La Fonda Hotel is in Santa Fe right at the corner of the downtown Plaza. La Fonda is built on the site of the first hotel in Santa Fe. It is still the anchor tenant on the Plaza and the original gathering place in Santa Fe. We stayed here in 2002 by coincidence from reading a New Mexico guide in the car on the way. This time we returned 11 years later to spend more time in Santa Fe and see if things were as nice as we remembered.
I booked the hotel in December for a March 11th and 12th stay. In January I got emails informing us that there would be ongoing construction but that it would not impact our stay. We flew in to Albuquerque and drove the one hour from there to Santa Fe, arriving at the hotel about 2:30 pm. Our room was ready at that time and we had a standard room on the 1st floor. We love boutique hotels that preserve the local style of construction and La Fonda is both familiar and luxurious. Wi-Fi and cool tile décor coexist with some old fashioned touches and art deco, southwest style. The hotel staff was as pleasant and helpful as we remembered, the margarita was even better.
We had lots of Mexican and New Mexican food in Santa Fe and the main restaurant at La Fonda had the best chili rellenos of the trip. Carlos made a magnificent margarita. They had some nice draft beers as well. The façade construction did not affect us as the work was on the other side of the hotel from our room and only during the day. There is a big fireplace with a fire going just off the restaurant. The hotel has at least a dozen fine shops available from the lobby area and more outside. The décor in the lobby, restaurants and hallways is just spectacular and you can only get a taste in just two days. We had breakfasts in the French Café, tres bon.
Santa Fe was great. We could walk to everything and only drove to get to a Bikram yoga studio about two miles from the hotel. We had been to the Indian and Art museums in 2002 and did the history and Georgia O’Keefe museums this time. In addition to La Fonda we had lunch at Tia Sophia’s (so did the Governor of New Mexico) and the Atomic Café; both were delicious with reasonable prices. Dinner was at La Fonda and the Blue Corn café. Shopping is phenomenal we bought mostly from the Indians at the Governors Palace.
We only had a full day Monday and wished we had three to really see the most of the plaza area. Weather in mid March was freezing at night and 60/70 by afternoon. Definitely dress in layers. Sunsets were great stars were bold.