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
For the price, not a good value. The hotel is centrally located and has a lovely lobby and staff. However, its an old building, and the rooms are quite small. Inadequate electrical outlets and a very small bathroom. Though nostalgia for a bygone period is nice, better to have enough electricity to use a blow dryer and a computer. And its nice to have room to turn around in the bathroom. Staff couldn't be nicer; dining good, location excellent.
The Hotel St. Francis is a simple hotel with clean and comfortable furnishings. Nothing extravagant yet very comfortable. Windows seemed to be old/original, thus lots of noise and temperature leakage. No coffee in the rooms. Odd bathroom set-up with washbasin in main bedroom and a step-up to get to the toilet/shower room.
Most friendly staff ever - old hotel refurbished with modern comfort, but keeping original class - best location, fun bar and excellent restaurant. Wish er could have stayed longer. We will definitively stay at the St Francis on our next trip Much more to discover.