Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's All in the Details - Encantado Resort, Santa Fe

I love new Mexico. I love the way the air smells of burning pinon wood. I love the light in the morning, at dusk, and after an afternoon shower. I love the spicy New Mexican food and the margaritas. I love the art, both contemporary and traditional, whimsical and religious. I love the history of the Spanish and Indian culture. I love the rough and rocky landscape and the gorgeous flowers that grow in the mild climate.

My husband and I have our favorite old fashioned cheap (read: very retro, cool, CLEAN and inexpensive) motel where we typically stay when we go to Santa Fe. My theory is why spend money on a hotel when I could spend it on art, antiques and great food? I am only in the room for showers and sleep - otherwise there is just too much to see and do when I visit.

Reception porch for the resort

This past weekend, however, we attended a conference and had the privilege of staying at the Encantado Resort, tucked into the Sangre de Christo mountains, just 10 minutes outside of Santa Fe. I took tons of photos in anticipation of this post, but alas, my photography skills fail me again, so most of these shots are from the website for the hotel. They are just plain prettier than mine , and capture more in one shot than I was able to.

Love this gentleman waiting on the front bench in front of the hotel. I did a double take every time we walked by (and I did actually take this photo!) I think he was watching us, really. I love that he sits on the bench in front of that great stacked rock, the taut cable wire pulled between the posts, and the beautiful faux bois furniture in front of the fireplace - click on the photo to see these details better.

So, when I visit someplace special like this, I notice every detail - I can't help myself. I am forever saying to my husband "Look at the way they placed that building, or look at that great fence or, on this trip, look at the way the shadows fall on those three chimneys".

Lewallen art gallery on the hotel property

The architecture is stunning. It is simple and elegant and fits the environment perfectly. The reception building, restaurant and bar, and meeting facilities are housed in the main building. There is a spa and a pool, of course, designed to perfection. Charming casitas dot the landscape surrounding these public areas.

Wilson Associates is responsible for the understated and elegant design of the resort. Each casita has it's own private porch, furnished in wonderful heavy wooden tables, chairs and chaises. Unfortunately we had a bit of rain and could not enjoy the porch this time, but nevertheless, what a beautiful spot to have morning coffee or unwind at the end of the day.

Scored concrete floors and beamed ceilings, heavy linen curtains and flat weave Southwestern rugs, contemporary ceiling fans and great lighting, strike the perfect balance of modernism and old fashioned Santa Fe style.

The rooms are simple , but elegant. They include all one needs for comfort - a great bed with wonderful bedding, comfy chairs, a work area, a fireplace (on the opposite corner from the TV) and television, and access to the beautiful outdoors.

The bathrooms are exquisite with heated concrete floors, the deepest soaking tubs I have ever seen, large showers, marble counter tops and beautiful under mounted, rectangular Kohler sinks, great lighting, an abundance of heavy cotton towels.....need I say more?

The bar in the main building is contemporary and very hip, but still warm and inviting. The seating is comfortable and the lighting very, very cool! I wish I had asked about the mirror collection on the wall, but the effect is marvelous.

The meeting facilities are lovely and spacious. We were comfortable and never without a bottle of water, a box of tissue and a bowl of candy nearby. At this point, I must mention the remarkable customer service at this amazing place.

From the moment we arrived, until we drove away, we felt welcome and special. There was never, ever a sense of snobbishness or arrogance. From the two gentlemen who greeted each of us with an umbrella to help us out of our car, to the woman who walked me down to the bar for a glass of ice water when I merely inquired about a water fountain, we found every need anticipated and taken care of with the most gracious of attitude. It really was quite special.

This outdoor terrace sits in the middle of the main lodge. It is a great multi - function space with a huge fireplace and grill area, serving stations, chairs for reading or visiting, as well as dining. A beautiful, subtle water feature sits in the middle flanked by huge pots of flowers, not shown in this shot, but are there now.

The indoor dining room is equally as lovely, again with fabulous lighting, a tall rock fireplace and of course, incredible food. The wine refrigerator sits behind the rock fireplace , is visible on both sides, and is created entirely of glass. Very, very cool.

I love this steel fabricated planter with the copper inset with a contemporary sconce behind it. These are between all of the huge windows on all four sides of the courtyard.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend and I highly recommend this resort to anyone who wants a very, very special experience in the land of enchantment!


  1. Looks wonderful.. nothing better than New Mexico in the fall!

  2. ahhhh I could smell the pinon as I read your post... one of my favorite places ever.. and the food...

  3. This resort looks fabulous. I LOVE Santa Fe and it is usually our vacation spot of choice.

    I am curious though. What is the cheap retro place that you usually stay? I'm sure they would like some press also!

  4. Good point, Susan. Thank you. It is the El Rey Inn out on Cerrillos Road. It is what I call an old motor court motel, but very New Mexican in style.

  5. Thank you for sharing that. We usually stay at La Fonda or rent a casita at Las Campanillas Compound.

  6. So THAT'S where you've been! I wondered what had happened to you.
    Wow, beautiful place. And I wholeheartedly agree with your philosophy on accomodations. As long as it's clean, I don't need much else.
    You asked about my mall space...I don't move in until the weekend of October 3rd. The last couple of weeks has been a flurry of stocking up, hitting the fleas and thrift shops, refinishing and painting furniture...craziness! I think I know the new shop you referred to, it does look really promising. I've already shopped there. Twice! :-)

  7. I want to stay there, I particularly liked the orange guest room!

  8. Sounds like a good trip. The sky is so pretty there.

  9. were you in santa fe last week? some friends of mine were just there for a conference on sustainability in conjunction with the santa fe farmer's market! i wanted so badly to go, from you pictures it is clearly beautiful!

  10. Hi Country Girl!

    I first of all want you to thank for your sweet comment on my post! I am so pleased you liked it! It means so much to me!

    You did a wonderful post today and I read that you save your money for investing or buying something of art rather than spent money in taking an expensive hotelroom! Well you are so right! That is also my vision!

    Thank you for adding me on your bloglist! I immediately will do the same!

    Have a nice weekend,

  11. Looks like somewhere that I would like to stay.

  12. Thanks for a look at a wonderful resort and your observations of same. I noticed that the art gallery on the grounds had Lavender in bloom! How romantic.

  13. I haven't been to Santa Fe since I was a wee little girl. What a great place, would love to go again!

  14. Hi Ann!
    The post was beautiful. After this week I could use some spa time. I wish you had come over, Joni was there...I had wine in the fridge...

  15. Awesome post!
    I love all the pictures! Thanks a lot for sharing. I would love to visit this place.



Related Posts with Thumbnails