The City Different offers a broad range of accommodations. From downtown hotels to Cerrillos Road motels, ranch-style resorts to quaint bed-and-breakfasts, the standard is almost universally high, and usually so are the prices.
Accommodations are often booked solid through the summer months, the Christmas holiday, and Easter, and most places raise their prices accordingly. Rates increase even more during Indian Market, the third weekend of August, and with some properties, even for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in early October. During these periods, it’s essential to make reservations well in advance and to expect to pay premium. But this brings us to the other side of the coin: Those not particularly interested in Indian Market, the balloon fiesta, summer, or holiday events can save quite a bit by avoiding Santa Fe at these times. You’ll also miss the crowds and long lines at restaurants. Lowest rates are usually from November through March, except for Christmas, of course. Be sure to check hotel websites for seasonal discounts and packages.
No matter the season, discounts are often available to seniors, members of AAA, active and retired military, corporate employees, and others, especially at the chain motels.
A little-known way to obtain relatively inexpensive lodging is to bed down in what are usually called “camping cabins” at commercial campgrounds. You’ll usually need to bring your own linens and sometimes share the campground bathhouses, but these cabins can be very nice and are usually more affordable than traditional motels and hotels. See RV parks and campgrounds in our listings. A combined city-state tax of about 15.5% is added to every hotel bill in Santa Fe. And unless otherwise indicated, all recommended accommodations come with a private bathroom. Unless otherwise noted, parking is free.
Reservation Services — The best all-around reservation service in Santa Fe is the official Santa Fe website—www.santafe.org—where you can plunk in dates and other details, get a list of lodgings, locations, amenities, and rates, and in many cases, if you so choose you can book your room right there. It’s operated by the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau. Click on “Accommodations” at the top of the page, then choose the type of accommodation you want, such as hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, or campgrounds, and a large number of choices will pop up from which you can choose.
Downtown — Everything within the horseshoe-shaped Paseo de Peralta and east a few blocks along either side of the Santa Fe River is considered downtown Santa Fe. All these accommodations are within walking distance of the plaza.
The North Side — Within easy reach of the plaza, the north side encompasses the area that lies north of the loop of Paseo de Peralta.
The South Side — Santa Fe's major strip, Cerrillos Road, is US 85, the main route to and from Albuquerque and the I-25 freeway. It's about 5 1/4 miles from the plaza to the Santa Fe Place, which marks the southern boundary of the city. Most motels are on this strip, although several of them are to the east, closer to St. Francis Drive (US 84) or the Las Vegas Highway.
Bed & Breakfasts
If you prefer a homey, intimate setting to the sometimes impersonal ambience of a large hotel, one of Santa Fe’s bed-and-breakfast inns may be right for you. All those listed here are in or close to the downtown area and offer comfortable accommodations at moderate to expensive rates. We have also found that B&B owners and staff are among the best people to ask for recommendations for restaurants and things to see and do.
RV Parks & Campgrounds
There are several commercial RV parks plus camping in a state park and the nearby national forest for RVers and tenters visiting Santa Fe. For the commercial campgrounds, rates vary by type of site and season, with the highest rates usually from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend and even higher during special events. Be sure to book ahead at busy times. All of the campgrounds and RV parks listed here accept pets in the campsites, and the commercial campgrounds have specific dog-walking areas.
Chain Motels in Santa Fe
In Santa Fe, you’ll find a handy string of chain motels along Cerrillos Road, offering a decent alternative to the city’s more expensive hotels if you want to save a few bucks. Although you won't be as close to Santa Fe Plaza as you might like, Santa Fe just isn't that big, so nothing's really all that far away. Note that the lower street numbers on Cerrillos Road—say, in the hundreds—are closer to the downtown attractions than the higher numbers, in the thousands, which are down at the south end of Cerrillos, near where it meets I-25.
We're fans of the La Quinta chain, now part of the Wyndham family, in part because La Quintas generally accept pets with no extra charge—not to be confused with the $75 per night pet fee you'll pay at some downtown properties—but also because we have found these facilities to be clean, generally well-maintained, and a good value. Here the La Quinta by Wyndham ★★ is an especially attractive property. It's located at 4298 Cerrillos Rd. (www.lq.com or www.wyndhamhotels.com; tel. 800/753-3757 or 505/471-1142), offers free Wi-Fi and all the usual amenities, with winter rates of $69 to $79 double and summer rates of $85 to $140 double.
Other popular chains include the Santa Fe Courtyard by Marriott ★★, 3347 Cerrillos Rd. (www.santafecourtyard.com; tel. 505/473-2800), offering winter rates of $87 to $129 double and summer rates of $126 to $140 double; and Super 8 by Wyndham Santa Fe ★, 3358 Cerrillos Rd. (www.super8.com or www.wyndhamhotels.com; tel. 800/454-3213 or 505/471-8811), with year-round rates of $50 to $70 double. A Comfort Inn ★ is located at 4312 Cerrillos Rd. (www.comfortinn.com or www.choicehotels.com; tel. 877/424-6423 or 505/474-7330) with winter rates of $62 to $78 and summer rates from $96 to $120.
There's a Motel 6 ★ at 646 Cerrillos Rd. (www.motel6.com; tel. 800/899-9841 or 505/982-3551), with rates from $55 to $80 double; and another Motel 6 ★ at 3695 Cerrillos Rd. (www.motel6.com; tel. 800/899-9841 or 505/471-4140), with rates from $50 to $60 double.
Downtown Santa Fe Accommodations
With Santa Fe Plaza at the center, everything within the horseshoe-shaped Paseo de Peralta, along Canyon Road, and in and near the Railyard is considered downtown Santa Fe for the purposes of this section.
Accommodations & Dining on Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe’s main artery from downtown south to I-25 and Albuquerque is Cerrillos Road, NM 14. Once the main route to and from Albuquerque, NM 14 becomes very scenic south of I-25, as it skirts the mountains on the east. North of I-25, however, it’s a commercial strip with lots of chain hotel and fast-food options. It’s about 5 1/4 miles from the plaza to the Santa Fe mall at the corner of Cerrillos and Rodeo roads, which marks the southern boundary of the city. Most motels are on this strip, although several of them are to the east, closer to St. Francis Drive (US 84) or the Las Vegas Highway.
El Rey Court—Covered picnic tables in a nicely landscaped courtyard set back from the street, plus an outdoor pool, make this a nice place for families to commune in summer.
Santa Fe Sage Inn—With its fenced-in pool and reasonable prices, this is a good spot for families.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.