Fodor's Expert Review El Farolito
514 Galisteo St., Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, USA See on Map
This inviting compound consisting of eight classic Santa Fe–style adobe casitas enjoys a peaceful Downtown location, just steps from the capitol and a 10-minute walk from the Plaza. Private outdoor entrances afford plenty of privacy, and each unit has access to a landscaped patio.
The same owners run the smaller Four Kachinas Inn, which is close by and has one handicapped-accessible room, which is a rarity among the smaller properties in town.
All the beautiful Southwestern and Mexican furniture in this small, upscale compound is custom-made, and all the art and photography original. Rooms are spacious and pleasant with fireplaces (firewood is supplied daily from mid-October through April), and decorative styles differ among each unit, ranging from folk art–inspired to Spanish Colonial. The staff are genial and extremely well-versed about what there is to see and do in Santa Fe.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Half of the casitas have private patios, and half have share patio areas.
Colorful hand-painted Mexican tiles brighten the cozy but adequate-size bathrooms, which all have combination tub-showers.
There's no lobby per se, but the breakfast room doubles as a guest lounge and is open from morning until 7 p.m. each evening. Warmed by a fireplace, it's a pleasant place to relax on cool days, but from spring through fall, guests generally prefer to spend time outside in the patio areas.
The breakfast here is a real treat, featuring a tempting range of delicious baked goods and egg dishes, and there's always plenty of fresh fruit. It's presented buffet-style and served in a cheery breakfast room or on the sunny, landscaped patio.
El Farolito is in the heart of Santa Fe's historic South Capitol neighborhood, an easy stroll from the trendy Gaudalupe and Railyard Districts and only slightly farther—a 15-minute walk maximum—from the city's historic Plaza and its adjoining museums. Once you're here, it's easy to get among Santa Fe's main attractions on foot, but a car is recommended if you plan to venture farther afield. The inn has ample, complimentary off-street parking.
The inn is practically next door to Restaurant Martin, the domain of one of the Southwest's most celebrated culinary figures, chef and cookbook author Martin Rios. Dine on seasonally inspired contemporary American cuisine, and save room for the signature Molten Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. Tuck into a juicy green-chile cheeseburger or local organic-lamb burger at the Shake Foundation (5-minute walk), which also turns out luscious milkshakes. For a healthy lunch, Vinaigrette (5-minute walk) turns out superb Asian chopped, Cobb, beet–goat cheese, and other bountiful salads.
Sample apricot, raspberry, and other semi-sweet ciders produced with local fruit at New Mexico Hard Cider (3-minute walk), or choose from a dizzying area of well-balanced beers—from Old Pecos Porter to Belgo-American Pale Ale—at festive Second Street Brewery (8-minute walk), which also presents live music many evenings.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Centrally located but affording guests both quiet and seclusion, El Farolito offers more personality in terms of room decor and artwork than many properties in town. But despite having just eight rooms, accommodations feel completely private, as each as its own outdoor entrance, and all have access to ample outdoor seating space.
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