Post contributed by Lisa Crovo Dion
My cousin and I are extremely close, in every way except geographically. I live in San Francisco and she lives 3,000 miles away in the town we grew up, outside of Boston. We were born a year apart in November, and this year we decided to meet halfway between our birthdays somewhere between our two cities.
We both felt a pull to meet in Santa Fe, a place where she had never been, and I’d only driven through on cross-country road trips.
We booked a room at the Drury Plaza Hotel, a newly renovated building on the site of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, just down from the Plaza.
The most striking thing about the hotel for me is the amount of art on nearly every wall, nook and corner. Santa Fe is a thriving art town, and this passion for art is evidenced as soon as you cross the threshold of the Drury Plaza. Sculpture, paintings, and photography line the walls, many pieces for sale. In a town lousy galleries, we were told that the Drury is the largest.
Our spotless, comfortable room had a balcony and all the usual amenities, but the Drury throws in lots of extras—breakfast every morning that included eggs, warm tortillas, pancakes, sausage and biscuits and gravy. Coffee is served all day. 🙂 From 5:30-7, a variety of hot foods are offered along with a free glass of wine, beer or cocktail during what they call the KickBack. Free popcorn and soda is available throughout the day. Fireplaces and firepits are all around.
Upstairs is an outdoor pool heated to 85 degrees, a hot tub, fitness center, and Bar Alto, overlooking the gorgeous Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Our first evening, Jules and I watched sunset from the bright, airy bar while sipping margaritas. Perfection.
On the first floor of the hotel, Chef John Rivera Sedlar, creates modern New Mexican cuisine at Eloise, a 2016 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.
The location, just off the plaza was perfect. We shopped the outdoor markets and little shops along the streets—fantastic artisan jewelry and shoes abound, what more could you want?—dined on outstanding tapas at La Boca, had drinks at the historic La Fonda Hotel and danced to a live band at the Palace, a former bordello, that still retains it’s bawdy character, swathed in red fabric with chandeliers above.
Our three nights went way too fast, it’s almost like a blur. The only thing that sucked about the Drury Plaza Hotel and Santa Fe in general was—leaving.
Leaving three times a day from the Drury Plaza Hotel, Andrew Vigil fires up his vintage San Francisco trolley car and takes guests on what locals assured me are the best tours of the city. From the historic Plaza to Canyon Road to Museum Hill and the Round House, the state capitol and beyond, native Vigil imparts his encyclopedic knowledge of the area with an entertaining delivery. He also gives you popcorn. Vigil does a nighttime pub crawl as well. Check him out. thepalaceexpress.com Update: The Palace Express tour has closed.
If You Go:
Drury Plaza Hotel
828 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501