Exhilarating Santa Fe, New Mexico is a high-desert town in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, beloved equally for its art and architecture. Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, just a block off the main square, is the ideal place to position yourself for easy access to museums, historical sites, restaurants and shopping. Add to that the world-class hospitality synonymous with the Rosewood brand, and your itinerary practically writes itself.
I just had two days in this town I used to frequent 20 years ago, and my reunion with the place felt like reacquainting with an old friend. Unlike so many travel destinations in the world, Santa Fe has a timeless consistency — call it the crisp, piñón-laced air or just the vestigial serenity of its rootedness in history — whatever the reason, Santa Fe has a transcendent appeal that doesn’t fluctuate much with passing trends.
Despite the nearness of the Inn of the Anasazi to the square, once you enter its doors, you’re swept into a world of art, gracious hospitality, culturally significant cooking — a holistic kind of care of the traveler, whether you’re a perennial visitor or completely new to the scene.
The Inn is a special place to stay because of its deep attention to the possibilities for the quality of the time you’ll spend there. There are no wrong paths, but I particularly liked my own route through the offerings.
After checking into my (again, remarkably quiet) junior suite, with a balcony in afternoon dappled sunlight, I settled in for a Tequila tasting with expert Ray Mendea to get oriented in what is, arguably, the favorite local beverage. The experience was set up in the “living room,” a private area with a comfortable couch and a table already set when I arrived. Mendea took me through the nuances of a blanco, a reposado, and two anejo bottlings: Casa Dragones Blanco, Tres Generaciones Reposado, and Casa Noble Anejo — but the crown jewel in this tasting was the Inn’s own proprietary barrel of Código Anejo, which the team had unanimously chosen in a blind tasting. Mendea said that many guests first think it’s Calvados, or even Scotch, so elegant and multi-layered is this atypical bottle: dusky, balanced, gently fruit-toned with a whisper of elegant smoke. The tasting is served with a salmon carpaccio, but in the main restaurant, Mendea says it is often served with a chocolate dessert.
Feeling properly welcomed into town, I took a little stroll around the square to remember it, passing by Cafe Pasqual’s and Santacafe, making mental notes to see if these two old favorite haunts held up two decades later, though I actually never made it to either because I kept just following my nose, choosing to wander rather than to plan.
I spent an hour at the New Mexico History Museum — not enough time, by a long shot, but enough to see the current photography exhibit on the state’s hot springs, which was fodder for future trips and a fascinating historical lens through which to view this particular intersection of tourism and culture.
That evening, I had an exquisite bespoke dinner at the Inn, where Chef Daniel Hurtado presented five elegant courses, each paired with wine, my favorite of which was a perfectly cooked octopus appetizer.
I went to bed vowing never to eat again, but the breakfast menu is equally compelling, and my green chile chilaquiles reminded me why I was here: Once you taste the chiles of New Mexico, you understand that they are the desert-island ingredient that makes this style of Southwestern cooking live forever in memory as you long to return.
On day two, time was running out, and all I had done was eat. I had a plan to attend the first annual Santa Fe Literary Festival, of whose many highlights were a morning meditation and author talk by Roshi Joan Halifax and a conversation between U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and fiction writer Sandra Cisneros, three women who have contributed to the greater good through their various practices of peacemaking by way of language, among other skills. It was a well-curated event and a delightfully welcoming, un-snobby affair.
I was also able to visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, a destination for anyone interested in learning about the artist’s life and to experience firsthand her wide-ranging, iconic work.
Every night when I returned to my room, there was a treat: chocolate truffles one night, macarons another. And when it was time to check out, the housekeeping staff thoughtfully left a ziplock bag for any small liquids I needed to check on my flight.
Everything about my stay at Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi was restorative, from the relaxing, quiet, and luxuriously comfortable room to the gracious service at every turn. This is a place I will return to, again and again, for an experience of authentic Santa Fe.