I used to work at the Villa Philmonte; it’s a part of the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch. The ranch is just a few miles outside of Cimarron and is a fantastic place to visit. One of the main attractions that’s available for non-Scout tourists is the Villa Philmonte. The proper pronunciation is the Spanish “ve-ya” but it’s commonly known as the villa (with the L’s pronounced as L’s).
The Villa Philmonte is a large Mediterranean style villa in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The house was originally owned by Waite Phillips, but he eventually donated the house and most of Philmont to the Boy Scouts of America. The Villa is currently a museum that’s been restored to the way it looked when Waite Phillips used the house as a vacation home in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Tours run every half hour during the summer and by appointment in the off-season. Call the Philmont Museum for reservations. If you are stopping by for a tour, head to the gazebo. The house is set in beautiful grounds and surrounded by trees. The tour takes about 45 minutes to an hour and encompasses the majority of the house from the living room with grand piano and bearskin rug to the master bedroom and bathroom (complete with shower with seven showerheads) to the hunting room featuring a large bison head. Ask your tour guide for the story of the bison head; it’s a good one.
The tour guide will give you an in-depth history of the area, Waite Phillip’s life and the history of the items and artifacts in the house. The staff are well-trained and know a lot, so ask questions. Keep in mind that the Villa is a part of Philmont which is for Boy Scouts. Your group may very well include a large group of Scouts. If there are more then 2 or 3 people in your group, it’s best to make a reservation with the Philmont Museum. If it’s just 2 or 3, you can usually just tag along with larger groups. Keep in mind that you will likely be on a tour with teenage boys (all well-behaved for the most part) or possibly younger children.
You can take pictures in the house and grounds and you will want to - the house is absolutely gorgeous. [more]
Bookmark this page on: