a VirtualTourist member from Rochester
Planning a 7 day visit mid Aug 2009. My wife and I are looking forward to a relaxing vacation with some exploring and photo ops. We are in our 50's and flying into Albuquerque from New York. Would like to avoid big city hassels like traffic jams, noise and the hustle & bustle. We have not been to Santa Fe before. Are there hotels available inside the city limits that are quiet and laid back, or would the suburbs/outskirts have what we're looking for? Wouldn't mind B&B or smaller hacienda. Thanks!
You may want to check out Las Palomas. I have tip and so does SFHulaGirl (she actually stayed there).
We have stayed in both the Inn of the Governors and the El Rey Inn. Both were excellent and so laid out that we were not aware of traffic noises. Inn of the Governors is very near the center of the city and the El Rey is a little south. Santa Fe seems to me to be a pretty laid back and lovely city. Even with the central plaza full of people it doesn't seem noisy or hectic. Enjoy your stay.
The suburbs are nice, but the problem with staying there as a tourist is that many of the sites you'd want to see in Santa Fe are Downtown and getting Downtown from the suburbs is a trial and a half: Santa Fe has some pretty awful traffic for a city its size. I stayed near the plaza the last time I was up there (after a few times off the plaza) and really enjoyed myself more by walking to go places as opposed to jumping in the car and dealing with that traffic each time.
Many of the city's best restaurants are also around the plaza, so it's really worth it in the end.
August is a popular time for Santa Fe, so hotels are going to pricey. Not sure of your rate range, but you can try the Sage Inn. Off the plaza, but definitely walkable, free parking, free breakfast and normally under80 per night.
One of my favorite places is the Hotel St. Francis. It is only about a block from the plaza. The rooms are small but very nice. My wife and I stay there when we go to the opera (we live in albuquerque). By the way, you will be there during the opera season (July-Aug)so better make your reservations as soon as you can. Also, prices may be a little higher then. The Santa Fe Opera is really great....check out their web site. There is a very nice resort hotel about 15 min. north of Santa Fe called Encantado. It's pricey but has an excellent restaurant, pool, exercize room, yoga studio, massage spa etc.
Check my home page for other SFe attractions.
PS...If you want to avoid traffic, don't stay on Cerillos Road. It's the busiest road in SFe...the other roads aren't very busy.
I forgot to mention that Indian Market is 21-23 Aug. This is the biggest annual event in SFe and is a very busy time. If you are interested in high-end American Indian arts and crafts and lots of interesting people, this is the place to go. On the other hand, if you want to avoid crowds, don't go then.
The traffic in Santa Fe is horrendous and getting worse. While you are researching, look into Taos. Its an hour or so from Santa Fe, which you definitely need to see. There are several scenic daytrips around Northern NM and Taos itself is nice.
Hope I'm not too late here - on our last trip to Santa Fe (last fall), we rented a condo about a mile from the plaza and it was fantastic. It had more room, was nicer and cheaper than a lot of SF hotel rooms. Also peaceful. We were about 1 mile from the plaza - easily walkable with nice restaurants along the way. I just put a tip on the Santa Pages I'm building so check it out. Your problem may be that you're planning to be there during Indian Market - pretty good chance a lot of places may be booked?
Cerillos Road IS very busy but but the El Rey Inn sits back far enough that you don't hear it if you book a room as far from the highway as possible. Very nice place but had gone up enough in price since our first visit that the condo was less expensive than a premium room there.
I agree with Prometheus - I stayed at Hotel St. Francis in 2007 and loved it. My room was small but very comfortable (for a European room, it would have been a regular size) Ask for the largest room within your budget.