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“Beautiful Old Historic Hotel”

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La Fonda on the Plaza
Ranked #5 of 60 Hotels in Santa Fe
Certificate of Excellence
Cortez, Colorado
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Beautiful Old Historic Hotel”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Went for a quick weekend.
It surprised us that the staff upgraded rooms at no cost to us and it was a fantastic up grade.
Food in the restaurants was wonderful. Room service was excellent and the food was FANTASTIC!
Over all a great place to stay quiet rooms with very nice beds.
We did pick the coldest weekend of the year; that meant more time inside and we could not have had a better place to stay.
Lovely atmosphere.
Will stay there again!

Room Tip: two couples ask for 500 and 501 two king rooms with 2 private baths
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 001Colorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
59 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed at the Hotel La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe during the holidays, and it is a mixed review. I'll start with the good and end with the less than good.

This hotel has an absolutely ideal location if you are interested in walking around the heart of downtown Santa Fe. It is literally right on the plaza, and it is really convenient to be able to duck back into your room for a mid-day break or to drop off shopping bags, etc. Keep in mind - it is ideal if you intend to WALK. If you intend to DRIVE, then this hotel is a POOR choice. But for walking vacations where your center of activity is the downtown heart/plaza of Santa Fe, then the LaFonda is ideal.

The LaFonda has absolutely beautiful common areas. The decor exudes old New Mexico and the New Mexican culture, and the vega beamed ceilings and crackling adobe fireplaces are simply spectacular. The tile, the carved wood mantles and the warm, cozy atmosphere in the common areas is really remarkable.

Also, the LaFonda has a great bar. They have live music, pretty decent food and the drinks - while expensive, are no more pricey than any other overpriced eatery in the Santa Fe plaza. They had a great atmosphere and we enjoyed it.

Now the bad. The actual rooms at the LaFonda are terrible. Seriously, the Motel 6 out off the interstate has better rooms than the LaFonda. These rooms are seriously small, poorly decorated and while the beds were comfortable, you'll find yourself tripping over eachother as you try to logistically move around the room. They are absolutely terrible rooms, and haviing stayed in 4 other hotels in the plaza area, LaFonda's rooms are absolutely the worst.

Of all the negatives about the LaFonda I can communicate here, the #1 biggest problem is parking. Be very, VERY careful if you roll the dice and choose to park any vehicle larger than a sedan in their basement parking garage. If you are foolish enough (as I was) to attempt to park a large pickup truck down there, then just know that it is insanely tight, there is virtually no clearance and the turn radius required to maneuver down there is really tight. I did it - but, let me tell you there was about 1/2" of clearance between the roof of my truck and the ceiling beams down there, and I barely made the turns.

The service at LaFonda was poor. I am used to getting really good customer service in Santa Fe, but our experience at the LaFonda was not consistent with that trend. The reception at the hotel was unfriendly - no smiles, no personal touches to it - just a "here's your room" and a vey businesslike greeting. I won't go into it more than that, just relaying our experience and we give it a thumbs down.

The rooms at LaFonda, as I have explained are terrible, but they are terrible for a number of other reasons, too. There is no web connectivity in the room, neither is there any music player or iPhone docking station. These kind of small touches are commonplace in upscale hotels, and when you're shelling out $350+ for a room, you expect these kinds of things to be standard (they are elsewhere). Also, our room had no coffee maker, and there was no morning paper. Small things, but again - they add up and really diminished the overall impression we had of this hotel.

So, the LaFonda has both good and bad. It's an ideal location for walking vacations in downtown Santa Fe, and the hotel has absolutely beautiful common areas. But the rooms are bottom tier terrible, poorly decorated and devoid of any standard comfort items that today's tech savvy traveler is increasingly coming to expect from a fine hotel. I cannot recommend this place - there are better hotels in the plaza area that are nearly as ideally located, are cheaper and offer both better service and nicer rooms.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank SWAZUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaFondaManager, General Manager at La Fonda on the Plaza, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you for providing such a detailed review about your recent experience with us. I’m glad that you had the opportunity to wander around our beautiful common areas and enjoy live music in La Fiesta Lounge. Parking is always difficult in downtown Santa Fe. Curbside parking is limited and is typically challenging to find. We truly feel that our parking garage, though tight, provides a secure and valuable service to our guests. Our guest room renovation is currently under way, and is scheduled for completion in late August. We look forward to offering enhanced comfort and style. In the future, I hope that we’ll have the opportunity to host you in one of our updated rooms.
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Great and quaint. Truly enjoyed a night away to celebrate our anniversary. Staff was friendly and helpful. Room very clean and quiet. High recommendation from us! We live only an hour's drive, yet felt as if really got away.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank david0113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
57 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Travelin' Jack here...New Mexico's Roving Bulldog Reporter. Here's the Pup-Scoop! La Fonda is THE place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action and Santa Fe stylin'. This historic hotel is 100% pet friendly....all 174 rooms & suites! I, Travelin' Jack especially loved my welcome gift pack from "Emilia Poochie" that included my favorites--a squeaky toy and a yogurt dipped peanut butter gourmet biscuit plus lots of good local pet info. Now this is how to welcome a pet!
And I got to dine with my people in the pet-friendly La Cantanita indoor dining area. (It's in the lobby so it doesn't violate any health codes, but servers DO serve there!).

Other points of consideration"
-All Rooms Pet Friendly
-Pets Can Join People in the Restaurant Lobby the Cantanita and be served by the Wait Staff.
-Most rooms have balconies to check out the Santa Fe action.
-The sprawling shopping corridors throughout the hotel offer and invite pet friendly shopping.
-La Terraza-the rooftop terrace area is available for pet enjoyment when it is not being used for a private party.
-Easy access to outdoors from many areas of the hotel.
-Rooms and Suites are VERY large and spacious-enough for a pup to romp in-room.
-Hotel is ON the Plaza and near the river and walking areas for and with pets.
-Staff is VERY pet friendly...welcoming pets throughout.
-Reasonable pet fee $25 per night per pet.
-Lots of interior public areas for walking the dog throughout the hotel...BUT beware! The dog is sure to get LOADS of attention! :)

I loved my Suite (#274). It included 2 LARGE rooms that allowed for me to do my laps inside in comfort! I had a balcony overlooking Santa Fe sites. The whole suite was decorated with hand paintings and Santa Fe decor throughout....and you can be sure this discriminating pup appreciated all the fine Santa Fe decor!

Yep, my stay at La Fonda was one dog-fabulous experience! I, Travelin' Jack, proudly give La Fonda my prestigious 5-Paws Rating!

Room Tip: Always reserve a pet friendly room! Ask for a room with a balcony. Nice for the pet to watch the o...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 60933Jill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Stayed at La Fonda while visiting Santa Fe for a conference in Jan 2013.

Pros:
-conveniently located on the plaza where there is lots of shopping, dining, etc.
-service was excellent. front desk staff was friendly upon arrival. when we had an issue with our door closing, maintenance staff came to take care of it immediately and it was resolved to our satisfaction.
-reliable free wifi throughout hotel.
-room was spacious enough and clean
-got coupons at check-in for discounted drinks at the hotel bar which was a nice perk.

Cons:
-rooms are a bit outdated. also had trouble with tub leaking onto bathroom floor, and temperature seemed hard to control (always either too hot or too cold in the room).
-"fitness room" - i've come to have low expectations from hotels, but this was even worse than usual. 5 machines, at least one of which was always non-functional. and a set of free weights.

Given the excellent price and location, i would considered staying there again, but there are definitely more luxurious accommodations in the historic area of santa fe.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bethany H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
166 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

I will always choose the historic and interesting over the new and characterless and La Fonda did not disappoint. Oozing charm and old world elegance, our room was a little oasis of quiet. I was not even aware of any construction on the hotel until we walked past the back on our way to dinner. You can't beat the location-and when it was cold and snowy it was so great to be close to everything.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WhyteWind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Humble, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Stayed in a suite on the terrace. From the start,no bellman service from airport shuttle arrival to check in at front desk? Still no bellman to handle luggage to suite after check in?Private entrance card keys failed to open door. No concierge on the terrace level to let us in. Had to return downstairs to front desk to have card keys reissued. 2nd attempt to open terrace level still did not work! Had to return a 2nd time to front desk. Manager made new card keys and escorted us back to terrace level and card keys worked to gain access to terrace level but would not open room? Manager used master to gain access to room and had new keys made a 4th time. Large dead cockroach in bathroom light fixture on ceiling. Bathroom shutters would not close completely and at night time, anyone could see into bathroom from the wrap around balcony that was accessible to all terrace level guests,had to use bath towels to hang over windows. Draperies would not close completely on both sliding glass door entrances to balconies allowing morning sunlight to come in. White comforter on bed had large red stain, they replaced after I called manager to room since concierge was still not at terrace desk? Gas fireplace had no happy medium with flame,either to low for warmth and effect or to high giving off way to much heat. Had lobby concierge book dinner reservation in La Plazuela restaurant with table next to fountain. Not seated at reserved table,seated at table against wall close to another couple. Upon bringing to the restaurant managers attention,he did not have the best of attitudes or tone of voice in addressing my concerns about the reservation! Had to visit front desk once again and speak with main manager who made things right and offered apologies saying concierge forgot to book table next to fountain. Offered free deserts but I declined. Day three they finally had concierge in place at terrace level position which they advertise about. This concierge was in early 20's and not very knowledgeable,although very nice,she was uniformed about most galleries and museums. I got more information out of brochures. Day three saw the maintenance crew remove the dead cockroach from the light and try and fix the shutters which they failed to do. Upon checking out,hotel VP tried addressing concerns and offering to refund half of fees but she tried to do to little to late. I refused any refunds and was extremely disappointed at all levels of service,and once again no available bellman to handle luggage to other end of hotel to catch airport shuttle. Will never do business with this hotel again!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
17 Thank rob112261
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Fonda on the Plaza

Property: La Fonda on the Plaza
Address: 100 E San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM 87501-2110
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Mexico > Santa Fe
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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Santa Fe
#2 Business Hotel in Santa Fe
#3 Luxury Hotel in Santa Fe
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Fe
#5 Family Hotel in Santa Fe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — La Fonda on the Plaza 4*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic La Fonda on the Plaza has been described as "the essence of the city's exuberant soul." Each guest room and suite is unique, with hand-carved and hand-painted furnishings, fitted with luxurious pillow-top Sealy Posturepedic Comfort System Dynasty beds and Anichini linens. Amenities include no resort fee, Wi-Fi, fitness center, outdoor pool and hot tub, spa services. Upgrades such as spacious sitting areas, cozy fireplaces, separate living and sleeping areas, and balconies are available throughout the hotel. The Terrace private concierge level offers 15 exclusive, luxury-level rooms and suites built around a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Santa Fe. La Plazuela restaurant is famous for it's award-winning cuisine and 400 hand-painted windows. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Fonda On The Plaza Hotel Santa Fe
La Fonda Hotel Santa Fe

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