Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Mid-range property on a busy street, with traditional Santa Fe style
The four buildings of the Villas de Santa Fe are nondescript on the outside, with tan stucco and turquoise accents. A busy street divides the property, and there is a sort of "vacant" feel around it, with not a lot of storefronts or restaurants. Once inside the lobby, though, the character of the Villas is revealed -- with classic Santa Fe styling that includes red tile floors, stained wood ceiling beams, Native American rugs, and art from local artists.
The main building housing the lobby is where the actions is -- here's where you'll find a coffee bar, a fireplace, a game room, a two-computer business center, and a pool table right next to the laundry room. There are plenty of leather sofas and a large flat-screen TV to watch.
Out back, the red-decked pool area is walled in for privacy, so there isn't much to look at while lounging.
On a busy street in downtown Santa Fe -- but just five blocks from the Plaza
The Villas de Santa Fe is located in a mixed-residential area five blocks from the Plaza, the retail center of town. The immediate area isn't much to look at, but just a 10-minute walk away you'll find galleries, shops, restaurants, and attractions such as the Georgia O'Keefe Museum and the Palace of the Governors. A large grocery store is also within walking distance, making it easy to take advantage of the kitchenettes and save by dining in. A free shuttle service is offered within three miles, which encompasses the Plaza area. The shuttle also provides transport to and from Santa Fe Municipal Airport.
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 capital, and its oldest: It was founded in 1607. It sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet at the southern edge of the Rockies, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, halfway between Taos and Albuquerque.
Hiking in summer and skiing in winter are great reasons to visit, but Santa Fe is also renowned for its local 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 Santa Fe's creative spirit.
Condo-style suites with kitchenettes are spacious but a bit generic and drab
The spacious condo-style suites (the smallest option, the one-bedroom standard, is 530 square feet) are filled with plenty of seating -- plush fabric and leather couches, chairs, and ottomans. And a separate living room, bedroom, and kitchen really create a homey environment. But don't expect any Santa Fe styling happening here -- the decor is a little generic, with a simple and clean brown-and-yellow theme that features dark wood furniture against light-colored walls.
The kitchens are more modern, with granite counters and Cuisinart appliances. They're also well-equipped, with full fridges, microwaves, dishwashers, and a full set of cookware, dishes, and silverware. And the baths are big and modern, with marble tile -- though some guests complain about low water pressure in the shower.
Heated pool (though it's small), a fitness center, library, and coffee bar
No dining on-site, but plenty nearby
The Villas does not serve food, but there is a coffee bar in the lobby. Numerous restaurants are available within walking distance at the Plaza.
The mid-range Villas de Santa Fe may be one of the best values in town. The all-suite condos are large, clean, and have the latest tech features, as well as kitchenettes with Cuisinart appliances. A free shuttle is offered within three miles, which helps avoid the headache of parking at the Plaza (which is five blocks away). But the pool area isn't big -- and there is no restaurant at the hotel.