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Where to Stay in Santa Fe: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018

Written by Carri Wilbanks

Beautiful Santa Fe, with its striking red adobe buildings and historic old Plaza, looks like no other city in the U.S. and is a wonderful spot to take a romantic or family vacation, offering plenty of hotel options for all budgets and types of traveler. Despite being New Mexico's second largest city, Santa Fe still has a small-town vibe, with most of its attractions, shopping, restaurants, and top hotels found downtown around its historic Plaza. Here, you'll find luxury sleeps like La Fonda on the Plaza, which is directly on the old square that is the city's cultural and tourist heartbeat, and the Inn of the Five Graces just three blocks away.

The other famous area in Santa Fe is Canyon Road, where the city's art galleries are mostly located. This area, however, is about a 10-minute walk from The Plaza, and between the two, you'll find more hotels, including some solid mid-range, family, and couples options like the lovely Inn on the Alameda and the Drury Plaza Hotel. For the best budget options, look just a short drive from the city center, with many clustered on Cerrillos Road.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Beautiful building in downtown Santa Fe

Beautiful building in downtown Santa Fe

La Fonda on the Plaza is one of Santa Fe's most famous luxury properties. In a building dating back to 1922, it sits right off The Plaza and features a stunning lobby, as well as rooms and suites done up in Southwestern stylings, with original art and bright hand-painted furniture. On-site amenities include a courtyard restaurant serving Southwestern fare; an outdoor swimming pool; and a rooftop spa and hot tub, which is a perfect place to watch the sunset.

For eclectic luxury in Santa Fe, check in to the Inn of the Five Graces, located three blocks from the Plaza. It has just 25 rooms, and each is ornate and outfitted slightly differently, with original antiques and treasures brought back from the owner's personal travels around the world - there are a lot of Asian and Middle Eastern influences, including rich Persian rugs, Tibetan furniture, and carved wooden doors from India. A full breakfast is included in the rates, as is parking and Wi-Fi. On-site amenities include a restaurant, spa, and workout room.

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is another luxury option, with a more traditional Santa Fe-style adobe design, just one block from The Plaza. The property features a cozy lobby with wood-beamed ceilings and wood-burning fireplaces and also offers 58 rooms and suites with up to two bedrooms, which blend Native American and Southwestern decor with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. On-site amenities include two restaurants, paid parking, and a business center. In-room massages can also be arranged.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range

Southwestern architecture in Santa Fe

Southwestern architecture in Santa Fe

Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe is a top mid-range option in a great location between Santa Fe Plaza and Canyon Road and even offers views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which frame the city. The rooms and suites are done up in contemporary style and are clean and comfortable with flat-screen TVs, microwaves, and mini-fridges. The suites also come with pullout couches if you're traveling with the kids and separate living rooms, along with Jacuzzi tubs in the baths and often balconies or fireplaces. Rates include a free breakfast buffet, popcorn in the afternoon, and snacks at night. There is also a restaurant, rooftop swimming pool and hot tub, and a relaxing lobby lounge with a fireplace.

Just a four-block walk from the Plaza, Las Palomas Inn Santa Fe is another top mid-range choice. It is located in a shady adobe compound and features stylish studios and one-bedroom suites, which are done up with custom wood furnishings, local art, and hand-woven rugs. On-site amenities include free parking, continental breakfast, and a work-out room, as well as access to an affiliated nearby hotel for use of their pool and spa. A free area shuttle service is also offered.

The Old Santa Fe Inn has been run by the same local family for four generations now and also has a great location just three blocks from the Plaza. The mission-style hotel sits right on historic Route 66 and offers Southwestern-accented rooms and suites, with hand-crafted furniture and local art on the walls. Perks of staying include a complimentary full breakfast with a popular burrito bar, as well as afternoon cookies and guacamole and chips. Parking is also free, and pets are welcome. There is no on-site restaurant, but you are within walking distance of dozens upon dozens of choices.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Outdoor market in Santa Fe

Outdoor market in Santa Fe

When it comes to good-value budget options that are not too far from town, check out the Silver Saddle Motel. Located on Cerrillos Road, about four miles from the Santa Fe Plaza, it is an old-fashioned, family-run property with a kitschy Route 66 vibe throughout. The rooms feature Old West-inspired styling but are clean and comfortable and come with flat-screen TVs and coffee makers. On-site amenities include a free continental breakfast and parking. The hotel is also pet-friendly.

The Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is another good budget choice, which is also on Cerrillos Road, just a few miles outside the downtown city limits. The rooms and suites are nothing fancy but are tidy and comfortable and come with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with premium cable. The suites also have separate living spaces with pullout sofas making them a good option for families. On-site amenities include a free continental breakfast, free parking, a swimming pool, and hot tub.

Where to Stay for Families

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument near Santa Fe

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument near Santa Fe

For a luxury family vacation, the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is a destination property, about 10 miles outside of Santa Fe. It offers contemporary, Southwestern-style rooms and suites, which are spacious and comfortable and up to the high standards of this luxe brand. Away from the rooms, amenities include a contemporary American restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, spa, and gym. The hotel also offers babysitting services and arranges adventures for families, as well as kid-friendly activities if you let them know the age of the children staying before check-in. Children under 18 also stay free with an adult in the room.

Another popular family option is the good-value Santa Fe Motel & Inn, which is just a six-block walk from the Plaza and a few minutes' stroll from shopping and restaurants on popular Guadalupe Street. It offers a mix of creatively styled rooms in the main hotel, as well as larger adobe casita rentals, which are a good choice if you're traveling with the kids. A hot breakfast is included in the rate and there is also free parking.

Where to Stay for Couples

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Couples in need of some digital detox should check out Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, a wellness resort set on 70 acres of gardens and meadows filled with walking paths. Located on the far south side of the city, it offers romantic rooms and casitas to relax in and a very good farm-to-table restaurant for meals. There is also a fabulous spa and opportunities to participate in everything from yoga to gardening classes. Also on-site is a seasonal, heated swimming pool and private outdoor soaking tubs.

A more traditional option for couples is the Inn on the Alameda, which is also more centrally located, just a few blocks from the Plaza and equally close to the Canyon Road galleries. This adobe hotel features contemporary Southwestern decor and local art in the clean and comfortable rooms and suites. On-site amenities include a free breakfast buffet, evening cheese hour, gardens, and two hot tubs.

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