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“Great getaway weekend”

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Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder
Ranked #19 of 60 Hotels in Santa Fe
Certificate of Excellence
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great getaway weekend”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

As always, the resort and golf course employees were polite, professional, and helpful. Enjoyed every aspect of the trip from arrvial to departure. The Saturday night buffet was well worth the money with cooked to order steaks and shimp on the menu. Unfortunately, on this trip my spouse was in a wheelchair and needed an accesible room, which was several yards from the elevator. This did not detract from an otherwise great weekend!

Room Tip: If possible get a room on a higher floor that faces the golf course.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank hrman46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, June 29, 2013
Dear hrman46,
I truly appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful review on your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I was very pleased to read that our "resort and golf course employees were polite, professional and helpful and that you thoroughly enjoyed your dinner at the Painted Parrot buffet.
So glad to hear that you had a "great weekend" and that you have shared your experience with the readers of TripAdvisor.
All the Best

Hal Leonard
General Manager
hal.leonard@hilton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Centennial, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

What a spectacular hotel not far from the old town of Santa Fe! The decor of the hotel makes you feel like you are in the center of old town and yet has the room to offer so many activities. The amenities are outstanding and the casino is such an added bonus! The pool is beautiful however we were there during the week and there was no bar service which was slightly disappointing because we were on a group friend vaction.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
4 Thank Karen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear Karen,
Thank you for the outstanding review of your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed our "spectacular hotel" which truly does feature an extensive collection of Native American art.........similar to what you would see in downtown Santa Fe.
I look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to our beautiful resort.
Sincerely,

Hal Leonard
General Manager
hal.leonard@hilton.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida USA
Level Contributor
76 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013 via mobile

Enjoyed our stay. The hotel is large and new with a beautiful outdoor pool area. Friendly staff. The casino is far enough of the other side of the resort where you don't get the noise and the traffic . Only wished that the Wifi in the rooms would have worked better. The signal was weak and kept dropping.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Maximusgattimus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, June 29, 2013
Dear Maximusgattimus,
Thank you for the glowing five-star review on your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I was very pleased to read that you you enjoyed the stay highlighted by our friendly staff and beautiful outdoor pool area.
I look forward to welcoming you back to our resort on your next trip to Santa Fe.
All the Best

Hal Leonard
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitewater, Colorado
Level Contributor
158 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Obviously, many folks have had different experiences at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Hotel/Casino than we did. Our 3-night, mid-week visit was simply OUTSTANDING! Yes, there were a few odd things in our room, but we encountered nothing that disappointed us or spoiled the visit for us. We totally enjoyed ourselves.

THE HOTEL: Large by area standards, and quite nicely appointed with lots of Native American artwork which was very attractive and nicely done. Lots of parking, quick elevators, beautiful lobby, etc.

THE STAFF: We didn't encounter a single staff member that wasn't friendly & helpful. Everyone seemed to go out of their way to say "Hi!" and offer assistance. We also didn't see any evidence of staff that needed training. The maid service was fantastic! The concierge was very helpful and provided a nice map of downtown Santa Fe.

THE POOL: The indoor pool was "kid soup", so we used the outdoor pool. Plenty of umbrellas for those that wanted shade, like us. Comfortable lounge chairs with foam pads. Lots of towels. The pool was just the right temperature and wasn't crowded--just a few folks. The pool bar was open when we used the pool. Nice way to spend the afternoon.

THE CASINO: Again, large in comparison to other Native American casinos, but this is NOT Vegas, so don't expect this casino to compare to Vegas. A bit smoky, but we used the two non-smoking rooms when we gambled. The slots were loose enough, and we never spent a penny of our own money as we received credits. We came home about $50 to the good. Best casino visit in a very LONG time.

THE FOOD: We ate at the breakfast buffet once and really enjoyed the meal. They even had red & green chili for your cooked-to-order eggs, plus a very large variety of other breakfast items. We also had two dinners at the buffet, which were very good and offered lots of Mexican entrees, salads and desserts. Plus, the dinner buffets were very inexpensive.

THE ROOM: An upgraded Terrace Suite (5224), the room was huge and exceptionally clean, with TWO large sliding doors out to the terrace. The queen beds were very comfortable and we slept well in them. The room was NOT noisy at all, as it was at the end of the hallway. The AC unit did NOT cycle like some hotel units, kept the room at a comfortable temperature, and provided a bit of white noise. The large TV had a number of HD channels, but about 1/2 the channels were not HD. The channel listing in the room guide was accurate. The large safe & the two robes were a nice touch. We had zero problems with our Verizon cell phones & never bothered to try the wireless internet.

However, the bathroom was distinctly odd/strange: 1) there was NO lighting over the makeup area other than two dully lit makeup mirrors; 2) The ONLY towel rack was in front of the toilet (really?) and not easily accessed when exiting the shower/tub; 3) The hot water in the shower kept getting hotter & hotter as one bathed, requiring almost constant adjustment to keep from getting scalded. 4) Lastly, as another poster mentioned, the shower head was partially clogged by calcium deposits from the hard water and not much water came out.

OVERALL: We loved the hotel, room, pool & food, but perhaps because we have stayed at other Native-American Casino/Hotels, our expectations weren't that high before we arrived. Consequently, our expectations were exceeded completely. The odd bathroom was different, but in no way did that constitute a problem for us. Folks really need to realize that the Buffalo Thunder isn't in Las Vegas, nor is it in a big city and should moderate their expectations accordingly so they won't be disappointed.

We would love to return for another visit, and we may, but it's a long 10 hour drive to get to Buffalo Thunder from our home, and Las Vegas is only 8 hours away, even though it's over 100 miles further. However, the drive is beautiful. We managed to avoid all the forest fires on the way home.

Room Tip: East-facing rooms will not have to deal with the sun in the afternoon.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Colorado_Rick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear Rick,
Thank you for taking so much of your valuable time to review your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. All of your positive and thoughtful comments have been shared with our entire staff, as you mentioned at least 90% of our operating departments, including the casino which we do not manage.
I will do my best to try and identify the room that you occupied, as I want to address the shortcomings that you mentioned in the bathroom. I was glad to hear that this didn't impact your "Outstanding Stay", however want to have these issues corrected immediately.
I greatly appreciate you giving our beautiful resort such a glowing review and hope that you will make that 10 hour drive and stay with us again on your next visit to Santa Fe.
All the Best

Hal Leonard
hal.leonard@hilton.com
(505) 819-2000
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 22, 2013

It was ok a little pricey. They need to have a breakfast place to eat we had to go into Santa Fe. the rooms were nice and the balcony was nice. bed were clean and comfy. gambling not so go slots were old and need updating. Not much to choose from for dinner. Your casino gambling was the only way you could get comps. Probably won't go back there are other places to stay that are cheaper and close.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Carol O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Dear Carol,
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I was pleased to read that you felt the hotel room were nice, clean and comfy. I was concerned however on your review of the casino and I have passed along your comments to casino management for review, as Hilton does not manage this area. You did mention that we need a place to have breakfast, which was confusing to me as the hotel offers a restaurant and Starbucks that both serve breakfast seven days a week, while the casino has two outlets serving breakfast. And you are correct in your statement that casino play is the only way to generate comps in the casino. I can assure you that you will find this policy in place at all gaming facilities in this state.
Thank you again for your comments.
Sincerely

Hal Leonard
General Manager
Hilton Buffalo Thunder
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2013

This is one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever stayed in. The adobe style Southwest theme is absolutely stunning. The staff at this hotel are always accommodating. Will definitely stay there for many times to come.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
4 Thank Lois F R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Dear Lois,
Thank you for the glowing review on your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. Glad to hear that you loved the beauty of our resort and that our staff was so accommodating. I was most pleased to read that you'll be coming back many more times and hope that you will contact me personally when you do.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment.
All the Best

Hal Leonard
General Manager
hal.leonard@hilton.co
(505) 819-2000
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

When I booked the room, I called up the front office to make sure that the package I found on the Hilton site would be two separate rooms. The person I talked to promised that I was getting the biggest room -- a full suite -- but that I had to complete the deal through Central Reservations. They couldn't do it themselves!

Happily, we made the 7-hour or so drive to Buffalo Thunder with only one stop, which is quite an accomplishment with two young kids. That was all erased when my son barfed on the carpeted floor immediately after arriving in the room. We had to make two calls and wait over 30 minutes to get a service person He then took another 30 minutes to clean up the mess because he didn't bring any cleaning supplies and had to go find some.

Once the drama was over at about 2 a.m. our time -- we realized the room was not a true suite. There was a loveseat in the corner, but no separating walls, except for the biggest bathroom I've ever seen in my entire life. This was a pony suite, if that. It was also falling apart. The screen door to the long balcony was off the track. The puked on carpeting was dated. And the floor we were on was noisy. The furniture was okay.

The next day, I complained to the front desk. The first person, who forced a smile but really wasn't friendly, said a manager would have to call me. Eventually, he called to tell me that we could get a suite -- though we supposedly didn't pay for one -- in two days. (I suspect that my gold status got me the upgrade instead of an admission by the manager that the online deal was horribly misleading.)

They offered no help to move. They offered no cart -- nothing -- but the new room on the top floor was a gorgeous two-room, two-bath, two-fireplace suite with top-of-the-line furniture throughout. This was the room PICTURED on the website. I felt like we had just moved up from the bowels of the slave-oar ship to the gilded captain's quarters. The only odd thing: the screen door was off the tracks in this unit as well.

The rest of the stay was far more enjoyable. We could put the kids in the other room when we wanted alone time. No fighting over the bathrooms and lots and lots of storage space. My wife said "no" to stealing the heavy-wood, Mexican-style furnishings, though I think she considered it.

Service remained iffy for the rest of the stay. The steakhouse wasn't staffed well enough to sit the few people that were there. The casino junk-food restaurant staff was as friendly as L.A.'s DMV staff. I felt like a lot of the people there were working hard to smile, but that the concept was foreign to them.

While the hotel is a 15-minute drive from downtown Santa Fe, we liked having two pools and two whirlpools in a relatively relaxed setting. Both pools were interesting design-wise, though the outdoor pool water could have been warmer.

The biggest issue was being far from local and more affordable restaurants. We did come up with a great strategy for breakfast: we left the kids in the room to watch TV, cereal or muffins. My wife and I we went down to the largish breakfast buffet using our two free passes each day. (Another Gold member advantage.)

We only went to the casino once. We were not really impressed, but we're not big gamblers. The slots seemed rigged against winning more than usual.

Because the facility is resort-like, it is worth staying if you can get the great price we did. My suggestion, however, is to get a real suite and forget the fake ones. One final note: the spa was too expensive for us.

Room Tip: Make sure you choose a full suite on the top floor, which is much quieter than the others.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brett L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hal L, General Manager at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, responded to this review, June 29, 2013
Dear Brett,
Thanks for taking the time to review your recent stay at Hilton Buffalo Thunder. I was sorry to hear that you were initially disappointed with your accommodations, however pleased that your second suite was "gorgeous". I will immediately look into the other concerns that you expressed with our front office staff and restaurants.
If I can ever be of service to you in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me by telephone or email.
Sincerely

Hal Leonard
General Manager
(505) 819-2000
hal.leonard@hilton.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder

Property: Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder
Address: 20 Buffalo Thunder Trl, Santa Fe, NM 87506-2790
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Mexico > Santa Fe
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Santa Fe
#9 Luxury Hotel in Santa Fe
#11 Business Hotel in Santa Fe
#20 Family Hotel in Santa Fe
#23 Romantic Hotel in Santa Fe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder 4*
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Also Known As:
Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort And Spa At Buffalo Thunder
Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort & Spa At Buffalo Thunder Hotel Santa Fe
Hilton Santa Fe Hotel
Santa Fe Hilton

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