This is the fifth and final part in Dennis Kamoen’s five-part series about Santa Fe, New Mexico, which he discovered on a visit to the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Check out the first part here, the second part here, the third part here, and the fourth part here.
“My trip to Santa Fe is about discovering a special place to visit; a cool film festival, great food and accommodations, beautiful environs and great people. I will return to Santa Fe time and time again.”
Upon arriving at La Posada de Santa Fe, I noticed that the hotel is located just a couple of blocks from the 400-year-old Santa Fe Plaza, Loretto Chapel and Canyon Road. La Posada is not exactly in the bullseye of Santa Fe, but rather just “around the corner” from it, and that’s what I prefer. It’s near many art galleries, as well as shops and restaurants. Everything is within a short walk, or ride, and still the hotel is nicely tucked away from the plaza and just far enough away from the big bells that ring in the distance.
After checking in, I followed the picturesque path through the six-acre (24,000 square meters) grounds. The property is filled with beautiful trees and shrubbery and accented by bunches of red chiles hanging near all entrances, including the one to my room—a casita-style Deluxe Suite located at the back of the property. The room included an outdoor patio with table and chairs. As with many of the rooms at this unique hotel, it also had a beautiful fireplace.
La Posada de Santa Fe has a rich history. It was originally built in 1882 by a German-Jewish immigrant, Abraham Staab, for his wife Julia. Staab promised to build her a grand home in the European manner, and so: Staab and his brother, Zadoc, following the Santa Fe Trail, settled in Santa Fe to become the largest wholesale trading and merchandising establishment in the entire southwest at the time. This southwest included Utah, Colorado, Arizona and as far south as Chihuahua, Mexico. In addition to the Staab’s original house, La Posada de Santa Fe has been updated with a recent renovation completed in January, 2015. The hotel exudes a real rustic charm met with relaxed elegance. Perhaps assisted by the story that the place is still visited by the late Julia Staab?
I highly recommend a visit to The Spa for an “Altitude Adjustment” massage, which helps your body establish an equilibrium more quickly at Santa Fe’s higher altitude (nearly 7,000 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level). According to the Santa Fe Visitors and Convention Bureau, “Santa Fe’s high altitude means air is rarefied, thinner. It usually takes about 48 hours to adjust and staying hydrated helps. Watch your alcohol intake. One drink is the equivalent of three at sea level.”
Leave your worries behind at The Spa by tying a small sage bundle and burning it on the grounds in a small chiminea nearby the big fireplace, or leave it for a spa staff member to burn collectively in a ritualistic cleansing fire each evening. After a lovely outdoor lunch, I took the short walk through the beautiful gardens back to my room. I imagine that this is an enchanted place any time of year. There were busy workers setting up for a wedding later in the day. La Posada de Santa Fe is a uniquely comfortable kind of resort and spa and a nice experience, and I look forward to the next time I have the chance to visit.