Fodor's Expert Review Old Santa Fe Inn
201 Montezuma Ave., Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, USA See on Map
This contemporary motor-court-style inn looks from the outside like an attractive, if fairly ordinary, adobe motel, but it has stunning and spotless rooms with elegant Southwestern furnishings. A small business center and gym are open 24 hours. Most rooms open onto a parking lot, although chile ristras hanging outside each unit brighten things up. The make-your-own-breakfast-burrito buffet is a nice touch.
High-quality linens and upscale furnishings fill every one of these stylishly appointed room, along with wooden blinds and large flat-screen TVs; many have kiva or gas fireplaces, or balconies and patios, and in most cases refrigerators and microwaves.
Bathrooms feature colorful Southwestern tile, large mirrors and counters, natural-stone or tile floors, and high-end bath products. Many of them have deep Jacuzzi tubs, and some have tiled walk-in showers with glass doors.
You'll find deep leather sofas and upholstered arm chairs in the spacious lobby, which also features high beamed ceilings, Spanish Colonial art, and well-chosen rugs and textiles. A small 24-hour business center has a pair of computers and a printer, and there's an adobe-wall courtyard off the lobby with tables, chairs, and umbrellas.
For a small inn, the exercise room is above-average, with a couple of good-condition cardio machines and weights.
There's no restaurant on-site, but there is a large dining room with a beamed ceiling, gurgling fountain, and tile floor in which an extensive hot breakfast buffet is served, a highlight of which is a breakfast burrito bar. There's also fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, waffles, pastries, and the like. In warm weather, you can dine on the patio.
There's no bar, but you'll find several liquor and grocery stores nearby where you can stock up on supplies for in-room cocktails.
The inn is just a few blocks south of the historic Plaza and an equally short distance from the many shops, restaurants, and attractions in the Railyard District and South Capitol neighborhood. You can easily get by here without a car, as so much is within easy walking distance, but it is handy having wheels to access the many attractions in the greater Santa Fe area.
An intimate, upscale destination for sublime contemporary American "artisanal" cuisine, State Capital Kitchen (3-minute walk) changes its menu regularly but has been known to serve such knockout dishes as butternut squash soup with pickled golden raisins, pistachios, and sage, and slow-cooked short ribs with farro risotto and huckleberry compote. A casual roadhouse-style eatery decked with '50s-style memorabilia, Santa Fe Bite (7-minute walk) is famed for its hefty green-chile cheeseburgers as well as steaks and flavorful New Mexican fare.
At Gruet Tasting Room (5-minute walk) you can sample some of the finest sparkling wines in the country, produced right here in New Mexico—note that just across the lobby of the Hotel St. Francis from the tasting room, Secreto Bar serves exceptional cocktails. The snazzy little cocktail bar Tonic (6-minute walk) presents live jazz and pours creative, well-prepared drinks.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The owners of this attractive inn designed in the style of a motor court have both steadily expanded and upgraded the property over the years, creating a mid-priced (especially for Downtown) lodging option with exceptionally well-appointed rooms. The hotel's common spaces, with high beamed ceilings and comfy seating, are gorgeous, and rates include an excellent buffet breakfast.
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