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

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

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

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
—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."

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