Just one block south of the Plaza, this stately three-story hotel retains its historic 1924 California Mission Revival design but has been given a modern flair. It's also home to a charming restaurant and two of the most acclaimed spots for drinks in town, all of them connected by a striking lobby illuminated by candlelight.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Guest rooms and, especially, bathrooms in this vintage property tend toward the cozy side.
The simple, elegant rooms with high ceilings and casement windows have rustic Mexician furnishings and beautiful, custom linens. Polished hardwood floors, white walls, and soft lighting create an unfussy, streamlined look.
Compact bathrooms featuring original tile floors, stone accents, lantern-style lamps, and pedestal sinks are attractive if in some cases a bit cramped and lacking counter space. The hotel uses aromatic sweet grass–scented bath products from Native American–owned company, Sister Sky.
With expansive stone floors, plaster walls, Spanish Colonial religious art, and spare furnishings lit by massive pillar candles at night, the lobby feels a bit like a Tuscan monastery—the aesthetic is both old-fashioned and contemporary.
There's a very small, basic gym with a treadmill and weights.
Tabla de Los Santos is an inviting option for consistently good modern New Mexican cuisine using farm-to-table ingredients. In warm weather, you can sup in the brick courtyard patio anchored by a gurgling fountain.
The St. Francis is home to a pair of drinkeries of considerable acclaim. Just off the lobby, with seating both indoors and on outside on the covered portal facing the sidewalk, Secreto Lounge serves some of the best craft cocktails in Santa Fe, many of them infused with local herbs, fruits, and spirits. The complex, slightly spicy smoked-sage margarita is beloved by regulars. Just off the hotel lobby, award-winning New Mexico winery Gruet has a tasting room in which you can sample crisp sparkling wines.
Just a block from Santa Fe’s historic Plaza and steps from countless galleries and restaurants, the St. Francis has a prime location that's well-suited to getting around on foot. A car or Uber is handy for exploring other parts of town and attractions in the surrounding region.
Homey Cafe Pasqual's (5-minute walk) has long been one of Santa Fe's foodie favorites, known for organic, seasonal ingredients and creatively prepared modern Southwestern fare. It's open for three meals a day, and you can expect a wait for breakfast, especially on weekends. Venture over to Shohko Cafe (10-minute walk) for expertly prepared sushi, tempura, and ramen in a stately adobe-walled dining room.
The Draft Station (3-minute walk) serves a fine selection of New Mexico beers and ciders and has tables on a second-floor terrace overlooking the Plaza. Duck into the quirky Low 'n Slow Rider Bar (8-minute walk) to admire the vintage-car-themed artwork and memorabilia and enjoy a classic cocktail.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Historic yet with a California Mission style that's distinct from the usual look of vintage Santa Fe, the Hotel St. Francis wins us over with its tastefully streamlined design and fantastic location in the heart of the city's historic core. With two outstanding bars, it's also a favorite roost of cocktail and wine lovers.