This hotel, located just outside of the Santa Fe plaza, on a hill side, overlooking a major highway and the gorgeous landscape provided by the mountains and the New Mexico everlasting sky, is a smart place to stay. It looks especially inviting.
My wife and I booked a mini-suite that is detached from the main part of the hotel. It is easily accessed to the rear of the main hotel, and is private, with a very short, scenic walk though a nicely landscaped courtyard to the large, attractive and comfortably cool swimming pool. We thanked the stars it was not just a shallow wading pool that was heated as if meant to bathe in. We exercised in it and floated to our hearts' content. The pool is surrounded by a grand patio filled with chaise lounges, tables and chairs and a large kia (outdoor fireplace for cool nights). It also has a very clean spa. It may be important to note that smoking is allowed in the outdoor pool area. This may be a turn off to some, but to smokers who are not allowed to have a few puffs nearly everywhere in Santa Fe (and all of New Mexico), it is a blessing.
To add to that, there are no smoking rooms available in this hotel, but if you get a room with a balcony, you are allowed to smoke there. And why not? It is interesting to note that New Mexico law does not entirely prohibit smoking in its hotels. Their hotels are allowed to reserve no more than 20% of their rooms to smoking. This hotel, however, chooses to have no smoking rooms (other, very nice hotels in the area do allow smoking if this is an issue). A few of the restaurants with large patios allow smoking outside, but most eateries in Santa Fe are small and do not allow it.
The room: Ours was spacious, but smelled odd when we first got there. After housekeeping came the next day, the odor was gone. Even though there is a good refrigerator and a small microwave in a cabinet that includes an older model TV , there is no "wet bar" as advertised. Then again--what is a wet bar? A table and only one hardwood "Santa Fe" chair is included, with a padded bench to its side. It is adequate, but not comfortable, really. There is also a comfortable leather sofa bed, which we did not use, since it does not face the TV. If it were folded out for sleeping, we would have had to crawl over it to get around the bed.
VERY BAD: The bed is barely comfortable, unfortunately, and practically ruined our stay. Since I had spine surgery a while ago, I found I need a good bed. This was not the case. It is large enough, but the springs have sprung. It sits too low, too. And the bottom sheet popped up all night long, which awakened us every night until they finally fixed the problem. So, I had a sore back most of our stay because of the old, tired bed. This issue is major. Another problem is the shower. There is nothing to grab onto--that is a hazard. And the shower head is low for even a 5' 4" woman (my wife), and I stand at 6' 5". Bad.
The positives of this room is that is it large, has a huge balcony (not all do), and is well decorated, Santa Fe style. Housekeeping is excellent! They fixed every problem they could. New, bigger pillows, two chairs for the balcony, larger sheets. Whatever was in their power to repair, they did pronto with smiles. I commend the entire staff for being courteous, friendly and cooperative. And the air conditioning works. BUT the windows are broken, and when we tried to open them, we had to fix them ourselves, and they would not open again. We could not take advantage of the nice night air.
We had the good fortune to run into the manager of the hotel--a very pleasant man. He explained that new beds would be forthcoming soon (as soon as the money becomes available). I hope that time somes very soon.
Cheryl and I did not use the shuttle service, buit I heard it is efficient. We drove so we took our vehicle everywhere, and we are glad we did. Santa Fe is a walking town only in the plaza area, but considering the altitude and the heat in July, driving from place to place worked well. Parking is not as bad as I was told it would be. Driving is confusing and funny (pack a sense of humor!) because this is an OLD town made up of cow paths which wind and become a different street name in the blink of an eye. You must have a car to get to and from the hotel and Santa Fe plaza or any other area in or around Santa Fe.
BAD: One day when we returned to our parking space near our room, we found it was littered with broken bottles of beer, with two empty beer bottles placed just where our vehicle's front tires would rest. This was scary. It seems anyone can drive around the main hotel to the area where we were located. Why would someone do this? Maintenance took care of it immediately, but who did this, we had to wonder? Security may be an issue here.
Food: The hotel's restaurant is open for breakfast daily, but we did not partake. When we wanted to eat there for dinner, we were told it was open only on weekends. In town, 3/4 fourths of the eateries offer mostly southwestern or Mexican menus, which is fine, but tiresome. Find your way to Mediterranean restaurants, French cafes and American spots for variety. Also check out Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for ready made foods that will save money. Bumble Bee's is delicious and inexpensive, as is Tomasita's (where the wait is long). There are more than enough chain restaurants in the area. Check out Frommer's guide to Santa Fe (online or in the bookstore) for the best places to eat and places to go. I would say that too many of the eateries are no better than Chevy's, but who comes here for the food anyway? It's the scenery that takes the prize here.
Go to Albuquerque for much better prices on art work, pottery and jewelry. It's only an hour away. And take a drive to Taos--the ride itself is spectacular. It is just 1 1/2 hours away from Santa Fe. Santa Fe plaza shopping is nice, but overpriced. Go there to gawk and eat.
The altitude will affect you,no matter what shape you are in. Athletic types who have moved to New Mexico told me it took weeks, even months for them to be able to run or exercise normally. Prepare yourself for headaches and dizziness. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL as you would normally. Dehydration is unhealthy, and you must drink much more water than you would back home in the flat lands. If you take medication, ask your doctor how it might be affected. It may be important. Drink lots and lots of water!!
New Mexico is a fantastic place to visit. We went there for the scenery and we were not disappointed in any way. WOW!!! And The Lodge at Santa Fe, once it gets all new beds, will be our destination hotel from here on when we visit the beautiful Santa Fe region .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Lodge at Santa Fe is fully decorated to celebrate the wonder and awe of the Southwest’s most notable city. Located just five minutes to the Santa Fe plaza and historic attractions, the Lodge at Santa Fe is a unique hotel with cultural style. Gardunos restaurant onsite serves fresh 'New Mexican' cuisine, and our guests enjoy hand crafted furniture and breathtaking architecture. Beautiful stone flooring, Native American weavings patterns and weavings, and spacious suites with Kiva fireplaces are all part of the experience. The Lodge at Santa Fe has a complimentary shuttle to the historic Santa Fe plaza, plus free WiFi and parking. Experience the magic of Santa Fe when you book your visit at The Lodge at Santa Fe. "Hotels supporting cultural causes." ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Lodge At Santa Fe Hotel Santa Fe
- Hotel Santa Fe
- Lodge Santa Fe