Before there were art galleries in Santa Fe, there was La Posada. Built as a private home in the 1880s by wealthy local merchant Abraham Staab for his beloved wife, Julia, the elegant pueblo-meets-Spanish-style complex expanded in the 1930s, when new owners added adobe casitas to the six acres of lush, high-desert gardens—and then invited artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Will Shuster to stay and work. When La Posada became a hotel shortly thereafter, the walls were already lined with works by the many artists who continued to pass through. Even now, the lively lounge—a see-and-be-seen spot for artists of all kinds—and the high-ceilinged rooms—with their kiva fireplaces and traditional viga ceilings—are adorned with works by some of the foremost contemporary American artists. All works are available to buy, too, for guests who want to take home a piece of their trip. Or, you can make like most guests, and just keep returning to this refined retreat that has offered respite from the world for more than a century.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
La Posada de Santa Fe can boast the ideal situation for Santa Fe: three blocks from both the historic downtown center and the gallery-lined Canyon Road. Its six acres of gardens make it feel quiet and secluded, but all of the town’s attractions are within a stone’s throw. Attractions like the Loretto Chapel (styled on the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris) and the Santa Fe Plaza can be found downtown, surrounded by high-end restaurants like Cafe Pasqual’s and boutiques selling artwork, vintage finds, and Native American handicrafts. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, too, is downtown, though most art aficionados make their way to Canyon Road to peruse iconic galleries like the Gerald Peters Gallery.
Need to Know
Rooms: 187 rooms, 30 suites. From $149. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: One of the newest additions to La Posada, Julia—named for the original owner’s wife and, according to legend, the hotel’s resident ghost—serves a gourmet menu of inventive, locally sourced dishes from award-winning chef Todd Hall. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner, as well as for the Sunday brunch. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus casual cocktails and an extensive wine list, are offered at both the American classic Patio Restaurant and sophisticatedly Southwestern Viga Bar and Grill—both of which spill out onto sunny outdoor terraces. A leather-armchair-and-ornate-fireplace affair, the Staab House Bar & Lounge is one of Santa Fe’s most iconic watering holes, an elegant cocktail bar where the city’s cultural elite have gathered for decades. Spa and gym details: In addition to a fully equipped, 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor, heated saltwater pool with a hot tub, the hotel is home to a luxury spa with a full range of beauty and wellness treatments inspired by the surrounding land and traditions. The spa also has steam rooms, hydrotherapy tubs, weekend yoga classes, and a rooftop relaxation terrace.
Who it's best for: Art lovers and couples who prefer traditional luxury. Our favorite rooms: The Spa Suites are especially popular with spa-goers, as you can walk between the spa and the suite in your robe, without ever having to go outside. All of the historic suites have the original viga ceilings and kiva fireplaces, and any room with a private balcony overlooking the lush gardens feels especially idyllic. Special perks: Every day, the hotel hosts a different free activity for guests, from s’mores by the fire and afternoon tea to history talks and art tours.