A landmark of the Santa Fe Skyline, The Inn and Spa at Loretto offers guests an authentic southwest experience at the highest quality possible.

By Carly Scholl

Photography by Steve Thornton

Rising up into the turquoise blue skies, in the heart of historical downtown Santa Fe,  the Inn and Spa at Loretto has earned its place as an architectural and cultural landmark of  The City Different.  Located at the crossroads of the Old Santa Fe Trail and historic Route 66, every detail and accommodation at the Inn blends harmoniously to connect guests to the city’s unique past, while making their present as luxurious and authentic as possible.

I arrived at the award-winning Inn and Spa at Loretto on a crisp fall morning,  greeted by the iconic pueblo façade towering above the quaint Santa Fe streets. Immediately, I understood why this structure is one of the most photographed in the state.  The enchantment continued inside the lobby, where every décor item had been curated to reflect the intersecting Spanish, Native American, Mexican, and Anglo cultures which so distinctly define Santa Fe.

I had barely begun to scratch the surface of all the Inn has to offer when it was time for my spa treatment.  The Spa at Loretto is one of only two spas in the U.S. that offer the OxyGeneo Facial, and I had the good fortune to experience this advanced, high-tech facial—designed to deliver visible results after just a single treatment. Despite the technical gizmos and gadgets used to smooth away sun damage and restore hydration to my skin, the atmosphere of the spa was completely tranquil and utterly serene. 

One of the undeniable highlights of the Inn is its location within the city.  Right up the street, well within walking distance,  you’ll find Canyon Road—an art lover’s paradise.  A trip around the corner will land you in the heart of the historic Plaza, lined with boutiques and shops.  Meander just a bit past the Plaza, and you’ll encounter the stately Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi,  often bathed in sunlight and surrounded by blossoming flowers.  And, it just so happens one of Santa Fe’s most famous sights is located adjacent to the Inn and is, in fact,  the source of Inn’s name—the Loretto Chapel.  Inside this small Gothic chapel, you’ll find Parisian stained-glass windows, locally-quarried stone, and the world famous “miraculous staircase,”  a spruce spiral staircase built by an unknown carpenter without the use of nails or any visible means of support.  It must be seen to be believed.

If you find yourself in this beautiful city,  you’re probably already aware that Santa Fe boasts many restaurants serving the finest examples of American Southwest cuisine.  Venture just outside the Inn’s door and you’ll stumble upon some of the city’s finest dining, but why bother leaving when you can enjoy the magical ambience and unparalleled gourmet delights at the Loretto’s very own Luminaria Restaurant and Patio?  Enjoy Chef Marc Quiñones’ blue corn encrusted chile relleno by the light of the flickering kiva fireplace on the patio overlooking the Loretto Chapel, or take your crispy pork belly mac and cheese inside in the Anasazi-inspired dining room.

If you’re searching for a genuine experience of Santa Fe, the Inn and Spa at Loretto will go above and beyond to provide just that. From exceptional service and luxurious accommodations, to the impressive attention to detail honoring the cultures and people who originally made Santa Fe such a unique crossroads, the Inn not only embodies the most important aspects of the city, but adds to its value as an unparalleled cultural and leisure destination.

Visit destinationhotels.com/inn-at-loretto.