TripAdvisor has always been a valuable resource in helping me plan my trips. I want to provide my feedback here so that it will help you make your decision. Comments provided below are not meant as criticism but feedback for management to make improvements.
We were specifically looking for a quiet getaway destination resort outside of Santa Fe and decided to stay at Encantado (in a Vista Casita) for 3 nights over Memorial Day weekend in May 2010.
In a nutshell:
- Great location, expansive view
- Spacious, comfortable, private, quiet, well appointed room and bath
- Excellent (Terra) restaurant
- Friendly staff
- Service was good but not excellent (should be a lot better to be considered 5 star)
- Nicely designed Spa facility with good treatment
- Well equipped gym facility for a serious workout and cardio
- In-room iPod dock
- Wi-Fi Internet connection
- Nightly turn down “treats” are different and delicious!
There were many rave reviews about the service here so I was a little disappointed that it was not spectacular. It wasn’t even great. Just good at best. (I get better service at a W Hotel or at a Ritz Carlton.) Within the Santa Fe area, I don’t believe there are many options for upscale resorts so I would still stay here again if I wanted to be in the Santa Fe area and/or if I can find a great deal! Otherwise, there are other upscale destination resort options elsewhere (eg: Amangani in Jackson Hole, WY)
Overall, we wanted the experience to be excellent based on the top dollar rates they commended but felt that the value was not all there. In fairness, the staff really tried to go out of their way to provide top service but I felt it was not consistent throughout and awkward in some instances. Seems like the staff are relatively new and not “seasoned” or experienced (not as confident) compared to other upscale resorts (Four Seasons, Aman Resorts, etc) in this price range.
This is not a big deal but serves as an example: On the first evening, we requested ice for the room. On the second evening, they had turned down the room but no ice provided. On our way to the dining room for dinner, we stopped at the front desk to request ice for the room and after an enthusiastic “yes, we’ll take care of it!” Arrived back at the room later with no ice! Had to call again for ice. The expectation for a high end resort is to “know” our needs after our first request that we would like ice in the room! It should have been provided at turn down every evening. AND certainly when a request was made in person, it should have been delivered as promised! So a missed opportunity to "Wow" us!
Another morning, when the host sat us down for breakfast. She asked abruptly, “What is your name?” I thought her directness was rather rude?! Especially since she never explained WHY she needed to know my name?! In a smaller upscale property with less than 100 rooms … The expectation is that the staff would greet you by name or at least recognize you and make the connection that we had spoken before.
There’s several mention in the reviews here about the overall design of the property and I have to agree that it was not as well thought out as it could have been. This is not something they can be resolved at this point but it’s unfortunate but the views are definitely not maximized or “framed” for impact from the guest rooms and public spaces. The convenience of driving up to your casita is similar to the design of a motel (albeit a very expensive motel) and looking over the parking area with the occasional noise, (not to mention the numerous white service carts), are minor nits but just not consistent with a place of enchantment?
We had a rental car so we did not use the (Mercedes-Benz) car service but thought the shuttle service into downtown Santa Fe was a great idea.
Since we had our own rental car, the check-in process was a bit awkward. After conducting the paperwork at the front desk (which was painless and efficient), we had to follow the bellman (driving his Benz) to our Casita. As we unloaded our bags, he tried to wrestle them away from us (in the name of service). It was odd, so in the end, we just asked for the room key and parted ways in the parking area.
Our room (a Vista Casita) was on the second level and was well appointed! (As you would expect at these rates.) This was probably the best part of the whole experience. Our room looks exactly like those photos featured on their website. It’s spacious with a large bathroom, large bath towels, large soaking tub, large separate shower stall with a single shower head (a dual shower head and/or a shower wand would have been nice!), in-room Kiva fireplace, large closet, and a large spacious and private patio deck. (Yes, the rooms have an iPod dock!)
Again, the orientation of the Casita could have been better situated to take FULL advantage of the spectacular view. All they needed to do was rotate it by 20 degrees to face the view. Instead you are facing the sides of the Spa building?
The Spa is designed as a private enclosure with an inner courtyard. Since it didn’t take advantage of the view, it could have been situated elsewhere on the property. Instead, it’s right in the middle blocking some of the view corridors from the casitas.
We had spa treatments and they met our expectation and were comparable to other resorts. Unfortunately, the men’s steam room was out of order while we were there. There is a private jacuzzi/outdoor patio area for sunbathing within the men’s locker room area. I was relaxing and enjoying the moment until a FEMALE spa attendant walked in to service the area!!?! I don’t know who was more embarrassed?! She was apologetic but after that, it just ruined the mood and I decided to leave.
The pool area was most disappointing for a destination resort. I’m assuming the metal railing around the pool is part of a required safety code? It felt like an afterthought and wasn’t well integrated into the overall design. Again, it reminded me of a motel pool! The Jacuzzi here was small and not at all inviting. The water was cold and it looked dirty?
Unfortunately, while I was trying to enjoy the sunshine by the poolside one morning, there was a young child playing loudly in the pool. He was shouting/whining back and forth to his mother (or grandmother?) and she made no attempt to control him. In fact, she was just as annoying! It wasn’t relaxing. After 10 minutes I had to leave the pool area!!! (PARENTS: Please… when you’re in public with your children, please supervise them appropriately!!!! This is not a child oriented resort.) Obviously this is of no fault of Encantado. However, management could place discreet signs to encourage a peaceful, quiet environment. Nameste!!!
The resort has a well equipped gym with free weights, fitness machines, treadmills, bikes and other cardio machines. There’s also a Yoga pavilion.
Terra restaurant at the Resort was superb. I thought it was actually better than Geronimo’s (rated one of the best in Santa Fe) which we also dined at on this visit. The bar menu is also great if you want a more casual dining experience.