Situated in Santa Fe’s historic 17th-century Barrio De Analco region, The Inn of the Five Graces is a world unto itself, a peaceful sanctuary, the ultimate in luxury, and magnificent in décor. Conceived as a showcase for their combined talents, designers Ira and Sylvia Seret transformed a neglected cluster of traditional adobe buildings into a AAA Four Diamond award-winning unique hotel. The Relais & Chateaux property has received numerous accolades for its service, accommodations, romance, design, and more.
As internationally-known importers of exotic rugs, textiles, antiques, and architectural elements, the Serets designed the 25-suite hotel into a magical oasis overflowing with treasures collected from the Serets’ travels to Central and South Asia.
Sylvia Seret’s one-of-a-kind tile mosaics adorn the kitchens and bathrooms, while Ira Seret’s signature design style transforms every space into an enchanting living experience.
Note: I was hosted by Inn of the Five Graces. All opinions are my own.
What Do The Five Graces Mean?
The name “Five Graces” references a Tibetan tradition – the five graces of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste – each honored in the whole experience of life. The hotel originally opened in 1996 as “Serets’ 1001 Nights.” The Serets changed the hotel name in 2002 to Inn of the Five Graces, honoring the sensual atmosphere, meticulous attention to excellent service, and the many Tibetan and Afghan artifacts.
Inn Of The Five Graces Is Like Staying In An Art Museum
I found myself surrounded by art, checking off each of the five senses. We stayed in the Jade Suite, across the street from the office and restaurant area on the ground floor. I stepped into the restful sitting area to brightly colored, intricately embroidered textiles, layers of color and texture, jewel-toned carpets, exquisite furnishings, hand-carved wooden trunks, chests, and a tile inlay table. The room’s architectural focus was the wood-burning kiva fireplace.
Our bedroom featured a king-sized bed covered in a bejeweled red bedspread, fine linens, a feather-topped mattress, a flat-screen TV, and an Alexa. Huge wooden carved doors housed closets on either side of the bed.
Art treasures appear everywhere: carved and painted cupboards and chests, jewel-toned carpets, embroidered silk textiles serving as drapes, wall hangings, and television covers. The coved ceilings are embellished with centuries-old carved beams and copper detailing.
The Exotic Tile Work Tells A Story
The exquisite bathroom was a magnificent work of art, vivid with hand-laid tile mosaics designed by Sylvia Seret, double tile inlay sinks, and a deep soaking tub inviting a soothing candlelight soak. The bejeweled shower tile designs tell stories of landscapes with water features, flowers, fish and birds, intricate vases, and mosaic trim. The bathroom comes stocked with plush robes and stacks of thick towels. I treated myself to the amenities of chamomile, rosemary, desert sage, and aloe vera.
Luxurious Amenities And Service
A small kitchenette in the sitting area corner featured all the comforts of home – a complimentary mini-bar, fully stocked refrigerator, sink, microwave, plates, utensils, a Keurig coffee pot, chips, and homemade salsa, and a bottle of sparkling wine with two glasses.
Housekeeping staff visited our suite to turn down our bed, leave house slippers and a white linen mat beside the bed, a treat on our pillows, and refills of fruit, snacks, and spring water. Relaxing music played softly. The staff is at your service 24 hours a day to make your stay a most memorable one. More amenities include valet parking, fitness room access, and a 24-hour concierge.
Included Is A Made To Order Breakfast
The day begins with a made-to-order breakfast served in our private suite, but you can also choose the dining room or tree-shaded terrace. When I ordered “Christmas,” we enjoyed our authentic New Mexican breakfasts served with the traditional red and green chilis. You can add a choice of homemade granola, artisan bread, fresh fruit, and locally roasted coffee.
For lunch or dinner, choose from a distinctive selection of neighboring restaurants like 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar, just around the corner from our suite on Old Santa Fe Trail. Chef-owner Louis Moskow offers entrees like venison scallopini with green peppercorn sauce, cassoulet with duck confit, or roasted quail on a bed of sweet potato. The lemon tart was the perfect finishing touch.
Patios And Courtyards
Patios and courtyards enhance the casual space through the back door of our suite, inviting us to lounge as you sip a glass of wine and munch on chips and homemade salsa. Listen to the nearby San Miguel Mission church bells toll the hour, the oldest church in the United States. These are also expressions of the five graces.
Enjoy a cocktail in the courtyard bar during the warm months and in the dining room during the winter. Savor selects small plates, wine, beer, or cocktails open 7 days a week.
Visit The Spa At Inn Of The Five Graces
The Inn’s Spa offers an intimate rejuvenation of body and soul with an Ayurvedic natural oil and botanical hydration treatment, menu of massages, Himalayan salt stones, and more restorative therapies.
After checking in at the spa and slipping into a comfy robe and slippers, I explored the unique tile mosaics designed by Sylvia Seret throughout the spa dressing room, showers, restrooms, and changing areas. Each view tells a story, whether it be birds, fish, flowers, scenes, or mosaic trim. Look closely at how each piece of tile is broken and shaped to form a bird, petals of a flower, a fish, clouds, mountains, sky, or a vase. Sylvia’s tile work and design are different on each wall of the spa and ever-changing in every bathroom of the 25 suites.
My afternoon deep Nirvana Massage by Adem was enhanced by arnica oil and warm Ayurvedic herbal packs that relieved deep muscle tension, enhanced my circulation, and increased my range of motion.
Tibetan statues, fountains, skylights, giant crystals, and jewel-toned wall hangings decorate the treatment rooms. The following day, I had the opportunity to explore the beautiful tile work in the spa again before my healing facial by Teel, designed to gently massage the skin, increase overall circulation, improve luster, and restore facial tone. I received a deep cleanse, mask applications, and luxurious moisturizing serums. I saw a new glowing skin radiance.
The Luminaria House
The Luminaria House is a spacious, opulent two-bedroom home at the Inn encompassing 2,000 square feet, boasting five fireplaces inside and out, two decks, and two patios. Each of the two master suites features a plush king-sized bed, wood-burning kiva fireplaces, and large closets with huge wooden doors. Each suite features Sylvia’s most oversized, sumptuous mosaic tile bathrooms yet. You’ll find hand-carved cabinetry; pure lapis bowl sinks, silk embroideries, 18th century carved wood tables and chests, hand-painted Tibetan ceilings, and more extravagant mosaic tile work. A hand-blown glass chandelier designed by Ira Seret hangs framed against the lapis lazuli ceiling mosaic of the zodiac.
Visit Seret & Sons Retail Showroom
When you visit Seret & Sons’ 70,000 square foot retail showroom a block from the hotel, you will see an extensive collection of rugs and textiles from Central Asia and beyond. Plus, you’ll be astounded with a world-class collection of antique rugs, house furnishings, and architectural antiques from more than a dozen countries. I especially liked exploring the tile inlay tables, rug-covered couches and chairs, and antique doors and wooden columns.
After staying at Inn of the Five Graces and then visiting Seret & Sons, I recognized the creative rug-covered couches and chairs, carved wooden bathroom cabinets, doors, tapestries, and textiles used for window coverings, TV covers, pillows, and original tile inlay tables.
Pro Tip: Don’t miss a shopping trip to Seret & Sons. I purchased an 8″ x 10″ chunk of lapis lazuli, a 3′ x 5′ silk and cotton wall hanging with silk embroidered thread from Uzbekistan, and two 20″ silk embroidered pillow forms from Uzbekistan.