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“A Different Take on the Santa Fe Story”
Review of Hotel St. Francis

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Hotel St. Francis
Ranked #26 of 61 Hotels in Santa Fe
Reviewed October 1, 2009

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.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled solo
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9  Thank jennywren03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,084 - 1,090 of 1,132 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2009

We, too, have stayed at this hotel several times over the years. It was easy to overlook a few shortcomings because it was so authentic and historic. Now, though, it has been totally "whitewashed" of all its prior charm. The rooms are tiny, no mirrors, very poor lighting, and they put in a huge wardrobe chest that takes up at least 20% of the floorsapce to house a TV and a coffee maker - no plugs for the coffee maker though. The lobby is stark and uninviting.

On the bright side, the food in the restaurant was very good, the bartender was chatty, and the beds were comfortable.

We won't stay here again, however.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank widerunway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2009

I have stayed at this hotel for 10 years. The new owner renovated the hotel so that it took all of the charm away and it now looks just like any other highway hotel. They also missed on some basic elements of a good hotel room -- lighing so dim you can't read, no full length mirror, furniture doors that cannot close, cheap rough tolilet paper. They also llied to me about the renovataion being complete so I ended up staying in a construction zone. They also lost Santa Fe's best concierge and replaced them with a know nothing front desk staff -- when I asked the front desk for a restaurant suggestion the two staff members there said they did not eat out enough to have a recommendation.

Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Allen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2009

My husband and I have stayed at St. Francis for many years. We last stayed there in March and dropped by in August 2009 because we were anticipating our next stay. I was shocked when I saw the lobby. It's old charm is completely gone. It is an expanse of gray tile. I had hoped that because it is an historical building this wouldn't happen. Apparently, if they leave the outside untouched, they can do anything they want to the inside. Although the location is great, the hotel has no more charm than a much less expensive chain hotel. We'll no longer be staying there. I miss the old St. Francis.

Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
3  Thank mbrockAlbuquerque_NM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2009

They failed to inform us that they were undergoing a major renovation with such little ammenities available. Nothing like waking up early to the sounds of vacuum cleaners and construction. In addition we paid $19 for parking and there was not a space available due to vendors parking in the spots.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jemezmountainroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2009

The best thing about this hotel is the location. You can't get a better one. We got a good rate and enjoyed our stay. If the rate had been much more, I might have been disappointed.

Here are the pros and cons. Pros-Great Location! Just renovated so everything is new and clean. Nice staff-the front desk tried hard to help and were very nice. Very stylish bar-nice place to have a drink. Front porch is a nice place to sit and have a drink or plan your day. Open computer with internet. This was helpful to use to do a little research about where to hike, etc.

Cons-Pedestal sink with no place to put toiletries, blow dryer or anything. Very stupid design for a guest room. Bad light over the sink. It goes well with the decor but is not practical. Bad water pressure sometimes. The first day was fine, second day weak and third day I could barely take a shower. Didn't get our wake up call. Hotel charges $9/day for the hotel parking lot but it is so small that it is always full. You can't park for more than 2 hours at the meters on the street and you'll get a ticket if you park overnight. There is a city lot across the street but it can be full also. We had to literally wait one afternoon for people to leave the city lot before we could get in. They don't save spaces or give priority to hotel guests. This is a big problem that this hotel has to deal with. You can't be in a busy location and offer parking and then not have parking available. We got lucky about the times we can and went but it was still an inconvenience and will continue to pose problems for guests unless hotel management figures out a solution.'

Overall, we had a great trip and the hotel kind of grew on me. I would stay there again but I wouldn't pay big bucks. Hopefully, they will deal with some of the issues mentioned above before I return!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lynn026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2009

Booked it by chance from Expedia, based on location alone, but was blown away. It looks and feels like something from Seville or Florence: rooms a bit small, but subtle, stylish and classy. And the location was great: just a block from the plaza. Yes, it was still under renovation and the elevator wasn't running, but that was just a minor inconvienience

Stayed: August 2009, traveled solo
10  Thank ben_bonfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel St. Francis

Address: 210 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2122
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Mexico > Santa Fe > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Luxury Hotel in Santa Fe
#25 Business Hotel in Santa Fe
#25 Romantic Hotel in Santa Fe
Price Range: $140 - $243 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel St. Francis 4*
Number of rooms: 79
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

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