Though I had little doubt that my two favorite hotels in Santa Fe would still be recommendable, I couldn’t resist spending time in each on my latest visit. The best choice for you will depend on your personal taste.
In an ideal central location a half-block off the Plaza, Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi rises like an adobe pueblo over its sidewalk patio. In addition to the lobby area, the 58-room hotel has several inviting public spaces, including a convivial bar and a large library centered on a woodburning fireplace. Each of these spaces contains hardwood floors, leather furnishings, Native American rugs and baskets, and the traditional viga (hand-hewn beam) and latilla (split cedar branch) ceiling construction. Rooms exhibit the same sense of place, as well as modern touches such as rows of outlets on the writing desk, Keurig coffeemakers and iPod docks. Our Deluxe Room with Balcony proved to be comfortable in every respect, with a steel-framed four-poster bed, love seat, gas fireplace and large terrace with a table and chairs and two cushioned loungers. Only the lack of a view and the bath’s shower/tub combination were disappointments. The restaurant is worth trying whether you stay in the hotel or not; I loved the skewers of scallops, pork belly and chorizo served over fresh corn and celery root purée, while the New Mexican lamb with sautéed vegetables and jalapeño croquettes was both tender and savory.
Just a few blocks away stands my other longtime Santa Fe recommendation, The Inn of the Five Graces. In our second-floor Superior Suite, “Jasmine,” ornate wooden doors and sections of wood paneling had been salvaged from historic buildings. The bath dazzled with colorful tilework and intricately carved sandstone screens. Yet it made no concessions in terms of comfort and amenities. Altogether, the hotel feels like the fantasy of a Silk Road pleasure palace. And it works, in part because Asian motifs and artifacts are curiously similar to those of the Southwest.
Note that some accommodations have more privacy than others. When making your reservation, request specific information about the location of the room or suite. It is wise to book any spa appointments in advance, since there is only one treatment room. I highly recommend a private walking tour with the inn’s historian, Kay Barber.