When I got invited to stay at and review Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, my first thought was "finally!" and sheer delight. How many of you even knew there was a Four Seasons Hotel in New Mexico? I was raised in Albuquerque, a hop, skip, and a jump from the deeply spiritual land of Santa Fe. I've known about this hotel for several years now and have always wanted to stay there. It is interesting to note that I haven't had the best experiences with the Four Seasons brand ranging from locations from Los Angeles to Europe. I am happy to say that with this stay alone, Four Seasons totally redeemed themselves.
History / Location
Four Seasons Rancho Encantado was known as Rancho Del Monte (a dude ranch!) from 1932 until about 1968, when the new owners renamed it to Rancho Encantado. In 1998 it became an Auberge Resort and in 2012, Four Seasons scooped it up and reclaimed the Rancho Encantado name.
The actual location is not in Santa Fe but near the village of Tesuque, an enchanting 15 minute drive from the Santa Fe plaza. As you arrive, you will find yourself totally charmed by the peaceful, atmospheric and isolated setting --- this is New Mexico Luxury at its finest. The silence here is absolutely deafening. Nestled in the foothills of New Mexico, Rancho Encantado is a total oasis in NM's high desert, surrounded by juniper and abundantly blue skies. After all, Santa Fe ranks #2 as the city with the cleanest air in the world.
I drove in from Albuquerque so the trip up there was no more than an hour and a half. The drive was easy (though all uphill!) and enchanting, like I was entering a spiritual vortex. I was greeted by the friendliest valet. Parking at Rancho Encantado is surprisingly easy and stress free. You can park along the road and even park in the handicapped areas, given there is not a special event going on. Valet parking is free, too!
I was checked in by a cheery face, Danielle. She was new but I could tell was a natural at her job. I mean if I worked there, I would love every second! The hotel had me staying for 3 or 4 nights as I discovered a larger hold on my credit card. Gee, would I have loved that. Alas, I checked in for a night and proceeded to make my way to room 50, a standard room in a cozy casita.
Each of the 65 rooms on the property are housed in casitas, equipped with wood-burning fireplaces and terraces. The decor is wonderfully Southwest modern chic and really captures the style of Santa Fe. I was in a standard room (Patio Casita) and was blown away at how spacious it was. A standard room is totally sufficient. Samir, my exceptional valet, gave me a thorough room tour and was so sweet. That night, he left me a thank you and welcome note at my doorstep. I felt extremely taken care of and like family.
The bed was divinely plush and I loved the big office desk. My favorite feature of the room had to be the wood-burning fireplace and the terrace.
From Nada to Prada Tip: Call housekeeping to enjoy in-room s'mores using your fireplace. A fun Four Seasons amenity at that!
I also loved my furnished outdoor terrace. Overall, I was completely in love with the decor and layout of the room; it was elegant and indigenous
Regular readers know I am a sucker for baths and Rancho Encantado certainly did not disappoint in this department. I must have taken 3 baths because I loved it so much. I loved the heated floors and the bath products that hail from Italy, Ortigia, to reflect the brand of Four Seasons. Samir shared that the laundry and shoe bag in the closet were for the guests to take home. I think that is such a lovely touch of the brand as people generally steal them, unfortunately. At Four Seasons Ranch Encantado, you never have to give it a thought.
The mini bar supply was great and I loved that they leave out a pod of sleepy time tea as part of turn down service. As usual, a fresh glass bottle of water and slippers were placed bedside.
I was impressed to find my USB cords neatly wrapped in a Four Seasons design cord strap. Definitely a great thing to travel with!
Check out the room tour I did upon check in:
Pool with stunning mountain views
Restaurant + Bar
Fitness center + yoga/pilates studio
Spa + Sauna + Steam room
Complimentary shuttle downtown every hour
Adventure Center - here you can create custom hikes, mountain biking, and cultural tours (I recommend the Georgia O'Keeffe museum). There is a free desert hike everyday
I absolutely adored my dining experience at Terra, the hotel's restaurant. I would say the cuisine is contemporary Southwestern with a zing of other exotic tastes, as the Executive Chef, Kai Autenrieth, commands an international palate. For my meal that night, I mixed it up a bit. I ordered from the restaurant menu AND the bar menu (honestly, I wanted EVERYTHING on the menu so this was a good compromise). The interior of the restaurant was simply gorgeous and inviting. I still cannot get over it to this day. I wish I could meet the interior designer of the hotel and restaurant. It is elegant yet warm and inviting.
A steel dish of gazpacho was delivered, compliments of the chef. I don't really like gazpacho but this one may have been something to write home about ;) A couple days before, I was salivating over an amazing photo of nachos that was featured on the hotel's Instagram page, so you best believe I ordered that! It's called Rancho Nachos - chicken or beef / blue & yellow corn chips / fresh jalapeños cotija & asadero cheese / olives / tomato / guacamole / sour cream roasted salsa. It's a winner and I would recommend it as a great starter dish.
The ahi tuna appetizer was highly recommended by at least 3 people on site so I ordered that along with a fabulous drink called Cody's Conundrum (I love alliterations!).
My drink was so refreshing! Want the ingredients?
yellow chartreuse / domain canton ginger liqueur / egg white / lemon juice om spirits meyer lemon and ginger liqueur / nutmeg
The ahi tuna appetizer was spectacular! There was a bit of fried quinoa in it that gave it a delicious crunch. It was dressed in avocado dressing and chipotle corn, lime and cilantro. I would order this again and again. Can you tell by the photo how much I hated it ;)
As I leisurely enjoyed my meal, the sun was about to set. I definitely recommend dining on their outdoor terrace if you want to drink in the breathtaking New Mexico sunset. You can also find a fire pit to warm up to (it can get chilly in the evenings) to toast the evening sun.
A heartfelt thank you to my lovely waitresses Jaimee and Bernardine for their impeccable service and attention. I feel there is authentic conversation exchanged now when staying at a Four Seasons property. They loved hearing the story of how I fused my love for hotels and marketing, working as both a luxury travel designer and influencer.
I opted out of breakfast in bed (which is so not like me, haha) and decided to enjoy a relaxed lunch the next day. I wolfed down a beautiful BLT sandwich with truffle, parmesan fries. Ladies and gents, I am a truffle fry queen and the way the hotel prepared these fries were PERFECTION. It wasn't grossly drenched in truffle oil like too many fries I've encountered in the past. As for dessert, I couldn't take my eyes off the banana crème brûlée. It was mm mm good! And do you know how I know it was excellent? The hotel's pastry chef is French :) I felt so at home here and my taste buds were on a joyride. I struck up a fun conversation with my waiter and it annoys me that I cannot remember his name. He is moving to Las Vegas soon to work at the Four Seasons there. If you're reading this, know you'll be a great asset and God speed. FS Santa Fe is losing a remarkable waiter.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
I am already dreaming of my next stay here. A lot of my clients host worldwide retreats which is one of the many reasons I wanted to review the hotel in the first place. I love handpicking unique luxury hotels all over the world to offer to my discerning travel clients. I am happy to review Four Seasons Rancho Encantado as a top rate, luxury mountain retreat in the Southwest to friends, family, and clients. For my personal travels, I am already begging Gregory to make a stop over here on our next road trip through the southwest! Perhaps we should do our own meet and greet here? :)
To book your next getaway at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, you can book through me, your Luxury Travel Designer, and have access to exclusive amenities and perks.
198 NM-592, Santa Fe, NM 87506, USA
Big thank you to Christen McCuiston, the generous Travel Industry Sales Manager, for making this hotel collaboration possible.