Inn and Spa at Loretto Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Downtown Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Located close to the Plaza and adjacent to a historic chapel
  • Charming Santa Fe decor that includes carved wooden furniture
  • Organic ingredients and seasonal menus at Luminaria Restaurant
  • Flat-screen TVs and, in some, iPod docks
  • Many rooms have balconies, and good views from upper-floor rooms
  • Guests who arrive in hybrid vehicles receive free valet parking
  • Extensive spa services, including Native American-inspired rituals

Cons

  • Valet parking only, fees apply
  • Service fee (includes Wi-Fi use and fitness center access)
  • No Jacuzzi
  • Lack of counter space in bathrooms

Bottom Line

This upscale property has a long-standing reputation as one of the finer inns in Santa Fe. A historic chapel adjoins the hotel, the location by the Plaza can't be beat, and the decor is classic southwestern. Highlights include the stylish Luminaria Restaurant that is renowned for its fresh, organic cuisine, and The Spa at Loretto, popular for its varied array of treatments. Rooms have a warm, earthy feel and offer high-tech amenities such as flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, but some are on the small side.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Native American-inspired design and decor, with a focus on local art and culture

Perhaps the only building in New Mexico that has been photographed more often than the Inn at Loretto is the one that provided the inspiration for the hotel, the famed Taos Pueblo. The Loretto imitates the classic design of the centuries-old Native American community, featuring tan adobe walls, extruding pine beams, and a multi-tiered building arrangement.

The lobby is small, but appealing, with floor-to-ceiling wood pillars, colorful Native rugs, and plenty of local artwork. The adobe walls are whitewashed, giving the hallways a resemblance to the interior of a Spanish mission. Next to the lobby is the Living Room Lounge -- a big, charming space with a bar, tables, fireplace, and small library. Decor inspired by the local culture is everywhere in the form of baskets, pottery, carvings, and horned skulls.

More local flavor can be found at the hotel's indoor retail section, which includes a jewelry store, art galleries, gift shops, and an entrance to the Loretto Chapel, a gorgeous, Gothic Revival style church built in the 1870s that features the eye-catching Miraculous Staircase. Even The Spa at Loretto takes its inspiration from Santa Fe's distinct culture, as its extensive array of treatments include Native American-inspired rituals and the use of traditional herbs.

Out back, the pool is large enough for doing laps. However, there is no Jacuzzi. The surrounding lawn and gardens are quite pleasant, with lounge chairs placed underneath trees. Adding to the general romantic ambience are the church bells that ring every hour.

 Location

One block from the Plaza, within walking distance of shops, museums, and other attractions

The Loretto is located one block from the Plaza, putting guests within easy walking distance of the many attractions surrounding Santa Fe’s cultural hub. Guests are charged a daily fee for valet parking. No shuttle service is offered.

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: It was founded in 1607.

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.

  • 90-minute drive from Albuquerque International Airport
  • 10-minute drive from Santa Fe Municipal Airport
  • 5-minute walk to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
  • 5-minute walk to the New Mexico Museum of Art
  • 5-minute walk to the Plaza, the shopping and cultural center of town
  • 5-minute walk to the Palace of the Governors, oldest continuously occupied public building in the nation
  • 10-minute drive to Canyon Road, home to over 100 art galleries and studios
  • 15-minute drive to Tesuque Pueblo, a Native American pueblo
  • 15-minute drive to the Santa Fe Opera House
  • 15-minute drive to Santa Fe Country Club (golf course)
  • 30-minute drive to the El Rancho de las Golondrinas (a living history museum)
  • 30-minute drive to Ski Santa Fe

 Rooms

Gorgeous regional decor, high-tech features, and some balconies with good views

The Loretto's 129 rooms and five suites offer a combination of luxe amenities and Pueblo Indian-style decor. The Native American look comes through in the dark wood furniture, white ceilings, and red walls -- some of which are decorated with zigzag patterns representing lightning bolts. A faux, kiva-style fireplace containing candles comes with some rooms, while real fireplaces are included in the suites. Hand-carved wood chests and furniture add to the warm, earthy feel, and teddy bears on the beds are a charming touch. High-tech features include 42-inch flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi -- many rooms also offer iPod docks. Balconies are available with most rooms and the views are stellar from the upper floors. Bathrooms have stone tile floors and porcelain sinks with old-timey charm, but almost no counter space.

  • 42-inch, flat-screen TVs
  • Wi-Fi included in general service fee
  • iPod docks in many rooms
  • Charming, Pueblo Indian-style decor, with hand-carved furnishings
  • Some rooms are small.
  • Counter space in bathrooms is limited.
  • Pet-friendly rooms available (fees and restrictions apply)
  • Traditional Rooms lack balconies.
  • Deluxe Rooms have a romantic feel, with kiva-style, faux fireplaces and even four-poster beds in some.
  • The huge, 2,800-square-foot Presidential suite has two levels, a spiral staircase, pool table, full kitchen, and a large, private balcony.

 Features

Heated pool surrounded by manicured lawn and gardens, spa with extensive array of services, and retail area with shops and galleries

  • The Spa at Loretto offers a wide range of services, including Native American-inspired rituals and organic treatments.
  • Heated outdoor pool surrounded by manicured lawn and pretty gardens
  • Indoor retail area, with a variety of gift shops and art galleries
  • Small fitness center, with cardio machines and free weights
  • Valet parking only, fees apply
  • Nightly service fee (covers Wi-Fi, local calls, access to fitness center, and other services)
  • A small library
  • Event space encompasses 12,000 square feet, with catering services, audiovisual equipment, and technical assistance staff available
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

Renowned, seasonal cuisine at Luminaria Restaurant and light fare and signature drinks at Living Room Lounge

Luminaria Restaurant is renowned for its “Conscious Cuisine” that is served up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Locally obtained ingredients are used as much as possible, consistent with the Loretto’s dedication to operating an environmentally-conscious hotel. The menu is seasonal and offers some organic selections. Outdoor seating is available during warmer months.

  • The Living Room Lounge offers light fare in the evenings, along with signature cocktails and wines, and live music performances on select nights.
  • Room service is available

 Bottom Line

This upscale property has a long-standing reputation as one of the finer inns in Santa Fe. A historic chapel adjoins the hotel, the location by the Plaza can't be beat, and the decor is classic southwestern. Highlights include the stylish Luminaria Restaurant that is renowned for its fresh, organic cuisine, and The Spa at Loretto, popular for its varied array of treatments. Rooms have a warm, earthy feel and offer high-tech amenities such as flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, but some are on the small side.

Things You Should Know About Inn and Spa at Loretto

Address

  • 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501

Room Types

  • Guest Rooms
  • Suites

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 134
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Downtown Santa Fe, Santa Fe
Address: 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501
(See Map)
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