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
- 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
My husband and I went to Santa Fe for St Valentines Day. Not our first trip by any means to this unique city. Love the location of the St. Francis and the lobby is absolutely beautiful - wonderful with the large fireplace in the winter and in the summer the porch is great to sit out on with a drink to visit, people watch and pet dogs. We reserved a Classic King. Yes, the rooms are small and the sinks in the room are a nuisance but that can’t be helped without a major remodel which would take away the character we love. One of the amenities this hotel is known for, and says on their website, is that they have they have the luxurious Italian Frette linens. Sadly ours were labeled “Centium Satin” and $120 for the king set. We was surprised that our room didn’t have the usual coffee maker, ice bucket, blow dryer, etc. There was a business card saying if we needed anything to “text” but it list any of these items. We were there several nights and had to ask for more soap, etc. as some items were never replaced. Probably more than anything we wish they would have room service. Its a nice place but I don’t think it should be considered a four star. A four star doesn’t cut corners. Thank you.
Best things about the hotel: very centrally located, great restaurant and pub, comfortable rooms, knowledgeable and friendly staff. All for a reasonable rate. This is an historic site with lots of photos on the walls on every floor. Check it out, even if you aren't staying here.
My partner and our young child (20 mos) stayed in a king room for 2 nights during a road trip across the country. We had a fantastic experience with this hotel and would recommend it to friends and family; we would totally stay here again!
LOCATION: The Hotel St. Francis was extremely centrally located in relation to old Santa Fe, which allowed us to walk everywhere — museums, restaurants, shops, bookstore. With a kid in a stroller, it was super easy to get around; the hotel is only a few minutes’ walk from the Plaza, tons of boutiques, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the IAIA Museum, and Canyon Road was even walkable, too. Since it snowed during our visit, the location was extra important and it was easy to pop in and out, using the room as our home base. We didn’t drive the entire time we were there.
STAFF: The hotel staff were friendly and courteous, and Belle even upgraded us to a deluxe room upon arrival because our reserved rate was slightly higher than the walk-in rate that day. We received a text message from them a few hours before check-in asking for an eta and whether there was anything they could do to prepare for our arrival. This made us feel welcomed and also gave me an opportunity to ask any questions I may have had. Nice practice for folks like me who find texts to be easy, fast communication (plus, we were on the road so didn’t always have enough reception for calls).
FACILITIES: Parking is $20 (a one-time fee for the duration of your stay; I believe this fee is mandatory, and includes the WiFi and some other services as well), but it’s right next to the hotel and was cheaper than anything else we could have gotten downtown anyway. There was a wine bar, a cocktail lounge, and a steakhouse on the premises; we didn’t visit any of these, but they looked really cute. The lobby was clean, nicely decorated, and spacious; it gave a resort-like feel to the hotel from the moment we walked in the door. WiFi was decent; not a secure network, which might matter to some folks.
ACCOMMODATIONS: The room itself was lovely. Loads of character with old wood floors, leather chairs, and windows (with charming old wavy glass panes) that actually opened. The bed was very comfortable, and they had plenty of outlets and USB chargers by the bedside. We live in a 1920s bungalow, so the bathroom didn’t feel too small to me; it had the toilet and shower (with tub) inside, and the sink was right outside in the room itself. To us, this was charming. It was nice that the light above the sink had a dimmer, so when we got ready in the morning we didn’t have to blast the lights and risk waking the baby.
We just loved our stay at the St. Francis. Location is perfect and everything Santa Fe has to offer is in walking distance. The interiors of this hotel are stunning and full of artful little vignettes, paintings, and cozy spaces. The staff was friendly, and we enjoyed having a nightcap at the bar during our stay. I highly recommend the St. Fancis and will definitely stay there again!
I stay here every year in January. I love the rooms, the design, the location. It's quiet and the staff are friendly. I highly recommend it. They used to have a wonderful breakfast, but the restaurant is now only serving dinner which is fantastic. For breakfast, Cafe Pasqual across the street is excellent.