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A $25 million refurbishing has turned Rockresorts' La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa into one of the most exclusive lodgings in the city. Using elements of the Southwest's three major traditions—Native American, Spanish Colonial, and Anglo-American—hotel consultant Robert D. Zimmer, architect Wayne S. Lloyd, and interior designer Dolores Hundley transformed a motor lodge surrounding a rundown 19th-century mansion into a serene, secluded hotel on six landscaped acres that happen to be just two blocks from the city's bustling central plaza.

Zimmer's team, which also designed Santa Fe's legendary Inn of the Anasazi, did the eight main-house guestrooms in an updated Victorian style, with commodious modern furniture and fine period pieces. La Posada de Santa Fe's other 151 rooms (a Garden Suite is pictured above) have a refined Southwestern look, with white or ochre walls, contemporary warm-toned furnishings, Mexican antique mirrors, and handsome local pottery. The renovation's crowning touch is the $2 million art collection that dominates bedrooms and public areas with pieces (such as sculptures by Glenna Goodacre in the courtyard) on loan from top local galleries, including LewAllen Contemporary and Peyton Wright.

The spa is new—and fabulous. In dimly lit treatment rooms deep within the volcanic-stone facility, skilled therapists administer sybaritic cornmeal scrubs, adobe-mud wraps, and desert-flower aromatherapy massages, which are all paeans to Santa Fe's high-desert landscape and its plants. The 5,000-square-foot spa also offers a full range of workout equipment, a beauty salon, and a heated outdoor swimming pool (a truly cosmic experience on a starry winter night). $279-$499. 330 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501; 800-727-5276;

Member of Fine Hotels, Resorts & Spas.


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