Fodor's Expert Review Inn at Vanessie

427 W. Water St., Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, USA See on Map

This sumptuously furnished boutique inn set inside restored adobe buildings and formerly known as the Water Street Inn has a terrific location just a few blocks from the Plaza. Both guest and common rooms are beautifully furnished with Southwest pieces, and the adjoining Vanessie restaurant and bar is a handy and charming spot for steaks, wine, and live music. The inn strikes a pleasing balance between the sophisticated and in-room amenities of a sophisticated hotel and the intimacy and personal service of a B&B.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Although the interior is lovely, the Inn at Vanessie lacks much in the way of grounds, as it adjoins a small parking lot. Some rooms open onto private outdoor courtyards, however, and the inn is a short walk from the Plaza as well as the greenery of Santa Fe River Park.


The inn's large rooms at set among a few adjacent buildings and are decorated with handcrafted wood beds, viga-beam ceilings, hand-stenciled artwork, and a blend of cowboy, Hispanic, and Native American art, artifacts, and textiles. Most have fireplaces, and all have such modern touches as flat-screen TVs, dimmer-control track lighting, individual climate control, and refrigerators. Opt for a king suite, with a separate sitting area (many have daybeds) for a bit more room to spread out and relax.


It's easy to feel pampered in the smartly appointed bathrooms, which feature Gilchrist & Soames bath products, plush Italian linens (along with robes and slippers), magnifying mirrors, and attractive modern tilework. The top-of-the-line rooms roomy walk-in showers.


The lobby, which is set inside the adjacent Vanessie Restaurant, is tiny and really just an area to check-in, pick up brochures, and help yourself to coffee. However, an adjoining sunroom with plenty of tables and chairs is set up for breakfast each morning and is an additional common space to relax in during the day.


A small exercise room is well-equipped with modern cardio machines and free weights.


The adjacent Vanessie Restaurant exudes old-world charm with its high beamed ceilings, soft lighting, and Southwestern artwork. It's open nightly for dinner, and is especially regarded for creatively prepared chops and grills, from New Zealand elk tenderloin to braised short ribs. Lighter dishes, including pizzas and tacos, are also served, and there's an extensive wine list.


The lounge at Vanessie Restaurant has long been renowned in Santa Fe for live music, including locally beloved pianist Doug Montgomery, who performs four nights a week. Other evening you can expect jazz, blues, and other first-rate entertainment. You can order drinks and food from the full menu in the bar.


Getting Around

Located smack in the middle of Santa Fe's historic center and just a few charming blocks from the Plaza, the Inn at Vanessie is a good choice whether or not you have a car (there's free parking in the adjoining lot). You can walk to many galleries, museums, restaurants, and shops, and if you don't have a car, Uber is your best bet for visiting key sites in the surrounding area.


The exquisitely prepared contemporary French fare at Bouche (1-minute walk), which is across from the inn, includes cod brandade with octopus escabeche and braised local lamb shank—there's an extensive wine selection, too, and do save room for the crème brûlée or a cheese plate for dessert. At Joseph's of Santa Fe (3-minute walk), you'll find a menu of creative gastropub fare, from pork belly and collared greens with a farm egg to lasagna with ricotta, mascarpone, and rabbit Bolognese.


Boasting one of the top bourbon lists in New Mexico as well as a nice selection of cocktails, sophisticated Radish & Rye (5-minute walk) is also a terrific option for dinner or even just a late-night dessert (the bourbon pecan pie is delicious). The rollicking Cowgirl BBQ (5-minute walk) has been a favorite hangout for drinking, live music, happy hour on the patio, and shooting pool for decades.


Vanessie has three key elements working in its favor: a prime location in Santa Fe's historic downtown, stunning appointed rooms with bold yet tasteful Southwest accents, and a popular on-site restaurant and bar. It's a perfect choice if you're wanting downtown luxury but a quieter vibe than some of the city's larger upscale hotels.




Phones: 505-984–1193

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