The main thing that you are paying for at the Inn of the Five Graces is the aesthetic experience of the Seret family's decor, which is really gorgeous. However, the thing about staying in a unique and distinctive property like this is that some rooms are, well, more unique than others. The inn is a conglomerate of of buildings (mostly old houses) grouped together just a couple of blocks from the Santa Fe plaza. I spent two nights in the Camelia Room, which was recommended to me by the hotel employee who handled my reservation because I was traveling alone and I specifically requested a quiet room, being a light sleeper. The room is truly tiny -- I estimate about 16 feet square, plus a little entrance area and a small bathroom. With a king size bed and a low ceiling, the place feels truly cave-like. I couldn't help thinking that it is exactly the kind of place where Bilbo Baggins would have felt at home after his exotic travels. Being slightly larger than a hobbit myself, I felt quite cramped, even with only one small suitcase to trip over. There is no table where one could sit and work at a computer or write.
In the bathroom, there is perhaps eight inches of counter space on either side of the sink, and that's all. The lighting in the bathroom was very dim -- even the illuminated shaving/makeup mirror was dim -- which added new challenges to my beauty routine. Also, there is only a shower -- no tub -- in this bathroom, and the water pressure was barely a trickle. I felt quite virtuous to be saving so much water . . . but also cold! This bathroom could really be improved with brighter lighting, a new showerhead, and some kind of table space for toiletries.
On the upside, the room really was as quiet as a tomb, and I didn't hear a thing from other guests. I had a lovely picnic dinner one evening at a table located in the private little alley leading to the room. All the goodies in the mini fridge are included in the cost of the room, as is breakfast. (For breakfast, I do not recommend the huevos rancheros -- a pale imitation of the real thing.) Plus, they do not accept tips at the inn (though I left something for the maids all the same) so you really won't have any additional expenses besides the room and taxes.
If you are thinking about booking a room at this hotel, be sure to ask very specifically about the amenities of the room you are getting. Some of them have actual kitchens (not Camelia), bathtubs, living rooms, etc; some rooms open onto charming courtyards and some open directly onto DeVargas Street. I think this hotel would be a good choice for travelers who want to be able to take care of some of their own meals and thus benefit from using the kitchenettes. The location is excellent for shopping in the center of Santa Fe. The service is friendly but not polished. If you are concerned about security, this is not the hotel for you, since rooms do not have security bolts (at least mine did not) though there are in-room safes.
Several TripAdvisor reviewers have commented on the beds. As someone who does like a soft mattress, I can say that my bed seemed to have a featherbed on top of a firm mattress. The bedding was nice and smooth and there were lots of pillows, but woe to any guest with a feather allergy!
One final note: unless you really enjoy the scent of sandalwood, bring some Febreze. All those exotic antiques and textiles have a rather pungent odor.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Inn of the Five Graces combines luxury with an aura of mystery. With an ethnic décor enhanced by East Indian and Tibetan antiques, oriental carpets and nomadic textiles combined with Southwest architecture, the interiors feature many handcrafted pieces as well as spectacular tile mosaics. Passionate about this land with its wealth of Indian legends, the owners invite you to embark on a sensory voyage to fully savour this melting pot of cultures and colours. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Inn Of The 5 Graces
- Inn Of The Five Graces Hotel Santa Fe
- Hotel Of The Five Graces
- Of The Five Graces Hotel