La Fonda on the Plaza
What We Love
- Unique headboard in each guestroom painted by a local artist, some from nearby pueblos
- The signature margarita at the Bell Tower Bar as the sun sets over Santa Fe
- No need for a car here, as the Santa Fe Plaza, shops, restaurants and galleries are just steps away
What To Know
- Most of the One-Bedroom Suites have a balcony and a fireplace
- Book a Suite for more space and upgraded amenities
- Dogs are permitted at an additional cost of $25 per dog, per day
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Santa Fe
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Santa Fe is a mix of traditional Native American culture and edgy hipster cool. The 92-year-old La Fonda on the Plaza has always been a part of that mix. Its major 2013 renovation modernized hotel but remained true to the northern New Mexican (with Spanish and Native American influences) look that drew rail passengers to it nearly a century ago. Early New Mexican themes predominate, from painted tile murals in the bathrooms to Native American textiles and designs on the blankets, curtains and rugs, to the local art that hangs in every room.
Bed and Bath
The recent renovation upgraded all 179 guestrooms with decor inspired by the hotel’s storied past. Expect hand painted headboards by local artists; rugs, pillows and curtain panels influenced by New Mexican Colcha-inspired scenes; whimsical lighting fixtures and iron work.
As much a Native American museum as a restaurant, La Plazuela, with its hand-painted windows illuminating an abundance of folk art, allows chef Lane Warner to present northern New Mexico classics such as enchiladas del norte and red chile pork tamales, in the best light. In season, the Bell Tower Bar is a favorite place to watch the afternoon fade and speculate on who will get to ring the bell at sunset. Santa Fe Massage is on the property, as are 17 shops, ranging from La Fonda Indian shop, which specializes in Native American jewelry and pottery, to Passementrie, which offers handmade textiles.
In the Area
A must for every visitor is the Santa Fe Plaza, where local Native Americans (no other merchants are allowed) offer their wares in the shadow of the Palace of the Governors, reputed to be the oldest public building in the USA. The myriad galleries of the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District have always drawn art buyers, but the district has been growing in popularity in recent years thanks to SITE Santa Fe, an internationally acclaimed contemporary art space. And if you want to celebrate a special art purchase with a special meal, The Compound Restaurant, whose chef has gotten the nod from the James Beard Foundation as the Best of the Southwest, is a foodie favorite.
How to Get There
This is as good a themed gift shop as can be found in a destination city, in this case Santa Fe. The buyer has great taste an offers a great variety of enticing gift items. Well worth a long browse. Pottery, jewelry, clothes, New Mexico chili’s, New Mexican grown herbs, blanked, Indian items. The place to go if you want to take a little of the high desert back home.
One of the oldest buildings on the square, don't miss the chance to stroll through the lobby and appreciate the architecture and little shops lining the lobby and facing the streets. It's a fabulous example of early southwest building styles and beautifully restored.
Good New Mexican food reasonable prices and very nice location. Not high professional staff: waiters were quite confused and maître a bit too detached. In general I would recommend but I wouldn’t go back twice.
Step out onto the sidewalk and you are in the center of downtown SF. Perfect for wandering. Valet parking is inside building so good for those hot sunny days. Room is nice with a good shower. Breakfast in nice room with good service.
I selected La Fonda on the Plaza for its' location and it was in the perfect spot for exploring Santa Fe and being able to walk to the church and reception for a wedding we were attending. All of the staff were very helpful and friendly with no exceptions and the parking for $20. per day was a tremendous help (even though my husband thought it should have been free) as parking in that area is non-existent. So, the reason for the average review is that the hotel did not live up to our expectations, based on it being almost $500. per night for a traditional room, as far as condition of the property, especially our room. Although it was clean, the room was dark, dingy, and tired looking. The rug was so badly stained that I wore slippers (my own, hotel only supplied robes) at all times and if something dropped on the floor in the garbage it went. The bathroom tile had that too worn look and there were cracks in several places that had to be avoided. My husband and I both thought that there was not enough shelving for toiletries in the bathroom and a dresser in the bedroom (2 small drawers in the closet were not nearly enough) should be standard. It is important to note that the housekeeping staff was wonderful in supplying needed towels, toiletries, etc. but they could only do so much in cleaning a room in need of a facelift. Next time we visit Santa Fe, we will stay elsewhere where the location is just as good, the prices just as high, but the rooms (we viewed) are worth the high prices.