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.
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!