Downtown Santa Fe's oldest inn—the farmhouse it's situated in dates to the early 1800s—is also one of the city's most charming little getaways. El Paradero has 15 rooms, some in the main house and adjacent carriage house and others set around a peaceful, landscaped courtyard, and each is thoughtfully appointed and fairly priced. The many noteworthy galleries and restaurants of the trendy Railyard District and historic South Capitol and Plaza areas are within walking distance.
Most of the rooms at El Paradero are set around the inn's sweet flagstone courtyard, which is decorated with fountains, white wrought-iron tables and chairs, and patio umbrellas—these each have their own private exterior entrances. You'll also find four rooms inside the historic main house, and another pair of suites, which are the fanciest accommodations, in a stately 1912 carriage house. Every room is brightened by charming folk furniture, colorfully painted walls, and attractive Southwestern crafts and textiles, and floors are redbrick, Saltillo tile, or hardwood. The suites are warmed by wood-burning fireplaces and have kitchenettes, porches, living rooms with sleeper sofas, making them a good fit with families.
Bathrooms have colorful Mexican Talavera tiles and most have shower-tub combinations. The most luxurious bathrooms are in the two carriage-house suites; one has a clawfoot tub with a separate shower, and the other a colorfully tiled combination shower-bath.
Guests have a pleasing array of common areas to relax in, along with a charming flagstone patio that's the perfect place to enjoy breakfast or relax with a book during the warmer months. The living room deep sofas and armchairs and faces a large fireplace, and the library contains a guest computer and can be accessed 24/7. There's also a cozy eating nook where coffee, tea, and cookies are available throughout the day and evening.
Breakfast in the inn's colorful dining room is included—and not to be missed. There's a different main dish each morning of the week, and favorites have included huevos rancheros with cumin-lime cream, and almond brioche French toast.
El Paradero is situated on the southern edge of Downtown on the border between the Railyard District and South Capitol neighborhood—it's an easy and scenic stroll to dozens of restaurants, museums, shops, and other notable businesses, and the inn has off-street parking. It is helpful to have a car for trips to explore some of the attractions outside Downtown, but you can get by here on foot, and the Rail Runner train station is a short walk away.
An intimate, upscale destination for sublime contemporary American "artisanal" cuisine, State Capital Kitchen (2-minute walk) changes its menu regularly but has been known to serve such knockout dishes as seared duck breast with a root-vegetable crepe and foie gras, and scallops with beet arancini, black garlic, and preserved lemon. Set in a cozy and convivial bungalow, Andiamo! (4-minute walk) serves exceptional Italian food, including handmade pastas and crispy-crust pizzas.
Santa Fe Spirits Tasting Room (2-minute walk) is a lively spot with an attractive patio. Here you can try locally crafted calvados-style apple brandy, single-malt whiskey, and artisan gin. The popular bar at Violet Crown Cinema (7-minute walk) in the Railyard District is an ideal spot for sipping craft beers and well-poured cocktails, whether or not you're attending a movie on one of this boutique multiplex's several screens.
WHY WE LIKE IT
El Paradero's location on the edge of two colorful neighborhoods makes it a great base for exploring, but it's also a surprisingly quiet and relaxing getaway considering its Downtown setting. Rooms are smartly appointed and reasonably priced, there are several beautifully decorated common spaces to relax in, and breakfast is terrific. And it's one of the few small inns in Santa Fe that allows pets in some rooms.