Santa Fe is home to the oldest houses in the U.S. And a block down the road from the oldest house on East DeVargas Street is The Inn of the Five Graces. The inn houses 24 suites in several buildings, from stone to adobe — structures that are up to 400 years old. While the exteriors of the buildings retain their history, the interiors have been continuously renovated to ensure comfort, and also to showcase proprietors Ira and Sylvia Seret’s exquisite and exotic taste in decor and furnishings. The Serets are importers of rugs, textiles, furnishings, antiques and architectural elements from Afghanistan and Tibet, and each suite at the inn is a showcase of their unique taste and attention to detail, from mosaic tile work in the kitchens and bathrooms to handcrafted wood doors and sideboards. Every suite is distinct in design and layout, but all are ornate with a sense of warmth. You feel pampered in a comfortable yet exotic setting.
In many of the newly renovated suites, original kitchens have been removed to make for larger bathrooms — a luxury that women in particular love.
Service at The Inn of the Five Graces, a Relais & Châteaux member, is of the utmost importance. While professional, the staff have a laid-back New Mexican attitude, so service is polite but not stiff, retaining the friendly atmosphere of a family-run inn. Breakfast is included, as well as all tips and mini-bar amenities — a very important detail I find few hotels pay attention to. Including all amenities in the upfront cost makes the customer’s stay much more comfortable and relaxing.
We stayed in the Jade suite, on the ground floor of the stone building. The living room had a cozy fireplace (all suites have working fireplaces), that we enjoyed using on a brisk spring night. During the day there is plenty of sunlight that brightens the room, but draw the curtains and you immediately feel like you are in an exotic retreat. New Mexico is known as “The Land of Enchantment,” a reputation that the Five Graces truly upholds.
Editor’s PickCelia Sin-Tien Cheng | June 01, 2012