We recently stayed at the St. Francis for several nights. The hotel is centrally located on Don Gaspar Avenue (incidentally the confirmation email allowed for my iPhone map app to use the included address to guide us; it was sending us to the wrong place and I was blaming the Apple map app until I saw that the address on the email was for 210 Don GaspER not GaspAR - the hotel desk was notified of this when we got in). The check-in process was smooth. We were directed to park either at the parking lot at the side or, if this was full, at the public parking right across the street. We would just have to make sure that we had the hotel paper on the dashboard and the ticket validated at the hotel prior to leaving. Parking costs $9/day.
We stayed on the second floor facing the parking lot and thus away from the bar which had apparently made for a noisy stay for one unhappy reviewer. Fortunately we had no problem with noise from either the parking lot or fellow guests. The rooms are indeed small but not too cramped. The toilets were small but featured bathtubs. One room had the sink outside in the main room. My room had the sink/toilet/bathtub in the bathroom although the bathroom was raised about 6 inches above the rest of the room; I had to remember this every time I used the bathroom so I wouldn't trip or fall. The water pressure was good and the hot water came up quickly. There was a small flat-screen TV in a small wooden armoire/desk. There was a small closet containing a safe right by the door. On the other side of the door was a small bench and a row of clothes hooks especially useful when getting out of winter boots and coats. The bed was very comfortable, the comforter/duvet plush and warm and there were lots of pillows. Yes, the rooms were small compared to those in more modern establishments but they were comfortable. Just do not bring too much or too large luggage as this will not leave you with much space. The floors were wood and creaked slightly. Fortunately guests above me were light-footed
We loved the hotel grounds. It is an old building on the National Registry of Historic Places. The oldest hotel in Santa Fe, it dates back to the 1880s. The architectural style is not that promoted by the city, namely the adobe "Santa Fe Style" typical here but a more restrained (some called it austere), almost monastic approaches. Arches figure prominently both on the facade and in the lobby and hallways ("take the middle arch and head up the stairs . . ." or "the bathrooms are just past the second archway" are just some of the arch-based directions we were given). The furniture is made of what appears to be aged wood in keeping with the history of the place. There are black, wrought-iron chandeliers in the lobby. The lobby feature a stone baptismal font which surrounded by large, tall votive candle holders. At the front of the building is an outdoor patio running the length of the building pacing Don Gaspar, framed by arches. The patio has couches, armchairs, and end-tables. I could see this as a great place to hang out in the evening but not in February.
The entrance to their bar, Secreto, is right on the lobby. Secreto was crowded every evening but it never got noisy while we were there. Their restaurant, Tabla de los Santos, was situated beyond Secreto.
The Governor's Palace, St. Francis' Cathedral, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture as well as countless stores and restaurants were all a short stroll away.
We enjoyed our stay very much. The staff was friendly and helpful. The rooms may have been small but we slept well. The decor, as mentioned, was restrained and harkens to a monastic theme but was still very well done. There was none of the typical southwest theme of Native American woven blankets and ceramics with Kokopelli. The wi-fi was free. I appreciated the multiple outlet extension cord in my room. The rooms may have been small and some features quirky (bathroom raised above the rest of the bedroom level?) but we slept well in the comfy beds. The location can't be beat and the staff were very friendly.
When visiting Santa Fe definitely consider staying at the St. Francis.
I have heard the rooms facing the inner courtyard are particularly nice and quiet
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 20, 2013
Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to review us. We’re glad to hear you appreciated the simple and comfortable décor and the unique tranquility that embodies Hotel St. Francis. The archways everywhere are one of my favorite features as well. I’m glad the mix of old world simplicity and modern convenience made a good impression on you. Some of our guest rooms do have steps up into the bathrooms; this hearkens back to a few decades ago when there were communal bathrooms on every floor. Since the hotel is on the National Registry of Historic Places, we cannot knock walls down and so when they renovated the hotel in the 1980s and put bathrooms in each room, the plumbing had to go beneath the floors. Our staff looks forward to taking good care of you again the next time you come to Santa Fe. Come back and have a specialty drink on our front Loggia when the weather warms up! Alder Seaman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.