If You Build It

If You Build It

My name is: Matt Rembe.

I’m known for being: Jack of all trades and master of none.

I'm talking about: The Hacienda Spa at Los Poblanos, designed by John Gaw Meem in 1932 and opened as a spa in July 2021.

You can find it at: On our little 25-acre farm called Los Poblanos, nestled in the heart of the Rio Grande River Valley in Los Ranchos, New Mexico.

Before launching the spa, I was: Fighting for survival on behalf of my family and our dedicated Los Poblanos employees, for our business to persevere through the challenges that COVID presented. It was a dire time that demanded an aspirational project that would lift our spirits and transform our hospitality model to be healthier and more resilient.   

What inspired me to launch it was: It started with the collaborative work of our management team on a leadership retreat in Taos just prior to the pandemic. We agreed that we should strive to align our company culture with our customers’ craving for more transformational experiences centered around physical and mental well-being. While we typically take on all interior design internally at Los Poblanos, we were fortunate to have worked with two local, talented designers who happened to have a deep love and understanding of Los Poblanos.

 

This space is meaningful to me because: Strangely enough, the Hacienda is my childhood home. It’s truly one of the most beautiful spaces in New Mexico. Its beauty, scale, sense of place, proportions, textures, flow and craftsmanship helped shape who I am and had a profound impact on the way I see the world. As we are dedicated to historic preservation, it was important to find an ideal use for the Hacienda that minimized impact on the building and maximized the beautify and tranquility of the space. 

What happens there is: It’s now a serene spa dedicated to body treatments, pure relaxation and natural skincare, leveraging the organic botanicals grown in the gardens and fields of the historic farm estate.

What makes it special is: It was the home I grew up in from age 7, together with my parents and three siblings. The feedback from our spa guests is that it’s sublime, a singular spa experience.

One thing you can’t miss is: Our seasonal facials change every few months and are crafted with our climate and seasonal habits in mind. And the herbal poultice massage uses nutrient-rich seasonal plants, flowers and herbs—some of which are foraged from our own fields. Relaxing in the Sala Grande lounge before or after a treatment and watching how the desert light changes as it dances across the white, hand-plastered walls and carved wooden vigas is magical.

My favorite secret detail is: The Hacienda was designed by John Gaw Meem, who has been long considered New Mexico’s most important architect. He’s famous for combining traditional regional architecture with twentieth century sensibilities, and crafted his own style called Territorial Revival. The thick adobe walls, changing patterns and textures on ceilings and floors from room to room, cozy alcoves and attention to ventilation are all classic Meem details. While it’s not a secret detail, I love to pause and notice the floor-to-ceiling details and transition from the Sala Grande to the courtyard entryway. The Meem details in that space alone are outstanding. And the triple thick adobe walls with deep window insets and uneven plaster in the Sala Grande are stunning details.

Our spaces are so important, especially in this time, because: If done well, they connect you to a place in profound way. New Mexico has the oldest and some of most beautiful architecture in the country, and these spaces have a soul that needs to be experienced.

The the work we do can help you live your process because: The beauty in abundance is sublime and our team has worked to create beauty through the spaces, the experiences and their commitment to craftsmanship. Whether that’s culinarily in our restaurant, experientially in our guest rooms and overlooking agricultural fields, physically walking the grounds and gardens, while using our artisan lavender products or luxuriating in well-being at the spa—experiencing the space at Los Poblanos is truly unparalleled.

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