The sumptuous El Monte Sagrado resort in Taos, New Mexico, indulges guests with environmentally sensitive spa treatments and delicious food.

Food & Wine
December 01, 2005

El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos, New Mexico, is a model of environmental thoughtfulness, right down to the filtered rainwater in the hot tubs. Yet it still manages to be luxurious: Lovely adobe-style casitas are surrounded by pools and waterfalls; the spa offers services like lemon-verbena body polishes and individual yoga instruction. The two-year-old property is already expanding, doubling the size of its spa to 5,000 square feet, and has just installed Kevin Graham (an F&W Best New Chef 1991) as executive chef. Graham's new menu also promotes sustainability, featuring local products such as river trout from the Rio Grande, Chimayó chile powder and quail from a ranch in nearby Questa.
—Jane Sigal

Sustainable Spas

Sundara Inn & Spa Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Cambrian sand excavated during the building of the spa is used in the Sandstone Body Polish skin treatments (888-735-8181 or sundaraspa.com).

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New York During the signature Mohonk Red massage and facial, guests are slathered with oil made from locally grown witch hazel (800-772-6646 or mohonk.com).

The Crossings, Austin The resort, which uses rainwater for irrigation, offers natural Ayurvedic, Asian and European therapies like herbal wraps made from allspice, clove and ginger (877-944-3003 or thecrossingsaustin.com).
—Jen Murphy

Chef Kevin Graham's Healthy Attitudes

How he minimizes fat "I don't add a lot of fat to the pan when I cook. I use water instead of oil so food can sauté in its own fat."

Why he avoids the fridge "We tend to over-refrigerate our food. Compare the taste of a tomato at room temperature to one that's been chilled in the fridge. They're totally different."

How he keeps in shape "I walk all day long for my job. I put on a pedometer a few times and I averaged six miles a day."

Why he dislikes fad diets "I tried the no-carb diet once and was eating lots of protein. It made me feel stressed out. It's natural to eat carbohydrates."

How he stays centered "Relaxation is as important as exercise. I golf to relax."
—J.M.

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