The Inn and Spa at Loretto, one of Santa Fe’s iconic boutique luxury hotels, could easily be mistaken for the ancient Taos Pueblo. The hotel’s angular architecture, soothing desert hues, and romantic lighting draw heavily on the original pueblo. Rooms are outfitted with both traditional touches (handcrafted furniture, Anasazi pottery and artwork, kiva fireplaces, colorful textiles) and modern luxuries (slate-floored bathrooms, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, private balconies). The restaurant and spa are among the best in the state, and the atmospheric lounge one of the coolest spots in town to sip cocktails and catch live music. And, as if it needed another dose of history, the landmark Loretto Chapel sits on the grounds, guaranteeing both excellent views and easy sightseeing access. Now, if only more pueblos were like this.
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On the grounds once occupied by the Sisters of Loretto girls’ school, the Inn and Spa at Loretto shares its prime location in the heart of Santa Fe’s historic downtown with the iconic Loretto Chapel, one of the town’s most famous attractions. Everything in the bustling city center is within a stone’s throw—and even some of the farther-flung attractions, like the Canyon Road galleries and the hip Railyard District, are barely more than a 10-minute walk away. The area is filled with popular and posh restaurants like Café Pasqual’s and The Shed, as well as high-end boutiques such as Shiprock Santa Fe and Santa Fe Vintage Outpost, selling curated collections of local and international handicrafts, art, and antiques. Art lovers especially appreciate the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art, both in the neighborhood. And, of course, no visit to Santa Fe would be complete without a trip to the Santa Fe Opera, just a short drive out of town.
Need to Know
Rooms: 136 rooms, five suites. From $169. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: One of Santa Fe’s most highly acclaimed restaurants, Luminaria Restaurant & Patio channels both Spanish and Anasazi styles in its understatedly refined dining room and shady garden terrace, both among the most romantic dining spots in town. The Southwestern-inflected haute cuisine from award-winning chef Marc Quiñones draws heavily on local and seasonal ingredients. With its roaring fireplace and overstuffed leather sofas, the Living Room lounge is a popular hangout for guests and locals alike, serving coffee and snacks throughout the day, and drinks and light bites in the evening; on weekends, live music adds an especially festive atmosphere. Spa and gym details: Considered one of New Mexico’s top spas, the Spa at Loretto offers an extensive range of beauty and wellness treatments inspired by both Asian and Southwestern Native American healing traditions. The hotel also has a heated outdoor pool, lined with umbrella-shaded loungers, and a 24-hour gym.
Who it's best for: Romancing couples and other culture-seeking travelers who appreciate boutique luxury. Our favorite rooms: The Penthouse at the Inn and Spa at Loretto stands out not just in Santa Fe, but among luxury accommodations around the world: the two-story, 3,000-square-foot, apartment-style suite has five private terraces, a wood-burning fireplace, a full kitchen and dining room, and unobstructed panoramic views of everything from the neighboring Loretto Chapel to the surrounding mountains. In-house art: The hotel’s Art and Soul of Santa Fe program brings art events and exhibits to the Living Room and gardens, while its artist-in-residence program sets up a different local artist in the lobby each day for an “open studio,” where they can work and talk to guests about their work and techniques.