This is part one of a two-part article about a trip I took in March with my wife to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Read Part 2 here.
My first trip with my wife, Karen, to Santa Fe was intended to celebrate her birthday, and as we are avid outdoor enthusiasts, it served as an excuse to experience some of the fabled wilderness that is just outside of New Mexico’s state capital. Karen and I had no idea what to expect from the storied town, but the rich culture, beautiful architecture and wonderful accommodations easily won us over.
We were hosted by The Inn of the Five Graces, one of Santa Fe’s best and most fascinating hotels, but we were also able to experience many other facets of this magical place. We flew into Albuquerque, landing early Saturday afternoon in March, and drove up to Santa Fe, arriving during a beautiful but unexpected Spring snowstorm that blanketed the town, and which made the last-minute packing of down jackets a sensible move. Our reservations for The Inn of the Five Graces were for Sunday and Monday nights, so for Saturday night, we made arrangements to stay at Inn on the Alameda.
We stayed in one of the Alameda’s charming “casitas,” a detached cabin with an enclosed courtyard, an open bedroom/sitting room with a wood burning fireplace, and large bathroom, all in the open-beamed, classic Santa Fe style. There was a welcoming wine and cheese gathering just underway when we arrived. Karen and I sat by the fire in the main building, making friends with other guests.
A little later, upon the recommendation of the Inn’s staff, we walked several blocks in the snowy night to the 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar. The striking vision of a Maitre D’ left us suitably impressed. (Impeccably dressed; long, white haired ponytail flowing down his back. The fellow was incredibly gracious and accommodating and made us feel instantly relaxed and comfortable.) We had a very pleasant meal and bottle of wine there. We learned later that 315 is the “Official Restaurant of the Inn of the Five Graces,” located a block up and across the street.
Sunday morning we woke late, built a cozy fire and had our morning coffee. After checking out of the Inn on the Alameda, Karen and I walked a short distance into the center of town, exploring the shops and sights of the famous Santa Fe Plaza, which dates back to 1610. Later, in the early afternoon, we drove down Canyon Road, surveying the many shops and art galleries that we intended to explore later.
It had been arranged for us to meet the manager of the Inn of the Five Graces, Brian, mid-afternoon for a private tour of the property. The layout of the property initially appears a bit awkward, as it’s in a number of separate buildings spread out over almost half a block, but once you’re inside, it is spectacular. You can read much more about the Inn and my stay here.
Later, dinner was arranged at The Compound on Canyon Road. The restaurant is located in an old adobe and the dining room features beautiful local folk art on the walls. The food was wonderfully fresh and classically prepared. They even have some nice vegetarian options. We particularly liked our lemon tart desert.
Read part two about my trip to Santa Fe here.