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“Quaint and close to the plaza, but not satisfied . . .”

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Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn
Ranked #3 of 36 Santa Fe B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed October 29, 2007

My wife and i recently stayed at the Hacienda Nicholas after reading glowing reviews and noting how close it was to the center of activities in Santa Fe (our first time to be there).

Let me start with the positives. I loved the foyer area, and the weekday innkeeper was so polite, helpful, and knowledgeable that it really enhanced our stay. I truly felt like she made our walk around town more efficient and pleasurable. The B&B itself is only a 5-10 minute walk to the Plaza, which was wonderful. The bedroom was about what I expected, and was in good condition. I thought the bathroom was spacious, and everything from water pressure (don't worry about the ubiquitous "low flow" warnings everywhere) to the tiling worked very well (except for one thing I'll denote below). The wine and cheese and dessert selections were most appreciated and made HN feel more like home.

Now, for what we disliked. The parking lot at this place is atrocious; on the day we left, I watched a patron spend 15 minutes trying to free his car from the large-rock gravel parking, and there were no wet or snowy conditions (dry as a bone). A more compact, stable solution needs to exist rather than what is present now. While the room was nice, there was a large bureau/wardrobe that blocked access to the closet. It does not do much good to have luggage stands in a closet if you can't get your luggage into it. Just something for the owner to consider in the future.

In the bathroom, the lighting was very poor. There needs to be better lighting around the mirror or in the overhead; I felt I was dealing with a 1850's vintage cottage by candle or oil lighting at times. It was quite sad and should be corrected. Also, while I understand the need to go to a dispenser system--I have no problem with it at all, but I greatly dismiss the "going green" and "eco-babble" from the inn's owner--the odor from some of those soaps was nauseating. Unscented or very mildly scented soap is all that should be considered. My wife had to use the shampoo I brought as soap due to the strong, offensive odor from the dispensers.

As for the breakfast, I was highly disappointed (though my wife liked them). I was expecting more fresh, prepared foods like pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, b'fast potatoes, etc., but all we were served was the "square-quiche-of-the-day" pre-warmed breakfast casserole, a bland cup of fruit, and a few cereal choices. I have had more filling and satisfying breakfasts at Best Westerns than at Hacienda Nicholas, and that was one of the primary reasons I booked a stay there . . . the alleged excellent breakfasts. Pre-refrigerated breakfast casserole is a cop-out, and if I had known this was the standard fair, I never would have booked my stay. This sounds harsh, but I was that underwhelmed with what was provided.

Lastly, this is no one's fault, and more indicative of Santa Fe in general, but this Inn is obviously very popular with the over 60 crowd, because that is pretty much all we saw. And due to most of these folks getting up VERY early, don't plan on sleeping in too much due to the racket in adjacent rooms (unless you are already that we, which my wife and I were not). Plus, apparently it is an unwritten rule here or at other B&B's, or maybe just with the over 60 crowd, to congregate in the foyer and talk loudly until about 10-10:30. I thought this was rude and inconsiderate, but I guess I'm just a "young'un" and don't know the proper protocol. What I do know is manners, and if I want to socialize, I would prefer to go out on the town or out to dinner; of course, most of the town closes before 8PM, hence its popularity to the more senior members of high society. I've never seen older people flock to ritz crackers, store-bought cheese, and a few grapes faster than this place. It must be "in the air."

I doubt I would return to Hacienda Nicholas, since the negatives outweigh the positives in my eyes, but if you fit into some of the demographics above, and have less issues with what we had issues with, then you will likely really like the place. If that is your position, then I recommend it to you.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank techsmechs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carolyninnkeeper, Owner at Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2007

I have to say, if we didn’t have so many really positive reviews posted, and so many exceptionally delighted guests, I would be tempted to hang up my innkeeper’s hat after reading this review. We certainly try to please all of our guests, but clearly we blew it with this guest. Please know that we have a note in each room encouraging our guests to let us know if they are experiencing any problems while they are with us and that we will do our utmost to correct any situations as quickly as possible. We say that we consider “a complaint is a gift”. I truly regret that this guest chose not to come to me with any of his problems, as we could have rectified most of them immediately.

He is correct in saying that we have had a problem with our front parking area. We had recently had new gravel spread and the men said the gravel would compact down in a short period of time. That has not happened, and after starting to move it myself, I realized I needed to call in a crew with a truck to haul a lot of it away. They are actually coming tomorrow morning at 9am to begin this work.

The bathroom lighting was rectified right after I read the review by replacing the 60 watt bulbs with 100 watt bulbs. I don't know how the 60 watt bulbs got put in there. That was clearly our error. As for the amenity dispensers, I chose to put a little note by each soap/lotion etc. dispenser saying that we were adopting the dispensers in lieu of little plastic bottles due to environmental concerns. One guest had been upset that we didn’t offer “boutique” amenities, so I felt the need to explain our rationale. I honestly don’t see this as “eco-babble”, and am quite passionate about doing my part to address the looming global warming crisis. As for the contents of the dispensers themselves, had he mentioned that he did not care for the scent, we would have happily given him some unscented soap. The line we have chosen is scented with Geranium& Sage and comes from a supplier of natural spas. It is remarkable how many people have asked us where they could buy our shampoo/lotion etc., and I thought everyone was loving it, due to this overwhelming positive response. We have even been considering bottling it as there have been so many requests! Again, we would have been more than happy to supply him with something different.

As for breakfast, while we do sometimes serve pancakes or waffles, we have found that most guests prefer something egg-based, and we always aim to do something more interesting than plain scrambled eggs. The day before, the innkeeper will begin sautéing vegetables, boiling potatoes, grating cheese, or doing whatever other prep work is required for the following morning’s breakfast. This is all then assembled and kept refrigerated overnight. The following morning the dish is baked so it comes out fresh and steaming in time for breakfast. We do scrambled eggs upon request, for guests who do not care for French toast or pancakes, or for guests who do not care for the ingredients that are in the egg casserole. If this guest was hoping for scrambled eggs, we would have been happy to meet that request as well.

In addition to the main dish, we serve a fruit cup with freshly cut pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, kiwi, or whatever else might be available and looking good at the market. I would consider canned fruit to be bland, but fresh fruit is quite tasty, and we always have fresh fruit. In addition, we serve freshly baked organic bread, two kinds of yogurt, homemade granola, our own meusli, and two other store-bought cereals. On many mornings there is bacon or sausage served along with the egg dish.

I am not quite sure what to say about his comments about our “over 60” crowd. I adore our guests, whether they are 10 or 88, and we have every age in between on a regular basis. It is unfortunate that his sleep was disturbed by an exuberant group of guests. I can understand why he would be unhappy about hearing a lot of noise, regardless of the age of the noisemakers.

Clearly we did not meet this guest’s needs and expectations and I feel terribly about that. My biggest regret is that I was unable to address any of his concerns at the time of his visit, as we invite this feedback in a very upfront manner. Each and every guest is a unique individual, and while our choices of everything from food to amenities seem to be very popular with the vast majority of our guests, we realize that they do not meet the needs of each guest. Hence our invitation to please notify us if there are any needs or wants that are not being met.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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583 - 589 of 635 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2007

The Hacienda Nicholas is the perfect place to stay in Santa Fe. We recently had the pleasure of staying in the Sunflower room for 4 nights and it was cozy & comfortable. We felt very welcome from the time we arrived on Sunday afternoon until we checked out on Thursday morning. I found the Hacienda Nicholas online & knew just by looking at the pictures and reading the website I wanted to stay there. Everything about the inn is charming from the Sunflower room to the courtyard to the great room. Breakfast is served in the great room at two large wood tables. There are two comfortable couches infront of the fireplace & one table for two in the corner. The minute you walk in the door you are greeted by a very friendly staff & innkeeper. A full breakfast was served each morning along with a fruit cup & plenty of sweet breads & goodies. If you wanted to eat lighter there was also cereal & yogurt. Orange & tomato juice was also provided. There were always desserts sitting out with hot or cold tea available during the afternoon. It was nice to walk back from the Plaza a few blocks
away & relax with a hot cup of tea & a sweet. Wine, cheese and crackers, fruit & salsa & chips was a pleasant addition that can be enjoyed out in the courtyard where there are plenty of tables & a couch to relax in or you can enjoy your glass of wine in front of the fireplace in the great room. I would highly recommend the Hacienda Nicholas if you are planning a trip to Santa Fe.
Barbara & Jack Seattle, WA

Stayed: October 2007
2  Thank SeattleBabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2007

My wife and I, along with another couple used this B & B as our base of operation for a 4 day 3 night stay in Santa Fe. We were warmly greeted and made to feel at home. With the nightly wine & cheese and snacks provided , it was like being in your own home, except you could visit with the other guests while sitting in the great room or in the courtyard. The room was nice and the setting quiet. It was a short 3 - 4 block walk to the square and not far to the canyon road shops and galleries. We will definitely look forward to returning. Not often do you get served coffee by the owner herself!

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank vinnyliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2007

We loved this peaceful, homey B&B! It was wonderful to wake up to the savory smell of breakfast cooking in the kitchen. It was a true joy to eat in the serene courtyard and chat with the other guests and watch the hummingbirds come to the feeder. There is also a beautiful indoor dining room if you don't want to eat outside. The staff are really pleasant and go out of their way to help you in any way that they can. The food is homemade and it is delicious. You'll have a variety of cheese frittatas, bacon, ham, waffles, vegetables, assorted fruit, yogurts, coffee cakes, cereals, juices and good coffee. In the late afternoon, you'll be welcomed to cheese, crackers, chips and salsa, cookies, brownies, lemonade and wine. We stayed in the spacious Nicholas room which has a comfortable king bed and southwest flavor. It was great to relax on the comfortable couch after a day of activities. On a few of the cooler evenings, we were welcomed home to the pleasant smell of pinon wood burning in the outside fireplace.
There is a sense of positive energy infusing you at this lovely and quaint B&B.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank zen2peace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2007

I was privileged to stay in the Madeleine, one of the 3 buildings that comprise Hacienda Nicholas. The individually decorated room was comfortable, and made very attractive with its stained glass windows, large fireplace, flat screen TV and private bath. The stay was enhanced by the conversations over delicious breakfasts of fresh fruits and regional menus, afternoons with wine and cheese, and freshly baked treats (which were also available whenever we came back after sightseeing and shopping. Most of us were there for the opera, and were delighted with the conversations brefore and after performances when we gathered around the goodies. Staff were a great resource for anything we wanted to do in Santa Fe. I will stay there again next year.

Stayed: August 2007
1  Thank p-apple458black
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2007

My husband and I joined a friend for a four-night stay at Hacienda Nicholas in early August and were delighted at our accommodations. Beautiful rooms, great food (breakfast and late pm appetizers with wine), and a wonderful environment to relax and unwind. The Hacienda rivals the best Santa Fe hotels for charm and location !

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with friends
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Thank Faye13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2007

Stayed three nights at Hacienda Nicholas. It was a wonderful experience, not just a place to stay. The hospitaility is wonderful as the Inn has a beautiful patio where guests sit to enjoy the early evening wine and cheese and snacks and the morning breakfast that always includes at least one cooked item. It is wonderful to meet the other guests from all over the world. The Nicholas Room was wonderful with beautiful furniture, an extremely comfortable bed and lots of room, including a sitting room that was very comfortable and homey.

The hosts were very available and exceptionally accomodating providing little things that helped including diirections and recommendations for activities and restaurants. The location is ideal just a short walk to the Plaza and most in-city activities but the feel of the Inn is country-ish because of its hacienda style and interior setting with lots of plants and flowers.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank EllCPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn

Address: 320 E Marcy St, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2023
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Mexico > Santa Fe
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 36 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Fe
Price Range: $144 - $227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This enchanting B&B offers guests a true taste of the Southwest. Enjoy a great night’s sleep in our beds of feather and down. Unwind in the peace and tranquility afforded by extra thick adobe walls or go one step further and experience sublime bliss next door at the Absolute Nirvana Spa. Savor the luscious scents from our heavenly rose garden and partake of delectable Southwestern inspired breakfasts and afternoon wine & cheese. Let our dedicated staff help you make the most of Santa Fe so you can have the holiday you deserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda Nicholas Hotel Santa Fe

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