As all the reviews note, La Fonda has a great location in the heart of Santa Fe. It is a lively, bustling hotel, nicely decorated. However, should you have any reason to deal with a front desk clerk named Jeremy, run the other way.
High points - larger than expected rooms. We booked a one bedroom suite. We expected it to be a good size, but it exceeded expectations. It had a good size bedroom, large sitting room with sofabed, large walk in closet and supersized bathroom. Room was pleasantly furnished in an understated southwest style. Breakfast (included with our package) was well worth it - delicious food and large portions in the attractive interior roofed courtyard.
Lesser points - Despite being really large, most of the bathroom was empty space, and there was oddly limited room for toiletries, makeup kits, hair curlers, etc. Also, the hotel is not set back from the street at all, making the rooms on lower floors (which is most of the rooms) right at or just above street level. Finally, air conditioning didn't work real well, so it was always a bit too hot in the room at night (despite being cool outside - but street level room prevented us from leaving the windows open at night).
Our horrible front desk experience: Our introduction to La Fonda started out poorly, and then got worse. Knowing the narrow and crowded streets around the Plaza, we called the hotel from the road to get instruction on where to pull up and drop off our luggage. The hotel's website gives directions to their connected parking garage, but I didn't notice any instructions about bell service for luggage. In case, we called the front desk shortly before arrival to inquire about where to drop the luggage. We spoke to Jeremy, who told us that upon arrival we should pull up at the front door and bell service would find us. We were specifically told that bell service was available at the front door, but not in the parking garage. This turned out to be false on both counts. You want to go to the parking garage, and there is plenty of assistance available there. I have no explanation for the completely wrong information provided over the phone by Jeremy - the conversation was very clear and there was no chance for confusion - except that he messing with us just for the sadistic pleasure of it.
We when finally got the luggage straightened out upon arrival, we were greeted at the front desk by Jeremy. As he was pulling up our reservation on the computer, we mentioned that we hoped he could assign us a quiet room, not too close to an elevator. He shook his head, said that they had only one room in our category (one bedroom suite, one of their nicer rooms) available, that it was on the first floor, right by the street and right next to an elevator. He said that no one liked that room, and suggested that we cancel our reservation and that they might be able to help us find a room at another hotel somewhere in Santa Fe. We were shocked. We researched our hotel carefully, and chose it based on location, room size, amenities, and comfort for three people in one room. If we wanted to stay somewhere else, we would have booked somewhere else. We had never been welcomed by hotel so apparently eager to get rid of us. He eventually was able to come up with a room with two double beds, instead of the king and sofa bed, but that didn't fit our needs and would have been a smaller room category. Had two double beds been acceptable, we would have stayed at the Hilton where we could have stayed for free.
Eventually we located a manager who was much nicer, was able to show us one other one bedroom suite, and was generally a kind, concerned and accommodating person, totally unlike the first clerk. We eventually ended up staying in the room on the first floor near the elevator. The noise didn't end up being too bad, but the air conditioning never worked right, so we didn't sleep well for that reason.
In all, if you avoid Jeremy at the front desk, you should enjoy La Fonda if the other reviews make it sound like a place you want to stay. In the end, two of the three in our group liked it overall, and one hated it. If you want a bit greater chance of quiet, then perhaps choose somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Historic La Fonda on the Plaza has been described as "the essence of the city's exuberant soul." Each guest room and suite is unique, with hand-carved and hand-painted furnishings, fitted with luxurious pillow-top Sealy Posturepedic Comfort System Dynasty beds and Anichini linens. Amenities include Wi-Fi, fitness center, outdoor pool and hot tub, spa services. La Terraza concierge level offers 14 luxury accommodations. La Plazuela restaurant is famous for it's award-winning cuisine and 400 hand-painted windows. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Fonda On The Plaza Hotel Santa Fe
- La Fonda Hotel Santa Fe