Having never been to Santa Fe, what I knew about it came from a song from the Disney movie and musical Newsies, about escaping New York and moving out West to Santa Fe, aptly titled “Santa Fe”—a worthy endorsement that hit a little too close to home, in my opinion. Invited by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, I set up my headquarters at their New Mexico resort, the Inn at the Anasazi. Here, I was able to relax, regroup, and plan to squeeze in every part of Santa Fe into a two-day period.
The city informs the hotel’s design; with its recent renovation by Wilson Associates. Beautiful artwork that adorns the walls (all from local artists) mixes with the strong masculine aesthetic—think leather chairs in the lobby, ornate wood doors (also art), and bright colors. The darker vibe that inhabits the public spaces is erased in the guestrooms where bright, light, and airy are fixtures. Each guestroom includes a fireplace, sitting area, white bed linens accented with Southwestern-style pillows, as well as local additions, from pottery on the mantel to popcorn from a local company.
The first thing you’ll learn about Santa Fe, even before you explore the plaza or trek up to artist’s enclave Canyon Road, is that its identity is ingrained in every corner, every restaurant, every person you meet on the street. And choose your chiles carefully—true Santa Feans go with green and red, Christmas, as they call it.
Indeed, it’s rare in the U.S. to find a city whose culture and past still define it, creating a richness, nuance, and authenticity pervasive in its character. It was apparent that what drives people to Santa Fe is not so much what goes on within hotel walls but what’s outside of them.
Walk along the plaza and see local artists selling their wares—all sterling silver necklaces with turquoise embellishments. Pass art gallery upon art gallery until you stumble upon an art fair in a parking lot. Enter the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and be engulfed by her artwork (or watch a live feed of her still thriving garden). That’s all just within Santa Fe proper. Outside of the main plaza, the idyllic West connects to nature once again with rolling hills that punctuate the skyline.
Upon my arrival to the Inn, the staff, who planned my visit, including my amazing dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and multiple museum passes, encouraged me to explore. They hotel offers a sense of place, they agreed, but was only an amuse–bouche of what Santa Fe really inspires. Now, I need to go back and invest in a pair of cowboy boots.