Santa Fe hasn't always been a town of pseudopueblo buildings, and this lovely Queen Anne Victorian is a dramatic reminder of the city's more eclectic architectural heritage. Built by a railroad tycoon in 1886, this beautifully maintained B&B is nestled among mature trees and gardens just four blocks from the Plaza. The wonderful Absolute Nirvana spa is on the premises.
There's no gym on-site, but guests enjoy discounted admission to El Gancho Health and Tennis Club (10-minute drive) and free access to Shellaberger Tennis Center (12-minute drive).
Plush beds, lovely antiques, and flower-print bedding and artwork adorn the rooms in this gracious Queen Anne Victorian house with high ceilings and ornate architectural details. Fireplaces grace four rooms, which also have modern conveniences, such as iPod speakers and flat-screen TVs.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The Victorian antiques and floral-inspired decorative touches are atypical for Santa Fe and not to everyone's tastes.
In this historic inn, bathrooms vary a bit in size and configuration. In some rooms, the shower and sink are in one room, and the sink is in the bedroom or sitting area. Other rooms have both tubs and showers and more room to spread out. The Madeleine features eco-friendly bath products.
You'll find tea, coffee, fruit, and snacks in the stately sitting room, which serves as the inn's lobby and is decorated with Oriental rugs, stained glass windows, a tiled fireplace, and plush sofas and couches.
Located on the ground floor, the tranquil Absolute Nirvana Spa is a full-service facility that has a loyal following among guests and locals. After enjoying one of the 60- to 120-minute treatments, ranging from yogurt-and-honey body masks to Indo-Asian hot stone massage, soak in a rose-petal bath before a crackling wood-burning fire.
The homemade organic breakfasts will fuel you up for a day of exploring—expect treats like blueberry-stuffed French toast and calabacita breakfast enchiladas, along with house-made granola.
Each evening, guests are treated to a social hour featuring complimentary wine and appetizers. On warm days, enjoy your refreshments in the lovely courtyard shaded by lofty deciduous trees.
The inn is in a peaceful yet relatively central residential area on the east side of downtown, an easy 10- to 15-minute walk from many of Santa Fe's top museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants. A car or Uber is helpful for touring the surrounding area.
A dapper trattoria in the center of historic Santa Fe, Il Piatto (8-minute walk) turns out well-prepared pastas and grills, including pumpkin ravioli with brown sage butter and prosciutto-wrapped trout with local wild mushrooms. Set down a long driveway off art gallery–lined Canyon Road, the refined Compound Restaurant (15-minute walk) artful, globally inspired modern fare, such as tuna tartare with preserved lemon and caviar, and Hudson Valley duck breast with bok choy and black rice.
At the venerable La Cantina at La Casa Cena (5-minute walk), the talented waitstaff entertains patrons by belting out jazz standards and Broadway tunes. As it nears sunset, make your way to the famous rooftop of the historic Hotel La Fonda for drinks in the open-air Bell Tower Bar (7-minute walk), which offers expansive views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Managed by a professional and gracious staff, The Madeleine stands out both for its Queen Anne splendor and charmed location on a quiet street in a historic East Side residential neighborhood. Inviting touches abound, such as the aroma of freshly baked goodies wafting through the house each afternoon. And this is the rare B&B with its own full-service spa.