Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Attractive boutique hotel with decor inspired by the culture of the historic village of Chimayó.
From its distinctive decor to its unique cuisine, this charming hotel pays homage to the historic village of Chimayó that is located about 30 miles north of Santa Fe.
Founded in the 1600s, the village of Chimayó has long-held artistic and culinary traditions that are reflected in the ornamentation and menus featured at the hotel. Lobby and room adornments include ornate tinwork, photographs, paintings, and hand-carved furniture created by artists from Chimayó. Artisanal decor is also featured at the Tia’s Cocina restaurant, where even the cuisine is inspired by the historic village -- the chef uses chili peppers and other ingredients harvested from the fields of Chimayó.
Inside the lobby the feel of rural old New Mexico pervades the room -- with wood beams in the ceilings, red tile floors, wrought iron chandeliers, and a brick fireplace with decorative tilework. The adjacent Low ‘n Slow Lowrider Bar is a fun concept lounge with classic car decor and many large photos of low rider vehicles. Upstairs is Tia’s Cocina and both the bar and restaurant have outdoor seating to take advantage of New Mexico’s sunny weather.
Beyond the lobby, the intimate courtyard leads to the rooms and is attractively designed with more artwork, potted flowers, and a large crucifix. The crucifix is a theme repeated throughout the rooms and hotel to evoke the historic, picturesque church located in the village of Chimayó. A portion of revenue generated by the hotel is donated to the Chimayó Cultural Preservation Association.
One block from the Plaza, walking distance from galleries, shops, and other attractions
Hotel Chimayó is located one block from the Plaza, giving guests the chance to walk to the many attractions that surround Santa Fe’s historic square. This also means that there is near-constant foot traffic going to and fro in front of the hotel which makes for great people-watching from the front steps. The location does come at a price however, as guests are charged a daily fee for the underground parking garage.
Santa Fe means “Holy Faith” in Spanish and is home to about 70,000 people of varying cultural backgrounds including Hispanics, Native Americans, and Anglos. New Mexico’s fourth-largest city is also the nation’s highest capitol and its oldest -- at 400 years and counting.
The “City Different,” as it’s known, sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet at the southern edge of the Rockies, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Although the cool summer hiking and skiing in winter offer great reasons to visit, it’s best to keep in mind that the high elevation also means more stress for the body while acclimating. Most people become used to the thinner air after two or three days which means that strenuous physical activity will become easier and less dangerous if you wait a day or two after arriving in town. One more caution - one alcoholic drink at this altitude will equal three drinks at sea level!
The Spanish influence seen so often throughout Santa Fe stems from the missionaries who arrived in the 1600s to convert the local Native American population. Old missions such as the San Miguel can be seen scattered across New Mexico and offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history. Often times, these missions are located at or near Native American pueblos, such as Tesuque or Cochiti, which are home to the various Pueblo peoples. Visiting New Mexico’s pueblos offers a chance to interact with the locals, purchase art and wares, and gain a better appreciation of New Mexico’s rich history.
Today, Santa Fe is the nation’s third-largest market for buying and selling art. In addition to the many galleries at the Plaza and along Canyon Road, several museums including the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum (showcasing the painter’s long relationship with New Mexico) celebrate the creative spirit in Santa Fe.
Decor inspired by the historic New Mexico village of Chimayó
The Chimayó offers 56 rooms and suites that are among the largest in Santa Fe (between 400-800 square feet). In addition to ample space, they offer decor inspired by the village of Chimayó, such as crucifixes, chandeliers fitted with candle-like lights, and handcrafted wood furniture. Wi-Fi is the only high-tech amenity in the earth-toned rooms, which are all furnished with tube TVs. Bathrooms feature decorative tiles and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Some rooms offer wood-burning fireplaces, private balconies, and kitchenettes. Elevators are nonexistent, so be prepared to carry luggage to rooms on the upper levels.
Extensive art collection, but lacks most amenities typical of an upper-middle-range hotel
Tia’s Cocina restaurant offers New Mexican cuisine flavored with chili peppers from the village of Chamayó
Tia’s Cocina restaurant serves traditional and contemporary New Mexican food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant offers authentic heirloom chili peppers grown in the village of Chimayó. Room service is not available.
With a hard-to-beat location next to the Plaza, this upper-middle-range property is within walking distance of Santa Fe's top attractions. Its restaurant and bar offer outdoor seating with good views of the busy street, and the lobby features authentic art from the nearby village of Chimayó. However, this three-story boutique hotel lacks a fitness center or pool -- and not all of the rooms can be accessed from the elevator.