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“A good choice for business or pleasure” 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 #24 of 60 Hotels in Santa Fe
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A good choice for business or pleasure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2010

This was a mixed purpose trip with one person travelling for business and the other for pleasure. This resort is good for this since ther are many activities to entice the pleasure traveller while the other is attending to business in attractive meeting rooms in the hotel. The resort has extensive desert grounds for walking, a large and appealing pool area, themed rooms, and a large casino on site. The location is a excellent position for visits to Santa Fe, Taos, various pueblos, and other New Mexican sights if a car is available.
The only negative was that some amenities were not replenished regularly.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,379 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
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English first
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2010

Rooms
We stayed on the 5th floor in one of the suites. Our check-in clerk was very nice in granting us a complimentary room upgrade along with some buffet passes. The room was very large, and the balcony was one of the largest that I have ever seen. Our view included part of the pool, golf facility, and the New Mexico landscape. Both the living room and bedroom had remote-control fireplaces and large screen televisions. The bathroom was also quite large and lengthy. It consisted of the toilet, bathtub/shower, double mirror vanity area, and a standard sink and mirror area. I don’t think that there’s a way that they could have improved the room. It was a quite an inviting place.

Resort
This resort is massive. Combined with the casino and golf facilities, it is a huge property that stands out amidst the New Mexico terrain. One of the unique things about the resort is the local style architecture and the various sculptures and Buffalo-themed artwork throughout the property. On one of the days, there were even some local traditional musicians playing close to the lobby bar. It is a unique resort experience.

Spa
The spa facility is exceptional and comprehensive. Nearly anything that you could want is offered there. Additionally, spa guests are allowed to use the steam room, hot tub, sauna, and other spa amenities during the entire day of the visit. My wife had a four hour combo package and remarked that it was the best spa treatment that she had ever had. I settled for a standard massage and had no complaints.

Restaurants
There are essentially three restaurants at the property (not including the casino floor), and we dined at each.
The buffet restaurant was mediocre. While the selection was decent, the quality was lacking. Several of the foods were luke-warm, and the spacing did not seem to make much sense. We only dined here once so it may have been an off-day.
The second restaurant, MICA, doesn’t have any windows so we chose to use their menu while dining outside by the pool. I found the food to be good, and my wife really enjoyed the light meals that they offered. I will say that their New Mexico (or Santa Fe) style burger in a tortilla was exceptional.
The premier restaurant was the Red Sage. The food here was excellent. We ate here several times, and really enjoyed everything that we tried, from the standard cuisines to the chef’s more inventive dishes. I believe that this restaurant could even do well without the steady stream of hotel patrons. Dining here is definitely recommended.

Casino
Buffalo Thunder is supposed to have the largest floor casino in the Santa Fe area. While it didn’t seem that big to me, I am probably biased since I make trips to Vegas fairly often. The casino had the standard assortment of slot games and table games. During the day, many of the table games were limited to one table due to a lack of interest. It was surprising to find out that alcohol is prohibited on the casino floor. The waitresses would sporadically come by offering sodas and water though. Also, for poker tournament aficionados, this might not be the place for you. While the poker room is smoke-free and did tend to have 1-2 tables going most of the time, the games were normally 1-3 no-limit and another game. They list a no-limit tournament schedule that is supposed to occur daily, but the only time enough people showed up for a tourney during our week’s stay was for the “beginner’s” tournament. I did enjoy the casino table games though and several of the dealers were friendly and talkative.

Misc.
Overall, my wife and I had a great time at this resort and casino. I will note that I had an incident occur at the casino during the second night of our stay. It was a case of mistaken identity, and after contacting the marketing manager (thanks TripAdvisor!) and speaking with the Hilton General Manager, he was able to resolve all of our concerns. In fact, he sets a high bar in the hospitality industry and definitely should be commended on his demeanor and friendly attitude.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mkricherson, Marketing Coordinator at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, October 27, 2010
Good morning,

Thank you so much for your review. I remember you and your situation and I am glad that I could assist in this matter. As you mentioned in your review, Tim Booth is wonderful at what he does. He is an amazing General Manager and was eager to assist you as well.

Thank you again and we hope to have you back in the future!

Marylyn Richerson
Marketing Coordinator
505-819-2011
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Urbandale, Iowa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2010

Honestly, the room was beautiful, I somehow got upgraded to a 2 room suite with 2 verandas overlooking the parking lot, but the golf course and mountains were a wonderful morning and evening view. The casino was fun, I won a little in the poker room, and came out even on Black-Jack and Craps.
I was there for a conference, and checked in a day early, as was instructed for first time attendees. I came downstairs around 7:00 and waited for several minutes before someone was behind the desk. I asked them if there were any receptions for my conference that evening, and they told me one room number and said, "there is another reception, but if you don't know about it, I can't tell you about it" - Then why even mention it???? However, that reception I didn't know about, and was the reason I asked WAS FOR FIRST TIME ATTENDEES ONLY! - It was the reason I was there, but there was no check in, no itinerary for first time attendees, and just ignorant front desk staff that didn't have the common sense to ask me some questions to see if the reception was one I should be involved in. I went to the burger restaurant downstairs in the casino, had dinner and went back to my room.
Unfortunately, I lost my business credit card earlier that day, so I was a little worried about how my stay and incidentals would be paid for - but I put down my personal debit card, and told them I'd expect to change that once a new Credit Card arrived. I talked to my credit card comapny on Wednesday morning and they assured me overnight delivery - which I thought meant it would be there Thursday. I checked each mornign and afternoon with the front desk to see if the FedEx had arrived through Friday night.
I tried to avoid the front desk the rest of my stay, but was forced to go there before our busses left for the final night in Santa Fe. I had an important contract coming in on the fax, and needed to urgently sign it, have it faxed back, and not miss the bus. The fax finally came, I signed it, and handed it to a young lady behind the desk to fax back - pointing out the fax number it needed to be sent to. She looked at me dumbfounded and said "I don't know how to use the fax mahine, I'll need to find someone else" - so she stands behind another staff member while he types into his computer (he wasn't waiting on anyone, just typing information in) and waited until he looked at her, rather than interupting him to help a customer that just said this was urgent and I needed to catch the bus. Finally, she finds someone else, and they take my fax. I get on the final bus, and expect everything to be fine.
The next morning, I ask the front desk for my contract back, and after searching through several stacks of paper, they finally tell me "Anything left past midnight gets shredded, and we can't retrieve a copy from the fax machines memory". THis was shocking and upsetting, I didn't not understand how an original legal document would just be shredded without a call to the room. Other hotels I have stayed at slide the document and fax receipt under the door of the room like they do with the early check out bills. This was extremely upsetting, and I spoke to the front desk manager and he said he was sorry, but there was nothing he could do.
I did get an early check out form in my room, and after a morning meeting, I returned to my room about 10:00. Rather than just call down and check out, I decided to check out directly from the front desk at 10:55. It was quick, and I was on my way.
Around 2:30, I got to the Albequrqe airport, and was finally able to charge my phone (it had died early that morning, and needless to say, the reception in the Hotel was terrible as well -so my phone continued to search for service and drained the battery very quickly. I found that I had a message at 10:35 from the hotel statign I had a Fed Ex package to pick up. Let's do the math - I was in my room at 10:35 and received no phone call on the hotel phone, and no blinking light telling me I had a message or something to pick up at the front desk. I checked out at the Front Desk at 10:55, and the man brought up my bill and information on his computer, but failed to tell me I had a package to pick up.
I immediatly returned the call to the hotel, someone at the Front Desk answered, I told them I ahd a complaint, and they immediatly transferred me to someone voicemail. I relayed the story to the voicemail, gave them my name and address and phone number and demanded they send the Fed Ex package next-day-air to me at my business.
Needless to say, I have never received my Fed Ex, nor did I ever receive a call from anyone with the hotel.
Extremely dissapointing, and though I truly enjoyed the conference, I would never recommend this hotel to anyone due to the negligence and carelessness of the Front Desk Staff.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
BTRHiltonManager, William Booth, Director of Front Office Operations at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, September 24, 2010
Thank you for taking your time to share your feedback regarding your stay with us. I apologize for the inconvenience that you encountered during your stay, and can assure that this is not normal at our Resort. From your comments it appears that you still have not received your package, and I would like to assist you in having that returned to you. If you can please contact the Resort at 505.455.5555 and ask to be connected to myself so that I can get the necessary information to have your package returned.

Thank you again for staying with us and sharing your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown PA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2010

My sister and I began a 3 day visit at this beautiful resort north of Santa Fe.We had just ended a 4 day stay at the Hilton in the center of Santa Fe. Since the time we visited was right after Indian Market and right before Labor Day, we found this property fairly empty. We were assigned a beautiful room in a non-smoking area of the hotel as requested. The room had an adjoining suite area which was locked off, but shared a balcony with us. It was empty for 2 days I will preface this by saying I frequently stay at a Hilton when traveling for business. I have always been impressed with security and management---but not here! On our last evening at this resort, we returned to our room. We had left our patio door ajar , as we wanted to enjoy the evening air. We had a sheer pulled across the door. We returned to the room. My sister and I were getting undressed when all of a sudden a man walked directly in front of our door and peered in. We called the front desk, as we were sure they had made a mistake. The front desk girl was concerned and called the manager. He seemed surprised at first--because he said " you mean you have a shared balcony"? I told them it was a breach of security for them to assign the adjoining room with a shared balcony to anyone withour alerting us, and we were appalled that a strange man was on our patio. In addition the guest proceeded to have a party with many men and women, with no restriction on how much noise was made. The revelers smoked and our room smelled like smoke and in the morning the shared porch was littered with cigarette butts thrown on the floor. We were leaving the next morning and the manager on call, ( who I must say was totally unsympathetic and unprofessional) told us he would move our room. I told him this was our last night at the hotel and we had to get a good night's sleep and he should move the gentleman next door as we had already been there for 2 nights. He assured us that security would go to the room and make sure that they knew to keep the noise down The party continued until 3:30 in the morning in their room and on Our porch, with no intervention or help from security as promised. Finally at 3:30 am the party disbanded, after I made a final attempt for management to handle the situation. The next morning I intercepted the manager in the hotel lobby and he was quite curt and said he had every right to rent a room to any guest, shared balcony or not withour alerting the adjoining room guests. I find this incredulous! A strange man peering into your room, an unlocked patio door--no woman travelling by herself should ever feel any sense of security or well-being in a hotel managed like this. My husband is furious!
What a shame that security is not a priority for Hilton Hotels! I have always traveled Marriott or Hilton and am a frequent traveler to New York City and an Hilton elite member--this lackadaisical approach to security would never be tolerated there. Unlike any of the other Hilron Properties, they charge their Elite members for internet access. This was to be returned to me after I asked the manager about this. He said that wasn't standard at this hotel or any other Hilton properties. However, I have always been granted free internet access at all Hiltons I have stayed at. My sister and I were most disappointed with this property. The only bright star was the wonderful concierge and the staff at their up-scale restaurant Red Sage. We will be submitting our complaint to Hilton---but in the meantime beware of this hotel, for the beauty of it is only skin deep!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 2 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.
BTRHiltonManager, Director of Front Office Operations at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, September 8, 2010
Thank you for staying with us, and for taking your time to share your comments regarding your stay as they are invaluable to us as we are constantly striving to improve. I can assure you that your comments regarding safety and security do not fall on deaf ears, and are being shared with our Director of Security and Director of Loss Prevention.

I apologize if there was any miscommunication by our organization regarding internet access fees within the Hilton Honors Program. Hilton has recently added complimentary high speed internet as a benefit for Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members, however this benefit currently does not extend to Silver and Blue Hilton Honors members.

Thank you again for your comments, and we look forward to the opportunity to have you as a guest again in the future at any of our Hilton Family Brand of Hotels.
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arizona
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2010

We recently spent 4 nights at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder, and we could have stayed longer.
The property is beautiful and clean. We did have an issue with our room as the safe was not operational. We had a king Jr suite in the spa building on the 5th floor and it was beautiful. Very large balcony, living area with fireplace and very nice bathroom. I really don't know what previous guest were complaining about as we found everything and everyone to be at the hotel to be up to Hilton standards. We ate at the buffet the first night and the food was OK. It looked like it was dry in the dishes but the flavor was there. We ate two night at the grill downstairs in the casino and found the food there to be good as well. Casino is a little tight but fun. We loved the views from the hotel and did not mind the short 15 min drive into Santa Fe. Spent one day driving north to the wineries and that was great fun. Would definately return for a stay at the Buffalo Thunder.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2010

We had a family reunion there. Had tweny five family members. We all arrived around 3:00 p.m. Only one room was available. The majority of us had to wait until 4:30 pm for our room. I'm a Honors members and received a complimentary upgrade and coupons for a free breakfast for two each morning. If you are a Honors member, be sure to check Hilton's website for specials before you book. We received a AAA rate with their Getaway package and received the free breakfast offer. We overall enjoyed the property...somewhat. Unfortunately the bad outweighed the good. It is close enough to Santa Fe to be convenient, yet far enough away to feel away from it all. The food service was very disappointing for a place claiming to be a resort. For breakfast, there is a mid size restaurant with a buffet that was very basic..., bacon/sausage/pancakes, but you can order eggs anyway you want thru the waitress. Here's a tip. A few of our party members stay at the Homesuites just up the hill from the Resort (of which I might stay next time). They have free buffet included. For those in our party that had to pay at the Resort they just went up to the Homesuites had the buffet and tipped the waitress a reasonable amount for the food. The MICA restaurant itself is in the interior section, no windows....uninviting. Service was good at the MICA. For dinner, the buffet was very basic as well. It was pricey, not worth the money. We went to Gabriel's (Mexican food) about ten minute drive frm resort. Saw alot of the hotel guests there. My husband and I play poker and black jack locally so were glad to discover they had a casino. The casino needs better air conditioning...much much too smoky. It was one of the worst for smoke we had been in to. For a Resort, it was awful. But luckily the poker room is "suppose" to be smoke-free. The deli is in the casino... bad. The service is the casino took too long, when questioned I had to repeat my order each time I ordered. Room service was poor too, The food was ok, but they assign only one person to take, make and delivery the orders. We had to wait over one hour for our food. My husband was really irritated. Sorry to complain but these things made our trip memorable as to why we will not return to this RESORT. This was the frosting on the cake...my mother-in-law was sitting at the slots, two men started getting into a fight next to her. She immediately looked around, then move away for a couple of minutes. They immediately left "together" she looked down and her purse was missing. My father-in-law went to the security guard station...no security guard there, he went to the cashier cage and asked for the guard..they said, it doesn't surprise me the guard isn't there..they called his supervisor to report the problem. For twenty-eight minutes no one was at the station, in the meantime someone brought the purse over minus her money. We complained to the supervisor when she FINALLY arrived. Every employee we told the story to had the same feeling that their security was lacking. Next the cleanliness around the hotel rooms. Food left outside the rooms, stayed there until late afternoon, housekeeping didn't pick up. The pool side was very nice. Good chairs and cabanas available. Jacuzzi was FULL of young kids ALL the time. You rarely saw any adults in it. Then the final straw. I asked the conceige to print out our booking passes for a 2:45 pm flight on Southwest. Gave her three boarding passes slips at 9:30 am, and asked her to be sure to call for the boarding passes at exactly 2:45 pm cause I wanted to get an early boarding number on the flight. When we arrived back at the hotel at 3:00 pm that afternoon from Santa Fe, we discovered she had only printed out one boarding pass with the remaining two not booked. My son and husband where the last number on the flight. We were not able to sit together. Never-Never Again, Buffalo Thunder!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
mkricherson, Marketing Coordinator at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, August 23, 2010
Good afternoon,

My name is Marylyn Richerson and I am the Marketing Coordinator at the Resort.

I would like to thank you for taking time out of your day to write this review. Without guests like you we would not know where our areas of improvement are. Please know that these challenges have been addressed and we are in the process of re-training our staff to better serve our guests. If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to contact me at 505-819-2011.

I hope that we may have the chance to redeem ourselves in the future.

Thank you,
Marylyn Richerson
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canyon, tx
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2010

We look forward to our trips to the Santa Fe area and always stay at the Hilton Santa Fe Resort at Buffalo Thunder. Painted Parrot Buffet and deli outstanding. A lot of see and do in the immediate area. Close to grocery store, shopping, and gambling. Beautiful pool and hot tub, outdoor and indoor. Golf course within walking distance. Shuttle to Sante Fe and other casinos. Short drive to Taos and Enchanted circle. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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 7
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:
Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Santa Fe
#12 Business Hotel in Santa Fe
#21 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 & 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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