Santa Fe has vast array of lodgings, ranging from ultra luxurious and very expensive to basic and cheap. In this chapter we’ve presented a cross-section of the area’s hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, and vacation rentals in three geographic categories: downtown, which is usually most desirable because of its proximity to the historic districts and the Plaza; Cerrillos Road and environs, which encompass a 6-mile-long commercial (and rather soulless and hotel chain-heavy) strip that runs south from downtown Santa Fe directly into the beautiful Turquoise Trail; and the county, which takes in rural areas both north and south of town. Perhaps the single most important warning for visitors to Santa Fe is this: Make your reservations well in advance if you plan to be here during peak times—primarily in summertime and throughout the ski season—when rooms, especially on weekends, are at or near capacity. Lodgings often are booked up to a year in advance for Indian Market (see our Annual Events and Festivals chapter) in late August and during Christmas—a very special time in Santa Fe, when the nights glow from thousands of farolitos burning on balconies and rooftops, driveways and pathways, throughout the city. These times can, and usually do, command higher prices than the rest of the years. Some hotels divide the year up into as many as a half-dozen seasons, when prices on single rooms can fluctuate by as much as $50.
While pricing can be tricky in Santa Fe—rooms range anywhere from $55 a night at the far end of Cerrillos to $1,500 for a grand suite downtown—the general rule is, the closer you are to the Plaza, the more you’ll pay. You’ll find most lodgings fall in the $80 to $180 range, and many offer discounts for extended stays. Prices quoted do not include taxes. Within the city limits, be prepared to pay 8.0625 percent in gross receipts taxes and a 7 percent lodgers tax. In the county, the lodgers tax is only 4 percent and the gross receipts tax is 6.3125 percent.
Most lodgings pay tribute to Santa Fe style, even if only by the pattern and colors of the bedspread. For descriptions of the Santa Fe-style embellishments you’re likely to encounter in our lodgings—kivas, vigas, latillas, and nichos, for example—refer to our Santa Fe Style Close-up in the Relocation chapter. If you’re bringing your laptop, confirm that in-room phones have dataports or are modem-friendly. High-speed or wireless Internet (WiFi) access is usually available; there’s often a hefty charge for in-room Internet access in high-end hotels but you will often be able to get free wireless access in the lobby or at a nearby coffee shop. Flat-screen LCD TVs are becoming more ubiquitous in rooms; all have cable and many have satellite channel lineups. Many also have DVD/VCR players—especially suites, where both DVD/VCR players and CD players are standard issue. With very few exceptions, establishments listed in this section accept most major credit cards. Even if you loathe using plastic, you’d be well-advised to guarantee your reservation with a credit card during peak season. Also be sure to check on cancellation policies, minimum stays, and surcharges, especially for heavily trafficked weekends like the Indian and Spanish Markets or the opening week of the Santa Fe Opera.
Check with the individual establishment for its policies regarding children and additional charges if you bring them. Most inns add $15 or $20 per night for an extra person in the room. Also, be aware that some bed-and-breakfasts require a two-night stay on weekends, though that rule is usually flexible off-season. The City of Santa Fe has passed a law banning smoking in and around public institutions, restaurants, and bars in Santa Fe, and 80 percent of hotel rooms are now required to be designated nonsmoking. As a result, most Santa Fe hotels are now entirely smoke free. One last caveat: although Santa Feans are mad about their dogs, most lodgings do not allow pets (exceptions are noted in the listings here). On the other hand, you may find pets with the run of the house at a number of small bed-and-breakfasts (often mentioned on the Web site). Inquire before booking.