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“Great deal for a ski trip!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder

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Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506   |  
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Ranked #27 of 60 Hotels in Santa Fe
Dallas, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great deal for a ski trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

This Hilton had a "Pick your mountain" promotion that included a lift ticket and dinner buffet for each registered adult. (I was with my teenage daughter, so we both got free lift tickets and dinners.) We could chose between Santa Fe, Taos, and one other (that was closed at the time). Santa Fe ski resort was about 45 minutes away, Taos was 1 1/2 to 2 hours away, but for the price we practically stayed in a very nice hotel for free! The spa was closed by the time we checked in, and we didn't even go to the casino. I didn't use the indoor pool and hot tub, but checked it out, and it was lovely! I really liked the southwest themed colored tiles they used in the pool area and the southwest art and theme throughout the hotel. As it turned out the dinner buffet was closed on Monday nights and only their very nicest, but expensive restaurant was open. It wasn't their first offer to me, but they ended up comping our dinner there, which was wonderful--great food, service and atmosphere. In the end, they really did us right, and we got an incredible stay at an incredible price.

Room Tip: High rooms away from the elevators to avoid noise from the casino and it's customers who can be...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Dear Sarah,
I was so pleased to read your outstanding comments on your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I'm glad that you felt the "Pick Your Mountain" promotion was such a great value and that you were able to choose from a variety of world-class ski areas located near our resort. Thanks for mentioning that you and your daughter had an "Incredible Stay at an incredible price". Hope to see you again soon on your next visit to Santa Fe.
Sincerely,

Hal Leonard
General Manager
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1,127 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (297)
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San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

This is our second stay; we returned because it's a beautiful property with a great staff from the bellmen to the front desk to Mica's. The casino staff likewise is friendly although we noticed that they're a lot stingier with points than in Sep. We appreciate the difficulties in running a large facility, but some things stood out. There's difficulty in finding fresh food that hasn't been microwaved to death. Tamales at Mica that you couldn't cut with a knife. French toast that was supposed to be served with cinammon cream but came with blueberry compote. A hamburger ordered with slaw that came with french fries. it's become a game to see if we can get water or tea without lemon. Finally on day four, Meagan got it. And then there's the TV that doesn't work. We were here in the same room in Sep and it didn't work then. We've called every day and it still doesn't work. We took our service dog into town one day and were gone about 5 hours. Our room still wasn't cleaned. Now, when you ask for help, everyone is more than accomodating - it's just you have to keep asking. Having said that, we'll come back because it's a great facility. Hopefully they'll have the TV fixed by then.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Dear "Scrappy Texan",
I really appreciate you taking the time to share your comments on your recent visit to Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I want to personally thank you for returning a second time and for sharing your reasons for coming back. Hearing that we have "a beautiful property with a great staff from the bellmen to the front desk to Mica's", make me very proud. I was disappointed to read however, that you TV did not operate properly and that your breakfast in Mica's was inconsistent. I would like to ask that you contact me personally, as I would like to offer you full reimbursment for this meal.
Thank you again for your comments and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sincerely

Hal Leonard
General Manager
hal.leonard@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clark, NJ
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

I don’t recommend staying at this hotel and I will definitely stay somewhere else the next time I am in the area because this isn’t really a service oriented hotel or have the kind of service you would expect from a Hilton Hotel. I think the best way to describe this place is that it’s a Tribal Casino (Buffalo Thunder) first and foremost, that happens to have a hotel attached to it, which happens to be branded as a Hilton.

Stayed at this hotel the weekend of January 19th. When I came up to the front desk, I wasnt greeted by the front desk staff. They asked me for my ID and credit card. Once they pulled up my information, (I am Diamond at Hilton) the first words out of her mouth were, "I'm sorry we dont have an upgrade". Way to make a good first impression, but thats par for the course with this place, as you will learn from reading the rest of the review. We were put in room 4205.

Parking was an issue from the start, when I pulled up to the hotel there wasn’t a single space in the front parking lot so we had to keep circling until we saw another car pulling out. It was only after I checked in that I learned that Valet parking is free for Hilton Diamond Members and that there is a back parking lot. However you won’t be able to get in through the door at the back parking lot because you would need a room key.

The room itself (4205) was nice, the kind of room you should expect at Hilton. The room had a mini bar which of course was stocked to the limit with things so I couldn’t use it as a fridge. I called down to the front desk to ask for an additional ice bucket BECAUSE the mini bar fridge was so loaded I couldn’t put my own drinks in it. Much to my surprise the additional ice bucket never came. I called down to the front desk, TWICE, once at 6:45 pm to request, then again at 7:30 pm, and after an hour, I just improvised and used the trash can as an ice bucket for my drinks. (I attached the picture of my make shift ice bucket, in case you stay at this place and they have the same trouble bringing you an ice bucket. Imagine that, Hilton Diamond Member has to use a trash can as an ice bucket, only at Buffalo Thunder)

We went out to a local place for dinner that night called Gabriel’s. Upon arriving back to the hotel, approx. 10:00 pm, we decided to Valet park the car. Only problem with Valet parking was that there was no Valet to park the car when we arrived. We had to go to the front desk and the receptionist had to go and find the Valet parking guy. It took a few minutes but she managed to locate the Valet parking guy who apologized to us and said that he had to do a lot of other things that night besides Valet Park cars. It’s understandable, but again, this comes back to service, if you are going to offer Valet Parking, my expectation would be that there would be someone who is actually Valet Parking, and hotel guests shouldn’t have to go all the way to the front desk to get a receptionist to locate the guy who is Valet parking.

Other observations / experience at this hotel:

As advertised this hotel is pet friendly; however you might get a room next to someone who has a dog that keeps barking. Again, it doesn’t make for a pleasant sleeping experience or a relaxing get away when you hear a dog barking, unless of course a dog barking is the relaxing get away experience you were going for.

As advertised this hotel has an indoor pool / spa, however, when I stayed the weekend of January 19th, it was an absolute mess. I don’t know if there was something going on this particular weekend, but when I entered the pool area I literally stopped dead in my tracks and turned around. There were so many screaming kids and adults in the indoor pool / spa that it was gross.

We went to go have drinks at the “Red Maze”, a Coors lite and glass of house wine came to $22. So you do the math, complete rip off, but expected from this hotel.

Here are some of the positive things (sort of) that I observed at / about this hotel;

The hotel does have a really good fitness room / gym, outfitted by Precor. You can do a full cardio and weight workout. Ironically, there was a sign in the gym that said no one under 18 is allowed without supervision, yet there were kids, in bathing suits from the pool, playing with the medicine balls in the middle of the gym. The indoor pool has to be accessed by walking through the indoor gym. A security guard even passed through the gym and never said a word to the kids who were there without their parents. Again, this is the kind of thing you can expect from staying at this place.

If you are a Diamond Member, you get a voucher good for a breakfast at MICA, $10 at Starbucks, or dinner buffet at the painted parrot. I would suggest using it at the painted parrot buffet. I attempted to visit the Starbucks on the Saturday morning; I left the Starbucks because I couldn’t wait in line any longer while the two females who were working there were laughing amongst themselves and not helping the people in line.

The casino isn’t bad, it is rather small, some parts of the casino smell like farts, but they have cheap table games which aren’t crowded at certain times of the day, so all in all, you can have a good time gambling which is what Buffalo Thunder probably wants to hear considering most of the other aspects of this stay were terrible and just a shame.

Overall, I wouldn’t stay here again because I just expect more from a “Hilton” Hotel in terms of customer service, especially since I am a Diamond Member. But then again and realistically speaking, even having top status at a hotel means nothing nowadays, so maybe I just have high expecations. This hotel is better suited for parents, with lots of kids, with pets, who don’t really expect much in terms of service, and are looking for a hotel to stay in while gambling. This isn’t the place to stay if you are truly looking for a relaxing getaway because that is something I can almost guarantee you will not find at this place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with the readers of TripAdvisor on your recent visit to Hilton Buffalo Thunder. To say that I was disappointed with the level of service that you described would be an understatement. I won't offer excuses for these shortcomings, however would appreciate you contacting me personally to discuss them. I can assure you that this is not typical of the level of service that we take pride in offering our guests, as you can see from the many glowing reviews associated with our resort.
I'm confident that after our communication, you will be willing to give us another opportunity to serve you.
Sincerely,

Hal Leonard
General Manager
hal.leonard@hilton.com
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Irvine, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We visited Sante Fe a few days before Christmas and stay until the day after Christmas. This hotel is located roughly 30 minutes from the city center. The room we had was nice and spacious. Considering how cold it was when we were there, we were thankful for the good heating indoors. The beds are nice and comfy. The pillows could use an upgrade! I don't fancy pillows with bunched up cotton!! We had a room facing the east, so we always woke up to sunlight streaming into the room :)

There seem to be quite a few dining options within the hotel, and yet we felt that we didn't have enough choice in food. There's a decent sandwich place downstairs near the casino i.e. Peublo deli. We ate dinner once at the Turquoise Trail and that was strictly ok. Mica has some decent breakfast options. There are lots of restaurants in the city center if you don't mind the drive. The only thing to remember is that most close early. The hotel runs some daily shuttles to the city center and back. Parking can sometimes be a problem in the city, so consider taking the shuttle when traveling on a long weekend.

Taos and Ski Sante Fe are about an hour away from Buffalo Thunder.

Overall, this is a nice hotel and casino. The outer design is modeled to look like an adobe building, which is nice since it blends into the surrounding landscape very well. Recommend it for families, couples, friends, as well as solo travelers.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Dear Sarah,
I was so pleased to read your outstanding comments on your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I'm glad that you felt the "Pick Your Mountain" promotion was such a great value and that you were able to choose from a variety of world-class ski areas located near our resort. Thanks for mentioning that you and your daughter had an "Incredible Stay at an incredible price". Hope to see you again soon on your next visit to Santa Fe.
Sincerely,

Hal Leonard
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Attended an office christmas party at Hilton Santa Fe Resort & Spa at Buffalo Thunder on December 21, 2012. The banquet dinner was excellend. I am not a gambler and did not play in the casino however I did a walk through and it was very clean. Customer service great. Rooms clean and spacious.Overal really good stay!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder, when attending your office Christmas Party. I was pleased to hear that your "banquet dinner was excellent", the "customer service great" and that the rooms were "clean and spacious".
Hopefully, your company will once again choose our resort for their next holiday party.
All the Best

Hal Leonard
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hythe, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Great looking hotel with lots of Indian sculptures and art but let down by cleaning and charging for Internet. We stayed in 21 hotels/motels during our month long road trip from San Francisco to Miami and Hilton were the only ones who charged for Internet. I'm sure they could afford to give it free.
Unfortunately our lovely room was let down by the standard of cleaning - mass of black hair in the shower trap and rice on the bedroom carpet to one side of bed. When I mentioned this on check out next morning, they weren't really interested.
Meal in the buffet was average too.
High point was the indoor pool/spa, as the weather was too cold for outside pool on the day we were there.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear Sue,
Thank you for your recent review of Hilton Buffalo Thunder and I really enjoyed hearing that you enjoyed the Indian Sculptures and Art as well as the indoor pool/spa. I was disappointed to read however, about the concerns that you described with your Housekeeping service. There is absolutely no excuse for these two items being missed. If you would please contact me personally, I will be happy to make an adustment on your room charges for these shortcomings.
I also wanted you to know that we do offer complimentary high-speed internet in our lobby area and Business Center.
Thank you again for your candid comments and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sincerely,

Hal Leonard
General Manager
hal.leonard@hilton.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013 via mobile

We just returned from a four night stay leaving on MLK day. It was very enjoyable. The staff from the front desk to Jeff the Bellman were great. We had a terrace two queen suite on the fifth floor with a great view of the mountains. I expected a larger room because it was supposed to be an expanded jr. Suite although it had a fireplace which was special. The spotless room's terrace was awesome as it faced the Sun during the day, a must for the winter. I would definetely pay a little extra for a suite. The room service menu was very high priced, like a top hotel in Vegas, we refused to use it. The half price nights at the Painted Parrot were pretty good. We found the Turquoise Trail in the Casino to be greatly priced and excellent. We ignored the Snack Bar in the Casino like the plague, virtuously empty because of the rude and unprofessional staff. Two servers had their heads laying on the counter, one stands up and coughs all over the place. I would fire the entire staff, top to bottom. They truly hate their job. That was the only negative and is part of the Casino, not Hilton. Starbucks was a plus. The Casino was nice, didn't win but didn't lose much. All in all the Hilton is first rate and will stay again.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear Mark,
Thank you for taking the time to give the Hilton Buffalo Thunder a Five-Star review! I was really pleased to hear that your four night stay was "very enjoyable", "the staff from the front desk to Jeff the bellman were great" and that the view from your "spotless room's terrace was awesome".
Thank you for spending your four-night MLK weekend with us.
Sincerely,

Hal Leonard
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder

Address: 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Mexico > Santa Fe
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Santa Fe
#8 Luxury Hotel in Santa Fe
#18 Business Hotel in Santa Fe
#21 Family Hotel in Santa Fe
#25 Romantic Hotel in Santa Fe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder 4*
Number of rooms: 1
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Also Known As:
Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort & Spa At Buffalo Thunder Hotel Santa Fe
Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort And Spa At Buffalo Thunder
Hilton Santa Fe Hotel
Santa Fe Hilton

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