At the time that I stayed at Rancho Encantado in the fall of 2011, the property was managed by Auberge Resorts, since then it has been taken over by the Four Seasons. As these are both luxury brands, I don’t imagine there have been any major changes but I did want to disclose that fact.
If you’e not familiar with the Santa Fe area then I’ll give you a precursor to say that you will most likely fly into Albuquerque then drive approximately an hour to Santa Fe. I went back and forth on whether I wanted to stay right in downtown Santa Fe or if I wanted to stay at Rancho Encantado which is located approximately 10 minutes from the downtown area.
Since I knew I was going to have a rental car, I decided to stay at the Encantado because it looked like such a nice property and I wanted to experience it. There are some very highly rated properties right downtown as well such as Relais & Chateaux’s Inn of the Five Graces and Rosewood’s Inn of the Anasazi. These are options I would consider if I wanted to stay in the downtown area. It really comes down to your personal choice of being right downtown within walking distance of everything or being a little further out to enjoy a more spacious and peaceful environment.
Rancho Encantado is set against the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the 65 casitas are designed to blend into the landscape. The casitas are all spacious and designed with a sophisticated Southwest flavor. The resort portrays a casual elegance and exudes a serene atmosphere. The full service spa enhances this feeling with its regionally inspired treatments along with a fitness and movement center. The pool is open year round and overlooks the desert views. The resorts’ tranquil setting is perfect for rest, relaxation and rejuvenating your spirit.
I stayed in a Summit Suite which has a bedroom area, large bath and a living room with a fireplace. Each unit has an outdoor terrace and some have outdoor fireplaces. The Summit and Sunset Suites sit a little higher on the property and offer a nice view of the surrounding area and some beautiful sunsets.
The rooms tastefully reflect the Southwest flavor and incorporate some local artisans work such as native drum side tables, original artwork, and beautiful coffee table books. Small touches like the cowhide light fixtures with leather trim and hammered metal mirror frames, along with beamed ceilings and wood-burning fireplaces add an authentic feel to the casitas.
Each morning, I would wake up and make myself a cup of coffee and sit on the outdoor lounge chair soaking up the stillness of the morning. And on a couple of the evenings, I decided that I couldn’t think of a nicer place to enjoy the night sky and have dinner than on the terrace by the outdoor fire.
Start the evening off at the restaurant’s bar and enjoy a drink while sitting around the round fire pit and watching the sun set. Terra, the resort’s only restaurant, combines New Mexican culinary traditions and Southwestern influences and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The decor is stylish and they offer indoor and outdoor seating. And as mentioned before, my preference on several evenings was in-room dining by the outdoor fireplace which is such a pleasant option.
Others might disagree, but in my opinion, after spending a long day walking around downtown Santa Fe the 10 minute drive back to Rancho Encantado is worth it to me for the peace and quiet of this enchanting resort.
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