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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Checking In: The Inn & Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a lovely old town in New Mexico that is filled with art galleries, charming little restaurants and hotels. I had the pleasure of staying at The Inn and Spa at Loretto right in the heart of Santa Fe and within walking distance of almost everything we wanted to see and do during our three day visit here. Picture old cobblestone streets, narrow walkways and stunning Spanish architecture. It's definitely the place for an unforgettable romantic getaway or honeymoon as you stroll through the streets at night after a gourmet dinner. We left our car parked for almost our entire time here.
The hotel itself is ranked #27 on the Conde Nast Traveller list and is full of character and dark exposed wood beams, having been built in 1975 with adobe-style architecture in mind. The building sits right next to the old Loretto Chapel (completed in 1878) and the location of the hotel is the site of the old girls school that the sisters of Loretto used to run.
We felt right at home enveloped in shades of terra cotta red, with soft plush bedding, a small fireplace with candles and rustic wood furniture all around us. Our Deluxe Guest Room featured a wrap-around balcony so we could enjoy breakfast every morning under the New Mexico sun, while playing music off the iPod docking station. It's everything you want from a luxury hotel from the valet parking, knowledgable concierge and the bathrobes waiting for you in your room.

Our little fireplace and seating area
A view of the tiered balconies that wrap-around the hotel
Photo by Jim Nix
Though it was quite chilly when we visited, the pool looked like the perfect place to lounge in the summer heat and it was very relaxing to walk around the garden and to read a book on the patio. The Spa is ranked #19 in North America by Conde Nast Traveller - I would definitely recommend checking this out if you have a bit more time on your visit.

After grabbing some fresh coffee from The Green Owl Cafe (which is attached to the hotel), we spent our days wandering through galleries, exploring little gift shops, grabbing sushi or Mexican food and checking out the Santa Fe Farmers Market in the Railyard Market District. We had a standout dinner at La Boca, a Spanish tapas restaurant and wine bar which is walking distance from the hotel. It's a small place and very popular - reservations are a must and you have to try the Blood Orange Sangria and the Paella for two.
We also decided to venture outside of town and visit Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese water spa nestled up in the mountains. A $23 day spa visit is a steal and includes access to their sauna, cold plunge, hot river rock bath, foot bath and relaxation room. Spend an afternoon here, stare at the trees and listen to the waterfall while soaking your tired sore muscles.

Santa Fe is a place you'll fall in love with. I recommend visiting for three or four days and giving yourself lots of time to explore the shops, visit the galleries, book a spa treatment, take a yoga class and try as many local restaurants as possible. For more information on the hotel visit:
The Inn & Spa at Loretto  - 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico www.innatloretto.com


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