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“Simply Lovely!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Inn of the Turquoise Bear

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Inn of the Turquoise Bear
342 E. Buena Vista St., Santa Fe, NM 87505   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
3rd Night Free!
Ranked #3 of 43 Santa Fe B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dallas, Texas, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Simply Lovely!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We recently had the pleasure of staying for a weekend at The Turquoise Bear. It was a family trip with 7 children and 3 adults total. We all enjoyed our stay very much, the food was excellent, the rooms comfortable quirky, and Dan was very accommodating and friendly!

Thanks so much for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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101 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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11
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Newport Beach, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I love the Turquoise Bear. The rooms are charming, and the breakfasts divine. Dan even serves a smoothie shot to get the meal started, and he has wonderful stories about the inn's artistic guests and history. The dining room is stunningly gorgeous. Don't miss this place.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Austin, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

My wife and I stayed in the O.Henry room during a recent trip to Santa Fe. We LOVED the Inn- it had everything we had wanted for our vacation. The room itself was fantastic, the Inn overall is a perfect walking distance from Santa Fe's shops and restaurants (even for a pregnant lady and her out-of shape husband), and the breakfasts were fantastic. Dan is a friendly host who will join you at breakfast for conversation and make great recommendations on local restaurants.

One last tip: if Dan offers to "experiment" on you for the following morning's breakfast, SAY YES.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Innman80, Owner at Inn of the Turquoise Bear, responded to this review, 4 days ago
Thank you for the review Duff! We enjoyed having you here for a nice long stay! Our close proximity to Santa Fe's historic plaza, canyon road, and restaurants allows our guests to walk everywhere during their stay....but I think it was the altitude that many have to adjust too. You're in fine shape! We look forward to hearing you play that flute on your next visit! All the best to you and Ann and your new little one!
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Sandy, Utah
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We stayed in the old carriage house which was very nice when we lit the fire. Property is charming.

Dan made a great breakfast in the morning and was very nice. He gave us a contact for a massage therapist (Lauren) who came in the morning and did a great job with my wife.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Innman80, Owner at Inn of the Turquoise Bear, responded to this review, 4 days ago
It was great having you and Angela stay with us Roger! Thank you for the review!
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Royal Oak
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

My best friend and I stayed here at the end of January to celebrate our 50th birthdays. We couldn't have asked for better. The inn is lovely, a short walk from town, and we enjoyed all sorts of unexpected touches. The gardener swept the snow off our car for us. Dan not only made reservations for dinner for us, he printed out directions for us. He also had some great suggestions for what to see in town and in the area.
Because we were the only guests, Dan offered us an upgrade, so we had the O'Keefe and Shaman rooms. They are both lovely, large and well equipped. I would say that the Shaman room has a more masculine feel to it because the colors are darker. We chose to sit in the O'Keefe room and enjoy the fire in the evenings.
Breakfast began with fresh fruit, a delicious smoothie shot of a different flavor combination each morning, then finished with something really substantial. We didn't need to eat again any time soon. Dan serves outside in the garden in the warmer weather, which must be wonderful.
I'm only sorry that we were there in the snow instead of when the gardens were blooming. I could tell that they are very well established and must be lovely.
It's about 10-15 minute flat walk to the plaza from the inn. We felt comfortable walking during the day and at night. You go past the Loretto chapel and some interesting shops on the way.
Really a wonderful place.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Innman80, Owner at Inn of the Turquoise Bear, responded to this review, 4 days ago
Thank you for the kind review Megan! We relish hosting good friends celebrating together and making their visit to Santa Fe special! We invite you and Sue to return when our gardens are in full bloom...they really are quite unique to Santa Fe.
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Oregon, USA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I had such a pleasant stay at the Inn of the Turquoise Bear, which I chose for its location near historic downtown Santa Fe, its interesting architecture and literary history, and its excellent online reviews. I picked the Willa Cather room for its low price as well as my fondness for its namesake, who stayed here (maybe even in this very room!) as a friend of the original owner. I love to "read locally" while traveling, and during my stay here I read Cather's novel "Death Comes for the Archbishop," set in Santa Fe.

There are no obvious signs for the B&B so I drove past it the first time, but my GPS had directed me correctly based on the address. It is the first driveway on your left after you turn on Buena Vista from Old Santa Fe Trail. The property is surrounded by tall adobe walls marked only by a small tile number "342" featuring a turquoise bear. Through the wide gateway you'll see a circular driveway in front of terraced gardens that lead up to the lovely adobe main house. I was really impressed by my first sight of the house, which is on the National Register as the Witter Bynner House - unique and beautiful and in great shape.

A sign on the main house door instructed me to ring a bell upon arrival. Upon re-reading the sign later, I think you are then meant to go inside and wait in the common room, but I stood on the porch and admired the building for a few minutes until the innkeeper Dan came to the door. He was very warm and welcoming and got me checked in efficiently in his office off the breakfast room while I sat on a comfy couch next to his desk. He asked me about my interests for sightseeing and dining, and marked up a city map with some great recommendations. (When I said historic places are my thing, he circled the entire downtown with a laugh.) He then escorted me personally to my room.

The Willa Cather room is on the outer edge of the property and shares a little enclosed foyer and bathroom with the Edna St. Vincent Millay room. Dan noted that it was one of the oldest rooms on the property, dating from c. 1800. That was music to my ears, of course. On a more practical level, he pointed out that my door tends to swing shut and may lock automatically, so I should always have my key or unlock the knob before going to the bathroom. That turned out to be true and I really appreciate that he made this clear! After making sure I had everything I needed, and advising me on the most convenient place to park for my room, Dan left me to get settled.

The only hitch was that after unloading the car, I realized I didn't have the wi-fi password. This was around 6:15 and I think 6:00 is his standard closing time, as I got no answer when I called the main line. However, I went to the common room and eventually found it in a small frame on the right side of the room. Dan, if you read this, you might consider displaying the password in each room for extra convenience.

I was initially booked for three nights, taking advantage of a great winter deal in which the third night is free, but I later extended my stay to a total of six nights. In addition to keeping busy walking around and photographing Santa Fe, I was able to get lots of work done on my laptop thanks to the superb wi-fi (very impressive for the setting), multiple comfy places to sit, and peace and quiet. Also very useful was the charging center with two extra outlets and two USB inputs on the nightstand - a thoughtful and much-appreciated addition.

There is a oldish TV with DirectTV, which I didn't use, and a cupboard with toiletries, towels and bathrobe. No refrigerator, which is fine by me since they tend to be loud. I still enjoyed cold drinks by keeping my little cooler outside my room in the shade - I never had to replace the iceds that Dan provided early on.

Some evenings I lit my wood fire and it was absolutely wonderful to smell and listen to while working. What a rare treat, and it adds to the historic ambience of the room. A Spanish-speaking man, who had one of the kindest faces I've ever seen, came to rebuild my fire every day at 12:15, all set up in a teepee shape with newspaper and kindling. All I had to do is light it with the provided lighter. Spectacular.

There is an excellent space heater provided in addition to the fireplace, which I didn't use much because I tend to prefer my room cool. The windows all open and are screened, so it's easy to cool down the room as needed with fresh night air. There is no air conditioning, but even in the summer I would think the thick adobe walls and cool night air would keep the rooms cool enough most of the time.

The bathroom is spacious and just as historically interesting as the room, with thick adobe arches and a timber roof, all painted white. It has a space heater which is left on all the time, which was very nice and cozy. The water from the tap flows incredibly cold and delicious, and the shower has excellent water pressure due to being closest to the source (as Dan explained).

The bathroom is in mild disrepair, such as some uneven flooring and cracks in the shower tiles, which Dan pointed out and apologized for. He said he just bought the B&B in April and has been gradually fixing things up. Additionally, the timber ceiling of my room dripped a bit in the corner during warm evenings, I think due to condensation (it did not drip at all when it rained). He was unaware of that one and horrified to hear about it, but I had simply put my ice bucket on the chair to catch the drips and all was well. These small matters didn't bother me and I would happily stay there again before any repairs. And his repairs must be proceeding at a great pace because most everything looks great.

I met one bug during my stay, a house centipede on the inside of the shower curtain. I had never seen one before and it is hideous, especially when only inches away in a small space and scurrying around at top speed. According to the internet, it is harmless and even helpful. Nevertheless I murdered it and if I never see one again it will be too soon.

Breakfast is served at a long wooden table in the beautiful dining room of the main house until 9:30. I'm a late riser and didn't make it every day, but when I did, the food was absolutely delicious and the conversation with other guests was interesting and enjoyable. This seems to be one of those places that attracts cool guests. Among them was a man from Austin who worked for Apple promoting digital education, a friendly young couple from Las Cruces (she wore her cute purple pajamas to breakfast), and an older couple from Seattle decked out in Seahawks gear, with whom I bonded over the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

A table under a bright window has a spread of fresh juices, fruit, wonderful fresh-baked breads, granolas, yogurt, etc., and tea and coffee are available all the time. Soon after arrival you are served a restaurant-quality hot main dish that is different every day. Dietary needs and preferences are catered to - Dan even remembered I don't like tomatoes, even though I didn't make a big deal of it. The emphasis on fresh and natural foods were such a welcome change after the heavy food I'd been having in Texas and Albuquerque. Dan himself was the chef and primary server, with some serving help from his really nice housekeeper.

I was sad to leave when it came to the end of my stay. Thanks Dan for such a comfortable and peaceful retreat! I wish you the best with your new B&B and hope to come back someday.

Room Tip: Willa Cather room is quiet, though perhaps not the quietest due to adjoining rooms and Old Santa Fe...
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Innman80, Owner at Inn of the Turquoise Bear, responded to this review, 4 days ago
Holly, thank you for your kind and thorough review! We couldn't agree more that our guests are cool! They tend to seek out an authentic Santa Fe experience and as you point out, our rambling adobe estate delivers on that! I appreciate you recognizing our warm and friendly staff. Roberto, Greg and Violeta strive hard to delight our guests and make their visit comfortable and memorable. I regret I didn't point out the WiFi pass code on the information sheet you received upon arrival. It's on the back of the map of Santa Fe and includes my cell number. We will include them in each room as you suggest! Thank you! As new stewards of this historic estate, we have great plans to continue it's refurbishment. We've updated four baths and will be working on the bath you experienced next month. I still want to see some of the pictures you took!
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Austin, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

My partner and I spent Valentines evening at the Inn and had a great stay! Dan was an amazing host and ensured our stay was most enjoyable: recommendations for fun, evening wine and snacks, excellent breakfast, and a cozy fire were all reasons that will bring us back! And, you feel like you're in a mountain retreat, yet just a few blocks from the plaza!

  • Stayed February 2015
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innman80, Owner at Inn of the Turquoise Bear, responded to this review, 4 days ago
Thank you for the review! Many couples find our Inn a perfect spot for a romantic get away...and not just on Valentines! We enjoyed getting to know you Rob and Geoff, but your stay was much too brief! We know you enjoyed a wonderful evening on our front patio with our moutain views. Our towering pines help to bring that mountain right to you don't they! We look forward to having you with us again. Be well!
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Additional Information about Inn of the Turquoise Bear

Address: 342 E. Buena Vista St., Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Mexico > Santa Fe
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 43 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Fe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience warm Santa Fe style and charm in this quintessential rambling adobe estate occupying an acre of terraced gardens walking distance from the Santa Fe Plaza, Canyon Road, and Rail Yard. Our Santa Fe bed and breakfast will pamper you with gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea, twilight social reception, and concierge service. Guests will also enjoy complimentary parking and free Wi-Fi internet. Constructed in Spanish-Pueblo Revival style, our Santa Fe inn dates to the mid-1800's and is one of Santa Fe's most historically significant buildings. Located just 6 blocks from the Plaza, Canyon Rd, restaurants, shops and galleries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn Of The Turquoise Bear Bed And Breakfast
Inn Of The Turquoise Bear Hotel Santa Fe

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