Hotel St Francis
What We Love
- Sampling extraordinary mixologist Chris Milligan’s creative cocktails at the sceney Secreto Lounge
- Santa Fe’s leafy Plaza and fascinating museums are within a five-minute stroll
- The clean, unfussy room and lobby design provides a refreshing alternative to the sometimes busy “Santa Fe style”
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Santa Fe
What To Know
- Prepare for summer crowds: The St. Francis is two blocks from the Plaza, handy for dining and gallery-hopping but busy, too
- The least expensive rooms are smaller and have cozy bathrooms
- If you arrive with a car, factor in the $18 daily parking charge
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The hotel’s striking, spare lobby — recessed lights, wrought iron chandeliers, flickering candles, Moorish archways and a smattering of ancient wooden religious figures — draws on the tranquil, uncluttered aesthetic of the Franciscan missionaries who settled in America’s second-oldest city during the early 1600s. The bar, restaurant, and a delightful loggia overlooking bustling Don Gaspar Avenue (with hanging lanterns and upholstered benches) continue the Spanish Colonial ambience.
Bed and Bath
Beds with down duvets, pillowtop mattresses and Frette linens are the centerpiece of the guestrooms. (One drawback in the smaller rooms, which start at 175 square feet, is that there’s not much space for anything more than the bed.) But the natural colors, hardwood or carpeted floors and handsomely rustic, locally made furniture give the rooms a stylish, unpretentious feel. All of them also have flat-screen TVs, hair dryers and refrigerators. The bathrooms are quite small, and most sinks are in the guestroom itself. Book one of the Deluxe Guest Rooms for more elbow room, tables and reading chairs, and in some cases partial views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
One of the most celebrated mixologists in the Southwest, friendly and knowledgeable bar manager Chris Milligan runs an ambitious cocktail program at the hotel’s inviting Secreto Lounge. On warm evenings enjoy your drink on one of the upholstered benches on the romantic loggia, just off the bar. Favorites from Mulligan’s oft-changing repertoire include a heady smoked-sage margarita using Republic Anejo tequila in a glass rimmed with hickory-smoked salt, and the old-school Satan’s Whiskers, a smooth mix of dry gin, sweet and dry vermouths, and your choice of Curaçao Naranja or Grand Marnier. At Secreto Lounge you can also order food from the hotel’s terrific Tabla de Los Santos restaurant, itself a lovely space with a dining room warmed by a fireplace and a courtyard anchored by a large fountain. The menu focuses on organic seasonal cuisine, such as cedar plank salmon with sweet onion–lemon risotto and green chile–braised short ribs. There’s no spa on-site, but guests in Deluxe Guest Rooms can arrange in-room body and massage work through the hotel’s highly efficient concierge desk, which can also help set up a more extensive spa experience at any of the top-notch facilities around town.
In the Area
Nearly across the street from the St. Francis, the legendary restaurant Café Pasqual’s serves three meals daily but is especially a must for breakfast; don’t miss the griddled polenta with sautéed chorizo, corn and red chile. Close to the city’s ancient Plaza, step inside the 400-year-old Palace of the Governors and the adjacent, contemporary New Mexico History Museum to gain a sense of Santa Fe’s rich tri-cultural heritage. And visit both the New Mexico Museum of Art and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to view works by the many renowned painters, photographers and sculptors who have been inspired by the City Different. It’s about a half-mile walk to Canyon Road, which winds into the scenic East Side foothills and is lined with world renowned art galleries and some of the finest contemporary restaurants in town, including The Compound and Geronimo.
How to Get There
We stayed at the Hotel St. Francis for two nights in July. We had one of the small king rooms but it was plenty big for the two of us since we were rarely in the room. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We weren't sure about only having valet parking but it ended out working just fine.
Our room was very clean and the bed and pillows were comfortable. My only complaint would be the small bowl shaped sink outside of the bathroom as I prefer to wash my hands prior to opening the door to go to the bed area. I agree with other travelers that the sink definitely needed some towel racks. It would also be nice to have a holder to put the soap on. The closet was large and I would have been happy with a smaller closet in order to keep the sink in the bathroom.
We asked for a luggage rack to put our suitcase on instead of the floor, but the hotel did not have one. They said that have had other guests ask for one as well so I am surprised that they don't provide them.
These were minor details however, as we enjoyed our stay. The location is excellent and we were able to walk everywhere near the plaza. I would definitely return again.
I don't usually leave reviews but I think it's worth mentioning that this hotel's HVAC is in need of an overhaul. The picture and location are what made me choose Hotel St. Francis and it is a beautiful hotel in a great location. But it's July and they put me and my daughter in a room that they knew the AC was out in. They had added a swamp cooler to the room as a stop-gap but it also didn't work. The front.desk said they could send up a fan. They maintenance man suggesting adding ice to the cooler, which is also a half measure with temporary. By 9:00, at the end of long day of driving from Texas, we still didn't have a solution. Finally they said they found a room. It was a tiny matchbox room not much larger than a kind size bed with a queen, which wasn't mentioned until after I had hauled my stuff down. I took one look at the bed and knew that it wouldn't work for sleeping with a roving 10-year-old. Back to the front desk. After checking with partner hotels, there still wasn't a solution so they displaced another traveler who hadn't arrived and gave us their kind sized bed room. Great for us but not for the fellow who hadn't arrived. After all was said and done, I still sweated because even though the A/C in the new room was cranked as low as possible, the ambient air was still not all that cool. I can't recommend any place that would knowingly put a guest in a room without A/C in July. It just seems like the wrong thing to do.
Loved this hotel, the ambiance and even our room, though small was lovely. Convenient to everything. The price was good given the nice quality of the hotel. Valet parking was included in price of room. The bar was great. The staff were mostly helpful with one exception. I told the desk upon checking in that my son may join us for a night and we may need a roll away bed. I asked twice as there was a lot of activity at desk upon check in. I was told by same man twice that they had NO roll away beds. I was walking to my room and spoke to the friendly staff person in the hall. Told her I thought it odd that they offered no roll aways. She was totally shocked that the front desk had said they did not offer them and went and retrieved a roll away immediately. Happy ending to my dilema. Also I now see they have added a $20 per night FEE onto my room. Anyway, I will be back. Loved the experience overall, especially the cleaning woman in the hall. She was a joy!