Santa Fe at Christmas: Much to tell

If truth be told, I was inspired to start this blog in Santa Fe in October 2008.  Since that time we have made two trips to Taos (another favorite), but we have not made it back to Santa Fe.  We always feel refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated after each trip to the “Land of Enchantment.”   We needed to experience all this again.

We decided early on that we were going to plan a Christmas trip to Santa Fe this year as a gift to us both (and a much  needed “get-away-from-it-all!”)  We prepared our  families not to expect us for the holidays (or expect to find us at  home!).   It is the first time we have spent the holidays alone with just the two of us.   This was absolutely one of the best and relaxing trips (and holidays) we have had.

I hope you can bear with me over the next week as I highlight our trip.

I first have to praise our hotel.  The Inn on the Alameda was one of the best experiences of the entire trip.  This small hotel is in the perfect location.  Walk out of the parking lot, take a few steps and turn left—you find yourself on Canyon Road.  Take a few steps and turn right, cut through the parking lot of the Cathedral of St. Francis and you are on the Plaza.  For our standards, this hotel was a bit pricey—especially for a five night stay—but for Santa Fe standards, it was very reasonable, especially if you figure in all the perks.

  1. Parking:  This Inn is in the center of it all.   We did not have to try to find a place to park at the Plaza or Canyon Road. Parking is difficult to find and sometimes expensive.  We did not have to mess with that hassle.  We simply walked most everywhere.
  2. Breakfasts:  I know, I know.  You have heard of free breakfasts at hotels before—those breakfasts where there is a family of 12 taking over the “breakfast nook” and where a fist fight breaks out over who is next in line for the waffle machine.  This was not that kind of place.  The Inn provided us with a full blown breakfast each morning until 11:00!   This was some great food and this list is only a sampling of what was available:
    Pumpkin Granola with Flax Seeds (and lots of organic yogurt to accompany it).

    Green Chile Quiche
    Ham and Cheese Frittatas (that were at least two and a half inches high)
    Stuffed Croissants (again with green chiles)
    A delectable dried apricot cookie bar/crisp concoction
    Vegan muffins
    Gluten-free options
    Fresh fruit
    Excellent coffee
    Tazo teas
    Excellent staff

    This is obviously not my “talented” shooting. I took this off the Inn’s website and need to give them FULL credit for these pictures. (As well as giving them much cudos for the fantastic spread every morning!)

  3. Cocktail hour:    From 4-5 every afternoon, the Inn provides free wine, beer, and a few cocktails to its guests.   There was always a cozy fire going in the two fire places, drinks were poured freely (and some mighty big pours too, I might add), and a few small appetizers were laid out (cheeses, olives, grapes, etc.).    Charlie hosted this hour and he could not have been any better.   A great conversationalist, he really tried to get to know you and remember faces and names.   Charlie was even cheerful on Christmas Eve as he was working on his birthday and shared birthday cake with all the guests.   We tried to make it back ever afternoon to relax a bit, recap our day, and plan the evening’s events.

So, with all these perks, the Inn was a pretty great value!   (On Christmas Eve we found a small box of Biscochitos on our bed as a small gift from the Inn.)

Our first night there, we checked in and made our way to the Plaza to view the lights and try to find something to eat.

St. Francis Cathedral Basilica at night.

Almost immediately after we passed the cathedral, we heard an old sounding alarm.   What to our wandering eyes did appear?   Santa zooming by on a vintage fire engine.

I should have switched over to video but he really caught us by surprise!

We stumbled in to the Ore House at Milagro for sustenance and a drink.   I hate to post a bad review, but our waiter kept disappearing.   Seriously, I had no idea where he was going?????????    The atmosphere was quite cozy and the food was just okay but the service was hideous.    If you try it, I hope you have better luck.

After dinner, we wandered around the plaza to look at lights.

Lights on the Plaza.

Even though it got to the upper forties, this ice-menorah was still standing when we left on the 28th.

Now remember, you must have the aroma of pinon wood fires in your head as you imagine these scenes.

I have lots more great foodie stories to tell, some recipes to try, some restaurant reviews (unfortunately a few more bad ones),  a couple of adventures, and some great shopping destinations to tell you about.

In the upcoming week, I plan to break up our Santa Fe stories into dining, drinking (brewery visits), destinations, and shopping.   To keep updated on all our Santa Fe adventures, please subscribe below:


8 comments to Santa Fe at Christmas: Much to tell

  • Christmas is a special time of the year in Santa Fe. We are so happy that you were able to spend it with us here at the Inn on the Alameda. Thank you for sharing your blog with us. We would love to see your feedback on the restaurants where you dined. It is always helpful for us for future guests. Happy New Year.

    • Eliot


      Thanks for your comments. We will be back! I have already personally recommended the Inn to one close friend. I will send you a link when I post about the restaurants. Again, thanks so much for making our Xmas extra special.

  • Hmmm, we have been trying to figure out where we will go for our anniversary vacation this year. We were thinking Myrtle Beach, but I’m going to look into Santa Fe now too! I love the sound of your hotel!

    • Eliot

      Just stay tuned. There’s a lot more to come as far as Santa Fe promotions go!

      And, even though the Inn commented below, this was a totally unbiased and unsolicited post! 🙂

  • Oh my…you should know that my most favorite meal to eat out is breakfast — so you can imagine what I thought of those offerings at the hotel!!!

    I enjoyed this start to the travelogue, and can’t wait to hear more about your time in Santa Fe.
    Hope you have an enjoyable New Year’s weekend 🙂

  • What a gorgeous Inn! My husband and I have always wanted to visit Santa Fe and you can bet that I will have your recommendations handy when we do. Glad you had a wonderful time. Happy New Year and all the best in 2012!

  • for some reason I have a sudden urge to go to Santa Fe. I love how you got biscochitos! They are one of my favorite cookies ever. I make a triple batch and freeze the dough so I can make them lickety split (I have a recipe on my site if you are interested). Glad you had such a good time and I look forward to hearing more.