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Last week we started a new weekly series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Cooking classes
What’s In: Creative classes
Not so very long ago, we realized that more and more hotels the world over were bringing in art concierges to help guide you through their hotel’s art collection, or to steer you in the right direction if you wanted to take in the local art scene or perhaps buy a couple of noteworthy pieces from local artistes. Well some hotels have taken this further and are hooking their guests up with local artists to give them a hands-on experience with the added bonus of giving you a pretty nifty souvenir to bring home.
Here are some prime examples:
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.
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National Cheeseburger Day is September 18th! We'll meat you wherever you wanna go!
Did you know that tomorrow is National Cheeseburger Day? Go figure! Sure, we know it’s a self-serving promotion by the Cattleman’s Beef Board, but we don’t care. With the weather starting to cool down a bit, why not celebrate this day by checking out hotel restaurant’s serving great burgers?
There are a few places that are actually having specials commemorating tomorrow’s holiday (that's right, we're giving it HOLIDAY status). Then there are restaurants we’ve pulled from our archives that we think have some magnificent hot meat on a platter and you should go for lunch or dinner tomorrow if you haven't made plans. And if you have? Cancel them! It's a HOLIDAY!
Conrad New York's restaurant Atrio will offer half-price cheeseburgers for $12. The "Blue Label" Burger used custom ground beef made especially for the hotel. The burger is grilled and topped with a Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and roasted onion mayo.
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.