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Hotel St. Francis 3.5

Downtown Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Historic 1924 building, located two blocks from the Plaza
  • Elegant, minimalist Southwestern decor
  • Simple rooms with original wood floors and furniture from local artisans
  • Free Wi-Fi, bottled water, and Damana toiletries in the rooms
  • Tasting room for New Mexico sparkling wines
  • "Garden-to-glass" cocktails at Secreto Lounge
  • Meeting and special-event space
  • Lobby boutique sells handmade jewelry and art
  • Dog-friendly rooms available, for a fee
  • Free parking and Wi-Fi throughout 

Cons

  • Resort fee (covers Wi-Fi, parking, morning coffee, etc.)
  • No full restaurant and no room service
  • No spa, pool, or whirlpool
  • Rooms are small (consistent with the historic building)
  • No coffeemakers in rooms (but coffee service is available)

Bottom Line

The 79-room upscale boutique, housed in a historic building two blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza, features simple, mission-style decor inspired by the principles of St. Francis of Assisi. The elegant, minimalist rooms have original wood floors, sturdy wood furniture made by local artisans, and a color scheme of gray and white -- but, as in many historic buildings, they're small. The hotel features a tasting room for New Mexico wines, as well as a cocktail bar with a lovely outdoor patio. But there’s no spa, pool, or hot tub, and guests will have to pay a daily fee for parking. If a pool is a priority, consider the nearby Inn and Spa at Loretto.

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Scene

A historic, upscale boutique hotel near the Plaza that appeals to couples

Hotel St. Francis is housed in a charming, gorgeously renovated historic building two blocks from Santa Fe Plaza. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1924 building's interior design honors Santa Fe’s patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. Franciscan missionaries and monks arrived in New Mexico in the 17th century, and were known to live simple, uncluttered lives; the hotel reflects this philosophy in its minimalist decor. In the center of the spacious lobby, under a wrought-iron chandelier, is a small stone fountain, surrounded by candles. A stone fireplace (often lit with a warming fire), linen couches, and a rough-hewn wood bench are on one end of the lobby, and leather chairs and wood tables line the entire street-facing side. Throughout the space are arched passageways, stone floors, wrought-iron sconces, and a carved statue of St. Francis himself. The hotel’s hallways feature fascinating historic photographs of Santa Fe.

Rooms are the same size they were back in the 1920s -- which is to say, they're small. Some guests may complain about the tight quarters, but the historic feel and the furniture from local artisans help compensate. The lack of space in the majority of the rooms means this isn't a very suitable option for business travelers (most rooms are too snug for work desks) or families. Instead, Hotel St. Francis attracts mostly couples.

Location

Two blocks from Santa Fe Plaza

The St. Francis sits only two blocks from Santa Fe Plaza, the city's cultural center. This busy historic district is populated by shops, galleries, restaurants, and other attractions. Sights such as the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the annual Indian Market (held each August at the Plaza) are within easy walking distance. No shuttle service is offered, and self-parking costs a nightly fee.

Santa Fe means “Holy Faith” in Spanish and is home to about 85,000 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. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the Santa Fe Municipal Airport and a 90-minute drive from Albuquerque International Airport.

Rooms

Small rooms with simple mission-style decor

Rooms at Hotel St. Francis are among the smallest around, and have restrained mission-style decor that might strike some travelers as austere: They feature restored original hardwood floors (some rooms have carpeting), handcrafted furniture, a color scheme of grays and whites, and bare walls. The decor is deliberately simple, as it is inspired by the style of Santa Fe's Franciscan missions. Gray-linen headboards, dove-printed accent, and punched-tin switch covers and tissue boxes are some of the only pieces of decorative flair. Sturdy wood furniture crafted by local artisans includes items like benches, wall cabinets, side tables, and armoires. Work desks only come in Deluxe King and Deluxe Queen rooms. (There are two main room types: Standard and Deluxe.)

Some rooms face the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, but most offer a view of either a street or a nondescript hotel wall. All rooms have beds with pillow-top mattresses and down comforters, 26- or 32-inch flat-screen LCD TVs, free bottled water, and free Wi-Fi. There are no coffeemakers in the rooms, but morning coffee service is available in the lobby. Bathrooms are tiny -- some have sinks in the main part of the room -- and come with shower/tub combos and Damana toiletries. Only certain rooms can accommodate rollaway beds. Others are designated as pet-friendly, for a fee.

Features

Wine tasting room and cocktail bar

Features at this boutique are few. The Gruet Winery Santa Fe Tasting Room is a wine bar showcasing sparkling wines from the Albuquerque-based winery. The tasting room is open daily and offers outdoor seating. On the other side of the lobby is Secreto Lounge, which is open daily for handcrafted and seasonally influenced cocktails, such as their signature smoked sage margarita.

There is a tiny fitness center with one treadmill, strength-training machine, and free weights. A meeting room is available for up to 10 people, and a ballroom can be booked for larger events. A small shop behind the check-in desk sells locally made goods, such as pressed-metal crosses, hand-carved wood statuettes, and silver jewelry. A computer and printer are available for guest use and coffee is served in the lobby each morning. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.

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Things You Should Know About Hotel St. Francis

Address

210 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2122, United States

Phone

(505) 983-5700

Room Types

  • Classic Room
  • Deluxe Room

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