I’ve stayed at about ten Four Seasons properties over the years — see the write up on one of my most memorable stays at the Four Seasons on the Big Island of Hawaii. Despite the fact that each resort is unique and has a broad range of styles, fans know what to expect regardless of where they are in the world.
Recently, I had an opportunity to stay at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe, which is less than a half hour drive north of Santa Fe New Mexico. Because the resort is outside the city center, it has a rural desert feel to it as you approach its entrance and unlike every other Four Seasons resort I’ve experienced, it’s uncannily quiet when you arrive.
The rooms and suites are spread out across adobe-style two story buildings all of which have a natural exterior, allowing them to blend well into the desert-colored environment that surrounds the property. If you want a view, I’d recommend requesting a room on the second floor facing the mountains – the other benefit of course is that second floor rooms are much quieter, although noise is not really a problem here given its more rural location.
The 65 casita guest rooms are decorated with chic, contemporary Southwest flair and start out at a generous 630 square feet, each one with an indoor fireplace and private patio or terrace with stunning views. We had a patio casita although they also offer suites, including one called a “sunset suite.”
Those not familiar with desert climates, know that it can feel warm during the day when the sun is at its strongest and after it sets, temperatures can go down into the teens, making it important to layer. This holds true when staying at this resort as well – even though the buildings themselves are all a short walk from the main reception, which houses the bar and restaurant, you’ll want to be prepared for the brisk walk back to your room, especially late at night. Wine alone will not warm you through, so pack accordingly. Note that this is mostly an issue during the cooler months of the year.
Our room, which was a patio casita, had an adobe fireplace and a simple phone call will get it started for you – ours lasted for a few hours and was mesmerizing and relaxing especially after a longish drive the previous day.
The co-ed hot tub stays open until around 10 pm so you can use it before and after dinner depending on your schedule. There’s also female and male only hot tubs on the property, which are accessible through the main spa building, which is a stone’s throw from the reception area and easily walkable.
Here you can also book a private lounge, which gives you access to a secluded area that has a hot tub, a luxury double lounge chair and a sauna, a great romantic option, whether it’s for an anniversary, no particular reason at all or the upcoming Valentine’s Day Weekend.
Four Seasons is offering a $250 gift card (#FSGiftCard on Social Media) for the upcoming romantic holiday, although it can be used after February 14 if that weekend getaway doesn’t work for you. The gift cards can be used towards overnight stays, dining experiences, luxury spa treatments and more. For a chance to win, comment below with what you would do and/or where you would go with a Four Seasons gift card and you can also reach out via our Facebook page or Twitter.
We had a similar such experience in Santa Fe, starting with a couple’s massage which was a delight! I personally think all couples should do this periodically as it’s a great way to relax and share a l’il pampering and luxury together.
After your couple’s massage which is in a room with two massage tables and a burning fireplace, you can access the private circular lounge area, which is right outside the massage room and houses a hot tub, chairs, and of course, access to the wooden sauna. It’s a great option for those who truly want privacy and solitude time.
In addition to the adobe fireplaces in your rooms, there are outside patios with lounge chairs, which is a great spot to take in the nearby mountain views. There’s also an elegant but funky wood table, which is carved unevenly all the way around, giving the furniture a rustic yet modern look.
The bathroom offers massive sized showers, a separate deep soaking tub, a double sink and vanity area and radiant heated floors which are always on. The bathroom is separated by the bedroom via an entryway with tiled floors, and includes a refrigerator, a coffee pot, and a selection of liquor to choose from should you want a pre-dinner drink or a late nightcap.
What’s nice about the property is its seclusion, which for couples wanting to get away from “it all,” is a compelling feature.
The hotel restaurant Terra has a modern styled dining room with a lovely open gas fireplace that sits below a large glossy painting of a horse’s head. Both fireplace and horse are engulfed by an open-facing wine cellar, the combo of which is truly unique.
Truth be told, we were there doing a restaurant review although not paid to do one nor told how to write it. Because of this, we naturally took more time with our waiter and the sous chef Ruben Tanuz, who came out a few times throughout our meal to see how we were enjoying it and to answer any questions. Of course, I always have questions.
New Mexican-born Tanuz is not only a great chef, but has a warm and kind heart and personality and also has a unique personal story! We learned about herbs, spices and tweaks to recipes as well renowned dishes he has used over the years to keep flavors a little more interesting.
I was personally thrilled to see both Silverado and Opus on the wine menu and despite the fact that we went with a chicken and lighter pork dish, we dove into a California Cabernet rather than a Pinot which may have gone better with both. It was one of those nights…
The food was exquisite. Even if you’re not a salad lover, I’d recommend starting with one of their mainstays even if you order another appetizer. The roasted pear salad frisee with arugula, endive, cranberries, pomegranates with a bleu cheese hazelnut vinaigrette and their beet and goat cheese salad with figs, candied pecans served with a balsamic reduction is out of this world.
For entrees, we tried the black truffle chicken with sweet potato croquettes, wilted greens and a chicken jus as well as the grilled venison loin, served with poached pears, blackberries, crispy kale and a chocolate sauce.
And, of course, you wouldn’t sign up for a Four Seasons unless you weren’t into a little decadence after all. How about this double chocolate creation for dessert? It was divine.
If you’re after a little peace and quiet, then the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado property is a great “getaway” choice and as avid travelers know, there are easy flights in and out of both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
What’s nice is that the property is under those wide open skies New Mexico is known for and if you’re a nature lover and there on a Saturday, you can take a hike with outdoor expert Hans Loehr who’s available to introduce you to Santa Fe’s nearby stunning scenery.
For those who have experienced the more traditional Four Seasons resorts and may expect bellmen with hats and coats or seasoned staff who have been in the hospitality industry for decades to cater to your every wish, even before you anticipate them, note that this more classic approach isn’t something you’ll find at the Santa Fe location, as it has a bit more of that western laid back look, feel and flavor to it.
Those interested in taking advantage of the Santa Fe Four Seasons gift card (#FSGiftCard), can visit this page for more information.
Details on the Santa Fe Four Seasons:
Four Seasons Rancho Encantado
198 State Road 592
Santa Fe, NM 87506
Disclosure: we were hosted by the property but not paid to write the article or coached on what to say in the write-up, except for providing the details on how readers can redeem the #FSGiftCard promotion.