Something to Talk About
It seemed like everyone in town had a two degrees of Julia Roberts story. Unfortunately, most of the second-hand stories painted the Oscar winner as a diva: Don’t look her in the eye… She never signs autographs… Don’t dare acknowledge that she’s famous. The first person I met with an actual Roberts story worked at the hotel I called home while in Taos, the rustically regal El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa, a tucked-away sanctuary that’s both upscale and down to earth, much like the actress herself.
“Oh Julia, she almost ran me off the road,” he says. He explained how the actress came bounding around a mountain turn and nearly hit him—although she did give a friendly wave in apology. “She seemed nice,” he says. I could sense I was getting closer.
El Monte Sagrado has something else in common with Roberts: It was green before it was cool to go green. Partly powered by solar panels, the 11-acre property, which is made largely from non-toxic and recycled materials, collects and reuses rainwater and has its own water purification and geothermal heating and cooling systems. And this eco-vibe goes property-wide: the pool and hot tub are chlorine-free; the award-winning spa features vegan pedicures and organic products; and the property’s De La Tierra restaurant serves up locally grown and organic food. It even has a “Sacred Circle,” blessed land that’s hosted weddings and Deepak Chopra.