Because Taos is awash in centuries-old houses with impressive cultural and historic pedigrees, bed-and-breakfasts have thrived, even to the exclusion of proper hotels, which are typically of the generic chain variety.
For those skeptical of B&Bs, don’t despair: The majority of them have private bathrooms, separate entrances, and not too much country-cute decor. Certainly, just as in Santa Fe, the Southwest decor can be applied with a heavy hand, but wood-burning fireplaces, well-stocked libraries, hot tubs, and big gardens can make up for that.
Also consider staying outside of Taos proper. Arroyo Seco and Arroyo Hondo are about a half-hour drive from the plaza, and some inns in these two communities, as well as in Ranchos de Taos to the south, offer excellent value.
In the summer, the condos near the ski valley cut their prices by almost half—a great deal if you want to spend some time hiking in the canyon and don’t mind driving into town for food and entertainment.
If you’re arriving in town without a car, a few good budget choices are served by Taos’s Chile Line bus, which caters to skiers in the winter, from down on the southern end of town all the way up to the ski valley.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition