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“Visit” 3 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
Aurora, Colorado
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Visit”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

Anthony at the front desk is awesome. Not happy with the hotel layout, or the nickel-dime pricing, but overall a good place to stay. We had to leave early due to adverse weather heading home. Kinda far from downtown Santa Fe

Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,053 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 (286)
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Minneapolis, MN
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

This hotel misses the mark across a range of expectations when staying at a Hilton property.

During our stay (two couples) reception staff members, with one exception, were incompetent and unprofessional. However there were moments of humor. When I asked about balcony views, a staff member informed us that all the rooms have views of parking lots except those that are near the air conditioning units that can be heard from the rooms. When I informed the staff member that the wine and cheese gift ordered for our friends' anniversary was billed to THEIR account instead of ours, I was told that usually the room receiving the gift would receive the bill (no apology). At first our friends did not notice their gift because, although the bathroom was cleaned that day, their bed was never made up and a pile of folded towels had been left on the second bed in the room.

There are no nearby options for meals outside of the hotel. The breakfast buffet was generous and included made-to-order eggs. The dinners at the hotel restaurant, while expensive, were enjoyable not only because of the food but also the friendly professional service. There is a nice outdoor area at the nearby golf club where you can have drinks on a patio with decent views.

This hotel is in the middle of nowhere with a tacky atmosphere due to the casino (we drove around and around when we first arrived due to lack of parking in front of the hotel. We ended up parking in what felt like a remote area we were not even sure belonged to this hotel). As others have stated, you can smell smoke from the casino. It is 15 -20 minutes from the historic center of Santa Fe. In Santa Fe there are beautiful historic hotels.

My recommendation to Management is to provide immediate training to the reception staff about the importance of greeting guests warmly (a smile now and then is very effective), apologizing when necessary (again, this is very effective) and at least acting like they care.

Room Tip: Don't bother paying more for a balcony because we were informed that all the views are marred by...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

I stayed her 05/07/14. Ok, the prices for the rooms vary from one hour to the next. When I checked in, the standard King bed, non smoking was $129 plus taxes and a resort fee. However, they upgraded me to a King balcony for free because I'm a Hilton Honors member. Free? Hardly! There are a lot of variables which go into the prices of the rooms. If you go to Hilton's website and book the room in advance, you will NOT get the BEST price! This was a little disturbing to me when I found the same room for $30 less per night on the same night and it was the same room. Yes, it was advertised for $90.50, at the same time Hilton was offering it for $129!. I challenged the reservation with the front desk and they refused to reduce the price of the room to match the lower price. See: www.hotelreservations.com I went through a 10 minute back and forth with the front desk attendant and they said that Hilton's price was not the lowest, might not ever be the lowest, and any traveler making a reservation should check at least 5 different websites to find the lowest price. It would seem to me that Hilton would want to insure their Hhonors rewards members were happy, but no, they would not match the lower price.

The front desk person also warned me that I should carefully read the fine print, terms and conditions, because they are not all the same and I could wind up paying for the room if I had an unexpected cancellation. All this makes me wonder about a class action law suit against the hotels and third party vendors who buy up rooms and try to resell them for a few bucks less. One never knows if they are getting a good deal or not. Some advertising leads you to believe you're getting the best price, when in reality, you're not.

The attendant also advised us that the hotel makes money on the third party vendors by having them buy up blocks of rooms, which they pay Hilton for. Since the hotel was only at around 80% capacity this night, according to him, they made money from the vendor by having them pay Hilton for the rooms that went unsold. Suggestion: If you can, review a number of on-line websites for the best price and book through them. That was Hilton's employee's best suggestion and response. Don't go through Hilton's website, because it is not going to give you the best price. Add your hhonors number once you arrive at the hotel so you get the credit on your rewards account.

For the price, you get a very nice Hilton hotel. The room was impressive, clean and well stocked. We requested additional towels at 8:30 p.m. and they were delivered within 5 minutes. The hotel is situated on top of the casino, which may be considered the 1st floor. I did not hear any noise from the casino or anything else, and I am a light sleeper. I rested very well and awoke to gorgeous sunshine!

I ate in the casino restaurant, it was was unremarkable. I will say that the mixed drinks were good and not overpriced as they are in some casino restaurants. The hotel restaurant closes at 9, so get there early! Staff at the hotel were friendly and attentive.

The location is a quick 15 minute drive to town (a straight shot on an interstate) and you don't have to worry about parking (free at the hotel) or security.

The only downside, as with most Hiltons, was the $10 per/day charge for accessing the internet PER DEVICE!. You have to ASK, but this fee will be WAIVED if you show you're an Hhonors member upon check-in. If you don't ask, they will bill you! It's all about the money!

This is NOT a 4 or 5 star resort. It's good, but not great. Some of these folks on Yelp or Tripadvisor tend to overrate everything. Be mindful of this. Only 1% or less of the hotels in the world would rate 5 stars.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

The nice aspects of the property is the very nice Southwestern art that populates the hotel and the rooms. The exercise room is well decked-out. It has a Starbucks. And...well...there is a casino in the basement. They deposit two little bottles of water in your room daily.

The staff is not friendly or attentive. The price for food is very high. The elevators smell much like a bar after a heavy night. The smell of smoke tends to waft throughout the first floor. A glass of coke at the lobby bar is $3.75. Internet connection is $9.95 a day and very slow/not dependable. They have those weight-based snack bars in each room, and I got charged almost $4 for a small pack of M&Ms that fell out of the tray. Upon asking, they removed that cost from my bill. And while the rooms are nice, they are small and the water in the shower is not impressive. Room service charged an automatic 22% gratuity plus a mysterious $3 charge for something.

Best food in the hotel are the Breakfast Burritos at the Starbucks.

Room Tip: Try to get a balcony room.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
OKC
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

While this hotel and resort looked extremely promising it was quite possibly the very worst hotel/resort we have ever stayed at. The staff seriously could not give a damn whether you were there or not. The reception staff were rude and very unfriendly. The casino was dead so you know nobody's winning. First time I've stayed at a casino and not put one dime into a machine. We stayed in our room and ordered room service which took over an hour and fifteen minutes to arrive. We cancelled our second night and left as soon as we awoke the next morning. The only bright spot was the gent who helped us with our bags as were were leaving. An older Native American man was very aware of the problems but urged us to come back again. Sadly, we won't and don't recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Get a top floor room as the views are good and it is a bit quieter.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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, May 5, 2014
Dear Colbee,
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder. I was pleased to read about the service received from one of our bellman, however very concerned that you felt our staff was inattentive to your needs. Your comments on Room Service were disturbing as well and I will be passing along your comments to our Food and Beverage Director.
I would like to research the service issues that you listed and would appreciate you contacting me personally to discuss your visit. I have listed my email address and the direct number to my office for your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sincerely,

Hal Leonard
General Manager
505-819-2000
hal.leonard@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rowlett, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

This was my first time visiting Buffalo Thunder, and without a doubt, I will be staying there whenever I travel to Santa Fe. The property was beautiful, rooms were A+ comforrtable, the view from my room was spectacular. I dined at Red Sage and had coctails at the bar and both experiences were perfect! If you don't stay at Buffalo Thunder, you'll be missing a great experience!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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

Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
el paso, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014

room was good. dining was pricey for so-so food. hostess at hotel check in was snippy, but andres at check out was very good. like the casino but they need to have more than one $5 blackjack table open for us casual bettors when the 1st one fills up.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

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, May 5, 2014
Dear Wesley,
I greatly appreciate you taking the time to review your recent stay at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder. I was pleased to read that Andreas from our Front Office team provided you with an excellent departure experience. I was however concerned about your comments regarding the food quality and pricing. I'm not sure which restaurant you were referring to, so would appreciate any assistance you can provide me in order to address them immediately. I will also be happy to pass along your comments regarding the Blackjack tables to our Casino General Manager, as Hilton does not manage the casino component of our resort.
Thank you again for sharing and please feel free to contact me personally via phone or email.
All the Best

Hal Leonard
General Manager
(505) 819-2000
hal.leonard@hilton.com
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 Luxury Hotel in Santa Fe
#8 Spa Hotel in Santa Fe
#19 Business Hotel in Santa Fe
#23 Romantic Hotel in Santa Fe
#25 Family 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 And Spa At Buffalo Thunder
Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort & Spa At Buffalo Thunder Hotel Santa Fe
Hilton Santa Fe Hotel
Santa Fe Hilton

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