Take a stroll through the streets of Santa Fe and you’ll be surrounded by over a thousand years of history. From architecture influenced by Pueblo Indians to centuries-old churches and homes, there’s no mistaking “The City Different” for any other place on earth.
The hotels and resorts of Santa Fe have embraced the city’s history. Some have painstakingly maintained original structures, while others have blended old and new. The result is a selection of accommodations sure to please any visitor.
I was a guest of Tourism Santa Fe, but all opinions are my own.
1. La Fonda On The Plaza
La Fonda on the Plaza combines the perfect location, an extensive art collection, and tales of spies. This 100-year-old hotel is a living, breathing history lesson.
What began as a modest inn in 1922 grew and evolved over the years to meet the changing expectations of guests. During its last renovation in 2013, the rooms were significantly modernized while still maintaining their historic features. Today, rooms feature blackout shades, robes, slippers, Nespresso machines, and mini-refrigerators.
In 2015, Conde Nast recognized La Fonda as one of the top five hotel art collections in the world. Each guest room includes original artworks from local artists. Additional artwork ranging from paintings to sculptures and textiles to photography can be found in every hallway and in all public areas. In total, there are 1,200 pieces on display.
During the Manhattan Project in the early 1940s, many of the scientists from nearby Los Alamos Laboratory stayed at La Fonda or enjoyed meals in the restaurant. To be sure they didn’t give away secrets to spies, the U.S. government stationed personnel to keep tabs on them.
La Fonda offers a restaurant, a bar, pool, and spa. And feel free to bring your pet — they’ll receive their own gift bag at check-in. Be sure to stop by the concierge desk for help booking tours, selecting restaurants, or just learning more about Santa Fe — they are exceptionally knowledgeable.
2. Bishop’s Lodge
Bishop’s Lodge, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, opened in mid-2021 on the historic property once home to the first archbishop of Santa Fe. Over 150 years ago, Bishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy built and resided in a modest house and chapel that remains on the property today — its steeple can be seen throughout the grounds. During his episcopacy, he would supervise the building of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, located in the center of Santa Fe.
Today, Bishop’s Lodge is situated on 317 secluded acres bordering the Santa Fe National Forest. Adobe-style guestrooms, suites, and casitas are scattered throughout the property, connected by curving walkways. The rooms are spacious, and the decor reflects the colors and textures of New Mexico. Throws decorated in geometric patterns grace each bed while traditional kiva fireplaces offer warmth and heat. Amenities include robes, slippers, a Nespresso machine, and luxury toiletries.
Under the leadership of Chef Pablo Peñalosa, the onsite restaurant, SkyFire, serves Mexican-inspired fare made from local, New Mexico ingredients. Craft cocktails are taken to a whole new level with spirits infused with fruit grown on the property. Situated around a large fireplace, the decor features warm colors along with Southwest-inspired art and rugs. The ceramic dishes are crafted by local artisan, Kimmy Rohrs.
Bishop’s Lodge offers a pool, spa, horseback riding, and “Coyote Camp” for children. Hiking trails through the national forest can be accessed from the property. A shuttle service is available for transportation to the center of Santa Fe.
3. Inn And Spa At Loretto
Once the site of a girl’s school, the Inn and Spa at Loretto combines modern comforts with one of Santa Fe’s favorite historic sites, Loretto Chapel.
In 1853, the Sisters of Loretto arrived in Santa Fe and opened a girls’ school. 20 years later, construction began for a chapel patterned after Archbishop Lamy’s favorite Sainte Chapelle in Paris. While a choir loft was built, the architect died before adding a staircase to access it. According to legend, the sisters prayed a novena to St. Joseph for a solution, and one appeared in the form of a carpenter. He built a spiral staircase using only a hammer and carpenter’s square, then disappeared before being paid. Some believe the carpenter was St. Joseph himself. Today, Loretto Chapel is among Santa Fe’s most popular sights.
Unfortunately, the girls’ school fell into disrepair, so in 1975 the Inn at Loretto replaced it, located adjacent to the chapel. Built in a classic adobe style, the inn has since become one of the most photographed buildings in New Mexico.
Guest rooms reflect the colors, textures, and patterns of local Native American tribes with geometric patterned blankets and throw pillows. Some rooms include a terraza — or terrace — perfect for outdoor dining and enjoying the surrounding views. The Inn at Loretto features the only penthouse in Santa Fe with five terraces, two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a wood-burning fireplace.
Executive Chef Tony Smith leads the onsite restaurant, Luminaria, serving globally inspired food in a stylish setting. When the weather is right, seating on the outdoor patio is quite popular with both locals and visitors. Be sure to try the award-winning green chili cheeseburger and wash it down with their famous strawberry jalapeno margarita.
The Inn at Loretto offers a lobby lounge, cafe, spa, pool, and a large selection of boutique shops.
4. Hotel St. Francis
Named for the patron saint of Santa Fe, the Hotel St. Francis holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The décor features handcrafted wood furniture by local artisans inspired by the nearby Palace of the Governors, the oldest government building in the United States.
Throughout the property, guests can enjoy a variety of art. There are religious prints in the lobby and hallways, some dating back centuries. New Mexican prints and artifacts are displayed on the second and third-floor landings. In the lobby is a wooden statue of St. Francis carved from a single piece of wood, and the white marble floor comes from Mexico.
Guest rooms — featuring a neutral color palette — balance old-world-styled wooden furniture with modern comforts. Views of downtown Santa Fe or the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains can be enjoyed.
The onsite restaurant, Market Steer Steakhouse, was awarded the Best New Restaurant in 2019 by the Santa Fe Reporter. Its menu features steak, seafood, and all the traditional steakhouse sides.
Just off the lobby, Secreto Lounge is known for its garden-to-glass cocktails created using fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and local spirits. On the opposite side of the lobby is Gruet Santa Fe, a family-owned New Mexican winery specializing in sparkling wines.
5. La Posada Santa Fe
Originally built in 1882 as a three-story brick mansion known as the Staab House, La Posada de Santa Fe is set on six beautifully landscaped acres in downtown Santa Fe. Abraham and Julia Staab were wealthy members of society known for entertaining friends and family in their French Second-Empire-style home. It’s said that Mrs. Staab still haunts the property.
The original Staab residence and carriage house still remain but are joined by 1930s Pueblo Revival-style adobe casitas. All rooms and suites are decorated with traditional Southwestern art along with classic Santa Fe-style furnishings. Some of the casitas have the original thick adobe walls and exposed beams, while others have original hardwood or tile floors. Many of the rooms feature fireplaces.
La Posada features The Gallery Collection, a professionally curated collection of American painting and sculpture. All the artworks displayed can be purchased at the artists’ studio prices.
Onsite dining includes Julia Restaurant featuring Southwestern-inspired fare prepared with local ingredients. More casual dining is available at the outdoor Patio Restaurant, while tapas is served at Julia’s Social Club. The Staab House is often called the coziest bar in Santa Fe.
La Posada offers a pool, spa, and fitness center.
6. The Inn Of The Five Graces
It’s easy to walk past the Inn of the Five Graces and not even know it’s there — it blends seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood, the historic Barrio de Analco. This award-winning luxury hotel is located in the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in the United States. Across the street is San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the country.
What began as the Seret’s 1001 Nights eventually became the Inn of the Five Graces. Its owners, Ira and Sylvia Seret, transformed a cluster of crumbling adobe structures into a unique resort. Each of the 24-suites is decorated with treasures collected during the Seret’s extensive travels in Central and South Asia. One-of-a-kind mosaics adorn the bathrooms in each suite and no two suites are alike.
The amenities offered to guests are extensive and include daily made-to-order breakfast, complimentary mini-bar, valet parking, access to Tesla charging stations, and a fitness center. All rooms have a traditional kiva wood-burning fireplace. Guests can enjoy live music in the courtyard on select evenings during the week. An onsite spa is also available.
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