Road stop 4: La Posada de Santa Fe, New Mexico (continued from part three…)
La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa is walking distance to the main plaza and is an ideal location for seeing Santa Fe sites. The property is rich in history and art culture dating back to the 1880s. The three-story mansion, built in 1882, houses the hotel’s bar and a few of its more unique guest rooms (rumored to be haunted). In the 1930s, Pueblo Revival-style adobe casitas were added and housed many long-term artists in residence. The place transformed into the full-service resort that it is today through an extensive renovation and expansion in the late 1990s. The walls are lined with area artists throughout the property and the resort even has its own art curator.
The bar and outdoor patio restaurant are lively, especially in the evening, under the glow of the colorful Santa Fe sunset and outdoor kiva fireplaces. There was no shortage of character, from the eclectic range of rooms to the resident ghost, Julia Staab, the original owner’s wife. Her great-great granddaughter has written a book about the resort hauntings called, American Ghost, for sale in the gift shop.
I stayed in one of the newer spa suites which was luxuriously outfitted, complete with a kiva fireplace and balcony overlooking a lush courtyard. My room was conveniently located just above the spa where I sampled the signature Spirit of Santa Fe treatment. The 80-minute experience begins with gentle blue corn exfoliation, followed by a massage, infused with desert sage essential oil. While I never saw the ghost of Julia there, the spirit of Santa Fe entered my skin and muscles, feeling in prime condition afterwards.
Cost: “Cozy rooms” start at around $143/night and go up according to size to a two-bedroom suite. Check the resort’s website for current specials.
What to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico:
Museums galore. I barely scratched the surface of all that I wanted to see. Those I did included:
- The Museum of International Folk Art is the largest of its kind in the world, designed to bridge differences, by creating a sense of fellowship among cultures. The Girard Wing was my favorite featuring tiny objects from Alexander’s travels around the world.
- Meow Wolf used to be a bowling alley which you’re reminded of upon entry by the unmistakable shoe aroma still wafting in the air. The House of Eternal Return exhibit is a psychedelic experience. 3-D glasses are sold at the door, though I didn’t see anything requiring the specs, so can only guess mind-altering substances are needed. The exhibit is a mix of over 100 artists across multitude disciplines including painting, sculpture, audio engineering, video production, writing, and some big-time garage sale rummaging. Reviews here are mixed. It’s a place I might have better appreciated in my experimental college days.
- The New Mexico History Museum‘s Voices of Counterculture of the Southwest exhibit showcased the hippie era, complete with New Mexico communes that were plentiful here, back in the day. Sadly, that was the only exhibit I had time to see before the museum closed.
- The Spanish Colonial Museum showcased a fascinating photography exhibit of the life of artist, Frida Kahlo.
Where to eat in Santa Fe, New Mexico:
Wander New Mexico’s “Santa Fe Railyard Culinary Tour” is a terrific way to combine food and history. The Railyard is an emerging area of Santa Fe and walking distance to three restaurants we visited on foot.
- First stop was La Choza, where we discovered New Mexican vs. Old Mexican food, including chili and posole. The owner’s granddaughter, Sarah, shared stories of the restaurant’s past including when her parents used to sell chili to skiers on the side of the mountain road.
- At State Capital Kitchen we enjoyed “Seamless Ravioli” and “Exploding Passionfruit” (a cocoa butter and white chocolate outer shell which once it meets the heat of your mouth, “explodes” like a water balloon with a delightful passionfruit splash.
- Cafe Sonder served up “Chimayo Chili Mussels.”
- Whoo’s Donuts polished off the tour, which were out of this world.
Other, off-tour culinary:
- The Tea House on Canyon Road is an ideal spot to fuel up before meandering through the iconic road’s art galleries and shops. Besides a vast selection of teas, the menu features variations of eggs benedict, salads and desserts. The scrumptious scones with lemon curd and brisket eggs benedict were heavenly.
- Doctor Field Goods is another farm to table kitchen serving lunch and dinner. The tacos of the day made mine, as did the New Mexican signature sandwich.
- La Posada’s Patio Restaurant was a lovely place to dine al fresco and features inventive, southwestern cuisine.
In part five: Ten Thousand Waves.
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