About the property
- House1550 sqft
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay5 nights
Mountain Chalet with Spectacular Views, Modern Art & Appliances. Radiant Heat
"The TOP of EL SALTO" is a 1500 SF Contemporary Pueblo Style Alpine Chalet, designed and built by Award Winning Architect/Owner Michael T. Levy. Numerous hand crafted details and furnishings set off this unique home.
Gently tucked into the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the home commands a panoramic view of Taos County, and more than 80 miles across the Rio Grande Valley to Abiquu, the former residence of artist Georgia O'Keefe. The famous novelist D.H Lawrence, who lived nearby at the same elevation, wrote that "Taos Valley in New Mexico is backed by the most beautiful skyline in the world!" - that will be your view.
The design is a Two Story Split-Level with four distinct floors. On Level 1 you will find a Queen bed suite (with memory foam mattress), a bathroom with shower, a lighted outdoor deck sitting area with fire-pit, hot tub, and nearby a 'hammock grove' situated beneath a canopy of fir trees. Level 2 contains a one car enclosed GARAGE LARGE ENOUGH FOR A MID-SIZE SUV OR 4WD (17'-6" MAX. LENGTH) with remote control overhead door, and recycling bins.
The Third Floor is the heart of this superb home. The Great Room comprises the main living area of the house and opens, via the 9' high window wall, onto a lighted deck with seating, panoramic views 1500' above the valley , and a year-round gas barbecue. From the well-appointed gourmet kitchen, you have a sumptuous view of the living area, with its wood burning stove, sky-lit lounge, and a dining area with a handcrafted live edge cedar table - and, of course, the skyline beyond.
The leather sofa in the Living Room stove converts to a Queen Size Bed in front of the Danish Modern wood stove. The walls throughout are decorated with original art, musical instruments, and artifacts from Africa, Australia, Southern China, Thailand and other exotic locales visited by the Owner. Central Stereo broadcasts to every room in the house along with WiFi. Vaulted golden ceilings of tongue and groove Idaho Pine, counter-pointed by Italian tile floors, are complimented by hand loomed rugs from Mexico, Turkey, Nepal and Afghanistan.
Level 4 is the Main Suite. The combination Bath and Dressing Room features twin hand painted Mexican sinks with wall-to-wall mirrors, a shower with glass block exterior wall, and an over-sized Jacuzzi tub facing picture windows with views thru the pine and juniper forest - enhanced by outdoor lighting. The Bedroom looks onto an L shaped balcony fronting the entire room, with an umbrella shaded outdoor dining set, and offers the most spectacular view of the valley - above the tree tops. The Bedroom has, as its central focus, The King Size cantilevered 'Sky Bed' (with memory foam) and a handmade aspen latilla headboard, which all floats on a 'River of Dreams' - an indirect lighting system reflecting off white marble river rock - custom designed and built by the owner. There is an Entertainment Center here with 70” TV and Soundbar, DVD & Roku.
Just when you think it can’t get any better..... it does. The whole house features radiant floor heating, large skylights, handmade doors, central stereo wired into every room (iPad or iPhone compatible), custom indirect lighting on dimmer switches, and energy efficient automatic Hunter Douglas Window coverings with remote controls.
Prominently situated at 8400 feet elevation, the home is bordered by the Taos Pueblo Indian Reservation, the Carson National Forest, and the Spanish Land Grant. The wilderness is just 5' from the house. From out your front door, this tranquil setting offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, nature walks, mountain hiking and biking, snowshoe, and cross-country ski trails. It is a very cozy, private, quiet and tasteful retreat, surrounded by mature hemlock, fir, oak and cedar trees, only 10 minutes walk to the Zen Buddhist Meditation Center or 15 minutes to a spectacular 100' waterfall and cave.
The internationally recognized art community of Taos is a beautiful 15 minute drive, as is the World-Class Taos Ski Valley, which offers both skiing and snowboarding. The spa resort of Ojo Caliente is one hour away, making it a relaxing day trip. But who needs that? You'll have a 6' diameter by 4' deep hot tub.
NOTE: RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE ONE WEEK OR MORE IN ADVANCE. We do not accept last minute bookings.
4X4 (4WD) FOUR WHEEL DRIVE IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED to use the steep driveway and park a mid-size SUV (17'-6" max. length) in the garage ANYTIME OF YEAR, and to access the property for several days after 8"+ snow storms. There is a lower parking area for conventional and large vehicles with a short (40') moderately steep path up to the house. So, from there you must carry groceries and luggage to the first floor of the house.
THIS HOUSE IS FOR FIT PEOPLE (I'm 72). It Is at 8,400 ft. on a steep mountain slope with 4 vertical levels and has an equally steep bed raised up two steps. Cool, but it may not be for you. We have an open closet in the huge bathroom with our clothes hanging and personal belongings everywhere; because this is our primary residence.
There is an oversized Jacuzzi Spa Bath in the main bathroom. THE OUTDOOR HOT TUB is NOT AVAILABLE from January 10 - March 22.
Michael T. Levy
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- english, Spanglish, Australian English
- Calendar last updated:
- May 9, 2018
About Michael T. Levy
I am Michael; a retired Architect/Builder/Ski Instructor/Workshop Facilitator. I am a discerning person, enjoying both fine, and simple, things. I like good food and wine, nature, architecture & design, cinema, the Arts, music, walking, hiking, skiing, the beach, kayaking, flying my small airplane, and sailing. I designed and built the house myself; one of hundreds during my career.
Michael T. Levy purchased this House in 2006
Why Michael T. Levy chose Arroyo Seco
I like long vistas with gorgeous sunsets in the lushness and quiet of the alpine forest.
What makes this House unique
This is the best location in Taos, otherwise known as 'the Beverly Hills of Taos'. Halfway between Taos Ski Valley and town; it features, privacy, serenity, clean air, and mountain spring water with spectacular views. The house is equipped with modern technology; Wi-Fi, 70" TV with Roku & Soundbar, central stereo, handmade light fixtures on dimmers with indirect lighting , etc. NOTE: RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE ONE WEEK OR MORE IN ADVANCE. We do not accept last minute bookings. There is an oversized Jacuzzi Spa Bath in the main bathroom. The outdoor HOT TUB is NOT AVAILABLE from January 10 - March 22.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 2:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
We travel to Taos every summer to get out of the sweltering Oklahoma heat and have found Arroyo Seco to be the perfect place to do so.
This year we found Vistas Puesta Del Sol and it didn't disappoint. We spent every evening on the upper deck, watching the beautiful sunsets unfold. Every morning, we hiked one the many trails that are literally just out the door. One of the best things about "House of the Beautiful Sun" is solitude. At 8400 feet, tucked into the mountain, you truly feel nature's embrace. It was just far enough away to provide the "peace and quiet" we sought, but close enough to "civilization" for galleries, entertainment (KTAO, High Mesa Brewery), and dining (Sabroso, Common Fire, Medley, El Meze). Michael was a great host and made it easy for us to get the feel of things.
We will be back!
Thanks for your review. I believe it will be helpful to others. You were great guests and are certainly welcome back. Make it your Mountain Retreat/Getaway. - Michael
We rented the house for the busy ski season week of Christmas to New Years. It is midway between the town of Taos and the Ski Valley. The house has absolutely amazing views! It is up a mountain road, which provides the great views, but believe the owner when he tells you that a 4 wheel drive is required. We have a 4 wheel drive and due to the amount of snow had to dig out and use chains several times. The driveway is very steep, but a second parking pull out that is not as steep was available and we parked there. The house is very well equipped and we cooked all of our dinners there after skiing. Sunrise, sunset and star gazing were just outstanding. A beautiful and remote feeling spot to be sure. The owner provides extensive and detailed information regarding everything in the house. The home is their personal residence and they are understandably concerned about how visitors care for their home. We enjoyed our stay and just cannot say enough how great the views are! Hot tub was great also!
Thank you for your kindly review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed staying in our home.
If you have any physical impairments you will have trouble here. My wife had a hip replacement earlier in the year and was cleared for all activities by her doctor but we both had a lot of trouble getting around. The driveway is unusable (even a friend with a 4WD Lexus couldn’t get up it) and the caretaker advised us not to park on the street. The only place for us to park was up a steep narrow dirt road where we had to park at an angle, and getting things in and out of the car and up the steep path to the house was quite an adventure. The house also got uncomfortably hot during our August stay; the caretaker told us there were no screens for the windows and flies, several hummingbirds and a chipmunk all got in through the open windows and sliding door. If you are young and fit and have a 4WD you won't have any problems but we had to leave a week early because we couldn't cope with the obstacles.
The property was obviously not a good match for this retired couple, although we, ourselves, are retired - but used to a mountain lifestyle. We have no trouble whatsoever using the driveway with our all wheel drive Subaru, or parking lower down at an angle. We were not aware of this guest's discomfort until after they departed. This is the first time we have rented in August and now provide a fan in the bedroom. All the fly screens are available and have never been used, they are in new condition, but we didn't know they wanted them. We never use them, but they will be available in the future.
Unbelievable Views and Superb Location!
This home is in a perfect location for great views of Taos and the surrounding area. You can see all the way to the Rio Grande Gorge and beyond with some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. You have hiking either direction out the door. If you go up to the waterfall, be sure to take the trail that goes over the ridge and behind the waterfall! If you want to fish, you're 10 minutes from the Rio Hondo. Taos is magical place and this house is a great place to stay when you visit. There were two of us plus two dogs and two guests, but everything worked out great. The kitchen is well appointed and there's a gas grill when you want to cook out. We ate nearly ever meal "at home" while we were there. This is a very comfortable and cosy house and we really enjoyed our stay. We will be back!
Thanks for your helpful and glowing review. We're glad you chose our house for your 3 week Summer holiday. You are most welcome to return next year. - Michael Levy
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this beautiful home! The views are simply breath-taking and it is obvious the home was thoughtfully designed with the scenery in mind. The sun coming up in the mornings, across the fields of snow was amazing. Then in the evenings, we had twinkling lights with beautiful sunsets. The radiant heat floors and wood-burning stove were such a treat during our chilly visit. We love to cook and had all the amenities we needed to have yummy dinners and family time. There is a handbook for the various equipment in the home, that is very easy to understand. We were fortunate to have beautiful snow while we were here, which made for great snow play of all sorts; skiing, hiking, and just general outdoor play. The hike to the waterfall is worthwhile, even in the winter! We love a winter vacation and this home is perfect! It is close enough to major attractions, such as Taos and the ski valley, but far enough away, that you are out of the hustle and bustle.There are several great places to eat in Arroyo Seco, if you want to stay close to home. We would happily stay here again.
Thank you for generous and helpful review. Yes, you are perfectly welcome to stay again!
Comfortable Seclusion With Awesome Views!
Waking at this home is an event, not just another morning. Press a button from the king-sized bed, the shades rise and a huge expanse of northern New Mexico appears before you. Head downstairs to the kitchen, which has an equally good view, and grab an espresso or coffee from the Gaggia espresso machine and it’s a fabulous way to start the day!
Retreat back to one of three decks with a glass of wine or hit the hot tub and it’s a great way to end a busy day.
Our family of four greatly enjoyed our stay at this home. It is comfortable, has an interesting design and extremely well equipped. We didn’t do much cooking but the kitchen clearly has enough to prepare a large meal to serve a big group. The beds were good, linens comfortable and bathrooms large. The master bath is huge. The second bedroom is on a lower level and essentially part of a home office – somewhat tight and the view isn’t quite as good.
Arryo Seco is a great local location from which to base exploration of the area. The house is up the end of a long dirt road providing seclusion yet Taos and Taos Ski Valley are both within 20 minutes. There are hikes literally out the front door. We loved the greeting by the neighborhood dogs whenever we arrived home!
Due to a late arrival we were unable to meet with the owner but he provided very clear instructions regarding directions, use of the home and turned on the lights so we could easily find the house. Inside, all is labeled clearly and the owner provides a very easy-to-understand handbook on the use of the house and area destinations, stores and attractions. Great house, great host and fantastic location. We hope to be back!
Sorry we missed meeting you. You seem like the perfect guests to stay at our house. We hope you can come back another time.
Take a half hour walk or snowshoe through the forest to the waterfall right from the door. Hike up Canoncito Trail (3 minutes away) through the aspen groves and cross the mountain stream six times. Ski or Mountain Bike at Taos Ski Valley 15 minutes away. Snuggle up in front of the stone fireplace at Sabrosa bar 2 miles away, listen to live music, and delight in appetizers. Take a drive and tour Taos Pueblo Indian Reservation, or the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge 500' above the river. Cast your line trout fishing.
Lay in the hammocks looking straight up watching the tall slender pines sway in while listening to the wind in the trees. Have dinner outside on the upper deck and catch one of the most spectacular sunsets you have ever seen. Laze in the hot tub and see more stars than you have in a long, long time. Enjoy!
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
4X4 FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (4WD) VEHICLE necessary to access property immediately after 8"+ snow storm