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Four Wheel Drive (4X4) required in Winter
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vistas puesta del sol
House of the Beautiful Sunsets
208
el salto road
Arroyo Seco, New Mexico 87514


THE RESIDENCE OF MICHAEL LEVY
Designed and Built by Michael T. Levy


Nestled among the giant pine trees


The western facade



Third and fourth level balconies

the house
Vistas Puesta del Sol, known as "House of the Beautiful Sunsets" is a Contemporary Pueblo Style Alpine Chalet, designed and built by Award Winning Architect/Owner Michael T. Levy.  Numerous hand crafted details fill this unique home.  Gently tucked into the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the home commands a panoramic view of more than 80 miles, including the colorful Rio Grande Valley, and as far away as Abiquiu.  This property is truly one of a kind in the Taos/Arroyo Seco area - perhaps anywhere.

Prominently situated at 8400 feet elevation, the home is bordered by the Taos Pueblo Indian Reservation, the Spanish Land Grant Wilderness, and the Carson National Forest.  From your front door, this tranquil and enticing setting promises many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including nature walks, mountain hiking, biking cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  It is a very cozy, private, quiet and tasteful retreat, surrounded by mature hemlock, fir, oak and cedar trees, only 10 minutes walk to a spectacular waterfall, or the Zen Buddhist Meditation Center.  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.

The design is a two story split-level with four distinct floors.  A 6 foot handcrafted wooden hot tub is located on the ground floor deck, with a private seating area, complete with outdoor fire pit.  On the first level you will find a bedroom with Queen size bed with a 2" memory foam pad. The second level has a one car enclosed garage with garage door opener.  The third floor is the heart of this superb home.  The Great Room comprises the main living area of the house and opens, through the 9 foot window wall, onto a lighted deck with ample seating, sublime views and a gas barbeque.  From its well-appointed gourmet kitchen and dining area, you have a sumptuous view of the living area, with its wood burning stove and seating area, containing a Leather Queen Size sleeper sofa.  The walls of the main living area are decorated with original art, musical instruments, and artifacts from Africa, Australia, and other exotic ports.  Golden ceilings of tongue and groove Idaho Pine, counter-pointed by Italian tile floors, throughout, are complimented by collectible furnishings.   The Main Suite is located on the top fourth floor.  The designer bath and dressing room, features twin hand painted Mexican sinks, a shower enclosed with glass on three sides, and an oversized Jacuzzi bathtub facing a picture window with a view of the tree tops.   The Owner’s Suite opens onto a deck fronting the entire room and offers the most spectacular views of the valley, with a popular outdoor dining spot.   The suite itself has, as its central focus, The Sky Bed, which was custom designed and built by the owner.  There is an Entertainment Center located in the corner of the bedroom with a 47” Flat screen television, and Home Theatre Audio System with docking capabilities for an I-Pod.

Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does.  The whole house features skylights, central stereo wired into every room (I-Pod compatible), indirect lighting on dimmer switches, energy efficient Hunter Douglas Window coverings, and many more features too numerable to mention.

Backyard



Frontyard, view toward Southwest

 


Autumn view to northwest from the top (4th) floor balcony



Third level deck off the kitchen/dining room

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Outside stairs from parking area



Sunset dining on the top deck

 


Pueblo style decorative ladder


View to the south from the main bedroom deck (4th level)



Real Men barbeque!

Built-In 4 Burner Central Propane Barbeque


Night Lighting



Night view with city lights and moon in background



Exterior light fixtures

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LIVING, DINING, KITCHEN


View from living room across the tree tops to the Rio Grande Valley 1000 feet below

 


The living room with Danish woodstove and built-in wood storage box
Central Stereo to every room, iPod compatible


Dining Area


The kitchen: pot rack and wine rack



Kitchen food preparation island and appliance garage in background
Dishwaher, Trash Compactor, Convection Oven, Microwave, Toaster Oven, Glass Range

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View from kitchen to the laundry closet with washer and dryer, stairway in background


Laundry closet, stairway, and skylight
Plants watered automatically with drip irrigation timer


THE MAIN BEDROOM


Main bedroom headboard of hand rubbed aspen latillas

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SKY BED AT NIGHT

The sleeping place, at the pinnacle of the home, has a panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley, which eliminates the necessity of window shades for privacy.  The design attempts to create a blend of the rustic comfort of Southwest Style, combined with the pristine aesthetic of Japanese Landscaping.  The lighting cove beneath an overhanging platform gives a soft, indirect, ambient light in the room, with a glow similar to candlelight, without the fire risk and inconvenience.  The white marble river rock, imported from Indonesia, serves as a lighting reflector/diffuser.  The stones are intended to give a 'grounded' feel to the airy bed platform, and provide a sculpture of endless delight and imagination.  The total effect is intended to render the sleeping place as a sacred space.



"Resting in the bed, one floats in a pool of light, on a river of dreams"





Center window view (1 of 8) from the bed in winter



Left window view from the bed in winter


Bedroom View across the valley to Abiquu (72 miles away) in Summer


THE MAIN BATHROOM

 


Main bathroom with sinks at left, Jacuzzi bath in center and exterior glass block wall shower at right



Twin Mexican hand-painted sinks



The view from the bathtub window

 


Massive storage in the Closet

 


Reflection in the bathroom mirror, with orchid

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Night view in the main bathroom



Toilet partition in main bathroom



Twin sinks and cabinetry



The hand painted sinks


HOT TUB ENVIRONMENT


Birds-eye view of the 6' diameter x 4' deep hot tub with cover rolled off



Hot tub with roll-top cover on

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SUNSET PHOTOS TAKEN FROM THE BALCONY
For more sunset photos, goto:  MY SUNSETS WEBPAGE



The extinct volcano in Abiquu, 72 miles distant, taken with a 10X zoom lens


The Pedernal at 5X zoom, Tres Orejas (Three Ears) at left middleground


Southwest Sizzler



Northwest Reverie



Here, the sky is the ocean



Shooting the sunsets


170 degree panorama from top deck

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the neighborhood
The property is located in the alpine forest at 8400 feet above sea level.  Four Wheel drive (4x4) is required in during the Winter.  It is cool and pleasant in the summer and blessed with abundant beautiful snowfall in the winter.  Located near the end of a mountain road, it is very private and quiet with minimal car traffic, but numerous chipmunks and birds, including hummingbirds.  We have unseen neighbors, but as you walk or drive down El Salto Road to Arroyo Seco, you overlook the Indian Pueblo on your left, the gurgling mountain stream on your right, and large open spaces, horses, ponds, and tipis as well as grander houses and local adobe homes, and, if you're lucky, the wild buffalo herd (see photo)!  You can hike or cross-country ski on 3 trails that begin right from our door.  A little ways down the road begins the georgeous Canoncito Trail which proceeds up a narrow canyon, crossing the mountain stream many times through groves of Aspen trees, wild strawberries, and rock formations (see photos).  The easist 12 minute walk through the forest leads you to the El Salto waterfall plunging 50' from a cliff, with a cave behind it.  This is actually the bottom waterfall in a chain of seven!

Taos is reknown for its Artist Colony with an abundance of art galleries and stunning mountain landscapes (see photos).   Nearby is world-class Taos Ski Valley (see trailmap photo) consistently ranked in the Top Ten Ski Resorts of North America and home of the Number One ranked Ski School in the USA.  This is a fascinating tri-cultural community (Anglo, Hispanic, & Native American).  Only 2 miles from the house is the charming mountain village of Arroyo Seco (see photos) with art galleries; boutiques; restaurants; and according to "Bon Appetit" magazine, Taos Cow Emporium with ice cream that rates in the top 10 in the USA.  The Town of Taos features numerous fine restaurants, delicious New Mexican cuisine, as well as lots of world-class music, concerts, and artistic happenings almost every night of the week!

Taos is only 70 miles from the world reknowned City of Santa Fe, New Mexico which is delightful to visit for its outstanding museums, galleries, and gourmet restaurants.  Taos is located on the "Enchanted Circle" - a 2 hour drive through the high country with gorgeous mountain scenery passing thru the towns of Angel Fire, Eagles Nest Lake, and Red River.

Resources:
   TAOS VACATION GUIDE,    TAOS INDIAN PUEBLO,   TAOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,   REAL TRAVEL GUIDE,   THE TAOS NEWS,   TAOS SKI VALLEY


Sunset with full moon looking to the property from Arroyo Seco



ARROYO SECO - my little mountain town, two miles below
Check out the Taos Cow, with Gourmet Magazine's Top Ten Best Ice Cream in USA



Waterfall, 12 minutes walk



Some neighbors on the Taos Pueblo Indian Reservation along El Salto Road



The wild buffalo herd on the Pueblo - from El Salto Road



The Canoncito Trail - 2 minutes from the house



Nearby trail up Canoncito (little canyon) crosses the mountain stream many times

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El Salto (The Waterfall) mountain in winter



Northern New Mexico Delights



Nother One



Full moon rise over the Rio Grande Gorge at sunset



Big Sky Country



A sizzler



The Rio Grande Gorge "Taos Box" whitewater rafting locale

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Taos Mountain in Winter




Taos Mountain in Winter at Sunset



The Taos Pueblo Indian Reservation


St. Jerome Church at Taos Pueblo


San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos


Trail map of TAOS SKI VALLEY

MY SKIING WEBPAGE

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local attractions
Tourist Info
Country Club

Restaurants
Shopping
Galleries/Museums
Theaters
Health Clubs
Forests
Mountains
Rivers
Fishing

Biking
Hiking
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Cross-country skiing
Whitewater Rafting

amenities at our house
Exceptional Panoramic Views
Quiet, Serene, Privacy in the Alpine Forest at the end of a two mile, dead-end Mountain Road 1000 feet above the valley
WiFi High Speed Internet Connection
Wooden/Epoxy Hot Tub - 6' diameter x 4' deep
Jacuzzi Bathtub in Main Bathroom ans shower with glass block exterior wall, both with vews into the tree tops
Washer/Dryer
Dishwasher
Trash Compactor
Microwave
Fax
Danish Modern Woodstove and Radiant Floor Gas Heating
Outdoor Balcony Decks on 3 Floors
Outdoor Dining
47" HDTV with Home Theatre Sound System (iPod compatible)
Central Stereo/HiFi wired to every room - iPod compatible

conditions
Seniors, children and dogs, OK.  Remember, the altitude is 8,400 feet!
No Smoking inside
Plant Care
N.B. - IN WINTER YOUR CAR MUST BE 4WD (4x4)

the people
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 and design, cinema, the Arts, music, walking, hiking, skiing, the beach, kayaking, flying and sailing.  I designed and built the house myself.

My partner is Carole Crews; a natural builder and artist.   As a girl making mud pies in an old adobe village near Taos, New Mexico, she never imagined that her play would lead to a career, but after earning her degree in art at U.T. Austin and participating in an adobe building project in 1975, she discovered the compelling nature of clay surfaces and their possibilities as an artistic medium as well.  Carole has taught at many Natural Building Colloquia over a 15 year period and has written the definitive book on clay finishes: Clay Culture: Plasters, Paints, and Preservation.

       

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