Arriving at historic La Posada de Santa Fe and crossing the grounds to our room, we immediately felt as though we were at a sprawling, secluded resort, yet we were only a few walkable blocks from downtown Santa Fe. We passed fruit trees, colorful blooms, a fountain and half a dozen kinetic sculptures just in the three or four minutes it took us to reach our second-story adobe-style suite.
City hotels often can feel like a tough choice between a compact, well-located downtown option and a spacious property that’s a bit removed from the action. La Posada brilliantly checks both these criteria and families will feel warmly welcomed without a doubt. As a parent, I really appreciated the space to meander and move, and I know my children enjoyed it. Did I mention there’s a saline pool?
The hotel’s strong art program (it was actually the first place in the entire state to show and sell art to the public), dining options, spa facilities and storied past — complete with a resident ghost — only add to its appeal.
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La Posada dates back to 1882, when wealthy merchant Abraham Staab built a Victorian mansion for his wife, Julia. (Her benevolent ghost is believed to be wandering this main house of the complex still today.) In the 1930s, new owners added adobe-style casitas and eventually opened the property as a hotel. The rooms, 157 in total, feature traditional viga (beamed) ceilings, Southwestern art and kiva fireplaces. Some include balconies or patios as well. Our double queen suite perfectly accommodated our family of four with plenty of room to spare.
From an intimate bar in the main house to a tapas restaurant to the more casual patio, La Posada offers several dining and drinking venues. We chose the patio for dinner and were impressed when our server, knowing our dietary preferences, passed us a separate vegan/vegetarian menu. Soon enough, chips, guacamole, salsa and margaritas appeared, followed by a memorable green chile polenta and mushroom and broccoli risotto. The kids scribbled and colored with their crayons, and we relaxed over an alfresco meal.
On a previous trip to Santa Fe, I had made it up to the famed Ten Thousand Waves spa, but wasn’t going this time around. I was lucky enough, though, to sneak away for a deep tissue massage at the onsite Spa Sage at La Posada. Eight minutes later, I was enjoying one of the best massages of my life, with knots kneaded and tensions released. The spa also offers mother-daughter chocolate-chile manicures and pedicures, complete with chile-laced hot chocolate.
La Posada also offers a heated saline pool that’s kid-friendly and open all year round.
One of the most remarkable features of the property is its art program. La Posada was showcasing art to the public decades before the first local gallery opened on Canyon Road. And Georgia O’Keeffe, who was among the hotel guests, had her work displayed there until 1957.
From the kinetic sculptures on the grounds to the gorgeous landscapes in the library, the artwork frequently rotates and is available for sale. The property even boasts an onsite art curator who gives weekly talks and tours. Though we didn’t attend the Friday afternoon session, just a quick stroll through the property with our kiddos, pointing out colors and brushstrokes and landscapes and portraits, was a great introduction to Santa Fe’s art scene.
Our stay at La Posada really gave us the best of both worlds: proximity to downtown and its historic plaza, as well as some space to relax away from it all. It was the ideal home base for our New Mexico adventure!
Editor’s Note: Tanvi received a media package to review La Posada de Santa Fe for families. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Tanvi Chheda except where noted.
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