This upscale chain property built in the adobe Territorial style that's so emblematic of Santa Fe is notable for its close proximity to the Plaza, and for having one of the nicest pools in Downtown. Rooms don't especially stand out from the pack, but they are tastefully done and contain all the gadgets and amenities you'd expect of the chain. And there's a quite nice bar and restaurant on-site.
Carved-wood headboards, colorful contemporary paintings, pewter lamps, glass-top wooden desks with comfortable chairs, and upholstered armchairs or sofas create a bright but tasteful aesthetic that's broadly Western, if not specifically New Mexican, in style. Linens and towels are high-quality. Welcome features include Cuisinart coffeemakers, small refrigerators, MP3 clock radios, and 42-inch HDTVs.
Rooms facing the pool insulate a bit from street noise and, on the whole, offer a more pleasant room than those facing outward, as the hotel is fringed by a parking lot.
With great lighting, magnifying mirrors, counters with plenty of space, and attractive walk-in showers with tile walls and glass doors, the Hilton's bathrooms have been tastefully updated and have the same modern sensibility as the rooms. All are equipped with fine Peter Thomas Roth bath toiletries.
The Hilton's lobby is very attractive and has a high wood-beam ceiling, Southwestern artwork, and several comfortable sofas and chairs. Just off the lobby, there's a grab-and-go pantry that you can pick up snacks and amenities from 24/7 and a small but nicely outfitted business center.
The Hilton has one of the prettiest and most peaceful pools in Downtown Santa Fe. It's completed enclosed by the different wings of the building, which helps keep it quiet, and there's a large lanai with a hot tub and plenty of comfortable, high-quality patio furniture.
If a pool is an important feature to you, consider booking one of the rooms with direct access to it.
You can keep fit using the well-equipped exercise room, which has several cardio and resistance machines plus free weights.
Decorated with Native American and Spanish Colonial pottery and artwork, Ortiz Restaurants serves three meals daily and has both a casual tavern section and a more stately dining area that's popular with business travelers. The menu includes both Southwestern and American items, from green chile–corn chowder to cumin-dusted Atlantic salmon. Room service is also available through CP Express, which offers a number of simple and fast-prepared items--quesadillas, pizzas, Caesar salads, sandwiches--that are delivered quickly.
The bar section of the on-site restaurant, Ortiz, is a lively spot for cocktails and light dining.
The Hilton is right in the heart of Downtown and just a five-minute walk from the Rail Runner train station. You can manage here without a car, as so much to see and do is within walking distance. However, a car is useful for exploring farther afield. Parking in the adjoining lot costs $19 daily.
Elegant but unpretentious Bouche Bistro (5-minute walk) serves exceptional and urbane French fare and has one of the better wine lists in the area—dine on the enclosed patio during the warmer months. For authentic Northern New Mexican food, it's hard to beat The Shed (6-minute walk), which occupies a rambling, historic adobe-walled space just a block from the Plaza.
Enjoy great views of the historic Downtown area from the open-air dining area at Rooftop Cantina (2-minute walk), which adjoins the famous Coyote Cafe restaurant and serves exceptional margaritas and tasty, light bar food. At the Draft Station (5-minute walk), you can sample some of the best craft beers produced in New Mexico while looking out over the Plaza.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This reliable chain property has received a number of upgrades and refurbishments over the years, and the staff is well-trained and helpful. It also has a wonderful location that's equidistant from the historic Santa Fe Plaza and the up-and-coming Railyard District.