A luxe former artist colony in Santa Fe
A short stroll from Santa Fe Plaza — the heart of the City Different — and nestled within six acres of gardens sits La Posada de Santa Fe, a Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa. While the bustling plaza certainly is a draw in this chic Southwestern town, you will find little reason to leave this newly renovated resort due to its top-notch Native American-inspired spa, celebrated New Mexican restaurant and popular historic bar.
Abraham and Julia Staab built their French Second Empire-style mansion in 1882. Today, the original home houses the lobby, restaurants and popular Staab House bar. Paths lead from the Staab House to contemporary Southwest-style rooms nestled among 100-year-old cottonwood trees, flower gardens, fountains and contemporary sculpture art. Some guests and staff believe Julia still occupies her home, and the resort itself uses her as a muse.
Each of the guest rooms is unique, reflecting the eclectic history of the Santa Fe hotel. In the early 1900s, the property served as an artists’ colony and helped to establish the city as the third-largest art market in the U.S. These detached rooms are now called casitas (Spanish for “little houses”) and have been newly remodeled with great success — the contemporary Southwest room have off-white plastered walls, Saltillo tile floors, wood beam ceilings and Southwestern leather and wrought-iron furniture. Colorful Native American and Spanish-inspired art grace the walls. Many casitas come with a wood- or gas-burning kiva fireplace and an enclosed patio.
Rooms average 400 square feet and are available with a king or queen bed, or two queen beds. Bathrooms offer marble countertops and ornately framed mirrors with Spanish punched tin. Carpeted Deluxe Spa Suites located above Spa Sage have private balconies and elevator access directly to the spa lobby below. The Baca Suite is the property’s most extravagant room with three wood-burning fireplaces, a media room, an antique billiards table, two full baths and a private master bedroom with a large commons room for entertaining.
On the second story of the original Staab House, five historic suites are filled with period Victorian furniture, including Julia’s bedroom, Suite 100, at the top of the regal oak staircase. All rooms include high-speed Wi-Fi, complimentary bottled water, 37-inch flat-screen TVs, spa bathrobes, Keurig coffee and tea and C.O. Bigelow amenities.
La Posada has two main restaurants and a third patio restaurant that is open seasonally. Julia, A Spirited Restaurant & Bar is the fine-dining option located off the lobby within the Staab House. Anchored by a large fireplace topped with a Spanish punched-tin mirror, the space looks as if it could have been a grand ballroom. A patterned Saltillo tile floor balances a soaring ceiling of carved wood beams, and two elegant wrought-iron chandeliers. Original artwork hangs on mustard-yellow plaster walls. Open for dinner, Julia provides a contemporary Southwestern menu with locally sourced ingredients and an extensive wine list. Popular starters include tuna and lobster claw parfait with Indian fry bread and beef tartare with quail egg. Entrées are similarly interesting, such as diver sea scallops al pastor and roasted Colorado lamb rack served with local honey.
Adjacent to Julia, Viga Bar and Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a more relaxed atmosphere. In the morning, choose from smoothies, oatmeal, huevos rancheros and Belgian waffles, or visit for a variety of burgers, soups and salads at lunch and dinner. For dessert, order the peanut butter s’more tart or the Mexican chocolate mousse and you will not be disappointed.
Viga’s bar is beloved for its specialty drinks, such as the Chile Ristra Margarita with Don Julio Reposado, pineapple puree, chipotle and cilantro, and its full-page menu of tequilas. During warm weather, take your meal on the large flagstone patio surrounded by gardens and a large fireplace that adds warmth and ambience.
At The Staab House, sit in a leather high-back chair at the well-stocked antique bar, or find a leather easy chair in front of the fireplace. Light bar fare such as Wagyu beef sliders, burgers and calamari are served. You may also enjoy drinks in the nearby Rose Room with its stained glass and large dining table, or in the library with plush couches and fireplace. Throughout these original rooms of The Staab House, make note of the intricate wooden-inlay floor, high ceilings with molding, ornate mantels and other historic details. Contemporary artwork hangs throughout these rooms as well and is offered for sale.
The 5,000-square-foot Spa Sage at La Posada has eight treatment rooms and a salon. You’ll find a diverse range of treatments using local ingredients, including the Santa Fe Chocolate Chile Wrap — Chimayo red chile, chocolate, marine algae and body butter are used to hydrate skin. Men and women’s locker rooms each have saunas, and the relaxation room has subdued skylights and serves cucumber water and teas. Weekend yoga classes are offered; enjoy the outdoor heated saltwater pool and hot tub year-round. The 24-hour fitness center has free weights, treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes.
La Posada de Santa Fe has an onsite curator for its $3 million contemporary art collection displayed in the original Staab House. Throughout the gardens, contemporary statuary, fountains and fire features provide a meditative walk to rooms. Lively weekly resort activities include Margarita Mondays, Tuesday s’mores at the patio fireplace and a Friday Chef’s Reception followed by a tour with La Posada’s art curator. The luxury hotel’s proximity to downtown Santa Fe allows you to stroll to many museums, sites and shopping, and complimentary shuttle service within two miles of the resort is available.