Visitors to New Mexico are delighted by the distinctive architectural style which nods to the state’s rich cultural history; buildings are soft, fitted with feminine curves, flat roofs and dressed in orange-brown hues.
This building style dates back to the Anasazi, ancestors of the modern Pueblo people, who built their homes using stones, wood and puddled adobe (mud) inside caves and canyons across a large territory encompassing modern New Mexico. This style of building, often rising up to five stories and accommodating whole communities spread over hundreds of rooms, impressed newly arrived Spaniards in the 16th century. They continued the building tradition, changing from the laborious method of hand shaping the adobe bricks to creating wood molds that made brick production quicker.[caption id="attachment_44861" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Dramatic colours at the Taos Pueblo. Photo by Larry Lamsa CC BY[/caption]
Set against the bright blue skies, the earthen red tones of the buildings create dramatic landscape photos. How better to have a thoroughly New Mexican experience than staying in one of these architectural gems? As a visitor to New Mexico, it’s part of the experience.
We’ve compiled our favorite adobe-style hotels in New Mexico, top-rated by trivago users. Join us to explore the most important adobe buildings in the state paired with equally beautiful adobe hotels and B&Bs rounding out this experience.
When is the best time to visit?
Having a wealth of trivago hotel data to pick through, we’ve uncovered that the cheapest month to visit Santa Fe is in January when average hotel prices per night sink down to $118. Money might be no objection but keep in mind the most expensive time to book a Santa Fe hotel is in August when prices hit $198 a night.
If you’re looking for an even more affordable stay, it’s worth noting Santa Fe hotel prices are the highest in the state with cities like Las Cruces ($80/night in January, the cheapest month) and Albuquerque ($82/night in January) showing excellent rates for budget travelers.
Iconic Adobe: The Oldest House
The Oldest House in Santa Fe, also known as De Vargas Street House rests on the foundations of an ancient Native American Pueblo that dates back to 1200 CE. The Tano-speaking tribe abandoned the village (now known as Santa Fe) around 1435 in search of greener pastures– literally, as they sought water, better fields and new hunting grounds. Spanish settlers arrived in 1598, officially founding La Villa Real de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asisi, or Santa Fe, in 1608. Since then the “Oldest House” remained continually occupied by people of varied cultures until 1920. Today there is a craft shop and museum onsite.
Santa Fe Adobe Hotels
Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi[caption id="attachment_42775" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Photos taken from trivago[/caption]
With its superb adobe architectural details, the Rosewood Inn of The Anasazi is blessed– literally, by a Pueblo medicine man, a Franciscan priest and a Santa Fe artist prior to its 1990 opening– but this luxurious inn is no bar joke! A warm atmosphere is cultivated by melding contemporary needs like free Wifi and flat screen TVs with traditional kiva fireplaces, hardwood floors and Native American textiles and art. It’s all in the details of the wrought iron lamps, hard-carved four poster beds and pine vigas (beams) keeping the theme thoroughly traditional and respecting how the various cultures of Santa Fe have evolved.
You’re only one block from Santa Fe Plaza as well as ideally situated for a visit or two to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to stock up on inspiration. The Anasazi Restaurant is a local favorite for seekers of Southwestern influenced American cuisine that pays homage to the area’s Native American roots created out of locally sourced ingredients when possible.
Pueblo Bonito Inn
While it may not be the oldest house in Santa Fe, Herb and Amy Behm at the Inn at Pueblo Bonito welcome guests into their charming 150 (plus) year old two foot wide adobe walls. You’re in for a truly historic and authentic New Mexico experience, full of Southwest ambiance and native traditions and culture. The property boasts the only remaining horno (Native American bread oven) in Santa Fe alongside handcrafted wooden furniture, artisan crafts and antiques that dot the property. Vigas continue the traditional architectural style and each room has its own corner kiva fireplace, which can be lit from October till May.
Its downtown location means you’re only 10 minutes away from major tourist sights like the Governor’s Gallery, the San Miguel Mission, the Oldest House and the Santa Plaza, among others. Despite its central location, the Inn feels secluded with quiet courtyards, shady gardens and adobe archways.
El Rey Inn
Built on the Original Route 66 in 1936, El Rey Inn has moved into the 21st century with modern updates that haven’t suffered the loss of any of the more traditional adobe elements of the build. Willow shutters keep out dust and sun and beamed ceilings and kiva fireplaces nod to the State’s architectural past. Outside a lush five acres of patios, fountains, paths and sculptures lead to a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs and a sauna.[caption id="attachment_46806" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Photos taken from trivago[/caption]
For a truly traditional experience at the El Rey, book one of their deluxe rooms or the full service Lodge. The Lodge comes with a private patio, gas fireplace, full kitchen and dining area, plus plenty of room to sleep multiple guests. The peaceful Inn is a slight retreat from the buzz of the city center where one can rest, unwind and relax while remaining only a short distance from Santa Fe.
The Hacienda At The Santa Fe Hotel
You simply can’t get more authentic than staying at Santa Fe’s only Native American-owned hotel in the heart of the city’s historic downtown. The Hacienda is an exclusive retreat attached to the Hotel Santa Fe on a private three acres and designed in the classic Pueblo style architecture. Awash in beautiful Native American decor, public areas feel akin to a gallery with the Hacienda’s enviable collection of Native art. The top floor lounge hosts a daily complimentary appetizer hour in the evening where you can take in the beautiful city views and hopefully glimpse one of the famous Santa Fe sunsets. A complimentary continental breakfast is also available to guests in the morning.[caption id="attachment_42739" align="aligncenter" width="352"] Photos taken from trivago[/caption]
Rooms are lavish and decked out in Taos style furnishings and a Southwestern palette that echoes the view outside. The Hacienda is serviced by a private butler who can take care of everything from getting your shirt to the dry cleaners so you have something to wear for your delicious dinner at the onsite Amaya restaurant, arranging transportation and even running errands. Rooms come equipped with a humidifier, should you find the NM air too dry for sleeping as well as WiFi, granite bathrooms and hand crafted leather and wood furnishings. The high level of service and beautiful property see this hotel rated 91/100 on trivago.
Prefer staying outside the city in a resort inspired by the simplicity of Georgia O’Keefe? Welcome to Encantando, rolling across 57 acres of the Sangre de Cristo foothills, 10 minutes from the culture packed Santa Fe. Art is omnipresent throughout the property including the public areas dotted with abstract works curated by a local gallery, complemented by the warm, orange accented walls.[caption id="attachment_42770" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photos taken from trivago[/caption]
Each guestroom comes with its own fireplace and private terrace. An onsite adventure center makes it easy to book excursions such as hiking and biking the local landscape or even guided tours of New Mexico’s Adobe treasures. You shouldn’t miss out on the Encantando Spa however with its eucalyptus steam room and dedicated Native American treatments. Our pick for your spa day? The Mountain Spirit Purification which sees you adorned in an adobe clay body mask followed up with a juniper and sage hot stone massage.
El Farolito B&B
For a quintessentially local experience, the El Farolito B&B offers up the perfect alternative to big hotels – without the loss of a thoroughly sumptuous experience. Privacy reigns supreme here as all rooms come with private walled patios (topless tanning anyone?), private entrances and a secluded, garden enclosed property. With a rating of 95/100 on trivago, you are in for a high-end experience.
Rooms are decorated in a style decidedly Santa Fe; Native American Art is placed alongside Spanish Colonial touches plus American Folk art brings a true Southwestern style to the B&B. Bathrooms are decked out in hand-painted Mexican tiles and kiva fireplaces in each room come stocked with firewood (seasonally). Additionally, you’ll enjoy a fabulous breakfast and you’re just moments from Santa Fe’s most intriguing historic corners.
Inn of the Five Graces
The opulence of the Inn of the Five Graces is unmatched in Santa Fe. Housed in a 400 year old Adobe building on the oldest inhabited block in the United States, some parts of the Inn dating back to the 1600s. The inn is a feast for the senses! Awash in incredible mosaic tilework, rooms here are bejeweled with candelabras and intricate tapestries that evoke an air of Southwest meets Asia. Upon entering your room, you will be greeted with a kaleidescope of colours, and bold fabrics as well as deep soaking tubs, kiva fireplaces and flat screen TVs.
This memorable property with a rating of 94/100 on trivago offers guests a complimentary cooked to order gourmet breakfast, afternoon margaritas and wine on top of the warm and unobtrusive service. As hard as it may be to leave the splendor of your room, we suggest a nip into the lush gardens for a stroll or signing up for a walking tour.
La Fonda on the Plaza
Rich in history, La Fonda on The Plaza sits on the location of the first town inn, established way back when the Spaniards founded the city (1607). While little of that original architecture remains, the hand carved beams, stained glass skylights and cathedral ceilings built in 1922 still loom above admiring guests.[caption id="attachment_42827" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photos taken from trivago[/caption]
La Fonda is the only hotel situated right on the Santa Fe Plaza with some private room balconies actually overlooking the historic square. Rooms are completed with all-natural bath amenities, cozy bedding, hand carved and painted furniture and beautiful lighting adding to the hotel’s old world charm.
Iconic Adobe: Bandelier National Monument[caption id="attachment_42717" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Take a peek inside the ancient dwellings at Bandelier. Photo by Thomson20192 CCBY [/caption]
Just 50 minutes north of Santa Fe are more incredible examples of adobe at the Bandelier National Monument. Once the homes of the ancestors of the Pueblo people, on some interior walls you’ll notice petroglyphs.
Iconic Adobe: The Taos Pubelo[caption id="attachment_42681" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The Taos Pueblo is still home to around 150 residents. Photo by Carodean Road Designs CC BY[/caption]
The Taos Pueblo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. This designated UNESCO world heritage site has been home to the Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people for over 1000 years and its distinct architectural style inspired the Adobe revival style of New Mexico. Many of the buildings are still occupied by residents while some of the buildings and the village itself can be visited by tourists.
Iconic Adobe: San Francisco De Asis Mission Church[caption id="attachment_42680" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Earthen red juxtaposed against blue skies make for a stunning image. Photo by Šarūnas Burdulis CCBY[/caption]
With the exact date of its founding shrouded in mystery, the San Francisco De Asis Mission church was built somewhere between 1772 and 1816 following the move of Spanish settlers and the Pueblo community to more fertile lands in Ranchos de Taos. The perennial favorite adobe building of artists, the smooth beehive adobe buttresses of the church have appeared in works by photographer Ansel Adams and painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Since the 1960’s, Ranchos de Taos citizens and visitors come together for two weeks in June every year to help preserve the church by adding another layer of adobe to the facade.
Adobe & Pines Inn B&B
Surrounded by orchards of fruit trees, pine trees against a backdrop of the Taos Mountains with whispers of a trickling stream you’ll find a transformative experience waiting for you at the Adobe & Pines Inn B&B which trivago users have awarded a rating of 95/100. Located under the roof of a preserved 1832 historic adobe hacienda, the B&B’s eight rooms vary in style but see the original architectural elements carried through. Some bathrooms boast copper colored Mexican tiles and oversized jet tubs while others have walk in tiled showers and kiva fireplaces.
The property boasts some spectacular stargazing opportunities and quiet corner hammocks to slip into for naps. Wake up to a healthy locally sourced breakfast in the garden and stay up late musing around the outdoor Fire Ring.
El Monte Sagrado
El Monte Sagrado is a modern take on the traditional Adobe concept. The build is eye-catching yet falls into the landscaped property, creating a lovely visual. The interior design has touches of everything from local Native American art and crafts accented by objects coming all the way from Tibet or Argentina. The consistent themes are the spacious rooms, excellent bath amenities and private soaking tubs outside.
You’ll find the top-rated The Living Spa in this oasis of the mountains and desert. Using indigenous organic plants, flowers and minerals, beautiful treatments like the Moisture Drench which utilizes lemon verbena, turquoise mud and sage.
The Puye Cliff dwellings were once home to roughly 1500 Pueblo Americans from 900 to 1580. Spread across 740 rooms, the dwellings could be entered via ceiling ladders and stairways. Today it is an important National Historic Monument and one that is equally as impressive in the flesh.
What’s your favorite Adobe building in New Mexico? Have you stayed the night in an Adobe house? Tell us in the comments below!