The Inn of the Five Graces is a truly special hotel. As it was recently named to Condé Nast Traveler‘s 2013 Gold List “The World’s Best Places to Stay,” it isn’t hard to see why the Inn of the Five Graces is the place to stay in Santa Fe if you’re looking for the best in a unique, luxury experience. My wife, Karen, and I were hosted there in March, and here are a few things that really stood out to us.
The Inn is family-owned and the family operates the facility as a “boutique” hotel, giving its guests the level of personal attention one would expect of a smaller hotel. The Inn feels intimate, even though it’s actually quite a large complex of buildings, courtyards and architectural features, spanning both sides of one of the oldest streets in the country. From the outside, the Inn of the Five Graces initially looks a bit awkward, but don’t let that fleeting impression deter you. Once you enter the reception area, then stroll past the traditional welcoming hanging peppers into the interconnected courtyards and common spaces, it all makes sense, and is truly stunning. The buildings are historic adobes with bright turquoise accents. There are several different courtyards that surround the many guest buildings, and they are incredibly beautiful—the epitome of tranquility, quietly inviting you to sit back and relax.
The Lapis Suite we stayed in exploded in color and texture, and yet it all worked together to create a calming effect on the senses. Located on the second floor of a restored stone building across the street from the reception area, the suite welcomed us with a well-appointed sitting area with comfy sofa and chairs, and a king-size bed with a sumptuous embroidered headboard and tapestries.
All of the luxurious, upholstered furniture featured bright, hand-woven prints, the inspiration of which was hard to pinpoint. Middle Eastern? Moroccan? Native American? It doesn’t matter, really, because the effect is that you’re transported happily into another space, place and time. The dressers and end tables were all beautiful, heavy dark wood that made the sofas and chairs really stand out. As with many of the suites, ours featured a wood-burning stone fireplace that drew us together for a beautiful, romantic evening. The owners of the Inn obviously take great care and pride in decorating the rooms, as each one is completely unique and done with loving care and amazing attention to detail.
We found the suite itself bright and inviting; then we entered the bathroom! The enormous space featured a huge mirror, a blue lapis double sink, a deep soaking tub, heated floors and a spacious stand-alone shower. What really wowed us, though, was the tile work—exquisitely laid out mosaics on every wall, in every nook and cranny, with many of the tiles most certainly hand-selected and hand-painted with care. Bright windows gave us a peek at the snow-covered mountains outside.
Without exception, the staff of the Inn of the Five Graces was extremely courteous and helpful. We received an intimate tour of the complex from the Inn’s friendly manager, Brian, who gave us some great background and treated us to an insider’s look at many of the unique rooms and suites. Each quest area has its own personality, and, again, the pride of the owners (who we understand are intimately involved in the design and décor) shines through. The front desk staff was informative and immediately answered any questions we had. And the two masseuses at the spa were charming, attentive, calming and professional.
Speaking of massages, my wife and I had a calming 90-minute couple’s massage at the Inn’s charming little “spa.” The two rooms the spa currently occupies are quite small, but both lend an air of intimacy. Karen and I felt invigorated and restored by the experience, ready for the rest of our day. We understand from Brian that a much larger, full-featured spa is in the works for the near future.
Santa Fe is known for its great restaurants, and although the Inn of the Five Graces doesn’t have its own restaurant on the property, it certainly didn’t disappoint. The 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar, located a half-block away, is the “official” restaurant of Inn of the Five Graces, and provides the Inn’s guests with all of their room service needs.
Karen and I had dinner at 315 the first night we were in town. The food was delicious and the staff was as interesting as they were impeccably trained. The Inn of the Five Graces does prepare its own breakfasts, and we had a wonderful cooked-to-order feast at the Inn’s cozy breakfast room on the last day we were there.
Of course, the biggest draw was the city of Santa Fe itself, with its culture and history. From the great shopping and eclectic art galleries at Canyon Road and the historic Santa Fe Plaza to the inspiring museums on Museum Hill, there is a lot to see; a lot more than we could do in four days.
And the biggest thing for Karen and me: Bandelier National Monument, with some of the most beautiful hiking trails and amazing ancient cliff dwellings. Santa Fe, with its incredible variety of sights, events, restaurants, shopping, art and culture, is truly a one-of-a-kind destination.
A last piece of information: The Inn of The Five Graces currently has an amazing “Southwest Splendor” all-inclusive, culturally oriented package available now through December 2013. Prices for the package begin at $1,065 for two nights, including suite accommodations, breakfast for two, fireside massage for two, and much more.
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