Santa Fe's Diverse Bed and Breakfasts Await Travelers

Photo courtesy of The Bobcat Inn
Photo courtesy of Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast
Photo courtesy of Antigua Inn
Photo courtesy of Ravens Ridge
Photo courtesy of Four Kachinas Inn
Photo courtesy of El Paradero
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins
Photo courtesy of The Madeleine
Photo courtesy of El Farolito
By Billie Frank, Santa Fe Local Expert

Are you a bed and breakfast person? Santa Fe has a selection for you to choose from including ones close to the Plaza. There are even options out in the country if you prefer getting out of the hustle and bustle of town. As many bed and breakfasts occupy former homes, rooms will differ greatly. Some of these small, intimate lodgings are luxurious, some more basic and some are in-between. One of the pluses of small properties is that the person who answers the phone when you call knows the property well. With the right qualifying questions you can make sure it’s the right place for you. What’s important to you? Whether the number of rooms, room size, quality of the WiFi, closet space, view, breakfast, afternoon reception, bathroom size and amenities, location, outdoor space or even a place you can bring your dog, make sure to ask. Each bed and breakfast has a unique ambiance and character. They don’t all work for every guest. Just read the range of reviews online. One person’s paradise is another’s hell. Also, make sure to ask about the cancellation policy and payment methods accepted. Armed with answers to all of your concerns, you can choose the Santa Fe bed and breakfast that’s best for you. Want something bigger than a B & B that includes breakfast and is staffed 24-hours a day? Check out the luxe Inn of the Five Graces, the unique Las Palomas or the value-added Inn of the Governors.

10. Bobcat Inn Bed and Breakfast
Photo courtesy of The Bobcat Inn

The Bobcat Inn got its name from the wild cats that used to roam the land there. Amy Bobrick who owns the inn with her husband John, says they've only seen two during the 13 years they've lived on the property. They opened their seven-bedroom inn, located about 15 minutes from the Santa Fe Plaza, in 2002. The inn offers easy access to Santa Fe coupled with a quiet country retreat and great views. Breakfast is served buffet-style in the great room, though Amy says that in warmer weather most guests opt to eat on the patio. There is always a selection of fresh fruit, granola, yogurt and assorted breads as well as a hot entrée that changes daily. Afternoons bring house-baked cookies and tea. Like the food? You can buy a copy of Amy's cookbook to take home with you. The dark night sky provides great stargazing opportunities.

9. Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast
Photo courtesy of Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast

Casa Escondida is in a former home turned bed and breakfast in 1997. Located in Chimayó, about 40 minutes from the Santa Fe Plaza, it's a great location for people wanting a central place as a base while exploring Northern New Mexico. Ohio transplant Belinda Bowling bought the property in 2001. She was looking for something rural yet with access to Santa Fe and other popular local destinations. According to Bowling, they offer guests an authentic Northern New Mexican ambiance where with "a completely TV-free environment, where they can truly disconnect from the chaos and reconnect with each other." Bowling says the bed linens are so luxurious guests often buy a set to take home. Breakfasts alternate between "sweet breakfasts" that might offer banana nut waffles, lemon-blueberry pancakes or baked orange-cinnamon French toast and "egg breakfasts." Some of the egg options are green chile soufflé, eggs Florentine or Spanish eggs.

8. Antigua Inn
Photo courtesy of Antigua Inn

The Antigua Inn is tucked away on a quiet alley off Santa Fe's Paseo de Peralta. The building, part of Santa Fe's Downtown Historic District, dates to 1906. This cozy, former home turned B & B features hardwood floors, hand-carved furniture and doors as well as stained glass windows and tinwork designed by inn owner Randy Taishoff. The five rooms range in size from the 250 square feet Mariposa Room to the spacious 440 square feet Pueblo Room. In cold weather, guests can gather around the wood burning kiva fireplace in the communal dining room. There's also an outdoor kiva on the patio. Always on the organic breakfast menu: eggs any style with applewood smoked bacon. There's also a "Traditional Santa Fe" item offered each day such as huevos rancheros or blue corn piñon pancakes with sausage as well as juices and coffees including lattes and cappuccino.

7. Ravens Ridge
Photo courtesy of Ravens Ridge

Phyllis and Judge Johnson bought the property that became Raven's Ridge Bed & Breakfast in 1995. They spent 10 years remodeling the house and adding lush gardens and koi ponds. The result: a welcoming country retreat about a 10-minute drive from the Santa Fe Plaza. Phyllis calls their decorating style "eclectic Southwest Style with crisp contemporary accents throughout." The three accommodations here vary greatly. The Garden room at 275 square feet is the smallest, the one-bedroom Casita with separate kitchen is the largest. Want to stargaze from bed? Book the 390 square foot Starlight room which also offers a kiva fireplace. Breakfast starts with fresh-squeezed orange juice and a selection of fresh fruit followed by a hot entrée which varies from day to day. It might be a peach salsa omelet with chili jelly and homemade mole or oatmeal pancakes. There are fresh-baked cookies every afternoon.

6. Four Kachinas Bed & Breakfast Inn
Photo courtesy of Four Kachinas Inn

Four Kachinas, in the historic South Capital district, is owned by the same duo that owns El Farolito. The inn, opened in 1991, offers six guest rooms. Two, with a sitting room between, can be turned into a suite. Owner Walt Wyss calls the decorating style "comfortable Santa Fe with references to Santa Fe's Native American, Spanish, Mexican and western heritage." Guests are welcome to use the inn's living room and library, stocked with reading matter and guide books, at all hours of the day and night. Breakfast, like that at its sister property, offers a buffet laden with fresh fruit, home-baked goodies, cereals, breads, yogurts as well as coffee and tea. The daily hot entry might be a savory option such as quiche, frittata or strata, or a "sweet entrée" such as baked French toast. Afternoons and evenings guests can help themselves to cookies and hot or cold drinks.

5. Inn Of The Turquoise Bear

The Inn of the Turquoise Bear has a rich history. The former home of noted American poet Witter Bynner became a bed and breakfast in 1996. Current owners Dan Clark and David Solem purchased it in April 2014. Dan is the innkeeper, while David maintains a psychotherapy practice. The historic house set on an acre and surrounded by towering Ponderosa pines, rock terraces and lush gardens, is just a short walk from downtown Santa Fe. The inn, decorated in traditional Northern New Mexico style, offers 10 bedrooms, all but one with a wood burning fireplace. The Witter Bynner Room, can be turned into a two-room suite. Breakfast combines buffet continental offerings including cereals, breads, house-baked goods, fresh seasonal fruit, yogurt, and juice. In addition, there's also a "multi-course gourmet plated breakfast" served daily. Don't like the plated entrée? They'll whip up eggs, any style, for you.

4. El Paradero Bed & Breakfast Inn
Photo courtesy of El Paradero

El Paradero has been a bed and breakfast since the mid 1980s. Current owners Sue and Paul Elliott took over in 2007. The 200-year old building, listed on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties, has been extensively updated and redecorated. Paul, a Director of Photography for films and television (he shot a season of the popular "House of Cards"), is away a lot. The inn, he says, "is Sue's baby." Décor. a mix of the southwest and Mexico, was influenced by their love for San Miguel de Allende. Cooked to order breakfast will differ daily with offerings such as Huevos Rancheros or Santa Fe Eggs Benedict with chipotle hollandaise sauce. They also offer daily tea which features house-baked goodies such as flourless chocolate cake, chocolate chili cherry brownies or Santa Fe chocolate pecan pie accompanied by a tea selection from around the world.

3. Casa Cuma Bed & Breakfast
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins

Casa Cuma has been a bed and breakfast in 1984. Current owners Shaan Minhas and Colleen Davidson, refugees from careers at Fortune 500 companies, acquired it in 2006. The couple had no previous hospitality experience but Shaan says, "After raising seven children, a B&B felt like a walk in the park." The inn offers a variety of accommodations: three guest rooms, one suite, two casitas and a two-bedroom house with views of the Jemez Mountains. Want to cozy up to a fire? Three rooms have kiva fireplaces as does the communal breakfast room, a cozy place in winter. In summer, guests mostly prefer dining on the patio. Breakfast starts with juice, followed by fresh fruit and then, a hot dish from Colleen's huge repertoire which includes Dutch Apple Pancakes, breakfast Burrito or Challah French Toast. Shaan says if you stay a month, you won't find a dish repeated.

2. The Madeleine and Hacienda Nicholas
Photo courtesy of The Madeleine

The Madeleine and its sister property Hacienda Nicholas sit across from each other on Faith Way. While both are owned by innkeeper Carolyn Lee, each has its own distinct character. If your taste runs to the southwestern, opt for Hacienda Nicholas set in a historic adobe hacienda. Want a more formal setting? Choose The Madeleine, a Queen Anne Victorian (one of only two in New Mexico). Its simple yet elegant décor is accented by period pieces as well as Balinese artwork. What they share in common: good service, daily breakfast served at the Nicholas and comfortable beds. Lee says her staff, all longtime Santa Fe residents, "takes great delight in helping guests find the perfect activities for their stay, along with the best restaurants for their tastes." Breakfast includes a buffet as well as a plated hot dish of the day. There's also a daily afternoon wine and cheese reception.

1. El Farolito Bed & Breakfast Inn
Photo courtesy of El Farolito

El Farolito, just south of downtown Santa Fe, is walking distance to downtown shops, museums and restaurants. Current owners Walt Wyss and Wayne Mainus who've owned the inn sice 1997 also own and run the Four Kachinas, another B & B. Wyss calls the décor at the historic compound offering seven guestrooms and one suite, "Santa Fe heritage.' It's an amalgam of styles relevant to the city's history including Native American, Spanish Colonial and Mexican. Seven of the bedrooms have wood burning kiva fireplaces and there are two more in the common rooms. Breakfast offers a plated entrée. Their repertoire includes quiches, stratas, frittatas, lox Benedict or perhaps Southwest-influenced dish with a bit of chile. In addition, there's a cold buffet with a range of foods including juices, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt and house-baked treats. When the inn is busy, the entire breakfast is served buffet-style.