6 Best Historic Hotels in Santa Fe

Walk the streets of Santa Fe and you’ll be surrounded by over a thousand years of history. From Pueblo Indian-influenced architecture to centuries-old churches and homes, there’s no mistaking “The Different City” with any other place on earth.

Santa Fe hotels and resorts have embraced the city’s history. Some have carefully maintained the original structures, while others have blended the old with the new. The result is a selection of accommodations that are sure to please all visitors.

I was a guest of Tourism Santa Fe, but all opinions are my own.

Iconic hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza. A beautiful hotel that dates back to 1922. (Photo credit: Tourism Santa Fe)

1. La Fonda on the square

The Fonda on the Plaza combines the perfect location, an extensive art collection and spy stories. This century-old hotel is a real lesson in history.

What began as a modest inn in 1922 has grown and evolved over the years to meet changing guest expectations. During its last renovation in 2013, the rooms were significantly modernized while retaining their historic features. Today, rooms have blackout blinds, bathrobes, slippers, Nespresso machines, and mini-fridges.

In 2015, Conde Nast recognized La Fonda as one of the top five hospitality art collections in the world. Each room includes original artwork by local artists. Additional works of art ranging from paintings to sculptures and textiles to photography can be found in each hallway and in all public areas. A total of 1,200 pieces are on display.

During the Manhattan Project in the early 1940s, many scientists from the nearby Los Alamos Laboratory stayed at La Fonda or dined at the restaurant. To make sure they don’t leak secrets to spies, the US government sent personnel to watch them.

La Fonda offers a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and spa. And feel free to bring your pet – they’ll get their own goodie bag upon check-in. Be sure to stop by the concierge desk for help booking tours, selecting restaurants, or just learning more about Santa Fe — they’re exceptionally knowledgeable.

SkyFire Restaurant at Bishop's Lodge.
SkyFire restaurant at Bishop’s Lodge (Photo credit: Bishop’s Lodge)

2. Episcopal Lodge

episcopal lodge, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, opened in mid-2021 on the historic property that once housed the first Archbishop of Santa Fe. More than 150 years ago, Bishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy built and resided in a modest house and chapel which remain on the property today – its bell tower is visible throughout the grounds. During his episcopate, he will supervise the construction of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, located in the center of Santa Fe.

Today, Bishop’s Lodge sits on 317 secluded acres on the edge of the Santa Fe National Forest. Adobe-style rooms, suites, and casitas are scattered throughout the property, connected by curved walkways. The rooms are spacious and the decor reflects the colors and textures of New Mexico. Throws decorated with geometric patterns adorn each bed while traditional kiva fireplaces provide warmth and warmth. Amenities include bathrobes, slippers, a Nespresso machine, and luxury toiletries.

Under the direction of Chef Pablo Peñalosa, the on-site restaurant, SkyFire, serves Mexican-inspired dishes using local New Mexico ingredients. Craft cocktails are taken to a whole new level with fruit-infused spirits grown on the property. Arranged around a large fireplace, the décor features warm colors as well as Southwestern-inspired artwork and rugs. The ceramic dishes are made by local artisan, Kimmy Rohrs.

Bishop’s Lodge offers a swimming pool, spa, horseback riding and a “Coyote Camp” for children. Hiking trails through the national forest are accessible from the property. Shuttle service is available for transportation to downtown Santa Fe.

Outside Inn and Spa at Loretto.
Outside Inn and Spa at Loretto. A classic hotel that features Taos Pueblo-inspired architecture and dramatic Native American-style decor. (Photo credit: Inn and Spa at Loretto)

3. Hostel and spa in Loretto

Once the site of a girls’ school, the Hostel and Spa in Loretto combines modern conveniences with one of Santa Fe’s favorite historic sites, the Loretto Chapel.

In 1853, the Sisters of Loreto arrived in Santa Fe and opened a school for girls. 20 years later, the construction of a chapel on the model of Archbishop Lamy’s favorite Sainte Chapelle in Paris began. While a choir screen is being built, the architect dies before adding a staircase to access it. According to legend, the sisters prayed a novena to Saint Joseph for a solution, and one appeared in the form of a carpenter. He built a spiral staircase using only a hammer and a carpenter’s square, then disappeared before being paid. Some believe that the carpenter was Saint Joseph himself. Today, the Loretto Chapel is among Santa Fe’s most popular landmarks.

Unfortunately, the girls’ school fell into disrepair, so in 1975 the hostel in Loretto replaced it, located next to the chapel. Built in a classic adobe style, the inn has since become one of the most photographed buildings in New Mexico.

Bedrooms reflect the colors, textures, and patterns of local Native American tribes with geometric patterned blankets and throw pillows. Some rooms have a terrace – or terrace – perfect for eating alfresco and enjoying the surrounding view. The Inn at Loretto offers the only penthouse in Santa Fe with five decks, two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a wood-burning fireplace.

Executive Chef Tony Smith runs the on-site restaurant, Luminaria, serving globally inspired cuisine in an elegant setting. Weather permitting, sitting on the outdoor terrace is popular with locals and visitors alike. Be sure to try the award-winning Green Chili Cheeseburger and wash it down with their famous Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita.

The Inn at Loretto offers a lobby lounge, cafe, spa, pool, and a variety of shops.

4. Hotel Saint Francois

Named after the patron saint of Santa Fe, the Hotel Saint Francois holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places. Decor includes handcrafted wooden furniture by local artisans inspired by the nearby Governors Palace, the oldest government building in the United States.

Throughout the property, guests can enjoy a variety of artwork. There are religious carvings in the lobby and hallways, some dating back centuries. New Mexican prints and artifacts are displayed on the second and third floor landings. In the lobby is a wooden statue of St. Francis carved from a single piece of wood, and the white marble floor is from Mexico.

Rooms — featuring a neutral color palette — balance old-style wooden furniture with modern comforts. Guests can take in views of downtown Santa Fe or the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The on-site restaurant, Market Steakhousereceived the award for best new restaurant in 2019 by the Santa Fe Reporter. Its menu features steak, seafood, and all the traditional steakhouse trimmings.

Just off the lobby, Secreto Lounge is known for its garden-by-the-glass cocktails created using fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and local spirits. Across the hall is Gruet Santa Fe, a family-run New Mexican winery specializing in sparkling wines.

The Posada de Santa Fe.
Patio Restaurant at La Posada de Santa Fe (Photo credit: La Posada de Santa Fe)

5. La Posada Santa Fe

Originally built in 1882 as a three-storey brick mansion known as Staab House, The Posada de Santa Fe is located on six beautifully landscaped acres in downtown Santa Fe. Abraham and Julia Staab were wealthy members of society known for entertaining friends and family in their French Second Empire-style home. Mrs. Staab is said to still haunt the property.

The original Staab Residence and carriage house remain, but are joined by 1930s Pueblo Revival style adobe casitas. Classic Santa Fe-style furnishings. Some of the casitas have the original thick adobe walls and exposed beams, while others have original hardwood or tile floors. Many rooms have fireplaces.

La Posada presents The Gallery Collection, a professionally curated collection of American paintings and sculptures. All exhibited works can be purchased at the artists’ studio prices.

On-site dining includes Julia’s Restaurant offering Southwestern-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. More casual meals are available at the open-air Patio Restaurant, while tapas are served at Julia’s Social Club. The Staab House is often called the coziest bar in Santa Fe.

La Posada offers a pool, spa and fitness center.

Bed and breakfast at the Auberge des Cinq Grâces.
Bed and breakfast at the Auberge des Cinq Grâces (Photo credit: Auberge des Cinq Grâces)

6. The Inn of the Five Graces

It’s easy to walk past Inn of the Five Graces and not even know it’s there – it blends seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood, the historic Barrio de Analco. This award-winning luxury hotel is located in the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in the United States. Across the street is the San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the country.

What started as the 1001 Nights of Seret eventually became the Auberge des Cinq Grâces. Its owners, Ira and Sylvia Seret, have transformed a group of crumbling adobe structures into a unique complex. Each of the 24 suites is decorated with treasures collected during Seret’s many travels in Central and South Asia. Unique mosaics adorn each suite’s bathrooms and no two suites are alike.

Amenities available to guests are plentiful, including a daily made-to-order breakfast, free minibar, valet parking, access to Tesla charging stations, and a fitness center. All rooms have a traditional kiva wood burning fireplace. You can listen to live music in the courtyard on certain evenings of the week. An on-site spa is also available.

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