attendant was friendly and helpful during our visit. Everything was there that we needed and ready to use just like home even better. Arroyo Seco is a beautiful community. We enjoyed our visit to Taos. We definitely plan on returning. We would recommend this rental to family and friends! We had a GREAT time!!

  • Submitted: Mar 29, 2014
  • Stayed: Mar 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nacogdoches, Texas


  • 5 of 5

We absolutely love this place! ABSOLUTELY! I have tried to lease it long term, like a year b/c we enjoy staying here so much! We have been looking for property to buy in Taos but nothing measures up to this wonderful house! It is so artfully done and though we would not consider ourselves "greenies" at all, we are so impressed by the technical simplicity and engineering of this wonderful property! The caretaker is amazing and just truly the best neighbor anyone could hope for as are the other guests we have encountered next door. It is VERY. Private though and everyone that we have come across has totally respected each others privacy. It is ideal!

We have stayed here many times and think of it as our own. Heading back SOON!

  • Submitted: Jun 11, 2013
  • Stayed: Aug 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Denver, CO

Lovely house, great location ~ be sure to read the manual!

  • 4 of 5

Pictures and words do not even do this house justice. It really is amazing and decorated tastefully in true New Mexico style. The location is great ~ walking distance to the small and quaint town of Arroyo Seco. It's a quick 5 miles up the road towards Taos Ski Valley for some secluded hiking in Carson forest. And easy 5 miles the other way into the town of Taos. We picked this place because we wanted to be out of town a bit and love the location between Taos and the ski valley.

Be sure to read the manual (which is quite lengthy) as there are many "rules" when staying at this house - and owner asks that you vacuum, among other things, at checkout. We like to leave a house as we entered, so not a big problem for us - but something you might want to consider. We also brought our 2 year old son who really listens when you ask him not to touch something, but I would not recommend for small children as there are many fragile items in the house. Also - the house is right next to two other homes, so not much yard space and privacy as you might expect out in that area.

All in all - we had a lovely visit and Linda gave us some great suggestions for things to do in the area.

  • Submitted: May 31, 2013
  • Stayed: May 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
110 Miles
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Nearest Ski
10 Miles
Taos Ski Valley
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Arroyo Seco House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Ski Season
Jan 9 2017 - Mar 4 2017
3 night minimum stay
Spring Break Weeks
Mar 5 2017 - Apr 2 2017
3 night minimum stay
Apr 3 2017 - May 19 2017
3 night minimum stay
Memorial Day Weekend
May 20 2017 - Jun 4 2017
3 night minimum stay
Jun 5 2017 - Oct 31 2017
3 night minimum stay
Nov 1 2017 - Nov 22 2017
3 night minimum stay
Thanksgiving Weekend
Nov 23 2017 - Nov 27 2017
3 night minimum stay
Ski Season
Dec 1 2017 - Dec 20 2017
3 night minimum stay
Christmas Week and New Year's
Dec 21 2017 - Jan 8 2018
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee $120

$20 per person per night for over 5 people. Rates are subject to change until booking is confirmed. No dogs, but open to talking with you about your pet. 1 dog may be allowed if crate trained. Dogs that are heavy shedders are not allowed due to antique rugs. Absolutely no pets on furniture.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing


Arroyo Seco House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Free Long Distance
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 7 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Large deep tub/shower in master bath with bath salts and bubble bath.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • King size bed (1) organic pillowtop with memory foam, Queen size Bed (1) organic linens, Baby or small children (2) a Pack 'n Play, and 4' tri-fold twin size mattress for children too young to sleep in bigger beds, Sleep Sofa or Futon (1) sleeps 2 children or one adult.
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed ...
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • racquetball
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • whitewater rafting

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