We've stayed at many different hotels in Santa Fe over the past 35 years, but never at the Hotel Santa Fe. We've gone the economy route, the family-friendly avenue, and some slightly upscale places, but for this trip, we were looking for a little something special and preferably inside Paseo de Peralto. While there are many wonderful choices in this area, the Hotel Santa Fe was the only one with a reasonably priced mini suite - perfect for our family of three.
We found a Winter Special rate for a king suite on the website. Perfect! However, we noticed that the website was silent as to certain things, such as parking. A call to the hotel revealed that the hotel charges an $18 per day "activity fee" for parking, local shuttle, newspapers, coffee and tea, and use of the facilities. OK, I know that these fees are becoming more common, but not to even mention it on the website and surprise guests with it when they arrive? We still made the reservation, but the undisclosed fee colored our attitude somewhat.
Upon arrival, we entered a cozy lobby, somewhat small, but warm and intimate with southwest/Native American flair. The bar and restaurant are just past the check in area. The outdoor pool and spa are just around the corner, and the spa, fitness center, and Hacienda rooms are in a separate building behind the main lodge. We found all of the staff to be friendly and welcoming.
Our suite consisted of a living area and bedroom/bathroom that could be separated by folding doors. The decor is, once again, Southwestern and rather charming. The living room has a tiny balcony with a single chair for relaxing outside. Inside, each room has a flat screen TV. The rooms clearly have a patina of time, but are spotless. The furniture was a bit oversized for the rooms - a queen would have worked better than a king - and the mini bar would have been immensely more useful if it had contained a bar sink. It was also somewhat difficult to evenly monitor the water temperature in the shower. Minor complaints, however, as the bed was extremely comfortable, the pillows were fantastic, and the linens were of good quality. We were greated with an inspirational Native American message every day courtesy of our housekeeper.
OK, as to that "activity fee". The hotel does provide coffee and tea in the elevator lobby on each floor in the morning, three newspapers (Local, US Today, and Wall Street Journal) are available in the lobby, along with bottled water - just ask at the front desk. The parking is ample on open lots, and the shuttle is definitely a good amenity - there are 3 vehicles and no set route. The drivers will take you anywhere inside the Paseo de Peralta loop, Canyon Drive, or Museum Hill, and probably anywhere else close by that you need. Our first night, the shuttle was extremely fast and convenient, however, pickup on our next trip required 2 phone calls and a 30-minute wait. Still, it was musch more convenient than looking for downtown parking.
There were several spa treatments on sale during our visit. I signed up for one, a facial, but my skin care expert recommended a different treatment for my skin. I had a 15% off coupon, so the cost was similar. It was a wonderful experience and lasted longer than the suggested 60 minutes. Well worth the price.
We ended up eating a snack at the bar, but did not try the restaurant. I thought the prices were fairly reasonable for Santa Fe for breakfast and lunch, and our bar quesadilla was large and overstuffed with chicken. The restaurant is pricier at dinner, but they offer a reasonably priced and interesting-sounding fixed price dinner option from 5:30-7:00pm. In the morning, rather than opting for the Continental breakfast, visit the Sage Bakery directly across the street for wonderful pastries, tarts, quiches, and breads. Tomasita's restuarant (popular, but not my favorite) is a few hundred feet away, as are several other local dining spots.
The Hotel Santa Fe creates a loyal following with its warm and welcoming spirit. We met many families that return year after year. We will, too.