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“The room was nice, casino...eh” 4 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 #26 of 60 Hotels in Santa Fe
Vega, TX
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“The room was nice, casino...eh”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

We went over July 4 weekend to celebrate my daughter's 24th birthday. Since it was a holiday weekend, there were NO discounts offered & the room was EXPENSIVE!! I will say, though, that the lady who helped me reserve the room was as helpful as she could be & said, while she couldn't offer me a discount, she could (and did) bump me up to an upgraded room.

The room was very nice & well decorated. The balcony was HUGE...largest I've ever seen, below a suite level...and the view was spectacular. The in-room fireplace was gorgeous & our room was chilly enough that the fireplace actually felt nice (in July, no less!!). The bathroom was quite large & clean. The bath products were wonderful & I intend to seek out the brand. The beds were not very firm, but not unbearable. I never, ever sleep well away from home anyway. The only real complaints I have about the room were the shower & fridge. The shower did not drain well & we had to wait a long time for the standing water to drain before the next one could use it (3 women...so you can imagine how long that took!). I couldn't finish the HUGE portion of food I received at the sports bar at lunch, so I carried the to-go container back to the room, to save for later. I was disappointed to learn that the refrigerator they had advertised in the room was one of those "honor bars" and there was NO way to put something else in there. Everything edible in the room (except two bottles of water) were on sensors, so we didn't dare budge them, because you are charged if the sensors go off, whether you actually consume it or not.

The only restaurants we ate at were the sports bar & Mika (for breakfast). The staff was very friendly, but terribly understaffed & frazzled, trying to adequately & timely serve everyone. Still, they are to be commended for their friendliness. The breakfast was quite tasty, as was the sports bar fare, though I made the mistake of not realizing how spicy the green sauce on my burrito was, and...oh, ouch!! If you like spicy food, it will be a delight, but be forewarned, if you don't. Still, it was tasty enough to make me want to soldier through the pain.

Now...the main reason we went...the casino. It was not the worst experience I've ever had, by a long shot, but it was just average, at best. They had very few of the really popular games, & the ones they did were frequently occupied. They didn't pay out very well at all. I held my own, but my daughter lost money hand over fist. The reward program is VERY stingy, so I didn't get the normal satisfaction of at least knowing some of our losses were being recouped in comp points. I will say, however, that they do drawings for prizes very frequently, so that was pretty exciting, though we never won. :-( I was disappointed at the beverage service. If you wanted anything to drink, you had to get up and get it yourself, as it was highly unlikely you would see a cart pass by.

I do need to give props to the nice lady running the liquor store. She was so pleasant and friendly, it was a delight to interact with her.

We were going to go swimming, but our first attempt at the outdoor pool was met with a pool chock full of kids (I don't blame the parents, as there was really NOTHING else there to entertain kids). Later, it began raining, so our second attempt was met with all of the same kids, packed into the indoor pool, including the hot tub (couldn't you at least have left THAT for the adults???). Also, the floors in the dressing room (which you had to go through to get to the pool) were absolutely covered in water. I understand that is a hard thing to constantly patrol, but it was definitely a slip and fall hazard. I will say, though, that the outdoor pool is GORGEOUS at night...the lights change colors & there are flames on top of the canopy thing. It's nice to look at, even if you don't use the pool, so be sure to check it out.

Overall, it was not an unpleasant experience, & I want to give the resort its fair due. It is a gorgeous facility & the staff is friendly, but for the HIGHLY overinflated price, you would expect just a little...I don't know...comparative amount of "extra special." I could have gotten the same experience at a LOT cheaper hotel. With as much money as we left in hotel room cost and in their machines, they should be offering their guests the latest machines, at a decent payout, and an "over the top" experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (296)
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English first
Omaha, Nebraska
Top Contributor
771 reviews 771 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 127 cities Reviews in 127 cities
201 helpful votes 201 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

It was a little farther out of town than we expected but the hotel was very nice. Quite large and spread out the rooms were very nice but the operating staff not so much, their management made things right. Food at the hotel was very disappointing

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pagosa Springs, United States
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

Room was nice. Was a little noisy, due to thin walls. Breakfast was a little pricey. No complimentary coffee in lobby, which would have been nice. Restaurants could have been open more hours. Need more family type restaurants.

  • Stayed July 2014, 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

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.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
2 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

We received excellent service during our stay. The lobby and hotel rooms were nicely decorated with a Southwestern theme. The indoor and outdoor pools are nice and there is even a water play area for younger children. The only downfall was the wireless Internet connection. It was very slow and spotty.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Childress, Texas
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

When we arrived at the hotel, at first I was a little turned off by the big casino sign out front. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The lobby is gorgeous with so many beautiful Native American works of art. I put in for an upgrade to a suite and we received a room with a living room and bedroom with a fireplace in both rooms. It was very clean and comfortable. It also had a large balcony with a screen door so that you could leave it open if you wanted. We enjoyed the pool area and the casino. We ate at the restaurant, Red Sage. It was pricey, but worth every cent. My husband and I had steak and it was absolutely delicious. You may want to request a room close to the elevator. There is only one set of elevators and our room was really far from them. My only complaint was the fitness center. There were no clean towels or headphones available. Also, the tvs on the treadmills did not have the local channels. It was a little bit annoying. Overall though, I would definitely return to this resort and would recommend it to my friends.

Room Tip: Request a room close to the elevators and upgrade to a suite if you can.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denton, Texas, United States
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

We spent 5 nights at this resort. The only positive was that the golf course was very nice. Although I am a Hilton Elite Member this reservation was made through a very popular third party. Can't complain about the price. We were given a handicap accessible room about 250 yards from the elevator. We could not hang our things in the closet as the rod was near the floor. When I questioned the room assignment I was told that what those renting through 3rd party suppliers usually get. I could not imagine why handicap rooms were so far from the elevator. If you had seen the elderly and crippled folks making the long trip to the elevator you would wonder who designed this facility. The room balcony and furniture were covered with bird droppings. Every day the customer service and housekeeping folks said they would clean it. They never did. Even though we asked that the maid not unlock and leave the balcony door open when she left the room unattended she did so each day. Again management could not get that fixed. Same with the coffee pot that did not work. Never got fixed after several calls. The room had insects crawling all over the ceiling and we had new bites each morning when we woke up. This facility is only 6 years old but the hotel staff seem to be out there in the ether somewhere. The casino is okay but very few gaming tables. Lots of slot machines though. I just could not believe I was staying in a Hilton venue. It is not convenient to the city of Santa Fe and just doesn't meet any standards for cleanliness or service. The nicest person was the maintenance man who was finally sent to help with the balcony door lock. He explained there was nothing wrong with it that likely the maid did not know how to lock it. Since the balcony was covered with bird dropping I could not understand what she went out there each day.

Room Tip: Near elevator with a roof on your balcony is a must.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, July 27, 2014
Dear Mr. B,
Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder and for taking my call earlier this week. I'm glad that we had the opportunity to speak and that we were able to resolve the issues that you brought to our attention.
Jason Schliening who was also on the call, will be following up with you in the near future to ensure that you have received your HHonors points for this stay.
Jason and I both look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Santa Fe.
All the Best
Hal

Hal Leonard
General Manager
(505)819-2000
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

Everything about this resort is inviting! The art and furnishings throughout are beautiful. We enjoyed the view from our room and had a great time in the casino.

Some previous reviews mentioned the layout of the hotel. Be ready to do a lot of walking! The room we stayed at was at the other end of the resort from everything else. And the hallways are not air conditioned. However, we were fine with this. The only problem we experienced was the sound of the people above us. You could hear every step they were taking and at times it sounded as if they were running and stomping. Other than that - awesome place!

Room Tip: If you don't like ceiling noise then request a room on the top floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#18 Business Hotel in Santa Fe
#22 Romantic Hotel in Santa Fe
#22 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
Reservation Options:
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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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