Worth getting out of bed for
After you’ve lounged in the courtyard on a day-bed, and worked out knots in the spa, there is plenty to see in and around Santa Fe. The area is called Georgia O’Keeffe country for a reason: the iconic American artist moved her late in her career and was inspired by the Pueblo architecture. See some of her best works at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in the middle of town (www.okeeffemuseum.org). These days, Santa Fe is an artist’s enclave, and Canyon Road is home to some of the best galleries. Pop into Nuart Gallery (www.nuartgallery.com) for contemporary pieces, and Michael Smith Gallery (michaelsmithgallery.com) to see Navajo weavings.
Catch one of the best views in town from the Santa Fe Opera House (www.santafeopera.org). Situated on a mesa with perfect sunset vistas, the theatre lures some of the opera world’s best and brightest to its annual five-show seasons.
For hippie New Mexico at its best, head an hour north of town to Ojo Caliente (ojospa.com). The hot springs, where we spotted Lauren Hutton, are sulphur-free, geothermal mineral pools that flow from a subterranean volcanic aquifer. Sip digestion-aiding litia water from the antique pump, dip into iron springs, soda springs or arsenic water. The mountains around Santa Fe have beautiful hiking trails and bridle paths for horses (www.santafestables.com). Try your hand at fly-fishing with High Desert Angler (www.highdesertangler.com). The company offers year-round fishing on private, public and Native American land, including in the Rio Grande, San Juan and Jemez.
For a tiny town, Santa Fe has tons of excellent restaurants. There’s a reason locals and tourists queue for their share of organic New Mexican food at Cafe Pasqual’s (+1 505 983 9340; pasquals.com), a four-minute walk from the hotel to Don Gaspar. The 50-seat restaurant makes superlative, well-spiced salsa-doused dishes. The breakfasts are most popular, but the chilli-topped BLT, quesadillas and enchiladas are well worth a visit for lunch at dinner. Less than a mile from the Inn on Canyon Road, Geronimo (+1 505 982 1500; www.geronimorestaurant.com) in a converted 18th-century house, is one of the best restaurants in the region, serving lamb in chilli-mint sauce and mesquite-grilled lobster. Like most of Santa Fe, The Shed values its chillis. The restaurant sources its supply from Hatch – New Mexico's chilli capital – which it turns into stew, salsa and burrito fillings (+1 505 982 9030; www.sfshed.com). It also sells many of its ingredients, so you can continue the feast when you return home.
Sip local beer at Blue Corn Café & Brewery off the Plaza, which serves spicy bar snacks – excellent with the coriander-laced 40k Honey Wheat Ale and the End of the Trail Brown Ale (+1 505 984 1800; www.bluecorncafe.com). Snag a seat along the railing of Coyote Café’s Cantina (+1 505 983 1615; www.coyotecafe.com) for a frozen prickly pear margarita and menu of tacos and burgers.
Santa Fe’s signature dish is the green chilli cheeseburger, and the best one is likely found at Santa Fe Bite, a no-frills roadhouse (+1 505 982 0544; santafebite.com). The restaurant is a bit of a drive out of town, but its pepper-topped patties are worth the schlep. Ask for a seat on the patio of La Choza, the Shed’s more casual sibling. Hidden by the railroad tracks, the restaurant serves some of the city’s best New Mexican food. Try a combination platter with an enchilada and soft taco and, herbal iced tea for those hot desert days (+1 505 982 0909; www.sfshed.com/lachoza.htm). Laid-back New Mexican restaurant Maria’s specialises in blue-corn enchiladas, which are served with your choice of red chilli sauce, green chilli sauce or Christmas sauce, which is a mix of the two (+1 505 983 7929; www.marias-santafe.com). Bring a designated driver: Maria’s margaritas are potent and irresistible.