IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

La Fonda, Santa Fe, New Mexico

santa fe la fondaThe La Fonda hotel lays claim to having historical roots that go back to the founding of Santa Fe in 1607 when an inn or fonda was mentioned in official records as one of the first businesses.  For generations, “The Inn at the end of the trail,” on the southeastern corner of the town plaza greeted weary travelers coming to explore and enjoy all that Santa Fe offers.

Today the “Grand Dame” of historic Santa Fe hotels, La Fonda features 167 colorful guest rooms and suites along with a recently added La Terraza level featuring 14 luxury accommodations catering to the tastes of more discriminating guests.

La Fonda provides the hotel guest with everything you’d expect in a fine hotel: a helpful concierge, unique gift shops, scrumptious dining options, plentiful and spacious meeting rooms, and excellent recreation amenities that include a relaxation and fitness center with spa service, exercise room and an outdoor hot tub and heated pool.

Located in the heart of historic Santa Fe across from the plaza, La Fonda is surrounded by museums, shops, galleries, restaurants, historical tour sites and entertainment options. Historic Santa Fe is a place to be savored by walking its colorful streets, and drinking in the sights and smells and sounds of one of the oldest settlements in America.  Here the visitor finds quiet courtyards along winding streets in neighborhoods in which churches and buildings have survived the march of centuries.  With over 300 days of sunshine, the chances are excellent that you may leave your hotel room at virtually any time of the day to enjoy an invigorating walk about the town in delightful weather.  Returning to the welcoming glow of La Fonda after a local excursion, the hotel guest finds the La Plazuela enclosed courtyard restaurant an inviting choice.  Here, the award-winning culinary team uses fresh, locally grown ingredients to prepare dishes of the finest fish, poultry and beef.

During our visit we particularly enjoyed the art of hotel staff artist Ernest J. Martinez who started working at La Fonda in 1954.  For santa fe la fondaover 50 years Martinez has painted murals, furniture and tiles throughout the hotel.  He painted all the 400-plus windows in the La Plazuela restaurant as wells as headboards, blanket boxes and light switches in the guest rooms.  Other artistans and craftsmen have also contributed to pueblo-style Spanish architecture and décor of La Fonda, noted in the heavy wooden beams, latilla ceilings, hand-carved corbels, and hammered tin and copper chandeliers.

Inside our room we found luxurious pillow-top beds covered with cozy down comforters that are turned down at night and left with a couple of chocolates laid beside the pillows. (La Fonda installed Sealy Posturepedic Comfort System Dynasty beds throughout all their rooms and suits.) Plush cotton terry cloth robes awaited our use near the shower/tub.  High-speed wireless internet access, an in-closet safe, and other typical amenities (iron and ironing board, coffee maker, etc) are also welcome features. We enjoyed the hand-painted wooden furniture, original New Mexican art and other distinctive touches.  Some rooms have balconies and fireplaces.  Within the 14 rooms on the La Terraza Luxury Concierge Level, guests find beamed ceilings, hand-toweled plaster walls, ceiling fans, gleaming wood floors covered with colorful area rugs and private balconies.  Bathrooms include separate bath and shower areas and, in most rooms, two sinks and a bidet.  Other special La Terraza amenities include a complimentary continental breakfast served in The Gathering Room.

Over the years, La Fonda has hosted notable film stars including James Stewart, Errol Flynn, Raymond Burr, Robert Duvall, Larry Hagman, John Travolta, Diana Keaton, and Shirley MacLaine.  It is a member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America.

La Fonda hotel is located at 100 E. San Francisco, Santa Fe, NM 87501.  Their toll-free number is 1-800-523-5002.  See their website atwww.lafondasantafe.com

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