The hotel is actually made up of several adobe houses dating back to the 1800’s, which were built around a small plaza with a central well, now a fountain in the middle of the hotel’s lobby.
Dr.Thomas Paul Martin came to Taos in the 1890’s as the county’s first (and only) physician. He bought the largest of the houses, now the restaurant. His wife Helen was the sister-in-law of Bert Phillips and it was in the Martin’s dining room that Phillips and Ernest Blumenschein founded the Taos Society of Artists.
The Martins bought more of the houses over the years and rented them out to writers and artists. When the only hotel in Taos burned down the same year Martin died, Helen bought the last remaining house on the plaza and in 1936, The Hotel Martin opened. Later owners renamed it The Taos Inn and added the neon Thunderbird sign. In 1982 the Inn was placed on the National and State Registers of Historical Places.
History aside, The Inn remains Taos’ central gathering place and hosts live music throughout the year. In the summers the patio is packed day and night. In fact this is the spot for people watching year round.