A secluded, solar-powered "eco-retreat" on the far south side of Santa Fe, this five-room inn abounds with charming features, from rustic-luxurious rooms kiva fireplaces and access to lovely courtyards and portals to fabulous organic breakfasts served in the converted adobe barn. It's one of the only accommodations close to the Turquoise Trail scenic drive between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Although named for Arroyo Gallina, which trickles through the property, the inn does have chickens roaming its grounds--they're just one more aspect the owners' commitment to ecological practices (as they help cultivate soil and provide eggs).
Cyclists should consider bringing a bike, as the inn is located close to some outstanding, scenic areas for riding, and the owners have created a page on their website describing some of the best routes for cycling in the area.
The five warmly appointed accommodations range from a standard but still spacious room to larger suites with separate sitting areas to a pair of detached casitas with kitchenettes. The large unit, the Silverado Suite, has eight big skylights, a living room–art studio, and extra beds and futons that can accommodate up to seven guests--it's a great choice for families. Some rooms open to the main ranch house, where guests enjoy shared use of a large kitchen and a comfy living room. Rooms are filled with interesting decorative elements, from antique writing desks to Moroccan inlaid doors, and all have kiva fireplaces.
The bathrooms are all charmingly decorated and range greatly in size and configuration. Handsome tile showers or tubs and colorful hand-painted sinks are among the features. Water-saving showers, toilets, and sinks are among the inn's eco-friendly features.
The common areas are set in the converted barn and in the main ranch house and provide plenty of space for guests to spread out, relax, and mingle. They include a common guest kitchen in the ranch house, and a breakfast area in the barn. The property also has courtyards and gardens that on warm days feel a bit like a serene outdoor lobby.
There's no pool, but the grounds do include a beautifully crafted cedar hot tub that's a wonderful spot to soak and stargaze at night.
Rates include delicious cooked-to-order full breakfasts with dishes that nearly always feature eggs from the happy resident chickens, perhaps quiche with green chile or Middle Eastern shakshouka. The inn also has occasional pizza nights and offers cooking classes.
There's no bar, but guests have access to a common kitchen as well as kitchenettes in the casitas, making it easy to store beer and wine and prepare cocktails. On weekends, the owners even offer a light happy hour with adult beverages and snacks.
Rancho Gallina is well off the beaten path, in a rural area about a 30-minute drive from Santa Fe Plaza (although right off the Turquoise Trail scenic highway and not far from Interstate 25). You'll want to have a car both to get here and to explore the area.
At the funky San Marcos Cafe & Feed Store (2-minute drive), a casual daytime-only spot serving hearty New Mexican fare, including tasty green-chile stew, it's great fun watching the turkeys and peacocks march around the grounds outside. You might combine brunch, lunch, or a dinner of sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine at Blue Heron Restaurant (15-minute drive) with a massage or soaking in the tubs at the splendid Sunrise Springs Spa Resort.
At Santa Fe Brewing Company (10-minute drive) you can try out the outstanding local IPAs and stouts. Make your way to the rambling Ranch House (15-minute drive) to enjoy the popular late-afternoon happy hours and top-quality margaritas and other mixed drinks.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The owners of this picturesque inn on the outskirts of Santa Fe are completely devoted to green practices and are wonderfully accommodating hosts who prepare delectable farm-fresh breakfasts. The setting is lovely for getting away from the crowds yet close enough to work well as a base for exploring Santa Fe and the many attractions to the south, from Tent Rocks National Monument to the Turquoise Trail.