The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa is located just north of Albuquerque and south of Santa Fe, serenely situated on sacred lands of the Santa Ana Pueblo. With the spectacular Sandia Mountains as its backdrop, Tamaya offers guests a peaceful tranquility in a luxury resort setting.
"You just don't get there by accident," I heard one local resident explain. "You have to know you want to be there." That's because the road that leads to the entrance of the Tamaya Hyatt resort is a narrow, winding one-lane road with few lights to help guide the way at night. At first I thought I was lost or took a wrong turn, but after a couple miles in the desert darkness, I finally came upon the main entrance, an adobe pueblo village that blended in effortlessly with its terrain.
The Corn Maiden is rightfully considered to be Tamaya's signature restaurant and is named after the revered symbol of the Santa Ana Pueblo. The cuisine is a fusion of regional seasonings with hints of global flavors. Dining at The Corn Maiden can be entertaining if you should chose to be seated at the Chef's Table – actually a bar-like counter. Here you can observe the operations of a large exhibition kitchen and the tremendous skill that goes into cooking and plating each dish. The other more traditional choice is to opt for white-linen table service in one of the dining rooms.
Best bargain: "Rotisserie Thursday"
I was celebrating my son's acceptance on a PhD program at Northwestern University, and together, we decided that the Thursday night rotisserie special at the Corn Maiden was the best way to honor the occasion. Besides, with menu prices definitely on the high-end and me not being on an expense account, the ability to cap our dining celebration was definitely a deciding factor on where we went.
The Thursday night special is a three-course menu featuring their signature rotisserie dinners of meat, fowl and fish. They are custom skewered, spit-fired and served with fresh seasonal vegetables along with three different condiments of peach chutney, cactus jam, and mole. (The peach chutney is the best!) The meal also includes a complimentary glass of Canvas wine, a salad, and a “Chef’s Choice” dessert. Plus, there is a bread basket at the beginning of the meal consisting of breadsticks, jalapeno corn muffins, blue corn biscuits, along with an heirloom tomato red wine reduction jam. Complimentary valet service is provided.
Rotisserie choices include meat, fowl, and fish
Each rotisserie selection includes three proteins with appropriately descriptive names: The Corn Maiden Classic “k’uchininak’u,” The Ocean “tsitsi kutaasruma,” The Range “sratyii tsatya,” and The Earth and Water “tyini kaisrpitra ku tsitsi.”
My son chose “The Range” which featured herb-rubbed buffalo tenderloin, chipotle orange marinated duck breast and cinnamon peppercorn-rubbed pork loin. I chose “The Earth and Water” which included sweet chile- glazed Ahi tuna, chipotle orange marinated duck breast and citrus jumbo shrimp. But I had a caveat: Could I substitute the duck breast for the green chile-rubbed beef rib eye? (I’m really not a fan of duck). My waitress responded, “No problem.”
The Chef’s Choice for dessert was a flourless chocolate torte, the same selection when we visited several months earlier. Being one of those few unfortunate souls who really don’t like chocolate, I asked if there were options other than the popular chocolate. The response somewhat surprised me as I was told I could order alternative desserts from the menu. I decided to stick with the dessert included with the meal, requesting that they be boxed to go. After all, I knew my son would enjoy a second helping of chocolate.
What Worked Well
- Ambiance, aromas, great cuisine, and Chef’s Table entertainment.
- Rotisserie Thursday as a real bargain in fine-dining
- The ability to substitute meats on the entrée selection.
- Great service at dining room tables.
What Could Have Been Improved
- I’ve been here twice, having been seated in the dining room on an earlier visit and the Chef’s Table for this visit. Service is better if you choose not to sit at Chef's Table.
- The option to substitute desserts.
- Update the website to show the actual Rotisserie Thursday price of $55 per person. The website shows $49 per person and was even inaccurate when I visited three months ago.
1300 Tuyuna Trail
Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico 87004