What’s New in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2021 — A Luxury Hotel, Fresh Restaurants and Breweries Await Travelers
SANTA FE, New Mexico — Home to a combination of deeply rooted culture, historic landmarks, modern hospitality businesses, breathtaking natural landscapes and bespoke eateries, Santa Fe is entering the post-pandemic world with enhanced lodging options and new boutique shops, eateries, breweries, and attractions that have collectively refreshed the destination’s offerings.
As of March 24, when Santa Fe was upgraded to “Turquoise” level in the New Mexico State government reopening plan, the city has resumed welcoming leisure travelers, with indoor capacity at restaurants up to 75 percent and hotels that are “NM Safe Certified” cleared to operate at 100 percent occupancy. For the latest reopening information, visit the City’s official COVID-19 resource.
Below is a complete breakdown of new developments for visitors to Santa Fe.
Accommodations — Bishop’s Lodge, the luxurious resort is set to reopen in July 2021, on 300+ acres of land bordering the Santa Fe National Forest and just minutes from downtown Santa Fe. This historic Santa Fe landmark property was originally the home of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy and was once the Pulitzer family’s private residence. On a property with deep ties to the destination, the updated Bishop’s Lodge will champion its southwestern heritage with 100 guestrooms and suites housed in adobe structures and amenities including outdoor gardens and event areas, a spa known as Turquesa Healing Arts Studio, awe-inspiring art gallery, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, on-site trout habitat, horse stables and a unique 12-bedroom bunkhouse for families, multi-generational families and friends getaways.
Stay Kitfox, a new high desert glamping experience designed for distancing and disconnecting, opened this month on 160 private acres with access to 30+ miles of hiking trails at an adjacent 10,000 acre nature preserve, all only a 20 minute drive from downtown Santa Fe. Tent options on the property include large cabin-style platform tents with king size beds and a private deck, or smaller round canvas tents at ground level with either a queen bed or two twin beds. A highlight of the Stay Kitfox experience is the “Dine in the Wild” package which includes overnight tent lodging plus a welcome snack and beverage, camp dinner, coffee and breakfast.
Stores/Boutiques — Heritage by Hand is a new retail shop in the Sena Plaza area of the historic downtown offering socially responsible goods. Artists from around the world collaborate to create sustainable clothing, accessories and home product lines which are made by hand from natural, organic and upcycled materials. The business is female-owned by two women with decades of experience promoting artisan creators, learn more about them here.
Restaurants/ New Eateries on Canyon Road — Manolla Café offers healthy organic fare created by a woman owner who is a French-born certified nutritionist that grew up in Santa Fe, even operating a lemonade across the street from the location of the café when she was 8. The café menu features seasonal locally sourced produce throughout the year.
Thai on Canyon serves all the classic Thai dishes like pad thai and papaya salad, but also goes beyond, aiming to showcase Thai food from every part of Thailand to patrons from a charming adobe building with a large front patio.
Ahmyo River Gallery has a new wine garden area in the outdoor space behind the art gallery, where the owners transformed a large unused space into a desert garden oasis of rocks, trees, sculptures and cactus. Visitors can taste local New Mexico made Vivac wines or sparkling wine from Gruet.
New to Railyard District/Downtown — Opuntia Café tea house, is an ever-popular-with-locals restaurant and plant shop that moved to the second floor of the Market Station building in the Railyard in early November. The owners personally built a space that now features a large koi pond with floating water plants, private booths separated by floor to ceiling partitions and a balcony, that overlooks the railyard with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains beyond. A must for tea lovers and the Instagram-inclined.
Zacatlan is a Mexican restaurant from chef/owner Eduardo Rodriguez, who formerly worked as the Executive Chef of Coyote Cafe and Geronimo before that. He worked his way up through these fine dining restaurants for over 20 years and now fulfilled his dream of opening and owning his own restaurant. They currently offer Brunch and Dinner menus which put a gourmet spin on classic Mexican dishes.
Palace Prime is a new fine-dining steakhouse style restaurant in the historic downtown area at the location of the former Palace Restaurant and Saloon. The menu features prime beef and fresh seafood from chef Rocky Durham.
Chaine is a charming little cookie shop with a focus on French-style macarons with southwest flavor twists like churro or biscochito (official state cookie of NM) and their Pinon chocolate chip cookie is also a top seller too. This woman owned business launched in November 2019 and found creative ways to survive through the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Breweries — New Mexico staple Bosque Brewing Co. opened a Santa Fe tap house in the railyard district in mid-September 2020, with 4,200-square-foot space and 20 taps pouring Bosque beers from the first floor corner of the Market Station building directly across the tracks from the water tower and Violet Crown theater.
Nuckolls Brewing is an in-progress project to convert the original 1920s Nuckolls Packing Co. building into a brewery and beer garden. When opened later this year, the beer garden will allow up to 200 people to taste a variety of locally brewed beers and enjoy food stands that will periodically rotate different restaurant offerings from the area. In addition to all the great food and drink, guests will be able to hang out with their pups in the dog-friendly section and even watch films on a large outdoor screen with first-run screenings from neighboring Violet Crown theater.
Pedal Powered Activities — Heritage Inspirations recently opened its first brick-and-mortar location at Inn & Spa at Loretto in Santa Fe, where guests and locals can speak with expert guides to plan tours and excursions, purchase gifts and merchandise, as well as book rentals of the all-new fleet of electric bikes. Visitors can opt to join a guided tour or rent e-bikes to explore the city at their leisure. Individual e-bike rentals are offered for three-hour windows and include a map and suggested city routes while Guests seeking an expert-guided experience can opt for one of several tours, including routes like the “Churches of the Royal City” and “The City Different,” an adventure through hidden Santa Fe. The three-hour “hop-on, hop-off” cycling tours are limited to a maximum of six people per tour to ensure an intimate and in-depth experience.
Rail Explorers USA will open their newest rail tour location near Santa Fe at the Lamy train station in June 2021. The location will offer tours along historic railroad spur lines, overlooking the scenic Galisteo Basin, in a unique pedal powered vehicle that rides on railroad tracks. The rail explorer vehicle has four steel wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, pedals for each seat, and are comfortable, fun and easy to ride. Although the rail explorers require pedaling, the magic of steel wheels on steel rails makes the experience very different from riding a regular bicycle.
For more information on Santa Fe, please visit www.santafe.org.
Santa Fe is one of the world’s top award-winning and most beloved destinations. “The City Different” is four centuries of history and legend, ancient and modern cultures, a majestic outdoor world of recreation and adventure, vibrant visual and performing arts, expansive culinary delights, revitalizing spas, and uniquely tasteful shopping. TOURISM Santa Fe, a department of the City Of Santa Fe, promotes the city to leisure and business travelers and operates the LEED Gold Certified Santa Fe Convention Center. For information, access your Official Santa Fe Guide and visit www.santafe.org.