Santa Fe Travel Guide
Across the country, there are examples that show Four Seasons luxury properties trying to remain down to earth. Cheesesteak spring rolls in Philly, for example, or free drinks in Denver. But never have we seen a Four Seasons let its hair down the way it has in Santa Fe.
The tone at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is set immediately by two things: The setting and the staff. The former speaks for itself in terms of its location in the hills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains ten minutes outside of downtown Santa Fe. If you do any research at all, you expect that. I mean, the address is "198 State Road 592," after all. But do you expect to walk into a Four Seasons and see that the staff is all decked out in... jeans?
I enjoy a taste of luxury as much as anyone, but I was relieved the moment I arrived and saw the front desk crew wearing the same thing as me. It just made sense for Santa Fe, a destination where chile, chocolate, and lacing up your hiking boots are the main attractions. Dress up?! I ordered red chile!
Hipster big-city rooftop bars got nothin’ on the Spanish Mission quasi-churchy vibe and Southwest sunset views of the Bell Tower Bar at La Fonda Santa Fe. A favorite of tourists and Santa Fe locals alike, the Bell Tower shut down the first half of 2013 for upgrades as part of the complete overhaul to the hotel. When it reopens July 15 (you heard it here first), the bar will boast quite a few new features -- most importantly (in our eyes at least) an actual bell to occupy that historic belfry. Also a light bites menu served out of a new tower-level prep kitchen, because Happy Hour crowds can’t subsist on booze and views alone.
Planning a Southwestern getaway this winter? We've got you covered. Fresh from a recent trip out to the country's oldest capital city ourselves, we decided to put together a quick list of the 5 best hotels for first-time visitors to Santa Fe.
First up is La Posada, a charming upscale hotel that's spread over six acres. We've visited this place before, and though the only thing that wowed us was the soap, we think there's still plenty to love. Like: simple but cozy rooms, kiva fireplaces, super-friendly staff, and two seriously happenin' hotel restaurants, called Staab House and Fuego.
Fun fact: every evening, the hotel hosts fun, free events like tequila tastings, wine and cheese tastings, and live music. Don't worry, no one will blame you for showing up to dinner tipsy.
Rooms start at $140/night.
Read on to hear about the rest!
Daylight Savings Time is in effect in the US, which means it gets darker faster, playing mind with us. We’re ready for jimjams and bed at, like 5pm, man. No bueno.
So, we heard about the Fireplace Butler at the new Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe, at just the right time—when we felt like getting all cozy and snuggly (btw, where is our Snuggie anyway? Time to get that badboy out).
Ack, focus! Here’s how it works, every casita room at the resort has an interor and exterior fireplace, so all you have to do is push a button, and the Fireplace Butler (a free service!) will arrive wearing his rugged gear (red flannel hat and all) hauling a burlap bag of tools. Ooh. Tools.
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Remind us never to stay at the same hotel as Jennifer Aniston, as we might, in our star-struck, child-of-the-90s Friends nerd-dom accidentally get someone fired.
At least, that's what happened last week in Santa Fe at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, when a hotel employee got the boot for divulging too much about Aniston's presence.
According to TMZ, a few guests had already spotted Aniston basking in the hotel's spa (evidently taking some time away from her usual LA haunt, the Sunset Tower). When shuttle bus driver Terry Siegler was asked about it, he confirmed she was in fact staying at the property, and even went on to talk her up a bit. But a few of Aniston's minions overheard the incident, and flipped out. Hotel management got involved, and before he knew it, Siegler was out of a job.
La Posada de Santa Fe situated in the heart of historic Santa Fe, New Mexico refuses to turn down the heat during the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta September 26-30, 2012.
Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, and chef tours are among the many events at the upcoming 22nd Annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta. Ninety nationwide wineries will come to Santa Fe to partner with 75 of Santa Fe’s best restaurants. In celebration of the Wine & Chile Fiesta, La Posada is, of course, offering a special limited-time only Wine & Chile Fiesta Package.
How's this for romance? The Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is luring couples with a "Sense of Romance" package that would spark even the dullest flame of desire between a pair of nuns. Yes, dinner by candlelight. Yes, a bed of roses. Yes, those Sangre de Cristo mountains in the background.
And, for fun, an hour appointment with the hotel's Romance Expert, a designated concierge who presides over the Front Desk spouting fathomless knowledge about the ins and outs of true amor. Or, in more accessible terms: where to dine, what spa treatment to book, and where to go stargazing.
The kiva fireplace. The best bit of the room
A hotel that has soap in the shape of a rock has to be good, right? That kind of attention to detail is going to make for a spot on stay. Said soap rock was what we found when we checked into our room at La Posada De Santa Fe Resort recently. Did the rest of the experience measure up? Here goes.
Our hopes were high on arrival to the hotel. We’d called in advance, asking whether it’d be possible for a parcel to be sent to us care of the hotel, and spoken to a concierge who sounded charming and efficient. Then our taxi driver told us La Posada was one of the best hotels in Santa Fe. It better had, we thought, since we paid $188 on Jetsetter (our room should have set us back around $300 though).
Check in was quick and easy, with a friendly man assigning us our room. There was free spa handcream at the check in desk – a nice touch in snowy Santa Fe. We walked to our room through cozy wood-panelled corridors, past the restaurant, bar, and a couple of sitting rooms strewn with art. Then outside, through the snowy courtyard and gardens. All atmospheric. Then we hit room 107, a Fireplace King.
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We've seen plenty of weird and wonderful hotel soaps in our time, but nothing quite as cool as this: the rock soap that greeted us as we checked into La Posada De Santa Fe Resort last night.
There was a normal, pebble-shaped soap in the soap dish - so far, so normal - but then on the shelf by the basin we spied this lump of rock. Was it a pumice stone to grate your feet? An ornament? A random piece of rock? No, it was indeed a bar of soap shaped like a rock.
Yay, another hotel anniversary that gives us gimmicky discounts! Today it’s the turn of the Eldorado Hotel & Spa in Santa Fe which is celebrating its 25th birthday next month.
To celebrate – here’s the really gimmicky one – they’re offering anyone who stayed at the hotel during its first ever month (April 1986) to return for a night at the original rate they paid – which ends up at around $30 per night (it’s called the Turn Back The Clocks deal). Sadly, there’s no cheating the system – the onus is on you to provide proof, such as a photo of you there, “dated receipt” (uhh, surely nobody is that anal as to keep a receipt for 25 years?) or “other proof”. And, if you’re thinking that that’s unlikely, think again – the offer has already received several takers (we guess the days of scrapbooking your every photo, food bag and receipt from your holidays has to come in handy at some point).
But never fear, because the hotel also has something up its sleeve for those of us who didn’t have the fortune to stay back in those heady days of 1996: a straightforward 25 percent off rates throughout April, bringing rates down to $169. Tempted? They’re throwing in a free box of chocolates with every room. Now you are, right?
We gave you the lowdown on some hot—as in red-chile hot—drinks at Secreto Bar in the Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe. But of course, we had to check out the rest of the hotel, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
How did the hotel stack up? Find out after the jump.
In New Mexico, chiles—the unofficial state fruit, yeah, fruit—are piled on every dish, from burgers to enchiladas. And at the Hotel St. Francis' Secreto Bar and Loggia in Santa Fe, it's even used in cocktails.
The Spicy Secreto sports a rim of housemade red chile salt that adds a little fire to the drink. The savory cocktail is also made with Cabana Cachaca, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur, cane syrup, lime and jalapeño juices—in case the red chile rim wasn't enough heat for you—with a fresh cucumber garnish.