Guest Author - Candyce H. Stapen
Two very different hotels are among our favorite places to stay in Santa Fe. The Inn on the Alameda creates a friendly, home-away-from-home feel and the larger Hotel Santa Fe adds the option of luxury with its Hacienda rooms.
The 71-room Inn on the Alameda, located near Canyon Road, noted for its blocks of upmarket galleries, consists of a series of Pueblo-style buildings that are fronted by adobe walls and edged by small gardens laced with cottonwood and aspen trees.
The Inn’s lobby, decorated with book cases, comfortable chairs, a fireplace and a Native American rug, feels more like a living room than a registration area. In the adjacent Agoyo lounge, we exchange tips and attraction reviews with the other guests during the complimentary, afternoon wine and cheese hour and during breakfast, which is included with the room rate.
Even though some of the hotel’s brochures list the morning meal as continental, the buffet always features one hot item--maybe a frittata or a croissant stuffed with green chile—as well as cold cereals, fruit, pastries, yogurt and bread plus, to satisfy some special diets, soy milk and gluten-free treats.
Standard rooms, most of which come with a patio or a balcony, are a good size, but the bathrooms, although remodeled, remain small. Suites, in separate one-story buildings set back from the road, have pull-out sofas for children. We really like the quiet, back courtyard location of our unit. The porch with its table and chairs proves perfect for morning coffee and evening star gazing. The pine beds, local pottery, and Native American blankets evoke the region without being fussy. Other nice touches for the Inn on the Alameda: free parking, complimentary Wi-Fi and a 10% discount on room rates for repeat guests.
Anchoring the Railyard District, a revitalized area of boutiques, galleries and weekend farmers’ and flea markets, the Hotel Santa Fe is the city’s only Native American owned property. The Picuris Pueblo, in partnership with developers, owns the 163 room hotel.
Like many Santa Fe properties, this one features Allan Houser sculptures outside and Native American blankets, paintings and pottery inside. The gift shop sells prints by a noted Picuris artist and a sign in the lobby states “Mah-Waan, Mah-Waan,” or “welcome” in the Native dialect. Although not much else is specific to the Picuris Pueblo, we learn more about the members by talking to some of the staff, not all of whom belong to the tribe.
In fact, as soon as we arrive, we meet our Croatian butler—let’s call him Stefanko-- who leads us to our room in the Hacienda at the Hotel Santa Fe, a 35 room, upmarket hotel-within-a hotel. After pointing out the gas fireplace, flat screen television and marble bath in our spacious room, Stefanko tells us to call him anytime for anything before leaving.
Alas, that’s the last we see of Stefanko. Most every time we use the phone to call the butler, we get a busy signal. Once we got through to ask for a map of the nearby Pueblos, but no map is delivered. Instead, we pick one up from the concierge in the lobby. The butler in the Hacienda Lounge is more attentive, or perhaps, less busy. He chats with us over afternoon wine and morning coffee that comes with a cold cereal, fruit, pastry and one hot item such as oatmeal or pancakes.
With some tweaking and additional staff, the Hacienda can truly deliver on its promise of luxury. In the meantime, we enjoy the well-appointed room and good breakfast. On our next visit, we plan to allow time to savor the hotel’s spa.