Gorgeous, recently redesigned year-round pool and hot tub
Breathtaking views of the Organ Mountains and sun-kissed Mesilla Valley
Azul Nightclub & Lounge serves delicious bar snacks and well-crafted cocktails
What To Know
Hotel is in a busy area amid malls and shopping centers — convenient but not especially charming
It’s a popular venue for weddings and conventions, so it can feel a little busy at times
There’s self-parking only, but it’s free, and there’s plenty of it
Parking on site
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Spanish Colonial–inspired desert oasis with a snazzy pool terrace and the hippest cocktail bar in town
Built in 1986 as a Hilton, this seven-story property looks like any other upscale business hotel from the outside, but the extensive common areas, including lushly landscaped gardens and terraces and the tiled lobby with its gurgling three-tiered fountain, have been warmly designed in classic Spanish Colonial style.
Bed and Bath
The hotel’s 204 spacious guestrooms and suites are decorated in vibrant textiles and custom-made Spanish Colonial furnishings: wrought iron lamps, carved headboards, chunky painted armoires. Executive rooms, all on the top floor and with the best views, have added perks, including iPod docks and fluffy robes. Rooms facing east look out at the dramatic Organ Mountains, while those facing west view the valley, city and the resort’s beautiful pool area. All rooms have free WiFi and coffeemakers, blackout drapes (very useful in this region, which receives 330 days of sunshine annually), either a King or Double bed with plush pillows and shams, well-designed work spaces, and shower-tub combos in the perfectly adequate but unremarkable bathrooms.
The closest thing you’ll find to an urban resort in southern New Mexico, the Encanto de las Cruces has a stunning, recently redesigned rectangular pool and hot tub flanked by swaying palm trees and cloistered by a stone wall. Two rows of chaise longues with umbrellas line each side of the pool, and guests can hold court in several elegant seating areas, some of them shaded and one facing an outdoor fireplace. The recently updated 700-square-foot fitness center has state-of-the-art equipment and overlooks a picturesque garden. The Mercedez Salon & Day Spa is situated on-site and offers hair and beauty services, massages and body wraps. Popular with families, the reasonably priced Garduno’s Restaurant and Cantina serves classic New Mexican fare, such as blue corn enchiladas and red chile carne adovada. The Azul Nightclub & Lounge has both a slick indoor bar and a breezy, attractively landscaped patio; it’s geared mainly to the city’s night owls and scenesters. Sophisticated tapas and desserts (try the Godiva chocolate crème brûlée) are served alongside such innovative cocktails as the Utopia, which features Plymouth gin, fresh lemon juice and strawberries, and lemongrass syrup.
In the Area
Take the 10-minute drive southwest to Old Town Mesilla, the region’s cultural and historic center, anchored by a picturesque plaza flanked by 19th-century adobe buildings that now house art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Stop by the excellent Bean Café for artisanal espresso drinks and light lunch fare, or the touristy but fun La Posta de Mesilla for authentic Mexican food that employs fiery green chiles from the nearby town of Hatch — and to sample the largest tequila selection in the area. Other highlights nearby include the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, which has kid-friendly indoor and outdoor exhibits, and Aguirre Springs and Organ Mountains National Recreation Area, which is a 25-minute drive east of town and offers some of the most spectacular hiking in southern New Mexico. Las Cruces is also a good base for visiting the colorful border city of El Paso, just a 40-minute drive south, and White Sands National Monument, with its 275 square miles of otherworldly sand dunes, just under an hour’s drive east.
Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces
705 S Telshor Blvd
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
How to Get There
Driving directions from Las Cruces International Airport:
Head west on Zia Blvd toward Harry Burrel Blvd.
Turn left at Crawford Blvd.
Turn left to merge onto I-10 E.
Take exit 140 for NM-28 N/Ave de Mesilla.
Turn left at NM-28 N.
Turn left at NM-478 N.
Turn right at E Lohman Ave/NM-342 E. Continue to follow E Lohman Ave.
Turn right at S Telshor Blvd.
Make a U-turn and proceed to Hotel Encanto at 705 S Telshor Blvd.