I’ve been a frequent visitor to this picturesque city, the oldest capital in the United States, the charming city is set at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and possesses a unique Southwestern charm all its own. A few miles south, these mountains diminish down from a height of 13,000 feet to a flattened level plain, marking the end of the North American Rockies.
Explore the charming old town, with its avenues of art galleries, chic boutiques and noteworthy restaurants. I love staying in the heart of downtown near the main Plaza, a short walk from the many attractions. The secluded Inn of the Five Graces is across from San Miguel Mission, the oldest church in the United States.
My recent visit at The Inn of Five Graces which is nestled on a quiet side street near the Santa Fe River, was absolutely enchanting. The arrival to the Inn on a narrow one-way street offers a bit of an introduction, as a good part of the charming haciendas along the block are owned by the Inn. The colorful traditional adobe and stone exterior provides a hint of the extraordinary colorful experience awaiting visitors inside.
A desert jewel, The Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe wows with exotic decor, raw silks and rich color that seamlessly blends the Southwest with the Far East. Step through its doors, and a feast of color and texture awakens the imagination. Each distinctive room showcases handcrafted artisan pieces and eclectic treasures from the historic Silk Road that once linked Europe and Asia. Echoes of rustic Spain, lingering in New Mexico’s Hispanic heritage, are reflected in the diverse style, a trademark synthesis of East and West. The richness will evoke memories of your Journeys to Istanbul and India. The Seret family who own the Inn have roamed the world to bring together Persian, Indian, Tibetan, Uzbek and other Eastern architectural elements and antiques with classic Santa Fe adobe construction. Surprisingly it works, providing an organic yet luxurious warm atmosphere. My suite was made even more cozy with its traditional Kiva wood burning fireplace. Even the curved ceilings are not without décor, wooden doors and trim are hand-carved, and owner Sylvia Seret has created intricate tile mosaics in every bathroom. The mosaics are simply mesmerizing.
Breakfast is included in your stay, served on the patio, in your room or in the dining room. Staff is extremely attentive, fetching firewood, mixing cocktails or providing sightseeing advice.
A new full-service spa is opening in the end of summer 2018, The fitness center features professional equipment and weights, allowing guests to maintain their regular routines in Five Graces style. Hidden terraces reached by ancient gates are situated around the petite property. Loungers, not typical hotel loungers, these are exotic wooden Tibetian beds, are stationed under flowering arches, little songbirds flittering about clearly enchanted with the lush gardens. I felt as if I was in a small foreign village.
The 24-suite boutique hotel is housed in a collection of traditional adobe homes – one is 450 years old. The earthy structures of Southwest adobe, a sturdy mixture of mud and straw, were transformed into enchanting spaces with exotic antiques, rugs, textiles and captivating architectural elements. The collections are complemented by comfortable down-filled sofas and chairs upholstered in striking Afghan dhurries and Turkish kilims that the Serets design and manufacture. The perfect day begins with the Southwest breakfast on the Inn terrace, followed by exploring the the numerous art galleries on Canyon Road, savor lunch at one of the fine local restaurants and saunter back to the Inn for a siesta. Sunset Margaritas and complimentary chips and Salsa can be enjoyed on a hidden terrace at the Inn followed by an evening stroll of the oldest neighborhood Barrio di Ancalco.
The lovely inn nurtures the soul by following the “Five Graces” philosophy: an Eastern notion that each of the five graces of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste needs to be cherished. From the sounds of crackling wood fires, chirping birds, the striking design of interior spaces, to the sensual textures of Afghan rugs and Silk Road fabrics to the aroma of Bamford botanic body products to the flavor of epicurean breakfasts, the Inn of Five Graces exhilarates and stimulates every sense. The old mission Church bell tolls every hour.
Enjoy world-class opera, activities like hiking, skiing and golf, or discover the works of world-famous painters and sculptors in this captivating town. The Five Graces compound which includes several two story New Mexico river-rock buildings is within easy walking distance to Santa Fe Plaza and Canyon Road art galleries, restaurants and museums.
Don’t miss a visit to the Seret and Sons massive emporium of furnishings, textiles, rugs to the rafters shop just blocks away on 224 Galisteo St. – Imagine the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul or the teeming souks of Marrakech, an amazing collection of ancient architectural elements, sans donkey carts and stifling heat! I swooned and meandered, completely transfixed by the abundance of gorgeous textiles.
We can organize hiking nearby, moderate to difficult trails, petroglyph site visits, biking, fishing, summer white water rafting and of course, hot air balloon rides!
Charm abounds at this Relais & Chateaux, Forbes Four Star property – Pueblo Charm in the historic district of Santa Fe. Highly recommend! Our clients are spoiled at the Inn of the Five Graces!
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