By Kelly Vaughn Kramer | Photo by Tim Fuller
When you're working on a dream, it's best to build from the ground up. That was the case for Tom and Cheryl Rogos. A decade ago, when they left their respective banking and technology jobs, bought a parcel of land along State Route 82 in Sonoita and blueprinted a bed and breakfast, they weren't starting with much. In fact, they only had the land, a lone cowboy cabin that dated to 1929 and a whole lot of expectation. Now, they're the proprietors of Hacienda de Sonoita, their 5,000-square-foot home and B&B.
"We host visitors from all over the world," Tom says. "Many of them travel to Sonoita for the wine-tasting and horseback-riding; some are ultramarathoners who stay with us the first weekend in March and run a 50-mile race all over the area."
No matter their reason for visiting, guests are charmed by the four-bedroom B&B, which, though the couple razed the cowboy cabin, pays homage to Southern Arizona's ranching heritage. Saltillo floors, finished concrete and cowboy ephemera give the hacienda a rustic feel, while carefully appointed rooms reflect all of the comforts you'd expect to find in an upscale inn.
"People can be as private or as social as they'd like to be," Tom says. "As we planned the hacienda, we traveled to many B&Bs and tried to figure out what worked and what didn't."
Embroidered linens, private baths and carefully selected artwork and furniture characterize the small but comfortable rooms. Each of the bedrooms opens out onto the hacienda's stunning courtyard, which features both a cool, melodic water feature and expansive views of the surrounding grasslands.
Although the hacienda was built on only 5 acres, the Rogoses own 40. Many visitors hike the property, and when they head out, they never head out hungry.
Breakfast at Hacienda de Sonoita is typically served family style at 8 a.m. "Breakfasts can take anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours," Cheryl says. "People meet new friends or catch up with old ones. Sometimes we feel like we're world travelers — just listening to other people's stories."
Tom does most of the cooking, and he considers his menu "ranch style." Guests clamor for his homemade sourdough biscuits. And, often, dishes are prepared in Dutch ovens and heavy, cast-iron skillets. Those with lighter appetites will enjoy Cheryl's "world-famous" granola.
And though it's no easy task to cook for and clean up after guests, the Rogoses don't seem to mind. After all, Cheryl says, "We're living our dream."
Hacienda de Sonoita is located at 34 E. Swanson Road in Sonoita. For more information, call 520-455-5308 or visit their facebook page.