If this is your first trip to Santa Fe, you're only staying a night or two, and you can afford it, I recommend staying within walking distance of the Plaza. Last year we stayed at the Santa Fe Motel and loved it, but they didn't have space this year so we decided to save money and stay farther out. I regretted this...hassling with driving and parking just wasn't the same "immersion" into the old town.
But, if you're staying longer, planning day trips and/or you're on a tight budget, this place can't be beat.
LOCATION - this location is MUCH better than heading to the chain motels out on Cerrillos. That drive up Cerrillos to the Plaza is slow and ugly and will spoil your visit. Here you can take a scenic and lightly-traveled back route up some side streets to Santa Fe Trail (goes right to the plaza.) You'll also be closer to Museum Hill, a spectacular place to catch the sunsets.
There is also a bus stop on Zia within 5 minutes walk that will put you at the Plaza in 15 minutes. (Except Sunday) Santa Fe Trails Route #6. It's $2 to ride all day, which would buy you about an hour of parking if you can find it. Surprisingly, the otherwise well-informed desk attendants were unaware of this valuable asset... I unfortunately didn't discover this until the end of our trip, by which time I was exasperated with navigating and parking.
It's close to I-25, ideal for day trips to Pecos and Bandelier and Los Alamos.
PRICE - The AARP rate was a ridiculously low $69. If you stay 7 days and pay up front, it's $59.
ROOMS - Each suite includes a kitchen with a full-size fridge, and a little dining area.
FOOD - It's 5 minutes to either Trader Joes or Whole Foods (both are north at the intersection of St. Francis and Cordova) or you can also just walk to the Albertson's, and there's a great little Mexican restaurant, Jalapenos there too.
By now you're wondering how the same place can get reviews ranging from 1 - 5 stars. The reason is because it is a large facility with several buildings, and the quality of your stay might depend on where you end up. Some of the rooms have been upgraded and some have not...I got the sense that the longer your visit, the more likely you'll be put into an upgraded room.
Also, "sleep quality" wise the rooms which face inward are going to be quieter than those on the parking lots. If you're on the south parking lot you'll hear the roar of I-25 all night. If you're on the north parking lot (as we were) you will be awakened at 4 a.m. by the massive delivery trucks heading to and from Albertsons rumbling past your window. I'm a light sleeper so I always carry earplugs, otherwise we would have left after the first night.
CONDITION - We were in an "upgraded" room but this is not luxury suites. It felt more like staying at a friend's apartment. Furniture getting beat up, stains on the carpet, tattered blanket BUT firm comfy mattresses. It was relatively clean, but the first night I was walking around in my socks and noticed when I got into bed that the bottoms were black...not good. But again, what do you expect for $69 a night in Santa Fe?
MY BASIC RECOMMENDATION: Whether or not you like this place depends upon what you're expecting. If you're a budget traveler, and a hotel is just a place to sleep, you will love this place. It's cheap, well located (even if it's a little weird being behind a grocery store) the staff is incredibly friendly. The kitchen is a money-saving bonus, and the extra space is nice. You can watch the sunrise over the mountains just by stepping out into the parking lot...it would be nice if they had a bench or two though.
If however hotel ambiance is an important part of your experience, you probably won't be happy here. Neither the rooms nor the property itself were very inviting.
But as a place to lay your head after a long day of site-seeing...fantastic value.
NB: on their website under "Fitness & Health" they say you can get free passes to use the pool at Chavez Community Center. However, while using the computer in the lobby area I overheard a customer complaining that this was no longer available. I don't know all the details BUT if having access to a pool is a deal breaker for you, be sure to check on it.
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- Also Known As:
- The Santa Fe Hotel Santa Fe
- The Hotel Santa Fe