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Concierge.com

Santa Fe + Taos Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa
1297 Bishop's Lodge Road
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87501
Tel: 800 732 2240 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 983 6377
reservations@bishopslodge.com
www.bishopslodge.com

Bishop Lamy, the first bishop of Santa Fe, acquired this land in the lee of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in 1851. After a spell as the vacation retreat of the Pulitzer family, the property expanded to 450 acres and in 1918 evolved into New Mexico's first resort. After various renovations, including the inevitable addition of a spa (called SháNah, the Navajo word for "vitality"), the 111-room lodge is worthy once again. It's some distance from downtown (three miles), but there's enough room out here for horseback riding, tennis courts, a pretty pool surrounded by cottonwoods, and hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. Rooms are Southwestern all the way, with the compulsory ocher-olive-terra-cotta palette, adobe walls, exposed beams, and kiva fires (though some burn gas rather than wood). Invest in a deluxe room or above; these have outdoor spaces, whereas some regular rooms are claustrophobically viewless.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Casa de las Chimeneas
405 Cordoba Road
Taos , New Mexico
87571
Tel: 877 758 4777 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 758 4777
casa@newmex.com
www.visit-taos.com

It's a rare B&B that has an in-house concierge, but this is a rare property—especially in quality lodging-challenged Taos. In an out-of-way neighborhood several minutes from the Plaza, the property was once a former private residence. Now each of the eight rooms has its own entrance and kiva fireplace (hence the name: house of chimneys). The upshot is that there's a feeling of privacy, even with a hotel staff of 14. Each room has a distinctive personality, from the romantic La Salon del Patron (with king bed, Jacuzzi, wet bar, and skylights) to the Library Suite, which is fully stocked with books and magazines and has a private patio and multi-jet shower. There's not a lot of natural light, and the heavy log beams on low ceilings can feel intrusive, but the inn makes up for it with small luxuries: A free (nonalcoholic) minibar, a gym, and a small but full-service spa (this being Taos, there's no shortage of massage therapists). Three-course breakfasts and dinners—essentially Southwestern in style, using local ingredients—are included, with both communal and separate seating.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa
317 Kit Carson Road
Taos , New Mexico
87571
Tel: 505 758 3502
Tel: 888.213.4419
info@elmontesagrado.com
www.elmontesagrado.com

When this 36-room lodge opened in 2003, it gave Taos the destination resort it sorely lacked. The stand-alone suites and many secluded, landscaped acres made it feel at once open and intimate. In fall 2007, however, the room count was more than doubled, to 84. The good news is that the staff is as well trained and gracious as ever, and the additions are set away from the original suites. The bad news is the new "Rocky Mountain" rooms are in a mundane two-story building, intended to accommodate conferences and wedding groups. Stick with the original rooms, which have more character and charm than the additions. The least-expensive casitas are sweet (some have patios), but the top-of-the-line Global Suites are worth the premium: Set among terraced waterfalls and ponds, they have one or two bedrooms, massive showers and tubs, and well appointed living rooms with a wet bar and dining table. Each is decorated in the style of a different country, a gimmick that's nonetheless pulled off particularly well (handpainted tiles and Andalusian shawls in the Spain suite, bamboo shades and kimonos in the Japan room). All rooms have wood or gas-burning kiva fireplaces. The spa has been enlarged to accommodate the added guests, but it's hard to believe that groups won't invade the serene public spaces such as the plunge pool or De La Tierra restaurant, which serves New American food with Southwestern accents (try the elk chop and chicharrón chimichanga).

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Encantado
198 State Road 592
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87506
Tel: 877 262 4666 (toll-free)
info@encantadoresort.com
www.encantadoresort.com

For many New Mexico transplants (D. H. Lawrence and Georgia O'Keeffe among them), the best of the state is found in the desolate beauty of the high desert. Sometimes it's hard to get a sense of that world directly inside Santa Fe, and that is what makes the Encantado resort so compelling. The 65-casita property, which ranges over many hilly piñon-tree-dotted acres, is off a lonely desert road near the village of Tesuque, a 15-minute drive to the Plaza (a fleet of Mercedes ferry guests back and forth to the city free of charge). Each casita has at least 630 square feet of space and its own balcony or terrace, a pleasant spot to sit and take in the views of the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains. While the decor is definitely Santa Fe–style, with kiva fireplaces and adobe walls, there are plenty of modern details such as iPod docks, flat-screens, and large bathrooms with tubs and rain showers. Service is smiling and chatty, if not yet polished. As an Auberge Resort, the property's other strength is the restaurant, Terra, which serves dishes like slow-cooked suckling pig, breast of veal, and a duck tamale—think simple regional dishes prettily plated. After dinner, take a drink to the open fire pit and check out the night sky. You won't get all those stars anywhere else.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel La Fonda de Taos
108 Southside Plaza
Taos , New Mexico
87571
Tel: 505 758 2211
info@hotellafonda.com
www.hotellafonda.com

Occupying prime real estate on the Plaza within walking distance of galleries and restaurants, La Fonda has the best location in Taos. The three-story property was built in 1882 and has 24 rooms, most of them standard queens. Like most old adobe buildings it has small windows, but a 1999 renovation heightened the ceilings. The rooms are unremarkable but well maintained, with basic wood armoires, Mexican tin mirrors, and tile bathrooms. Rooms are without individual temperature controls, which will trouble some guests. The third-floor penthouse, with its full kitchen, dining area, and private roof deck, is a good place for an extended stay. Two other plus points: Joseph's Table, one of Taos's best destination restaurants, and a parking lot reserved for guests (even in tiny downtown Taos, parking is a hassle). No surprise that the building is rife with Taos history. The hotel's former owner, Saki Karavas, who died in 1996, was an infamous lothario about town and an avid art collector. In 1956 he acquired nine of the 13 so-called "Forbidden Paintings" by D.H. Lawrence, who lived in Taos for a short time. The somewhat lascivious paintings were banned from English soil in 1929, and they're still on private display— just ask the staff for a viewing.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Inn of the Anasazi
113 Washington Avenue
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87501
Tel: 800 688 8100 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 988 3030
anasazi@rosewoodhotels.com
www.innoftheanasazi.com

Under the steadying corporate hand of Rosewood, which owns New York's Carlyle and Baja California's Las Ventanas, the Anasazi is Santa Fe's most refined and best-serviced hotel. Built in 1991, the recently renovated 57-room property is in the center of downtown, just around the corner from the Plaza. The understated room decor—Southwestern, but at low volume—includes simple Native American–style rugs as bedspreads, gas-burning kiva fireplaces, and high wood-beamed ceilings. The result is a warmth and comfort that's amplified by luxury touches such as large, fluffy bath towels, flat-screen TVs, and humidifiers placed in the rooms at turndown. Service is personalized to perfection: Staffers learn your name and will organize private guides and sightseeing tours tailored to your wishes. On the downside, the views are unexceptional, and there's no spa or gym (although they will haul fitness equipment to your room on request). The in-house restaurant is excellent, and treads just as lightly on the Southwestern theme.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Inn of the Five Graces
150 East DeVargas Street
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87501
Tel: 505 992 0957
info@fivegraces.com
www.fivegraces.com

When you can't take another cheeky Kokopelli motif, this utterly incongruous Scheherazadian fantasy is your haven. Founded to showcase the wares of the local design import store Seret & Sons, today it's run by the Garrett group, which also owns the rustic-luxe Adirondack resorts The Point and Lake Placid Lodge. The 24 suites are set in a jumble of low adobe buildings near the downtown government buildings—a rather magical warren of small courtyards with lounge chairs and swinging benches. The interiors are a hodgepodge—heavy Native American Indian bedspreads, mirrors from Spain, wood furniture from Tibet, and lattice woodwork over windows. Many also have wood burning fireplaces and a few have gas stoves. Bathrooms are similarly whimsical, with hand-painted tiles and shards of pottery stuccoed into the walls of the separate tub and shower. Our only gripe is that while it's snuggly in winter, it feels a bit gloomy on sunny days. A full breakfast is included, the minibar items are free, and tips are included.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Inn on the Alameda
303 E. Alameda Street
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87501
Tel: 888 984 2121 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 984 2121
info@inn-alameda.com
www.innonthealameda.com

Perhaps more than any other hotel in Santa Fe, this 71-room adobe hideaway on the edge of downtown reinforces the capital's small-town feel. It's a three-minute walk to the Santa Fe Plaza yet is far enough away to be free from the bustle. The main lodge is three stories, but the rest of the property is comprised of discrete one-story structures, so from the street you might not realize it's a hotel at all. Employees are mostly chatty locals (not always a good thing), and there's no restaurant, though wine and cheese are served in the late afternoon and there's a free continental breakfast. The rooms are interspersed among eight buildings and a series of landscaped courtyards; many have separate entryways and enclosed patios. The traditional adobe buildings are cute, but they have a very real downside: Even the suites have low ceilings and tiny windows, leaving the accommodations dim. Full-size refrigerators and kitchenettes in the suites are nice, but chances are you'll want to be out and about in town, anyway. The end result is a good—if not plush—bang for the buck.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
La Posada de Santa Fe
330 E. Palace Avenue
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87501
Tel: 800 727 5276 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 986 0000
reservations@lpdsf.com
laposada.rockresorts.com

This 157-room resort, two blocks off the Plaza, wants to be considered the best place to stay in Santa Fe—and in many regards, it succeeds. The former Staab Mansion, built in 1882, is now run by RockResorts, and its six acres of lushly landscaped grounds feel like a walled-in compound, with lots of room to amble around, especially in the large pool and hot tub area. A gorgeous wooden staircase, stained-glass windows, and the original Staab bedroom (which Mrs. Staab is rumored to still inhabit, in spectral form) survive from the original structure. Ask for one of the newer patio rooms; the oldest ones, once part of an artist colony, feel a bit cramped. The service is sometimes careless, such as when the bartender can't be bothered to offer a second round. Lastly, ask if there's a conference scheduled during your planned stay: It can dilute the otherwise perfect atmosphere.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ten Thousand Waves
3451 Hyde Park Road
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87504
Tel: 505 992 5003
www.tenthousandwaves.com/LODGING

Thanks to the area's New Age reputation, many visitors expect a Zen—or at least spiritual—experience. Ten Thousand Waves is the only property in Santa Fe that delivers on that premise. Opened in 1981 as a Japanese-inspired spa in the Sangre de Cristo mountains that tower over the town, it has gradually added guest rooms (13 altogether) in a string of detached structures down the hill from the large spa area. Both rooms—called the Houses of the Moon—and spa are set in a forest of pine trees, interconnected by footpaths. Inspired by ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), the rooms are sparsely decorated in Japanese style, often with sliding screens and bamboo mats. It's a tough look to get right, but Ten Thousand Waves nails it, creating a soothing, even meditative, atmosphere. The drawback is the absence of an on-site restaurant: Guests must drive 15 minutes back to town down a two-lane road. We suggest you spend several nights in town, then book here for the last night or two for the ultimate chilled-out experience.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.