A residential-style resort comprising 100 all-suite units with separate living rooms and kitchens, Villas de Santa Fe looks like an apartment complex from the outside and doesn't have much in the way of Southwestern charm, but with reasonable rates, extensive amenities, and a great location within an easy stroll of the Plaza, it's a excellent option for longer stays of families. Both one- and two-bedroom options are available.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There's a mandatory $10 resort fee that covers Wi-Fi, parking, phone calls, and a shuttle service within the Downtown area.
These roomy condo-style units range from 528 to 928 square feet and sleep from four to eight guests—they're ideal for groups, and all have kitchens with high-quality appliances and utensils. Furnishings nondescript but perfectly adequate in this price range, and the living rooms do each have a sofa, armchair, electric fireplace (in deluxe units), dining table, and large flat-screen TVs with DVD players. Some units have balconies or patios.
These are the kinds of bathrooms you'd find at a typical mid-range chain hotel, with functional but tasteful amenities, including tiled combination shower-tubs, granite counters, and soft towels. The two-bedroom units have two full bathrooms.
Although somewhat underutilized by guests, the lobby is quite large and pleasant with a gas fireplace, leather sofas, high ceilings, and Southwestern rugs and artwork. A work desk has two guest computers, and there's a refreshment counter with tea and coffee service around the clock. There's also a small side lounge with a billiards table.
The outdoor pool and two hot tubs are walled in, although you'll still get a bit of street noise from Paseo de Peralta. There are tables with umbrellas around the perimeter, and it adjoins a common outdoor patio with two large gas grills for guest use.
You'll find a few cardio machines, a resistance-weight machine, and free weights in the good-size fitness room.
There's no restaurant, but all units have kitchens well-designed for light cooking, and there are two gas grills on the outside patio as well. There's a grocery store just a few minutes' drive around the corner.
There's no bar on-site, but each unit has a kitchen, making it easy to prepare drinks yourself and store wine and beer.
You can easily manage at this Downtown condo-style hotel without a car, as many attractions, restaurants, and shops are within a short walk. If you're planning to explore a bit farther afield, consider bringing or renting a car—parking is included in the daily resort fee.
You'll find excellent happy hour deals on the well-curated wine list plus tasty shareable plates of American and European fare at TerraCotta Wine Bistro (7-minute walk), which is also a great choice for lunch or dinner. Steps from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Maize (7-minute walk) is a romantic, upscale bistro specializing in creative Southwestern fare, including black ash tamales with grilled prawns and mole sauce, and bison short ribs with honey-glazed carrots, grits, and fried sage. There's an extensive wine list.
Fire & Hops (6-minute walk) is a terrific little gastropub serving delicious contemporary comfort food, house-made ice cream in creative flavors, and an array of excellent local and other domestic craft beers. Open seasonally, the lofty balcony at open-air the Bell Tower Bar (12-minute walk), inside the richly historic La Fonda hotel, might just be the best perch in town for people-watching and sunset views.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The one- and two-bedroom apartments in this resort geared toward families and extended stays are extremely spacious and comfortably, if prosaically, appointed. Given the reasonable rates, it's an excellent choice if you need a bit more room to spread out, and the location on the edge of Downtown is extremely convenient.