If you ever make it south of Gallup to the Zuni pueblo, there is but one place to spend the night. Literally, there is only one place. It is the very historic and quite quaint Inn at Halona, located in the heart of the Zuni pueblo.
The Zuni pueblo is one of the oldest continually occupied pueblos in the United States, having been started roughly a thousand years ago. Today, the thick pueblo walls and dirt roads evoke images of life back then, before electricity, automobiles, or most of the modern conveniences that we enjoy today. The Zuni pueblo is steeped in the ancestral traditions and the residents embrace the lifestyle of their revered forefathers. Many residents of Zuni create beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry, handmade pottery and carved fetishes for their own personal use, as well as to generate their own income.
The Inn at Halona was established in 1903 as a trading post with the Zuni pueblo. The present store opened in 1910 –it was purchased for one thousand sheep! The store’s actual building was erected in 1866. Located just east of the store, The Inn at Halona now occupies the second story of the original historic home and all of the new residence built in 1940.
The buildings have been modernized and turned into a two-building bed and breakfast. Many artifacts and decorations at the Inn at Halona are part of the family’s personal collection and stretch back to the beginning of the trading post. There are only eight rooms – each decorated uniquely with Native American art.
Outside guests can enjoy decks and courtyards, a nice little koi pond, and lots of seating on the patio – all the ingredients for a relaxing, restful stay in Zuni. The Inn was refurbished in 2013, and the beds are comfortable with spotless linens.
The true story of the Inn at Halona, however, is not the actual buildings. It is in the personal attention and amazing service provided by Roger Thomas and his team. A Frenchman by birth, Roger has been in residence at the Inn since 1974, and he and his late wife spent countless hours making this inn seem more like a comfortable home for guests rather than a typical bland hotel. A stocked kitchen in each building offers beverages and munchies for the late night snack attack, and breakfast is lovingly prepared to order from a fairly extensive list of options.
So the next time you find yourself in western New Mexico, wander down to Zuni (about an hour south of Gallup) and explore the Zuni Pueblo and meet some of the wonderfully friendly Zuni residents. If you do decide to spend the night, make sure you have a reservation at the Halona Inn and say hello to Roger for me. We can’t wait to return!