The few hotels in Los Alamos cater primarily to visiting engineers, which is a shame considering the city’s proximity to Valles Caldera National Preserve—it’s a handy place to bunk if you want to get an early start on a hike.
One very pleasant place, Pueblo Canyon Inn (199 San Ildefonso Rd., 505/662-9200, www.liferesources.com, $85 d), does give you ample opportunity to enjoy the town’s beautiful setting, as it sits on a big lot of tall junipers and cedars on the north mesa. It’s a very spacious, comfortably furnished house, with great views from the back hot tub and upstairs rooms.
Otherwise, the chain hotels are all decent, but you should make reservations in case there’s a conference going on.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition