One of the city's most charming little finds, this exquisitely landscaped and attractively decorated compound is on a pretty residential street a half-mile south of the Plaza. New owners in 2017 renamed the property and are gradually developing into a culinary hideaway, complete with a commercial kitchen and cooking classes. Its three historic houses have three distinct architectural styles: Arts and Crafts, Pueblo Revival, and Territorial. Floral gardens and aspen and cottonwood trees shade the tranquil paths and terraces.
YOU SHOULD KNOW One of Casa Culinaria's greatest draws is its wealth of inviting courtyards and garden spots, but keep in mind that during Santa Fe's chilly winters, you won't have much opportunity to enjoy the grounds.
Both Southwest and Native American paintings and handmade furnishings enliven the sunny rooms and suites, some of which are quite large and have extensive sitting areas or separate living rooms. There's a kitchenette and gas-stove fireplace in the spacious Colorado Room. The Courtyard and Fountain Casitas have their own full kitchens and are especially nice for longer stays.
All rooms have private bathrooms, and each has its own distinct layout and feel. Interesting details abound, from a deep cast-iron antique tub in the Colorado Room to a large skylight and ornate Mexican tile work in the Southwest Suite.
Romantics appreciate the full Jacuzzi tub in the Courtyard Casita and the Santa Fe, Kachina, and Territorial Suites.
Guests can relax in a recently added reception area outfitted with comfortable sofas and armchairs, and during the warmer months, there's ample room to relax outside in the lovely gardens and redbrick pathways surrounding each of the three houses that make up this property.
The owners at Casa Culinaria are passionate about food and furnish guests with a delicious full breakfast each morning, featuring many local ingredients. As of this writing, the inn was adding a professional kitchen in order to start offering cooking classes to guests in 2018.
As of this writing, the new owners were in the process of adding a private bar for guests to enjoy drinks in the evening, but there are several good restaurants and bars within walking distance, too.
Located in a central residential neighborhood that's within a 10- to 20-minute walk of the many restaurants, galleries, and museums in and around the historic Santa Fe Plaza, Casa Culinaria is easily experienced without a car. But for trips to outlying attractions or Santa Fe Airport, a car or Uber is helpful.
Walk two blocks to sample some of Santa Fe's most creative contemporary cuisine at sophisticated Restaurant Martin (2-minute walk). Book a table on the expansive patio when weather allows, and save room for the renowned molten bittersweet chocolate cake. Paper Dosa (5-minute drive) turns out modern Southern Indian cuisine with Southwestern influences—try the dosa stuffed with green chile and cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
Sample New Mexico apple brandy, mesquite-smoked whiskey, and artisan gin at Santa Fe Spirits Tasting Room (8-minute walk). You'll find tempting happy hour deals on French bistro fare and a nice selection of vino at 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar (10-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
A gem for both art lovers and gourmands, this culinary-themed inn contains gorgeously appointed rooms, many with private terraces that open to the lush gardens—during the warmer months, this is one of the loveliest little compounds in town. The inn is in the historic South Capitol neighborhood, which has a quiet residential feel but is a very short walk from downtown attractions. The staff is attentive without hovering. Considering the setting and amenities, it's a great value.