The Inn of the Five Graces is probably my favorite hotel in the United States and I know that is saying a lot. The hotel is owned by Ira and Sylvia Seret who are interior designers and own a business that imports furniture, textiles, rugs and art pieces from the Middle East and Asia. Their design aesthetic for the hotel is U.S. Southwest meets Arabian Nights and the “Five Graces” are meant to represent the five senses. The hotel is located right in the middle of downtown Santa Fe and is about a 5 minute walk from the historic plaza and a 5 minute walk to the start of Canyon Road, which has all the art galleries. It’s housed in a group of historic adobe buildings dating back to the 1600’s and they have done such a wonderful job keeping the southwest charm of the buildings and courtyards intact. This is also a Relais & Chateaux property so the service is impeccable and very thoughtful. I also love that the hotel doesn’t nickel and dime you – valet parking is included, full made to order breakfast is included (and can even be served in-room), everything in the mini-bar is included and they deliver fresh made cookies daily!
As you pull up to the hotel on a quiet side street, you are first greeted by their statuary elephants.
As the hotel is groups of rooms situated in the original adobe buildings, they are connected via a series of beautifully decorated courtyards that have a variety of fountains and spots to lounge. In many ways, this hotel reminds of riads in Morocco that have multiple tiled courtyards and fountains, bringing a sense of peace and serenity.
The Inn has approximately 20 rooms, ranging from two and one bedroom suites to smaller king rooms. Every room regardless of size, has a wood burning fireplace and soaking tub with separate shower. We stayed in a one bedroom suite called Birdsong, which we have stayed in before. The room has a separate living room and bedroom and also features a small private courtyard off the bedroom. We love this room because its very quiet and the courtyard is perfect for morning coffee or evening wine. One thing to note is that this hotel is geared towards couples – I have never seen children at this hotel during our various visits. Their brochure says they accept children age 5 and up but they charge a $75 per day “extra person” fee for children so it’s obviously not child friendly. It mostly tends to be older couples here for an anniversary, birthday and some honeymooners.
Sylvia Seret is also a master of mosaics and she hand tiles each and every bathroom at the Inn. Each bathroom takes her 2 to 3 months to hand tile and she creates a different theme or image for each room. Birdsong has one of the smaller bathrooms (only one sink) so if you require double sinks, I would choose another one bedroom suite but we like the private patio of this room (most other rooms open onto shared courtyards). However, Birdsong still has a separate shower and soaking tub and the mosaics are equally beautiful.
The hotel’s courtyards are also comfortable with many seating options, including loungers and swings. On Friday evenings, the hotel hosts a complimentary wine and cheese event and you can also have your breakfast served in the courtyard, your room or in their private dining room. The weather in Santa Fe is sunny and comfortable most of the year (winter does get snow and very cold temperatures) but you can enjoy these courtyards most of the year. They also have patio heaters if it gets a little chilly in the evenings.
The hotel doesn’t have a full service restaurant but it does offer a full complimentary breakfast each morning. This is no buffet, either. It’s all made to order and has some local specialties, including blue corn pancakes and huevos rancheros made with New Mexico chiles. They also have a partnership with a small French restaurant across the street and you can order from their menu and they will deliver right to your hotel room door, so that’s a great option for a cold winter night. There is also a great little pizza place around the corner that will also deliver to your room.
The hotel is building a spa area right now, which should be done by the end of the year. They have always had the option of in-room massages or had a single treatment room available for massages but they never had a “proper” spa. The new spa should have a relaxation area and multiple treatment rooms with an expanded spa menu so that will be a welcome addition! The hotel also offers several package deals that may include tours of the area, hot air ballooning, spa treatments, etc…., so be sure to check those out on the webpage. Overall, I love the unique features of this hotel, including the design and the decor, and all the lovely personal touches and service make this one of my favorite hotels. I highly recommend a stay at the Inn of the Five Graces.