The only majority Native American-owned hotel in downtown Santa Fe offers art, culture, and stand-out accommodations at a fair price.
As soon as you step foot in the lobby at Hotel Santa Fe, it's clear you're somewhere that takes its location seriously. From the rough-hewn vigas, posts, and lintels—hallmarks of the signature Santa Fe Style—in the lobby to the heavy leather furniture, southwestern textiles, and Native American art featured throughout the property, that sense of place permeates every corner. Closer to the Railyard than the hustle and bustle of Santa Fe's historic central Plaza, it makes a good base of operations for exploring both areas. And, as the only Native American-owned hotel downtown, it provides guests with an opportunity to learn a bit more about an underrepresented culture and history, all while supporting the local economy.
Hotel Santa Fe opened in 1991, but its story begins in 1988, when the idea of a collaboration between local business folks and the Picurís Pueblo, one of 23 tribes in New Mexico, was first floated. At that time, other Pueblos in the area were looking to casinos to provide revenue streams, but given its remote mountain location, that wasn’t an option for the Picurís, so the Bureau of Indian Affairs suggested looking to Santa Fe and its robust tourism industry for opportunities. That partnership produced the only property in the city’s downtown area that’s majority Native American–owned, and it offers guests a unique glimpse of Picurís Pueblo art and culture, from sculpture and storytelling to drumming and dance.
Though its adobe exterior lends an air of antiquity, Hotel Santa Fe’s accommodations are anything but. Each of the 28 rooms and 90 suites is kitted out with crisp white sheets, down comforters, granite bathroom vanities, and southwestern-style pine furnishings, while the 35 rooms and suites in the Hacienda, a separate building with a more exclusive, upscale feel, come equipped with remote-controlled fireplaces, professional butler service, and walk-in showers. All rooms have WiFi and fully stocked minibars.
A few years before the hotel’s partners acquired the land upon which they’d eventually build, the city announced plans to revitalize the Railyard. It would take more than 20 years for then Mayor Montaño’s vision to be realized, but after the project finally debuted in 2008, Hotel Santa Fe was literally in prime position: a five-minute walk to avant-garde art at SITE Santa Fe in the Railyard, with its galleries, shops, and fantastic farmers’ market, but still only 15 minutes from the historic Plaza and its surrounding museums, restaurants, and bars. Not up for the walk? The hotel has a free shuttle that will deliver guests door to door within a certain radius, so you can leave your car parked in the lot (also free!) without fretting about trying to nab one of those elusive spots downtown.
The City Different is known for its chile and its margaritas, and there are enough of both here to keep even the biggest diehard happy—and more. Within a couple of blocks of the Hotel Santa Fe, there’s a brewery, a hard-cider taproom, and a distillery, not to mention coffee shops and cafes, so guests should have no trouble quenching their thirst; nearby snack options include a hot-dog spot and Sage Bakehouse, known for its green-chili cheese bread and flaky almond croissants. For a more substantial meal, venture a few blocks north to Cowgirl BBQ for smoked meats and chiles rellenos, and a few blocks further for legendary breakfast burritos at Tia Sophia’s, blue-corn pancakes at La Fonda on the Plaza, crowd-pleasers like queso, guac, ground-beef tacos, and margaritas at the Shed, and four-star modern Mexican moles at Sazón. At the hotel itself, Amaya serves a seasonally appropriate menu combining local Pueblo and northern New Mexican cuisines; between Memorial Day and Labor Day, private family-style dinners are also available in a teepee that comes complete with traditional hides and blankets. If you’ve opted for a room in the Hacienda, you’ll have access to an “afternoon reception” (otherwise known as happy hour) on the sixth floor, with complimentary drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and city views from the terrace.
ALL THE REST
Santa Fe’s art scene is justly renowned, and you don’t have to step foot off the property to see why. (Though you should!) The hotel is home to a multimillion-dollar collection of Native American art, and paintings, pottery, and sculpture are interspersed inside and out. There’s live music in the lounge on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as a spa, a heated pool (closed from about Thanksgiving to Easter), and a hot tub. The spa menu features the usual suspects—massage, reflexology, facials, and the like—but even if you’re not going to spend time on the treatment table, it’s worth a trip to upstairs just to gawk at the gorgeous wall of crystals at the entrance.
RATES & DEETS
Starting at $129.
Hotel Santa Fe
1501 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501