The first thing that struck me about the Santa Fe Sage Inn was just how nice the employees were.
I’m pretty picky about this kind of thing. I’m not looking to be treated like royalty but I want people to be nice to me. No matter how fancy the accommodations no matter how good the food I will never return to a place where I’m not treated like a human being. So I was relieved to walk into a place of kind, helpful, knowledgeable and smiling people.
I had the feeling these people actually wanted me to be there – an instant thumbs up.
Then we’ve got location, location, location.
The locally-owned Santa Fe Sage Inn is located just six blocks from the famous Santa Fe Plaza and the Santa Fe historic district about 9 miles from the county airport. It sits just on the edge of the Guadalupe Shopping and Dining District across the street from the Railyard Park and all of its galleries, performance spaces, restaurants and the farmer’s market. Not to mention the station for the Rail Runner Express train to Albuquerque.
This is a motel-type place built around a parking lot on the corner of a busy intersection. It is large, quiet place with 155 rooms on two levels – few of which are actually located on the street.
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The rooms are small, clean, comfortable and attractive. They are decorated simply in a southwest motel mode with Native American-style fabric wall hangings, a colorful bed-spread and the large television requisite in all hotels these days.
The pillows are ridiculously comfortable and it was only later that I noticed the large letters up on their sign outside bragging, rightfully so, about the pillows.
One thing I LOVED about the rooms is that you could open the windows. I hope they never change that. The independently controlled air conditioning/heating units in the rooms is another one of those nice, small things that makes the difference for me.
The rooms are also equipped with a coffee maker, iron and ironing boards, Direct TV with Showtime (I could care less about this since I never turn on the TV), and free high-speed wireless internet.
The hotel is “pet friendly” which is actually a bit of a turn off to someone like me with some animal allergies but, with so many people travelling with pets these days, the “pet friendly” sign is almost a must. All that aside, the room we stayed in was so clean that I never had any allergy issues.
The rooms are nothing outstanding but they are perfect for someone like me who doesn’t spend much time in the room and just wants a clean, comfortable and affordable space with coffee and internet.
But back to the real reason the Santa Fe Sage Inn is my kind of place.
The Sage is located at 735 Cerrillos Road at the corner of Cerrillos and Don Diego Avenue, right at the edge of the center of Santa Fe with a yummy Whole Foods store right next door.
Just across Cerrillos Road is the Railyard Park, an excellent example of urban renewal done right. A modern community center, the park opened in 2008 after years of community input and construction work. This is an eminently walk-able and safe open space of drought-resistant landscaping, picnic areas and playgrounds that leads you out and along the rails to the 50-year old Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, a series of restaurants, coffee shops and stores (including an REI) right along the tracks where you can pick up the Rail Runner Express 7 days a week to places south including Albuquerque. You’ll also find SITE Santa Fe, a nonprofit contemporary art organization showcasing internationally-known artists, the El Museo Hispanic Cultural center, Warehouse 21, a youth development center offering art, media and performing programs and the Santa Fe Southern Railway , a historic train excursion.
When you get directly to the plaza area all the famous Santa Fe galleries are easily at hand as are the historic Barrio de Analco, the San Miguel Mission, the Loretto Chapel, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and darn well everything else.
On Saturday for example, Maria and I headed right over to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market for fresh coffee, conversation with regional growers and a very fine breakfast burrito. We walked from there to the plaza where we toured a number of galleries, visited the Loretto Chapel and then had the best curry lunch at the Thai Café. In the evening we walked over to enjoy some wine and a buffalo burger along with some lovely music by Ronald Roybal at the Amaya Restaurant.
I can easily imagine a visitor arriving to the Albuquerque airport, taking the train to Santa Fe and then walking the 5-minutes to the Santa Fe Sage Inn. The whole of downtown Santa Fe would be right there to enjoy without ever needing a car.
The Sage has a complimentary shuttle service known as the “Sage Coach”. While we didn’t use the shuttle on our stay, preferring the walking, the fact that every hour, on the hour, you can hop into the van for a quick ride to the plaza and then take the shuttle back whenever you’re ready makes for a very nice amenity.
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The Santa Fe Sage Inn hosted me and Maria complimentary for 4 wonderful days. Double queen rooms typically cost about $80.00 per night but the hotel has a wide range of deals and packages. Any closer to the Plaza and you will pay at least two or three times the price. ‘Fresh Start’ breakfast, wifi, 24-hour business center, 24-hour exercise room, guest laundromat and shuttle service are all included. Check out their website to see what deals and specials they have at the moment.
While the Santa Fe Sage Inn is not is a fancy, high-end establishment it proved to be perfectly located to get the most out of our four days in Santa Fe. The fact that I never touched my car in those four days made me all the happier. We were able to stroll out into the buzzing atmosphere of downtown Santa Fe, visit numerous galleries and historic sites, take in some great meals and then retreat to a comfortable night sleep.