Summer Vacation: Hotel St. Francis

For this installment in our Summer Vacation series, we take a look at one of our favorite nearby vacation destinations, Santa Fe, and a perfect place to stay when visiting this diverse little city, the lovely and charming Hotel St. Francis.

Named for the patron saint of Santa Fe, Hotel St. Francis is Santa Fe’s oldest (and perhaps most historical) hotel. Located in the heart of historic Downtown (just one block from Santa Fe’s famed Plaza), this recently renovated and ideally located hotel is bursting with charm and first-rate service and amenities. The hotel wonderfully encapsulates the soul of old Santa Fe, and as soon as you walk in the lobby, you are struck by its immense splendor, ample marble, and handcrafted wood furnishings. The hotel’s natural color palette reflects the days of Santa Fe’s early Franciscan missionaries, and everything feels rustic, authentic, and bursting of history.

There are just 80 European-style guestrooms at the boutique Hotel St. Francis, and each has just received a pleasant modern facelift that still respects the hotel’s historical significance. So while you have modern fixtures, flat-screen televisions, and Wi-Fi, you also have wood furniture handcrafted by local artisans inspired by Santa Fe’s early Spanish settlers. The amenities and decor make the rooms here among the very best we have seen in Santa Fe. With plush beds, hardwood floors, handcrafted furniture, and modern amenities, they offer more than most could ask for.

If you really want to splurge during your stay, the hotel’s Cardinal Suite is a real gem. Situated right on the corner of Don Gaspar Ave and Water St, this spacious room places you right in the center of historic Downtown Santa Fe. Nothing quite compares to savoring a glass of wine on your own private balcony while watching the tangerine sun disappear behind the beautiful old buildings that surround you. This is Santa Fe living at its finest.

Things to Do

Speaking of wine, would you be surprised to know that winemaking in New Mexico predates winemaking in California? Oenophiles will find much to discover in this city, and Hotel St. Francis’ onsite Gruet Tasting Room offers a wonderful wine experience. Gruet is Santa Fe’s most prestigious winery and has had wine ranked in the top fifty on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the World list. Be sure to schedule a tasting and experience Gruet’s diverse collection during your stay.

Also, on-property at Hotel St. Francis is one of Santa Fe’s most acclaimed bars, Secreto Lounge. Renowned for its mixology and atmosphere, Secreto, like Gruet, is a must-visit during your stay. Be sure to pop in for an award-winning “Garden-To-Glass” cocktail prepared with organic ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and herbs alongside local spirits. Or if you’re a traditionalist, the master mixologists behind the bar can whip up any staple from Old Fashions to martinis with a level of care and craft that’s sure to impress.

Venturing off property, you will find many sights and shops to explore. RC Gorman Navajo Gallery Santa Fe is a must-see for fans of the renowned artist, or Native American art in general. Here you will find the most extensive collection of the late Gorman’s work assembled anywhere. Just a block from Hotel St. Francis is Santa Fe’s oldest locally-owned independent bookstore, Collected Works Bookstore & Coffee House. Grab a tasty cappuccino from Iconik Coffee Roasters and peruse the tremendous collection of eclectic books spanning all genres and regions.


Just a few blocks west of Hotel St. Francis you will discover a true culinary gem in acclaimed French restaurant L’Olivier. A literal labor of love for owners Nathalie and Chef Xavier Grenet, the restaurant offers a truly unique and romantic dining experience. The wine selection is fantastic, and Chef Xavier is nothing short of a culinary master with over 30 years of experience dating back to his time in three Michelin star restaurants in Paris and as legendary French director Luc Besson’s private chef for classic movies like The Professional. Chef Xavier prepares everything at L’Olivier, and his craft is evident with each bite of dishes like Elk Tenderloin with a sweet potato purée, snow peas, red wine anise spiced poached pear, and sauce grand veneur and Duck Breast with gratin dauphinois, raspberry sauce, and fried kale.

Also walking distance from the hotel is Dinner for Two. This cheekily named, family-owned steakhouse provides a unique atmosphere and creative new menu of delectable dishes and cocktails. One absolute must try is the Truffle Oyster Mushroom Soup; every bite is a complete symphony of exploding flavor. The desserts (particularly Bananas Foster) and fried chicken are both also stellar, but the most popular dish on the menu is the Filet Oscar, done Santa Fe style and topped with green chili queso and topped with lump crab. Truly unique.

For more information and to book a stay at Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe, New Mexico, visit

ty-fahlman-author-bioAbout Author Ty Fahlman

The former Managing Editor of Jetset Magazine, Ty Fahlman has earned a stellar reputation for his probing, introspective interviews of celebrities, as well as his in-depth profiles of resorts, restaurants, and destinations. With over 150 articles published, Ty has ghostwritten for New York Times bestselling authors and celebrities, and given thoughtful and in-depth profiles and interviews of dozens of A-List celebrities including Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona but travels as much as he can.

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