History. That’s what draws us to many places and people throughout our lives. I had never been to Santa Fe New Mexico but it had a history that had always attracted me to it.
My grandparents Mary and Jim spent their honeymoon in Santa Fe in the 1950’s where they stayed at the La Fonda on the Plaza. They went back almost every year until they no longer could always staying at this same historic hotel. My mother went as a child, teen and then young adult, even taking my father in the early days of their courtship. When my grandfather took sick, my grandmother visited a few last times by herself bringing back her husband some roasted chilies and some of his other favorite delectables. My grandparents are now gone, but I remember the many stories and happy memories passed onto me from my grandmother Mary about her time in Santa Fe. My own mother is now getting older and with my father and her parents both gone it is history and memories that we hold onto. When I suggested visiting Santa Fe she said we had to stay at the La Fonda on the Plaza, carrying on her parents tradition.I knew nothing of La Fonda before we arrived and was blown away by the charm, decor, hospitality and history this hotel has.
Records indicate that the La Fonda sits on the site of the towns first Inn which predates American Independence and opened in 1607 when the spaniards founded Santa Fe. The hotel we recognize today was built in 1922 but it has more than 400 years of history that has come in and out of its doors. For a full history you can continue reading at La Fonda's History page. https://www.lafondasantafe.com/about/history
La Fonda as its name so implies is located on the Plaza, which gives it the best location of any hotel in Santa Fe. It’s stellar location affords you to have easy access to some of Santa Fe’s best restaurants, like Cafe Pasqual's, bars and shops at any time of day. Surrounded by the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, Loretto Chapel and the picturesque plaza of Santa Fe, there are tings to see and do at every corner. The history and vibrance of this charming southwestern town will fill your spirits with excitement, as it did mine.
Walking into La Fonda on the Plaza is like joining a bustling community. From the garage you walk down a long and beautifully decorated corridor with local wares in the glass cases along both sides. People are happily milling about, looking in shops and enjoying the beauty and company of each other. We checked in on a Friday and the hotel was hosting an artist as part of their art on the plaza series. An attractive Native American man was deep in conversation with several would be buyers of his gorgeous paintings in a lounge within the lobby. On our left, a busy bar served drinks to many happy folks and several couples were sitting down for dinner in the restaurant next to it. We were greeted by a wonderful woman at check in and even upgraded to a terrace level room, given restaurant recommendations, a walking map and tips on activities for tomorrow. The sense of elation in the room was contagious, our trip was off to a great start.
Santa Fe is an artist haven. With more than 100 galleries, dozens of museums and places like Canyon Rd. filled with sculptures, galleries and unique eateries.
There are several types of rooms at La Fonda each with unique hand crafted furniture, original artwork and eclectic southwestern flair, and even the smallest of rooms feel oversized with beautiful views out the windows. Upgrades such as spacious fireside sitting areas, separate living and sleeping areas as well as balconies are available throughout the hotel as well.
We stayed on the Terrace at La Fonda the private and more exclusive concierge floor, it features 15 unique rooms filled with hand crafted New Mexican decor and private balconies. Our room opened up to an inviting rooftop terrace overlooking the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis. The rooftop terrace also had a private hot tub reserved for the Terrace guests. Our room was beautifully appointed in Santa Fe style, with large sitting area and large plush beds to relax in. Bathrobes had been laid out on our beds. A handwritten note had even been left welcoming us to the hotel with a trio of snacks and sparkling water for our enjoyment.
The bathroom with its beautifully laid out ceramic tile was larger than many peoples apartments, with large soaking tub, walk in shower and his and hers sinks, there was no need to fight over bathroom time.
Santa Fe is an artist haven. With more than 100 galleries, dozens of museums and places like Canyon Rd which is a street filled with art, sculpture and shops it is easy to see why art is a main theme for any hotels in the area. La Fonda is a huge supporter of artists, having hundreds of original and unique pieces throughout the hotel. Throughout the hotels history every owner has collected art from local New Mexican artists with some of the greatest painting and sculptures by the Pueblo people residing within the hotel. Within the lobby and public spaces at La Fonda you will see some of the finest examples of Southwestern art. Hand carved and painted beams sit overhead, chandeliers of tin, copper and glass dangle from the ceilings. La Plazuela dining room where my grandparents ate for many years has a cathedral ceiling with hand painted stained glass sky lights, Mexican tiles, hand painted furnishings and pieces by local artists.
Staying at La Fonda for my mother and I was a great experience. Creating new memories to add to a lifetime of family history. Sitting down for breakfast in the restaurant I could see childhood moments flood back to my mom’s mind. The interior space had remained unchanged and she reveled in memories of her youth sitting at one of these same tables with her family.
Everything at La Fonda was just perfect for our stay, and I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to the Santa Fe area.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have about La Fonda or Santa Fe below.
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I'm Alice Ford; and you are invited on my adventure of a lifetime. I am a stunt woman, green goddess and adventure junkie. I'm trying to explore as much as the world as I can while being Eco-friendly.