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Get away from Big D to the Austing Haus B&B for a winter getaway in Taos, NM

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Austing Haus B&B, Taos, New Mexico

Catch a weekend flight out of Dallas for some powdery snow and a quiet mountain chalet in an alpine setting.

Friendly. Comfortable. Convenient. Think about your past ski trips. If you add these three elements together, you get a perfect vacation. So go ahead, check off these elements on your wish list for ski vacation lodging. An ideal formula for planning a ski trip to Taos, New Mexico, begins by checking out the Austing Haus Bed and Breakfast in the remote, laid-back Taos Ski Village.

A cool 70s timber frame lodge, the Austing Haus has an old-school alpine feel and sits only a little over a mile from the slopes. When driving into the ski valley, it's the first lodging you come to on the left, making it easy to find.

The Austing Haus is a B&B but structurally more of a small motel. Two floors are lined with about ten rooms each all facing the parking lot and beautiful alpine scenery. Rooms open into a glass-walled hallway so you're never short of a view.

Upstairs rooms are a favorite of families because kids love the ladder loft. Lofts either have two twin beds or one queen-sized bed. Most of the downstairs rooms have two queen beds. Rooms are all equipped with a microwave and small fridge and most have a fireplace.

A large breakfast area sits upstairs with huge windows on almost every wall. When the sun is shining just right, the effect of the rays on the decorative stained glass throughout the room is beautiful.

There's no excuse not to leave the complimentary breakfast with a full belly by the way. Breakfast eaters have their choice of several cereals, French pastries and bread, waffles, and something warm from the kitchen like country eggs. There's of course coffee, juice, tea bags and hot chocolate packs. Breakfast is convenient and filling for skiers who are off for some serious calorie burning. You'll want to get up and at 'em because breakfast is only served from 7:30 to 9:30 am.

If you're not a skier there is a great trail behind the Austing Haus perfect for hiking or snowshoeing. Go a little or a long ways and even bring the dogs.

In the evening, soak your tired muscles in the indoor hot tub, sit by the fire, or relax in the breakfast area with games or a good book. Eat dinner at the slopes or take the short drive into Arroyo Seco. Or, if you're not too tired, drive the 18 miles back into Taos for dinner.

Dinner options:

Stray Dog Cantina, Taos Ski Valley, open till 9 pm - try the Green Chili or the Navajo Taco

Sabroso Restaurant and Bar, Arroyo Seco, open till 10 pm - sit in the bar for a more casual experience, order up the green chili chowder or the fish tacos

Saber by Antonio's, inside La Fonda on the Taos plaza, open till 9 pm; order up the spicy posole, poblano cream chowder, or the mashed potato flautas. Make sure to save room for tres leches cake.

Austing Haus is smoke free and pet friendly. Call 800-748-2932 for the reservation line. Rates run from $79 plus (depending on the number of guests per room) in the off-season to $189 plus in high season.

Austing Haus, like the slopes is at a high elevation and gets plenty of powdery snow. Some snow seasons are better than others, but skiers rave over the overall quality. Like the B&B, the slopes are not corporate owned and have a cozy, down-home feel.

Keep in mind, people don't come to Taos Ski Valley for corporate-run lodging and skiing. In other words, it's not uptown Dallas or Vail for that matter. Taos Village is known for the ski experience and for the warm, casual atmosphere, and friendly quaint style. Intimate. Quirky. Funky. Fun.

Come to the Austing Haus with the family, a group of ski buddies, or for a girlfriend getaway. The stay is cozy with just enough fun and adventure nearby.

Dallasites can get to the Taos Ski Valley via flights into Santa Fe and then driving a short hour or so into Taos. The Austing Haus is about 18 miles from Taos on the Taos Ski Valley Road.

Check out flight deals with American Eagle and US Airways.

Kudos to Bobby Slade, one of the Austing Haus owners, and his staff for making guests feel welcome.

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