This was my third year of staying at the Saint Francis, and I have always loved it. It took me a while to digest my response to the renovation–but I do think it is a significant improvement. As a designer and decorator, I get it, and I give it a thumbs up. It's not for everyone, but if you are open to a different take on the Santa Fe tradition and sensibility-- I think you will have an enjoyable stay.
Like any hotel, there are pluses and minuses.
On the plus side: it's not the same old Santa Fe cliche. In summer the decor is cool and serene, the locally-made artisan furnishings well-chosen and interesting to look at. Especially the uber-cool leather chairs in the rooms. Loved the "historical" display on the second floor. Loved the fact that you no longer need a key for the computer. Beds are extraordinarily comfortable with high quality linens--as good as Westin. My room had lots of sun, a beautiful view, and windows that open to a lovely breeze at night. And the front porch is still one of the best hang-outs in Santa Fe! Another thing to be mentioned--this hotel has the best concierge in Santa Fe--literally--she is famous for it. Finally--the new elevator rocks!!! Somebody had the fortitude to go ultra modern with it, and it is a lovely counterpoint to the traditional elements elsewhere.
On the minus side: perhaps they are still working on it, but the lobby seems a bit stark. It highlights the architectural details nicely, but could really use a few colorful navajo or oriental rugs for warmth and contrast. This will become apparent in winter, I think. In my room, the lighting was not user-friendly--especially for reading. They really need to add a table lamp. I also really missed the full length mirrors that used to be mounted inside the armoire. I also do think the pricing is a bit expensive for what you get, but I hear that is true of all hotels in the plaza area.
Service: overall, I can see that they're really making an effort in this department. Service was prompt and attentive. I was especially impressed by a young man named Carlos who actually remembered which room I wanted--from a conversation weeks back.
Overall, I would recommend the St. Francis for its history and splended location next to two excellent restaurants and access to the Plaza. It is now a "concept" hotel--it celebrates the Franciscan tradition of old New Mexico. Some folks are going to love that and some folks aren't. Fans of the old Saint Francis might have some trouble getting used to it. But things change. And I think, once the hotel has worked out a few bugs, this will have been a positive change indeed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Named for the patron saint of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the newly remodeled Hotel St. Francis pays respect to the origins of the city with its unique interior. With a palette of natural colors reflecting the days of Santa Fe and handcrafted wood furniture by local artisans, staying at the hotel is a cultural experience. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its recent restoration and renovation expanded the amenities to entertain travelers from across the world. The hotel is located just steps away from the historic Santa Fe plaza. Whether you're planning a weekend escape, a business retreat, or a lavish wedding, the Hotel St. Francis is the ideal destination. "Hotels supporting cultural causes." ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel St Francis
- St Francis Hotel