I have 23 years in hotel and rental condo property management, so I know what a company should provide its customers with. We stayed here for four days over Christmas, and this is my feedback on our stay:
LOCATION: At the top of Canyon Road, so while convenient to art galleries and a couple of restaurants, you have to walk at least one mile to the plaza. We were led to believe it was closer and due to all the snow and cold weather, it was a long mile each way.
ARRIVAL: There are three parking places for these casitas, but the owner did nothing to have the area plowed or shoveled before the guest's arrival. My husband and the other male renter in Besos spent the first TWO HOURS of our arrival shoveling the driveway out so two cars could fit, thankfully the third casita was not rented out that night or they would have had no place to park. And worse yet, the owner did not even provide a snow shovel, they had to use a garden shovel they found in the courtyard area of Besos! The private walkway and courtyard to Amor was not shoveled or salted and was thickly ice-covered - very dangerous! The screen door was halfway open, the bottom of which was frozen solid onto the walkway. The stucco/adobe of the complex was full of cracks and looked as if it needed some attention. The casita itself was warm when we went inside as they had put both gas (no wood here!) fireplaces on. They obviously use gas as it is the only heat source for the casita. We found the furniture to be scratched and rickety and the cleanliness to be at the most a 5 out of 10.
KITCHEN: It was a nightmare even to cook a small Christmas meal for two as the cookware and bakeware were almost nonexistant. There were tons of glasses for any kind of wine or cocktail you might want, but the only baking pan was one small cookie sheet. There was not even a broiler pan which you normally have with an oven. I had to precook some things the day before in order to have a complete meal, and this was nothing fancy. No casseroles nor ceramic baking dishes of any kind. This kitchen is furnished for you to have drinks and then go out for a meal at a restaurant, not for cooking. The two pots they had for stovetop cooking were old and worn-out.
LIVING ROOM: Since the photos taken on their website, they have changed the furniture, though not with any real improvement. We did enjoy the having the twin bed (obviously added so they could rent out to more people at a time) in the living room (though some people might find it strange to have a
bed in the living room) but it was more comfortable to lie on than the sofa. The furniture was arranged in a very strange manner that just didn't work for enjoying the fireplace, so we changed it for the time were there and then put it back before we left.
BEDROOM: Nice and roomy, bed was comfortable, but very low to the floor. You have to walk either through the kitchen or the living room to get to the bathroom. Not handy at all, especially in the middle of the night.
BATHROOM: Old bathtub which was not usable for a long soak. As the tub was cast iron, it was so cold (as the bathroom was usually cold - only a small wall heater for this room), that even if you filled the tub with only water from the hot tap, the water quickly turned cool then cold. Shower worked well enough. Area behind tub (if you pulled the shower curtain to try to open the window) was filthy! Verrrrrry basic bathroom.
DECOR: Santa Fe 1985? And sadly probably most of the furniture and objet d'art date actually back that far! Mildly funky in a shabby way.
END OF STAY: AT the end of our stay my husband spent another 2+ hours trying to get the 2 inches of ice that was on our sidewalk leading to the parking area. He was afraid he would slip while taking out luggage to the car. He had to boil water and then hack at it to break it with the garden shovel. In no way am I exaggerating the length of time he had to spend, both at our arrival and departure ,on snow and ice removal.
PAYMENT: They required us to pay 50% in advance and we gave them out credit card for this., Oddly enough, you cannot pay the balance by credit card when you leave....Hmmmmm, makes you wonder why.......????? They will only accept this in cash or check even though they have your credit card information on file. And I had to write them two times once I got home to even get a receipt from them.
OVERALL COMMENTS: This condo is rented and managed by www.twocastias.com who rent out many vacation homes in Santa Fe. Do note though, that this particular 3 casita complex that includes Amor is actually owned by the owner of Two Casitas. As the owner of a property rental company, she should know enough that snow and ice removal is not the customer's problem. We paid over $200.00 a night including cleaning fees and taxes to stay here, and to have to do this was riduculous and insulting. At no point during out 4 night stay were we ever contacted by Two Casitas to see if we had any problems or needs. We could have attempted to reach them with their reduced holiday office hours to complain about the ice and snow situation or the lack of cleanliness, but we didn't want to ruin our Christmas holiday fighting with anyone, and it appears it would have been a fight if they didn't recognize on their own that these situations were their responsibility in the first place. During the course of our stay a cleaner came to do a changeover for Besos, and did nothing about the snow or the ice problem. The casita was honestly too shabby and poorly equipped for the price charged. I would not recommend this property and I am sure with some internet research you can find accomodations where the owners care more about their clientele and take pride in their property.