Murder Mystery Weekend
The Lodge at Cloudcroft Serves up Mystery with Luxury
By Mara Sobral
game is afoot at The Lodge Resort & Spa in beautiful Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
And I can honestly say that this is the most fun you’ll ever have at a hotel
with your clothes on!
Like Flies” was the theme for this murder mystery, featuring a serial killer
thriller. Fourteen suspects, portrayed by a cast of 13 from The Cloudcroft
Light Opera Company, provided an exceptional and fun performance. A creatively
captivating four murders occurred, two of which transpired during dinner and
dessert! Participating guests were all included in the questioning,
investigation, interviews and clue finding. So intriguing were the murders,
clues, cast and colorful personalities that we all felt like part of the
A few of the cast and their intriguing history:
|Mia Sma Wallace
Interpol Detective. Hot and sexy with enough swagger to make even Kojak
Scottish freelance journalist, did papers on Jack the Ripper, and even
wears a kilt.
|Bobby “Big Chill” Hacker
Former football player turned writer, wrote on David Parker Ray and
Henry Lee Lucas.
Divorcee who hates pearls and home-cooked meals. Hates people named
Walter, Theodore, Eddie, Betty and Monty. Has written numerous articles
on Juarez disappearances.
Student criminologist at the Alamogordo Junior College. Family owned
ranch near the Trinity Site. Writes a popular vampire hunter series,
where the protagonist is thought to be a serial killer because no one
knows the victims are vampires.
Mystery Weekends start on Friday afternoon with a list of clues and of
crime scenes. It concludes after a fine breakfast on Sunday after participants
enter their “whodunit” sheet, which is their best guess on who committed the
murders and why.
dinners are filled with fine wine and food. The cast, in character, joined us
at our tables for dinner and circulated afterwards. Our questions were answered
with both serious and mysterious responses. Each retort could be a clue or just
a practice of wit! All characters were required to tell the truth, except for
the killer. Since we did not know who the killer was, each answer had to be
carefully scrutinized and crosschecked with other suspects.
was spent circulating at the multiple shops in Cloudcroft searching for clues
and shopping bargains! We all sought clues, others did more shopping than
clues, and several very smart ones did clues, shopping AND enjoyed the relaxing
and rejuvenating therapies of massage, facials or body wraps at The Lodge’s
“Spirit of the Mountain Spa”.
interviewed several of the cast members following Saturday‘s dinner and obtained
valuable information on solving these calculated crimes of murder. My most
interesting and quite surprising information came from the Scotsman, Roddy
Bane. Dressed in full Scottish garb, tartan great kilt, belt, sporran (belt
pouch), buckle, beret and Sgian dubh (dagger) he was an intriguing mystery man,
and even possibly the killer.
dinner, Roddy came wandering over to our table, sipping on a glass of single
malt scotch, poured from a silver flask harbored in his sporran. I decided to
finally put to rest the age-old question of what a Scotsman wears under his
kilt! When I asked, he said “nothing, of course!” He invited me to find out
for myself…so I did! And now I know. And of course, a lady never tells! I
love you Roddy Bane!
Murder Mystery Weekend came to its conclusion on Sunday morning after a
scrumptious breakfast buffet. My companion and I received the “booby prize”,
rightfully so since hours were spent in documenting our evidence to ascertain
the innocence of these 13 suspects and proving without a doubt that all these
murders were actually an unfortunate occurrence of accidental deaths! We were
unfortunately the only ones holding this opinion. The real killer was
identified by a team of novice stealth investigators who, on their first try at
a Murder Mystery Weekend, won a free trip to The Homestead Resort in Utah.
Mystery Murder Weekends at The Lodge are appropriately
placed since the spirit of Rebecca reportedly haunts this lodge. This legend
dates back to the early 1900’s and involves a beautiful young chambermaid with
striking blue eyes and shocking red hair. She disappeared from her chambers
after her lumberjack boyfriend found her in the arms of another lover. Many say
that Rebecca still wanders the halls of this historic hotel in search of a new
lover or friend who might appreciate her flirtatious and mischievous, but
There is a journal, available at the front desk, with
entries from adults and children alike, documenting their ghostly experiences of
Rebecca. Some have danced with her, other have had objects in their room
relocated or have seen mysterious flickering of lights. One such experience
entered in this journal was from a woman who saw the face of Rebecca in the
night. Rebecca told her to “love your husband and tell him so, let him know how
much he means to you”. After that she vowed to always follow Rebecca’s advice
to the best of her ability.
Murder Mysteries are not your forte, there are many more activities available.
With a relaxing and richly historic environment, The Lodge is filled with
intrigue, charm, friendliness, unique lodging and incredible food. It possesses
a quality unlike any other mountain resort in the west. The Lobby is filled
with old world charm and a fireplace that is mesmerizing.
There are 47 rooms decorated with unique Victorian flair,
each different and inviting. I have stayed in several different rooms over the
years and always completely satisfied, I anticipate my next trip there. This
stay was delightful in the two room Governor’s Suite, surrounded with the warmth
of the fine antique wood furnishings. The luxurious four-poster queen bed was
enchanting and delicious! And the good news is that rooms come complete with
cable TV, telephone, and WiFi access.
Lodge also has other modern facilities located in close proximity. These
include the 10 cozy rustic rooms at The Pavilion Bed & Breakfast as well as The
Retreat Suites’ four private luxury suites. Additionally there are meeting
facilities for large groups, whether it is for conferences, weddings or family
the joy of many golfers, The Lodge sports an incredible 9 or 18 hole course that
is the highest in the country. It is a Scottish layout at 9,000 feet,
surrounded by beautiful pines and fresh clean air! It is a winding course with
an array of wildlife and a new challenge around every turn. Originally built in
1899, it had additional holes added in the 1950’s. That makes this course over
100 years old! Very popular and enjoying a seven-month season, it is imperative
for your convenience that you call ahead for tee time reservations and just
simply enjoy the challenge of this unique course!
Lodge and surrounding area is a year round retreat and offers a wide variety of
activities for all seasons. Enjoy biking, hiking, fishing, skiing, horseback
riding, snowmobiling, tennis, swimming, saunas, massage, museums and more. Over
the history of The Lodge, thousands of families have called The Lodge and
Cloudcroft their second home.
In addition to the Murder Mystery Weekends, other year
round packages are available, including special holiday festivities. The Lodge
is enchanting at any time of year, and will make any occasion a truly
Nearest International Airports: El Paso, Texas or
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Lodge is located in Cloudcroft, New Mexico on Highway
Phone 800-395-6343 or 505-682-2566
Visit The Cloudcroft Light Opera Company for more
information on theatre presentations,
Cast photo courtesy of The Cloudcroft Light Opera Company
Photography by Dave Shultz