Fodor's Expert Review Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe
198 NM 592, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506, United States See on Map Fodor's Choice
Four Seasons assumed control of this stunning property on a dramatic, sunset-facing bluff in the Sangre de Cristo foothills in 2012, bringing the brand's famously flawless sense of gracious hospitality and efficiency to an already ultra-plush resort. Taking advantage of Santa Fe's endless supply of sunshine, villa-style casitas are contemporary, airy, and earthy. Complimentary shuttles run regularly into town and guests have access to Encantado's Downtown concierge center. One big change has been the opening of an on-site Adventure Center, through which guests can book everything from guided tours of Taos and O'Keeffe Country to hiking and biking excursions.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Although it has a Santa Fe address, the Four Seasons is set in a rural area well outside the center of town. It's wonderfully relaxing and scenic but not an ideal choice if you wish to be within walking distance of downtown attractions, restaurants, and galleries.
Kitted with adobe fireplaces and expansive terraces or private patios with high-end patio furniture, these spacious casitas exemplify comfortable cushiness. High-beam ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows create a sense of airiness, and the decor is urbane yet inspired by the Southwest, including black-and-white landscape photography, carved dark-wood headboards, and pottery. iPod docking stations, private bars with refrigerators, twice-daily housekeeping, and soft down pillows are standard in every unit, and premium suites have separate living-dining areas.
You'll be hard-pressed to find swankier bathrooms than these gorgeous spaces with deep soaking tubs, separate glass showers, heated bathroom floors, and spacious dressing areas. Suites come with custom-blended bath products.
In a large, light-filled building at the front of the property, the lobby has tall windows and comfortable indoor seating as well as access to a large patio with more areas to sit and relax.
The Four Seasons has a large pool set away from the lobby and casitas, which ensures a quiet relaxing experience. There's high-quality lounge furniture around the pool, and a hot tub, all with stunning views of the mountains and high desert.
Detox at the ultra-luxurious spa with regionally inspired treatments like Mountain Spirit Purification, or take a Pilates class in the movement studio. Facilities include a gracious relaxation area with candle lighting and armchairs with ottomans and a small plunge pool with cushy lounge chairs. This is one of the most impressive spas in the Southwest.
The Four Seasons has an outstanding 1,200-square-foot fitness room with an extensive selection of state-of-the-art cardio and resistance machines and free weights, and there's plenty of room for stretching and yoga. In the Movement Studio, a wide range of exercise classes are offered, too, as well as sessions with personal trainers.
Sumptuous globe-spanning cuisine is served in the tony restaurant, Terra, a high-ceilinged space with soft lighting and a tall, stone fireplace at one end of the room. It's one of Santa Fe's most celebrated dining venues for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea. There's also a 24-hour room-service menu, in case you simply can't pull yourself from your elegant casita.
Adjoining the handsome restaurant, Terra, the bar is a stylish but slightly more casual space for drinks or a light meal. On warm nights, the patio--with panoramic mountain views--is a memorable perch from which to watch the sunset. After dark, sip a glass of wine overlooking the gas-flame fire pit.
The resort is set high in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, about 10 miles northeast of Downtown, and although it has extensive amenities, there are no attractions or businesses within walking distance. The hotel does provide a free shuttle service into town, so you could get by without a car, but most guests do arrive with their own auto, which is convenient for exploring nearby attractions, such as the High Road to Taos. Both valet and self-parking are included in the resort fee.
One of the only restaurants within a short drive of the resort, the handsome El Nido (7-minute drive), which is set in the historic village of Tesuque, serves sophisticated contemporary Italian fare, including hand-made pastas. You can watch professional flamenco dance shows some nights. Near the Plaza in Downtown Santa Fe, La Boca (15-minute drive) is a stylish Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant with a lively tapas bar and patio in back that's presided over by James Beard–nominated chef James Campbell Caruso.
You'll find an extensive selection of top-shelf margaritas at Gabriels (10-minute drive), which is also renowned for its table-side guacamole and the grand sunset views from the patio. Open seasonally, the famed Bell Tower Bar (15-minute drive) occupies the rooftop of the historic La Fonda hotel and is one of the prettiest spots in town for cocktails and conversation.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This relatively intimate (65-casita) Four Seasons resort ranks among the most luxurious hideaways in the Southwest. Outstanding, personal service, state-of-the-art facilities--including a fantastic spa and acclaimed restaurant, and rooms with stunning furnishings are among the highlights. And the dramatic location in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, although a 15-minute drive from the Plaza, is icing on the cake.