The country’s oldest state capital in the southernmost Rocky Mountains offers much for the masses. But for the luxury traveler, Santa Fe has crafted exceptional accommodations, dining, spas and boutique shops.
Where to Stay
Near the Santa Fe Plaza, the two bedroom, 2,000-square-foot
Luminaria Villa at The Inn of the Five Graces ($2,500 per night year-round) is the nonpareils. The suite features sterling Southwest interior appointments like rich textiles, mosaic tile and carved wood sourced from master craftsmen around
About 10 miles from the historic plaza, the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado (suites from $600 in the fall, $1,800 in the summer) is set on a former rancho foothills property with separated adobe buildings for a semiprivate feel. The spa has 15 treatment rooms, including a private teepee. The Mountain Spirit Purification treatment ($300) is inspired by Native American reverence for the Earth, beginning with an air smudge using a smoking sage bundle to clear the negative energy and culminating with a juniper-sage massage using hot stones.
Where to Dine
The Compound, owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Mark Kiffin, features signature entrees like grilled Natural Reserve Angus beef tenderloin, with seared porcini mushrooms, potatoes O’Brien and foie gras hollandaise ($46). Not to be missed is Geronimo, voted one of the top 100 restaurants in the country by OpenTable. Diners can tuck into rustic, elegant dishes like duck foie gras in ginger-pear puree or Tellicherry pepper-rubbed elk tenderloin with roasted garlic fork-mashed potatoes, sugar snap peas, applewood-smoked bacon and creamy brandied-mushroom sauce ($42).
Where to Shop
For those seeking one-of-a-kind souvenirs, boutiques and galleries throughout the city offer the finest handmade goods and artwork. Shiprock Santa Fe specializes in historic Native American textiles—many from the 1880s—along with antique silver and turquoise jewelry and custom Native American designs from artists like Keri Ataumbi, a Kiowan who mixes diamonds and fine metals with shells and gemstones. Santa Fe Dry Goods, showcases jewelry designs and world-class fashions, including fine silk and cashmere scarves and designer apparel. And lest we forget, Santa Fe is also home to one of the last makers of handmade cowboy boots (from $1,000). Pick from one of 700 pairs on the floor or have them custom-make some kicks with your own personalized design before concluding your trip.