Welcome Travelingpanties: A Review of the Hotel Santa Fe, The Hacienda and Spa
My friend recently headed southwest for a spa weekend getaway—she wanted to shake it up a bit and take a break from her favorite (but usual go-to) beach getaway. So read below about her week at Hotel Santa Fe, The Hacienda and Spa.
Santa Fe’s closest airport is Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), which is a 20 minute car ride to the hotel. Note: only American Airlines and United fly into this teeny-tiny airport. You can either reserve car service (I reserved a private car through the hotel’s suggested carrier, Road Runner Shuttle, here at https://www.roadrunnershuttleandcharter.com/) or take a cab (approximately $30 with no traffic).
Check In? I arrived right around the published check-in time, so I didn’t have to wait for my room or request early check-in. The gentleman who checked me in was pleasant enough, but I got the feeling he would have rather been doing anything else than helping me—he wasn’t exactly forthcoming with helpful information and made me feel like I was bothering him with my questions.
Welcome Amenity? A bottle of water at check-in and Easter chocolate on my bed. There are also local and national papers available in the lobby.
Hotel Santa Fe, The Hacienda and Spa is located Historic Downtown Santa Fe and right across the street from the Santa Fe Railyard District. This hotel is actually two distinct lodgings on three acres, though they are on the same property and connected across a walkway. Hotel Santa Fe is located on a corner of a main street, but you feel like you are in a more secluded southwest area once you walk onto the property. The hotel is designed in traditional Pueblo style with a handcrafted Southwestern style motif, with natural pine furnishings and granite bathroom countertop and warm, natural colors. Lanterns on the roof line light up at night.
Hacienda at Hotel Santa Fe is across a walkway from the Hotel and consists of 35 special rooms and suites filled with Native American Art and warm gem-like tones that reflect the southwest. The rooms and suites come with a butler, and are in the same building that houses the spa.
Interesting Fact: Hotel Santa Fe, the Hacienda and Spa is Santa Fe’s only Native American-owned hotel.
The Fitness Club: There is a pool (open when warm enough) and hot tub, and the Fitness Center has bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills and free weights, as well as Yoga on Saturdays (seasonally available).
The Hacienda building houses the full service spa. Upon arrival, you are offered 10% off any spa treatment. I had already booked a facial, so the discount was automatically applied at payment. I had a 60-minute Ultimate Anti-Oxidant Facial which combines the age-fighting ingredients of Alpha Lipoic Acid, DMAE vitamin A, C and E. This facial includes a Microderm polishing scrub and an application of high-powered anti-oxidants that are deeply absorbed into the skin with the unique Silver Ion Mask application. My skin was glowing, and I would like one every day, please. I then couldn’t resist booking a massage, but if you book and have both a massage and facial in the same day, an additional discount applies. The women who each did my facial and massage were lovely and adept at what they did—I left feeling relaxed and pampered.
The spa itself is a relaxing, tranquil space—the walls are covered in clouds, so you feel like you’re floating in the air. The bathroom/changing room was as nice as any I’ve ever seen and in a southwestern style—robes, cover-up, spa sandals, all toiletries, shower and lockers were provided. I liked the spa sandals so much, I bought a pair to bring home. (There is a life-size and realistic painting of a man in a robe at the top of the stairs when you walk in; tell me if you don’t do a double take and wonder why a man is just standing there.)
Closet/Dresser Details? I stayed in a Traditional Room with a private balcony. There was a large, double-door closet with plenty of hangers, iron and ironing board, extra blanket and pillow, two bathrobes, luggage rack and laundry service bags.
Charging Situation? This was pretty dismal. There were no easily-accessible chargers by the bed or desk, so I about broke my neck trying to reach and stretch to plug my charger into the outlet behind the TV. It was that or charge my phones and laptop in the bathroom.
Turn-Down Service: Yes, and since it was Easter weekend, Easter chocolates were on the bed along with daily inspirational Native American quotes.
Bottled Water? Yes, one free and one for purchase in the room, and complimentary at the front desk. Because of the high elevation, you are advised to drink plenty of water, and in the hot summer months, this is even more important.
Coffee maker? Not in the room. Every morning, there is a coffee and tea station located by the elevator. Very cute and quaint, but if you want coffee either at the crack of dawn before 6 or after around 11 am, you are out of luck.
Reading Material in the Room? Yes, a magazine about local happenings, and there was also plenty of reading material and brochures for local activities in the lobby.
White Glove Inspection: Very clean. As they are in the desert, water conversation is very important, so I opted to not change the sheets (but just have the bed made up) during my stay, and I used my towel more than once.
There was a nice balcony with two chairs, but it was too cold to use. I used it as a refrigerator for my Cloud Cake (http://www.josephsofsantafe.com/)(it was below 30° during the night).
The bathroom was clean, but it was dated/non-descript. The bathroom in the spa was much nicer.
Makeup Mirror? No.
Hairdryer? Yes. It was a standard hairdryer with a couple speeds and hot or cold settings.
Designer Toiletries? No. Basic no-brand shampoo, conditioner and soap. However, the soap was shaped like an oblong donut, since the small center part is what most people throw away—problem solved!
Towel quality? Not the best or fluffiest I’ve seen, but they were clean and not worn out.
Robes? Yes. Two nice robes. I admit I spent one entire (dreary and rainy) day lounging in the robe and maybe or maybe not watching Lifetime and Bravo. But there were no slippers.
Amenities? Q-tips, cotton balls and shower cap (which was useful given the shower pressure).
And the piece de resistance? The décor. It was southwestern style without being hokey or making you feel you were camping.
The Food & Drink
In the morning from 6-10 am, there was a coffee and tea station set up on each floor, and in the dining area there was a complimentary breakfast buffet with a variety of cold cereal, oatmeal and toppings, pastries and bagels, yogurt and assorted cut fruit, as well as coffee, tea and juice. I found it slightly tacky that a basket with cash was right on the table for tips. I prefer to leave a tip at the table where I sit.
The hotel’s restaurant, Amaya, utilizes fresh, seasonal ingredients from all over the U.S., and as such, its menu changes depending on what the season has to offer. The restaurant is enclosed in a glass-door room that opens up when the weather is nice, and leads into an interior room that has tables with comfy arm chairs and a fireplace. If you reserve and the weather permits, there is also a teepee you can dine inside.
The Little Things
Did I feel truly welcome by the staff? Aside from the slightly luke-warm check-in, yes, the staff (both at the hotel and spa) was very helpful and friendly and was happy to offer advice and answer my questions.
Wi-Fi? Yes. Complimentary in-room, and I had two devices connected with no issue.
Mini-Bar? Yes. You are asked at check-in if you’d like a key to the mini-bar. There is also a basket of snacks for purchase.
Complimentary Newspapers? Yes. National and local daily papers. There was not a Sunday paper, however.
Room Service? Not guaranteed to be available at all times, depending on how busy the kitchen is. Only available is an after-hours, late-night-only, set room service option with limited menu items. Which if you’re out boozing it up, that’s when you need that burger and fries the most.
Special Treats: Easter morning, there was a bowl of jelly beans at the front desk.
Good For Families: Yes.
Room for Improvement
There was no in-room safe in the Traditional Room.
The cable TV set up was odd. There was no guide page where you could access channel through the guide. You had to watch the guide channel that slowly and automatically rolled through the channels and then go manually enter the channel through the remote.
The shower pressure was out of this world! It was perhaps slightly lower than the pressure of an industrial power washer.
The rooms were NOT well insulated. I could perfectly hear the conversations in the room next to me, as well as smell their cigarette smoke.
Finally, when eating breakfast, the staff was standing around talking non-stop about who knows what. It wasn’t that kind of atmosphere where everyone was chatting—it’s a quiet, small dining space with a lovely fireplace, and I would have preferred to sit in peaceful quiet, reading my complimentary NY Times, drinking my coffee and enjoying my croissant. But then I thought, I would probably want to chat with my co-workers rather than sit and stare at each other in silence. But still.
The Wow Factor(s)
The local activities and culture run deep in this hotel. There are seemingly daily activities that involve talks, tours, shows or performances that relate to the history of the area or native culture.
The décor is also apparently well thought out, from the rustic chairs at the communal style table in the lobby to the southwest patterned wall covering in the elevator.
There is also a seasonal teepee guests can dine in—a family style dinner for 2-4 people can be reserved in advance.
Finally, you can take the hotel’s cute purple car around to popular tourist destinations—just head to the lobby and you can be driven to your destination, then just call when you’d like to be picked up.
And this is neither good nor bad, but every time I pushed the elevator door button, I got shocked. I tried not dragging my feet on the carpet, wrapping my finger in my coat, and touching the door first, but to no avail. So I started taking the stairs. Which who couldn’t use a little more exercise each day?
The Bottom Line: Would I recommend it?
Yes and yes, though I would step it up a notch and stay at the Hacienda with butler service. I was out exploring the area most of the week, so the room was just fine for sleeping and getting ready.
Hotel Santa Fe, The Hacienda & Spa Contact Information
Address: 1501 Paseo de Peralta Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: (855) 825-9876 for Reservations
Email: [email protected]