We spent Thanksgiving week 2011 here, in a Sunset Suite, Room 50. This is a shoulder season for Santa Fe, so we got a large internet discount. The resort was only about half-full.
This is a very luxurious resort, with huge rooms, huger bathrooms, and a vast on-site spa. We didn't use the spa, so I have no report on it. It's not very far from the city, but is definitely out of town - about the same distance again, past the Santa Fe Opera. The resort provides free Mercedes shuttle cars to Santa Fe. They have a shuttle lounge in Santa Fe, but it had closed for season before we arrived.
That was no problem, since we were chauffered directly to and from each restaurant we chose. The drivers were prompt and professional. This makes it possible to enjoy a bottle of wine while you eat in one of the many famous restaurants of Santa Fe. The service is only hourly. I usually tipped the driver $5, but sometimes they were surprised to get a tip. The cars typically depart Encantado on the hour, and pick up at half-past in Santa Fe. You might be glad you brought a flashlight, although Encantado has little light fixtures around the sidewalks.
The biggest issue about this serious-luxury resort is the layout of the property. The area is attractively rural, with only a very few private homes far away, and the mountains in the distance. But it's not a Georgia O'Keefe view, but rather scrubby vegetation. Most rooms have their view dominated by the back of the spa building, and below that, the parking lots. We couldn't see the disc of the sunset from our room, but could see beautiful light on the hills directly in front of us. (We went to the bar for the actual sunset view.) Apparently, this resort, and this state, are pet-friendly. But we could tell (while outside our room) that some guests disobeyed the printed rule not to leave dogs alone in the rooms. Our room was well-kept and attractive. It was nice to have a real thermostat with the climate entirely under our control. WiFi was free and easy to use.
Our vast room had a small southwestern fireplace in the corner, pre-laid, and with extra firestarter cubes. But I couldn't really get the logs burning. I think they were not dry enough. The heated floor in the giant bathroom was sweet, but the computerized time control was kind of like a VCR that keeps flashing "12:00", no matter what you do. We had a lovely balcony, but it was too chilly to spend much time on it. The amount of (beautiful) bare wood floor makes me think you should look for a first-floor noise report in another review before you book a lower room. We had a minibar with complimentary soft drinks, and plenty of alcohol for sale. We were easily able to get our own bottle of wine into the refrigerator. (If you don't finish wine in the resort's Terra Restaurant, they'll store it for your next meal.)
It had snowed three times already, so the oudoor fire pit at the bar was closed, as was the swimming pool. So was the onsite free-standing branch of a downtown Santa Fe art gallery. Evening service at the bar and restaurant was good, but breakfast service seemed confused and slow, even when we were the first arrivals. The food was very good. Our own Garmin GPS had the wrong location for this resort. Make sure you learn where it is before you try to drive here. You will think you're lost, but it's just over 2 miles on NM 592 North, from Exit 172 of 84/285 It's actually conveniently located for destinations like Taos, Abiquiu, Ghost Ranch, and even Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument. Our Garmin database (I mean, of named attractions) was not very good in Northern New Mexico.
We got superb advice from the Clefs d'Or certified Concierge, Jody. Although she was too professional to say so, we learned that her last day was the day before we left. I hope the next one is half as good! We got printed confirmations of our restaurant reservations, and she made the shuttle-car reservations for us. She found out that Bandelier was open on Thanksgiving, and printed out instructions for the nearby Rio En Medio hiking trail. That trail was suitable for non-outdoors people like us, but trailhead parking is very limited. Go early or be ready to come back another time.
New Mexico travel note: Our travel agent had altitude sickness when she was here. Bu our doctor told us WE were healthy enough that we didn't need any Altitude-Sickness medicine before arriving. He was right. But our room had a cold-mist vaporizer in the closet, and we should have used it every night. The air is drier than an East Coast winter here. Our noses were screaming by the time we got out the vaporizer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Under grand skies and infinite stars, rediscover your inner artist in our intimate escape from the ordinary – nestled in a high-mountain desert landscape, minutes from the magic of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Set in 57 unspoiled acres tucked gently into the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is just 10 minutes from Santa Fe’s galleries, shops and distinctive architecture. The Resort offers 65 casita guest rooms and suites, each with its own fireplace and private terrace. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Encantado, An Auberge Hotel Santa Fe
- Encantado Hotel Santa Fe
- Encantado Resort Santa Fe