The original Lodge Resort

The Lodge Resort in Cloudcroft is unique with a rich and interesting history, some of which includes a turn-of-the-century fire that destroyed the original structure, ghostly inhabitants, a storied past, visit by famous guests, and lots more. It’s a must visit if you’re in Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

The original log-constructed Lodge was built in 1899 by the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway as it searched the mountains for timber and railroad ties. The Lodge was an immediate success as a cool mountain retreat for thousands of overheated New Mexicans, Oklahomans, and Texans … much like ourselves.

What You’ll See at The Lodge Resort & Spa

In 1908, for a $3 round trip and $12.50 for a week’s stay at The Lodge, you could enjoy the hotel, restaurant, dancing pavilion, tennis court, golf links, bowling alley, billiard parlor, burro trips, and children’s playground. In 1909, a disastrous fire destroyed The Lodge. However, it was subsequently rebuilt in 1911 (the initial Lodge appearance remained almost unchanged) on a more scenic site.

The Lodge Resort at Cloudcroft hosted numerous famous guests including Judy Garland, Gilbert Roland, Clark Gable, and Poncho Villa. In the 1930s, Conrad Hilton managed the resort and went on to found Hilton Hotels. To this day, you can still see where Judy Garland carved her initials on the wall in the tower.

The Lodge Resort in Cloudcroft

Some of what you’ll find at The Lodge Resort include:

  • 59 finely appointed guest rooms and suites
  • a well-appointed fitness room loaded with cardiovascular equipment
  • plenty of meeting space for weddings, corporate events, or special occasions
  • Rebecca’s, a gourmet restaurant serving Southwestern and continental cuisine
  • heated outdoor pool plus a sauna and whirlpool spa
  • lawn games such as croquet, volleyball, and horseshoes
  • a spa offering a variety of services from facials to massages
  • trails connect with either the Rails to Trails or the Lincoln National Forest trails.
  • a fantastic 9-hole links style golf course

Dinner at Rebecca’s at The Lodge Resort

We had dinner at Rebecca’s Restaurant, named after The Lodge Resort’s resident ghost. Like The Lodge itself, there is some interesting history behind Rebecca’s dating back to the 1900’s.

Legend has it that a beautiful young chambermaid with striking blue eyes and shocking red hair disappeared shortly after her lumberjack lover found her in the arms of another man. There are those that swear Rebecca’s ghost still wanders the halls of this historic hotel. She allegedly makes doors mysteriously open and close, ashtrays slide across tables, and the fireplace spontaneously ignite. Of course, she’s also responsible for other unexplained incidents. I could swear I heard her whisper in my ear, “Have another margarita.”

dinner at rebecca's

Rebecca’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. They also serve an elaborate Sunday brunch. The Lodge’s award-winning chef serves some excellent Southwestern and continental cuisine.

We had a fantastic meal that included:

  • 2 cheese-filled chili rellenos fried in a delicious batter with a sour cream sauce and delicious pico
  • red chili chicken soup
  • a made-from-scratch and created-at-our-table Caesar Salad with all-fresh ingredients
  • a delicious pasta
  • the best New Zealand lamb chops I’ve ever had – 4 double chops, cooked to perfection with a Dijon mustard chili crust. It was to die for!
chili rellenos
Rebecca's chef serving our Caesar Salad
Lamb chops at Rebeccas in Cloudcroft

Rebecca’s Banana Foster

Though we were stuffed, our mouths watered as we watched the waiter at the table next to us prepare huge portions of Bananas Foster. Imagine the smell of the butter cooking with rum, brown sugar, and cinnamon. It drove me crazy! And when the waiter lit it on fire and poured it over two big scoops of ice cream, I just about went bananas.

Banana Fosters at Rebecca's

Jonathon, our waiter, was superb. He almost talked us into letting him prepare one for us, but I heard Rebecca whisper in my ear, “Don’t do it! Your belt is on its last notch.”

What a great evening. We enjoyed delicious food, excellent service, great margaritas, cool setting, and a stunning sunset at The Lodge Resort!

Golf At the Lodge Resort

The Lodge Resort Golf Course was built in 1899. That’s just 12 years after the first golf course in the United States introduced the game to America. Later, The in the early 1900s, they rebuilt the course in what was a cabbage patch in Chautauqua Canyon. The original nine holes played back and forth down the two ends of the wishbone canyon, which turned out to be a little dangerous as the course became more popular.

In 1950, they redesigned the course to facilitate play in a circle instead of back and forth down the same fairways. At 9000 feet, The Lodge Golf Course is one of the highest in the United States. The elevation sure helps my drive go a little farther, but it had no impact on my ball going straighter. I consistently heard it ricocheting off the trees and scaring the squirrels!

Golfers play by the old Scottish tradition of different tees and different flags on each hole. That gives players the feel and challenge of 18 holes. On the first tee, I heard Rebecca whisper, “Leave the driver in the bag and don’t use a new golf ball.”

No. 1 hole at The Lodge Golf Course
1st and 9th hole at The Lodge Resort golf course
The Lodge Resort Golf Course in Cloudcroft

If you’re planning a visit to Cloudcroft, you’ve got to stop by The Lodge Resort for “Margarita Mondays” or “Prime Rib Thursdays.” You’ll also want to play a round a golf, get a spa treatment, and have a delicious meal at Rebecca’s. Or, spend the night in one of their unique guest rooms that offer you a tantalizing blend of history, charm, and allure. Each room has a diverse array of antique or antique reproduction furnishings, and no two rooms are alike.

Learn more about The Lodge Golf Course here.

Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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