My wife and I and 2 teenage daughters opted for Encantado at the last moment after having our New York trip canceled due to the blizzard. I decided to find somewhere nice within driving distance of Colorado as a "consolation prize" for the female segment of the family - after all, the bags were already packed and they were itching to do something! Of course, Tripadvisor was the first place I looked and the reviews looked great - so a quick phone call later we were on our way.
We arrived at Encantado after a 6-hour drive (still quicker than traveling to NY). We got there just after dark and had to struggle a little to find the place (even with GPS support) as the resort is out of town and the GPS's don't have correct coordinates by about a mile. There is also inadequate signage (particularly after dark) - and this comment applies within the resort grounds as well. More by faith and good luck did we find the main building and get checked in - but I can't fault the friendliness or professionalism of the staff.
The bell captain offered to show us to our "casita", but I declined in the belief that it couldn't possibly be too hard to find - a wrong assumption. After driving to the nominated area and parking, I stumbled around in semi-darkness trying to differentiate between casita clusters (they're built in 4's) and even individual casitas, as most of the room numbers were either obscured or so poorly lit I had to wander right up to each door to see what was what. Eventually I found the correct casitas (we had 2 so the girls could have their own) and we moved in.
The accommodations are superb - the decor and quality are definitely first rate and all the usual facilities (plus some) were provided - even pre-laid open fireplaces in each room just waiting for a match, which they duly received. No complaints here at all, and the girls thought they were real princesses. After arranging a dinner reservation at the resort's restaurant (located right next to the lobby), we dressed and wandered back down the semi-lit paths rather than bother with the car. A very pleasant 3-minute stroll and we were ready to eat.
The restaurant was a major surprise. Service is excellent, very extensive wine list, well thought out menu - not always the case in "house restaurants" in my experience. But the biggest surprise was the quality of the food - we all had different dishes and everybody was stealing from the others' plates to sample them all. We even ordered 4 different desserts and shared the lot - having so much fun it should be illegal. Major kudos to the chef and kitchen. Definitely not cheap by any standards - but neither is the whole resort, so this shouldn't be a surprise.
Next day we were able to see the place in its entirety in daylight, and it is located in a beautiful part of New Mexico with the expected adobe architecture and desert-like surrounds. It's also only a 10-minute drive to the "Square" in Santa Fe, so it manages to combine privacy and isolation with convenient access to town. They even provide free "shuttle" service ( a whole fleet of Mercedes) to and from town at arranged times - something the girls enjoyed greatly.
We spent 2 nights there and were greatly impressed. Apart from the slight false start finding our way around in the dark, we could not fault the place - and my wife and I could definitely see ourselves going back without the kids (Santa Fe is not a great teenage destination at the best of times).
Only two other minor criticisms, neither of which were significant. Firstly, free wireless internet access is provided throughout the resort, but the reliability and performance were shaky at best. However, each room has an ethernet jack by the desk, so a quick request for a cable solved that problem nicely. Secondly, this establishment apparently chooses to make credit card charges for various components of the stay in a strangely arbitrary way, rather than a single charge on checkout - which made for a very confusing reconciliation when I checked my CC statement. Some of the charges were even done 3 days after we left, which certainly confused the whole experience unnecessarily. In the end the total charges were correct, but manual reconciliation should not be necessary.
In summary, a fine place for some relaxing down-time and/or romantic getaway. Kids are certainly treated well and very respectfully, but probably aren't the prime target - this is a much better environment for adult relaxation with minimal hustle-bustle. We will happily return when those circumstances apply.
- 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