The badly needed renovation of the Santa Fe Hilton has resulted in a dramatic improvement in its guest rooms. I normally stay elsewhere when I am in town, but this was a business trip that required frugality. When I stayed here last in 2010, I could easily have been in a suburban Cleveland or Newark Hilton. Now when you stay at the Hilton in Santa Fe, you’ll know that you are in New Mexico.
Rooms have been redesigned to reflect the hotel’s territorial-style architecture and its rich Hispanic heritage. There is no Pueblo revival going on here. With dark wood furniture, and fabrics and wall coverings in palettes of gold, brown and red, my room was one of the most visually coherent hotel rooms I have ever stayed in.
Questionable design choices among the high quality, dark wood furniture pieces included a white, high-leg dresser whose brass nail head decoration repeated the nail heads used on the corner settee. The settee, a creative and aesthetically interesting use of a room corner, was extremely uncomfortable with its vertical back and short seat. While the embossed leather surface of its coffee table is a perfect example of the attention to detail paid by the room’s designer, most guests won’t find the room’s sitting area an inviting place to relax.
The new bathrooms feature back-lighted mirrors and showers with a frameless, plate glass door and ceramic seat. The tile floor, which continues out into the room’s foyer, resembles short wooden planks, a perfect compliment to the room’s territorial aesthetic. The bath’s three separate switches control the bath’s lighting to show off textured wallpapers in complimentary gold and deep red. Guests will find the bathroom functional with flair.
I noted two problems with the bath however. One was its sliding “barn-type” door that while aesthetically interesting, when fully closed left a two-inch wide opening - top to bottom – through which sounds and smells can easily escape into the room, and children’s curious eyes can see in, perhaps to view mommy – and maybe daddy – in the shower. (Parents with young children might want to bring along a roll of duck tape to seal of this space) The room designer did not think this one through. The other problem was with sink whose faucet neck is either too small or placed too far back on the surface. Be prepared to make a mess on the countertop when you wash your hands.
Business travelers will want to know that while the room’s desk is functional, it lacks an ergonomic chair. I had to sit on two pillows to elevate my frame to typing height. And another thing that you should know is that my door to the hallway did not close automatically as most hotel doors do. I left the first night for dinner thinking that mine did, and when I returned I found that open by over an inch. Fortunately my laptop was still there. I tested the door several times, and the door closed only with a firm push or pull. While rooms have a safe for valuables, some items like laptops won’t fit. So be careful.
Besides the marked improvements in the hotel’s rooms, Hilton Honors members will enjoy a new third floor lounge that is open 24/7 for snacks, and where a continental breakfast and early evening wine and snacks are served daily. And the hotel offers a great location, just a three-minute walk to the plaza.
This renovation was a long time in coming, and except for the glitches that I have noted, the Hilton is definitely a great choice and value in downtown Santa Fe.
As for a room facing Guadalupe St. for some great Santa Fe sunsets.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 14, 2012
Thank you for your detailed comments and observations. We are working on make some adjustments to the new rooms as we receive customer feedback. Those rooms that feature the sliding bathroom doors are being adjusted and we are reinstalling the faucets to avoid the back splash issues. Thank you again for your kind comments and we very much look forward to your next visit to Santa Fe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.