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Casa Ambrosia: Mountain Views in a Beautiful River Valley

Bedrooms 2
Space 2,000 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Spacious and Unique Adobe House, 2 Bedrooms + Sunroom, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 4-5)

Casa Ambrosia is nestled in total peace and privacy, surrounded by tall cottonwood, pine, and oak trees, with an expansive view of the pastoral river valley of El Rito and the majestic Sangre de Cristo mountains off in the distance.

This wonderful, comfortable, and serene hideaway accommodates 4-5 people. The uniquely designed passive solar adobe house with high wood ceilings and impressive vigas is spacious and filled with light. There is a large semi-circular sun room, built like a sunken kiva, that is designed after Casa Grande in Chaco Canyon. There is one bath with tub and shower and two large bedrooms, each with a spectacular view. The softly curved walls of most rooms create a calm and nurturing environment. A fireplace adds to the warmth and comfort of the radiant floor heat. And along with great indoor living and dining spaces, there is a covered patio for outdoor dining and relaxation. A newly added hot tub on the front patio is perfect for relaxation and stargazing year round.

Casa Ambrosia borders the mountainous Carson National Forest and you can hike for hundreds of miles right out the back door. A short drive takes you to a creekside trail leading to Potrero Falls amidst tall Ponderous pines and aspens, or to a dramatic outcropping of volcanic upthrust near a shady stream. Nearby forest roads lead you to high mountain meadows filled with wildflowers and streams and breathtaking views, or off into desert canyonlands, with red cliff walls and towering rock formations. In winter, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are great pastimes. Year round, the very clear night sky is perfect for stargazing.

The historic village of El Rito has it's own charm, including a well-supplied library, a traditionally-built adobe church, and El Farolito, a small family restaurant, world famous for its authentic northern New Mexico cuisine, recommended in the Rand McNally Road Atlas and Gourmet Magazine. Their red and green chili dishes are delicious and very reasonable.

Casa Ambrosia is 15 miles north of Abiquiu, with it's stunningly beautiful lake for swimming and boating. In the village of Abiquiu, you can tour the home and studio of world reknowned painter Georgia O'Keefe, and visit the Rising Moon Gallery, bursting with high quality art by local artists. And further north in Chama, you can ride the historic Toltec Railroad through the high mountains, catching the glory of the changing colors of Fall.

Casa Ambrosia is 14 miles west of the beautifully appointed Ojo Caliente Hot Springs Spa and Resort, with a variety of natural mineral pools to soak in, plenty of massage and spa treatments to choose from, and a delicious restaurant to top off an adventurous day.

Only one hour to Santa Fe, and about the same to Taos, you can enjoy all kinds of fine dining, live music, museums, galleries, boutique shops, antique stores, films, opera, and much more. Both Santa Fe and Taos have ski basins, and there are several golf courses in the area. There are many national monuments and historic sites in the area, including Bandelier with it's ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.

Whether you're seeking cultural activities, ancient history, or natural beauty, there's something for everyone in this compelling heartland of Northern New Mexico.

Keywords: country house, passive solar design, adobe home, custom built, rural, natural setting, forest, mountains, meadows, water, hiking, skiing, swimming, cultural activities, ancient history, nature, pueblos, opera, golf, lake, fishing

More Details

Member since: 2008
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 28, 2017

About Alicia

I grew up here in Northern New Mexico, and have spent many years exploring the wilderness areas nearby. Later I lived in exciting places like Washington DC and San Francisco. But eventually I felt called back home, and I haven't regretted it since. I find great solace in the wide open lands, vast blue skies, and I appreciate the diverse cultural history of this area very much.

Alicia purchased this house in 1998

Why Alicia chose New Mexico

When I moved back to New Mexico I wanted to live somewhere peaceful and remote, yet not too far from civilization. El Rito was perfect. Nestled in a tranquil river valley, with countless trails to explore in the surrounding mountains, yet only an hour's drive to a hotspot like Santa Fe or Taos, I found the perfect balance. Years later, when I moved to Santa Fe for professional opportunities, I began renting Casa Ambrosia as a vacation home. For several years now, I have enjoyed sharing this nurturing home with it's beautiful natural surroundings with many guests, and it is my wish that many others may also experience the restorative possibilities that abound here.

What makes this house unique

Whether it's getting away from a busy job, wanting the peace and quiet of this serene place for rest and renewal, or looking for new adventures out in nature, this is a great place to visit. I love the amazing variety of terrain around here, from the high mountains with their meadows, lakes and streams, to the lower desert canyonlands with their colorful cliffs and magical rock formations. And with Santa Fe, Taos, Bandelier, and other interesting places so nearby, there's never a shortage of things to do or see. There's truly something for everyone to enjoy!


El Rito House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2000 sq. ft.
  • 2 stories
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain
  • Mountain View ...
  • Ski-Out ...
  • Village
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Spa
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Computer Available ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Mobile Phone ...
  • PC
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Shampoo
  • Telephone ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • The bathroom includes sink, toilet, linen closet, and standard-sized tub with shower, and features warm radiant heat under the tile floors.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • King size bed (1) A deluxe King-sized Select Comfort Dual Chamber adjustable bed. Each side adjusts separately for the perfect firmness for each person. Queen size bed (1) A very comfy Queen bed with pillowtop mattress. Twin or Single Bed (1) There is a single-sized air mattress, with pump, sheets and sleeping bag. Perfect for a child or extra guest.
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Beach Chairs
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Large Cooler
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Small Cooler
  • 4 garden chairs
  • 2 beach chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
  • Outdoor Hot Tub
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • pond
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • volcano
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • sailing
  • ski lift privileges
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
  • wind-surfing
While the house is a perfect homebase for day trips and adventures in all directions, many guests find the beautiful natural setting and the peace and quiet so compelling they never leave the property. Over the years every effort has been made to assure that everything you could possibly need or want is right there, to make your stay both comfortable and enjoyable.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(21 traveler reviews)

Casa Ambrosia: Mountain Views in a Beautiful River Valley
average rating of 4.952381 based on 21 reviews

Peaceful, Private and Relaxing

  • 5 of 5

Jack and Sadie (my dog) and I LOVED Casa Ambrosia! It was exactly the kind of escape from the city and busyness that we needed. Each morning we would get up and have our tea in the hot tub which overlooked the beautiful neighboring farmland. For NM, the area was a great mixture of greenery, flowers and desert. Immediately around the house, there are a lot of shade trees and green fields and Alicia's roses were especially inviting to the multiple hummingbirds that would visit each day. The adobe house was very clean and nicely decorated. We felt very at home and at ease. We took a couple of day trips to Ojo, Taos and Santa Fe, but could have just as easily stayed put in this comfortable and inviting space. We will definitely return!

  • Submitted: Apr 2, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Evanston, Illinois

Peaceful, remote, beautiful country

  • 5 of 5

I stayed at Casa Ambrosia for 3 nights in late March. Lovely. I was looking for something close enough for day trips to Ojo Caliente, the Ra Paulette cave tour at Origin, Taos, Santa Fe, Tent Rocks, Valles, etc., and this place was close enough to make those trips easy but remote enough to provide an incredibly peaceful and tranquil stay at night.

Worth noting, the little restaurant in El Rito (El Farolito), is amazingly good. Best Mexican food I have ever had!

  • Submitted: Mar 29, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Lovely house in Northern New Mexico

  • 5 of 5

I have rented vacation properties all over the United States and Casa Ambrosia was one of the best. The description is accurate, the place is clean and well kept and Alicia is easy to deal with. This, for us, was the perfect place to get away from the city and i wholeheartedly recommend it.

  • Submitted: Jan 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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A Most Relaxing Stay

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I enjoyed a fabulous two month vacation in the summer months of July and August at Casa Ambrosia in beautiful El Rito. We were very sad to leave such a quiet, comfortable space. While working on editing our documentary and writing music, the home provided the perfect place to be creative and to be inspired. Outdoors, the smell of cedar, sagebrush, pinon, and lavendar were intoxicating and inviting. Indoors, we had all the comforts of home - as shown in the photos - and Alicia made sure to stock the home really well with all kinds of supplies in the kitchen and bathroom. She was a wonderful host, answering emails promptly and making sure we were taken care of. The property had much privacy as we rarely saw any neighbours the entire time we were there. Fantastic for enjoying the hot tub, bbq dinners, sunbathing, reading on the porch, and watching the Pleiades meteor shower. Wow. Every morning we were greeted by hummingbirds and we fell asleep to the howl of coyotes. Unforgettable. The electrical storms were even incredible. If you want to be immersed in nature, get away from your routine, be able to just be, then this is the best place to do just that. And you don't need to try hard to let New Mexico it really happens effortlessly. Hard to explain. Wonderful people all around, helpful, kind. It was just a joy to go to restaurants, hike, shop, sightsee, without stress. The location for us was quite perfect as we were about an hour away from both Taos and Santa Fe, both amazing cities with so much to see and do. Ghost Ranch (hiked Chimney Rock and Box Canyon), Lake Abiquiu, Plaza Blanca, the Chama Wilderness, Carson National Forest, and Ojo Caliente (slather on the mud) are all within a 25min drive. The Christ in the Desert Church at the end of the 15mile drive into the Chama Wilderness is well worth exploring, a beautiful energy there. Also, we took Carson forest road #137 which is just out of town and drove up the mountain. Spectacular views, so many dramatic changes in vegetation. As you make your way up, you will see red pines and quaking aspens (take road #20). But you must return the same way you came in. While visiting the Rio Grande Bridge we had lunch at the rest stop which is a trailhead for the West Rim Trail, great for biking/hiking at least 9miles or so. Best Eats: Love Apple (Taos), El Paragua (Espanola), Sabuso's (Arroyo Seco), La Plazuela Cafe (Santa Fe), The Artesian (Ojo Caliente). The most relaxing stay! Thanks Alicia.

  • Submitted: Nov 10, 2013
  • Stayed: Jun 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Alba, TX

Perfect retreat in a perfect location

  • 5 of 5

We have stayed at many of the VRBO properties in the SF area and this one has just become a favorite. Perfect location with hiking from the property. Very private with wonderful views of the mountains in the distance. Very comfortable and well equipped. Great location for many short day trips as well including Ojo Caliente, Abiquiu and Santa Fe (or Taos). We will definitely stay again and would recommend Casita Ambrosia.

  • Submitted: May 21, 2013
  • Stayed: May 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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We just kept staying longer!

  • 5 of 5

We chose Casa Ambrosia from all the Abiquiui area properties because it looked that you could walk into the national forest right there--and you can do that and much more. Plus El Rito is special and the house away from everything. Not only is the land gorgeous, but the house is so peaceful, spacious, calming. Waking up in the upstairs bedroom is indescribably beautiful, with fields and horses and mountains (both that and the downstairs bedroom are huge and have the same great views). Complete privacy. We used the fireplace for our March and April nights to be cozy, but of course the radiant heating was wonderful too! The dogs absolutely loved it. Driving to the property and then on it, you hear the rushing water in the acequia, the centuries-old watering system throughout New Mexico. We reserved a week and then as I rushed to finish my book by the deadline, we wanted to stay longer to relax without work. So we'd stay a few days more, and then email and say can we stay longer, and...before we knew it, our week was two weeks! The restaurant in town is absolutely awesome, and driving through El Rito to and from was fun by itself to see historical buildings next to new. And of course, surrounded by one of the biggest national forest systems in the U.S.--the Carson. Hike, veg, drive. Loved it.

  • Submitted: Mar 19, 2013
  • Stayed: Mar 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
120 Miles
Albuquerque International Airport
Nearest Barpub
25 Miles
Inn at the Delta, Espanola
Nearest Golf
40 Miles
Towa Golf Course
Nearest Train
75 Miles
Amtrak In Lamy, NM
Nearest Motorway
12 Miles
HWY 84
Nearest Restaurant
2 Miles
El Farolito, El Rito
Nearest Ski
60 Miles
Taos or Santa Fe
Nearest Point of Interest
Nearest Point of Interest
Santa Fe
Nearest Point of Interest
Nearest Point of Interest
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
Nearest Point of Interest
Bandelier National Monument
Nearest Point of Interest
Nearest Point of Interest
Buffalo Thunder Resort, Casino and Golf Course
Car: necessary

Casa Ambrosia is located in the heart of Northern New Mexico. An hour or less drive in any direction gets you to such diverse attractions as the Santa Fe Opera, skiing in Taos, swimming in Lake Abiquiu, fine dining, opera, museums, art galleries, and shopping in Santa Fe, high mountain hiking in meadows and along streams, desert cliff walks at Ghost Ranch, natural hot springs resort and spa at Ojo Caliente, ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs at Bandelier, and much more.


Rates & Availability

El Rito House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $25

Payment of 50% of the total rate confirms the reservation, if booking is made 30 days or more before arrival.
The remaining balance is due 30 days before arrival.
If checking in within 30 days of booking date, the full amount is due at time of reservation.
Payment can be made with a credit card through Paypal, a safe and easy way to pay online.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

Enter dates for accurate pricing