This is a very difficult review to write, as the Inn has a lot offer. In fact, I gave it five stars two years ago. But my second stay was entirely different. I’d already spent three days in Albuquerque when I checked into the Inn on the Alameda in Santa Fe with my sister, and I was feeling great. But the morning after our first night there, I felt like I was coming down with the flu. And by the time we left at the end of our three-day stay, I was taking three prescription medications in order to breath.
While my sister and I were packing to come home, we debated how much to tip the housekeeping staff. She didn’t want to leave a lot because she said the room was so dusty she sneezed continually. The room was dark, even with all the lights on, so I hadn’t noticed until then just how dusty it was. It was only at that point we decided to stand on a chair and check the air vent. What did we discover? A vent filled with dust and black gunk the consistency of paste (see the photo).
While checking out, we reported the vent to the front desk. I followed up with an email and photo to the manager, but never received a response.
The day after I got home, I saw my allergist, who said I didn’t have the flu. Rather, I was having a severe asthmatic reaction to something. When I showed her the photo, she said the vent looked like it contained mold. All I know is that it took two weeks and a lot more medication before I felt back to normal.
This is an older hotel, which is part of its charm. But older hotels have to be especially vigilant about air quality. There are several issues in this room that exacerbated the problem. First, the vent is the only way to get fresh air into the room. Instead of a window, it has a door that opens onto dirt, and there’s no screen. Also, the bathroom exhaust fan didn’t remove any of the moisture after we showered (we reported that too).
I’m allergic to mold and dust mites, so my reaction was more severe than most people would experience. My sister has no allergies, and her sneezing stopped within a day after we checked out. But no one should be exposed to this kind of air quality. Hopefully, this review motivates the Inn to clean up its ventilation. (I have many more pictures of the vent and its location in the room, if the Inn questions this problem.)