Our long-awaited trip to Santa Fe finally happened recently. One of the highlights was our stay at La Fonda on the Plaza so we could park our car and walk to so many places. If you are planning a trip to Santa Fe, make sure you reserve the wonderful La Fonda on The Plaza. #hosted All opinions are my own.
La Fonda on the Plaza is the only hotel centrally located around the Plaza, which is the heart of Santa Fe. After driving many miles, we enjoyed parking the car and walking to so many attractions nearby. On our next trip we will explore the areas outside the Plaza area.
Our trip had been postponed a few times due to Covid and extremely high gas prices, but the wait was worth it. You need to plan more than two and a half days for your trip. That isn’t nearly long enough to explore all which Santa Fe has to offer. There are so many areas within a few hours also which make great day trips.
La Fonda on the Plaza
La Fonda on the Plaza, part of the Historic Hotels of America, is an amazing place to stay, shop, eat, or just explore. I will be sharing more of the history and the tour we took in an upcoming post. If you are planning a trip to Santa Fe, this should be your choice for your stay.
I’ll also be sharing more of our trip to Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Albuquerque, including the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where I took my first hot air balloon ride soon.
If you can’t stay there, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all of the amenities such as the restaurant, rooftop bar, and especially the shops.
Around La Fonda on the Plaza
Museums such as the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, New Mexico History Museum, and New Mexico Museum of Art are all within walking distance to explore. Check online for hours and online reservations.
Other must-see places include the oldest church and house in the USA plus Loretto Chapel and their Miraculous Staircase.
The state capitol building is easily accessible but make a reservation for a tour. You will notice this capitol building can easily be missed if you are looking for the traditional type of capitol building you see in other states.
Many places have a small admission fee, while others ask for a donation.
Santa Fe Style
Something you will notice as you are in most of Santa Fe, and even other parts of the Southwest, is the architecture and landscape being so different than other parts of the country. It’s all beautiful, but so different than the hills of Eastern Tennessee. The traditional Adobe style with flat roofs is seen everywhere.
La Fonda is the quintessential Adobe style, inside and out. As we learned on the tour, so many of the materials are original and native to the area, along with colors. As this was our first visit to the Southwest, I was fascinated with the style and décor.
Built in 1922, it’s gone through many renovations, but always keeping as much of the history of the hotel, including artwork, design, and furnishings as possible. Many items have lovingly been restored by local artists, some being employees of the hotel.
Each Room at La Fonda is Unique
There are over 160 guest rooms and suites, suitable for leisure travel, families, and special events such as conferences and weddings. An excellent suite is available on the rooftop for a wedding party with their own balcony or for great privacy. They are pet friendly as well.
We had a standard King Room which included a view overlooking the Plaza area. It was spacious and had the most comfortable bed and great pillows. I wish I could have it shipped home.
Notice the hand painted headboard? These are in every room, and not one is alike. What talent! You will find older, smaller headboards used as art in the hallways. These were the inspiration for current headboards.
Furnishings from the headboards, blanket chests, and chairs may be replicas, but was inspired by original pieces.
Not just a coffee maker is in each room, but also a Nespresso for us coffee lovers who enjoy lots of flavors. Plus, they offer unlimited bottles of water, which is a big plus.
A spacious bathroom and robes are always a bonus.
Dining at La Fonda
You have three options for dining and drinks around the hotel. Room Service is also available. Menus will change seasonally to reflect the seasons and locally grown items.
La Plazuela at La Fonda is the main restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Bell Tower Rooftop Bar is open in the afternoons until sunset.
La Fiesta Lounge offers live music, drinks, and light bites each evening.
La Plazuela at La Fonda
Part of the elegance of this area includes the fountain and all the hand-painted glass windows encasing the area. There are also tables on the outer edges for those wishing to dine with their pets.
Breakfast offers the traditional menu items such as French Toast and Eggs Benedict. For those loving the Southwestern flavors, items include Huevos Oaxacas and Huevos Rancheros.
We enjoyed breakfast as part of our room package on two mornings, so it was a treat to try different items each morning.
The Brioche French Toast and Eggs Benedict were among our favorites.
We had an early dinner planned outside of the hotel, so it was so convenient to grab a quick lunch on that day.
The Waldorf Salad with an Apple Cider Vinaigrette hit the spot for a lighter taste.
Bell Tower Rooftop Bar
Bell Tower Rooftop Bar is the perfect setting for watching the sunset or grabbing a lighter dinner, drinks, or just a snack while waiting for the sunset.
If you want a seat for sunset, go early as the tables and bar tables will fill up quickly on a lovely evening.
The hours of operation can vary depending on the day, but usually open from 1 pm or 3 pm through sunset on most days. It does close during the winter months. Their specialties of course will include a wide variety of Margaritas and Sangria. Food will include small plates, chips and dip, and Charcuterie trays to share.
La Fiesta Lounge
La Fiesta Lounge offers a variety of food and drink options but it’s a great place for listening to live music most evenings. You can sit in the lobby area and enjoy the music as well. Sorry, but somehow I missed taking a photo.
The limited menu is great for those late evening dinners when you don’t want to go out of the hotel. But the drink menu is anything but limited – name it and you’ve got it.
Shopping at La Fonda on the Plaza
Not only will you find a multitude and variety of stores around the Plaza, but also in and connected to the hotel. Many shops have entrances from the street and lobby.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was coming up the weekend after our stay. Many people chose to stay in Santa Fe for this event.
You will find everything and in all price ranges in case you need a souvenir or a gift to take home. I loved the seasonal displays for Halloween. It gave me some ideas if I ever decorate for that “pretty” Halloween look.
This black velvet pumpkin was affordable, but not the right color. It did give me a thought for a DIY though.
I can only imagine how wonderful the displays would be for Christmas.
Artwork & Unique Designs
Something you quickly notice while at La Fonda, are all of the unique designs and artwork. Many have historical significance along with beauty.
The doorways to rooms.
Guess what this is? The laundry shoot.
Some of my favorite art pieces.
Even the fire extinguisher has an artistic flare to it.
The door hangers are all hand painted. We were given one as a gift. I’m thinking it will be a great addition to my travel ornaments.
Hand painted glass doors used as art and also remember these from the dining room. Notice the man resting in the first pane, he’s only in a few of all the panes throughout the hotel.
A Few Random Facts
Many celebrities and historical figures have stayed here including:
- John F. Kennedy
- Ronald Regan
- Geore H. W. Bush
- Katherine Hepburn
- Howard Hughes
- Charles Lindbergh
A note about one special person – Robert Oppenheimer would do interviews and there would be special security to make sure no government secrets were leaked.
Some employees have been with La Fonda for over 50 years
La Fonda is the oldest hotel in the oldest capital of the US – Santa Fe
The hotel has only had three owners in the 100-year history
It’s the only hotel located around The Plaza in Santa Fe
You might even catch live music during the day.
Why You Should Stay at La Fonda on the Plaza
This was such a great experience for our first visit to Santa Fe. It is a higher end hotel, but if you consider all the amenities and especially the convenience of walking to so many places, it’s totally worth making a reservation. I will be sharing more about our stay, including the historical tour of the hotel we took. The artwork is worth a walk-through also.
I hope you consider staying at La Fonda on the Plaza, I know we will be back.
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