Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe: Wild West Luxury

  • 01 of 07

    Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe: Posh New Mexico Getaway

    I say casita, you say cottage: the resort's accommodations are dreamy. ©Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    Long Name, Short Takeaway: Stay Here

    Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is a complicated hotel name. But its concept is simple: to provide a five-star luxury hotel retreat amidst the magnificent high-desert countryside of Northern New Mexico.

    The property is not actually in the city of Santa Fe, but a scenic 10-to-15-minute drive from the central Plaza. As such, the resort feels like a retreat.

    Why Choose Santa Fe in the First Place?

    New Mexico’s capital is a richly flavorful place with its own mix of traditions: Pueblo tribes, Old Spain, Wild West, the arts and New Age. Visiting Santa Fe is like going to another country, a beautiful, exotic, yet supremely cultural one. See all my reasons for visiting Santa Fe >>

    Why Choose Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe?

    I can heartily recommend Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe to visitors who:
    • Yearn to spend time in the magnificent New Mexico  landscape painted by Georgia O’Keeffe
    • Yet want to be close to downtown Santa Fe
    • Seek a secluded, private-feeling escape with their travel companion

    Is Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe Right for You?

    You will probably love Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe if:

    • You want to be near Santa Fe but amidst nature
    • You're looking for a romantic, secluded setting
    • You’d love ultra-quiet, private casita accommodations
    • Your idea of Santa Fe relaxation is room-service margaritas on your private patio watching the high-desert moonrise as coyotes howl
    • You crave ample outdoor recreational options like hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing
    • You need a great spa on-property
    '• You want your resort's staffers to make you feel loved

    You may not fall for Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe if:

    • You want to be right in downtown Santa Fe
    • Nature is not high on your list of things to see in Santa Fe 
    • You seek a hotel with a social scene and buzzy lobby 
    • You want more than one restaurant and bar at your hotel
    • You like a big, splashy resort pool to laze at
    • You’re traveling with kids who will get bored with outdoor activities

    Are you thinking "I'll love it?" Then check out the casita bungalows >>

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Rooms at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    A Santa Fe room with a view (and a lot more). ©Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

     What Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe Is Like

    Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe furnishes a private experience. Its accommodations are private casita bungalows and its setting is the wild New Mexico landscape.

    This resort is poetry for anyone who loves the outdoors. It is set on 57 pristine acres of Santa Fe’s piñon-covered hills with sweeping views in all directions. Guests get to savor the sunrise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the sunset over the Jemez Mountains.

    For Hotel Buffs: The Property’s Wild West Pedigree

    This resort has a long and proud history. It was a working ranch in the 1800s. In the mid-1900s, it became a hotel, first a dude ranch for city slickers from LA, Dallas, and Denver. Later, it was Rancho Encantado, a celebrity haunt for late-1900s royalty and celebrities.

    In 2012, the property was acquired by Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, the Toronto-based global hospitality brand beloved by luxury travelers. Four Seasons built handsome modern casita bungalows in a wide circle around a main building, spa, and pool. Original footpaths and hiking trails were restored and farolito lights placed to guide guests through the dark desert night. The campus is spacious, but guests have to walk only a few minutes to get anywhere. (And van transportation is available within moments.)

    What Casitas are Like at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is a small, private-feeling resort with 65 casita bungalows. Its intimacy qualifies it as a boutique hotel, with personal service to match.

    Casitas Are Capacious and Comfortable

    Casitas are roomy, and nine suites are even bigger (630 to 925 square feet).
    They are all decorated in contemporary adobe style.
    • Overall the look is clean and modern: with polished cement floors, handsome hand-carved wood furniture, and stone countertops in the bathroom and hallway
    • There are some Wild West touches in the bedroom: a New Mexican kiva fireplace, rustic wood ceiling beams, and a hide-covered bench
    • Casitas’ stucco exteriors have traditional wood accents

    Standard Room Amenities 

    All casitas and suites are well equipped, offering:
    • Outdoor patio or balcony with a view
    • Kiva fireplace with wood stacked outside your door
    • His-and-hers closet with plenty of drawers, shelves, and hangers, plus things like a lantern, flashlight, umbrella, extra pillows and water, and more
    Blissfully comfortable king beds (or two doubles) with duvet, fine linens, and a selection of pillows
    • Plasma TVs with many cable channels
    • iPod/iPhone dock
    • Sofa and lounge chair
    • Table for dining or working
    • Complimentary, strong wifi
    • Purified water on the house, eco-sensitively served in repeat-use glass bottles
    • Minibar, mini fridge, pod coffeemaker

    Casita Bathrooms 

    The spacious bathroom is a sybaritic experience, with:
    • Heated floor
    • Huge tub plus mosaic-walled rainfall shower
    • Twin sinks with lots of counter space and lit makeup mirror
    • Partitioned john
    • Variable lighting
    • Comfort Zone Spa Ritual toiletries, a natural brand from Parma, Sicily  

    Words to the Wise

    All casitas have a view, but some views are better than others. 
    • Some views are of the hotel campus or other casitas, with the hills beyond
    • But other views are unobstructed nature panoramas. Ask!

    All in all, casitas did not exhibit one of the many corner-cutting hotel trends that we're hating.

    The wonderful service at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe >>

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Service at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    The resort has fireplace butlers to stoke indoor and outdoor flames. ©Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    What the Service is Like at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    Like all Four Seasons properties, this resort emphasizes guest service. Staffers perform their jobs well, with warmth and flair.

    As a rule, Four Seasons personnel whose positions involve extensive guest contact are well chosen and well trained. Many of them are on the hotel's management training track, and are posted around the world, like diplomats.

    Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe exemplifies five-star hotel service. Some observations:

    • Staffers know your names, and address you with accuracy and respect
    • With few exceptions, things are done and requests satisfied when they should be: your ice, van, or fireplace butler arrives quickly, wakeup calls are reliable, bellboys deliver luggage even before you get to your room
    • Personnel use their heads to solve problems. When my turquoise fleece hat went missing, they checked my reservation and retrieved it from the spa without asking me where I'd been 
    • Housekeeping is ultra-thorough, with evening turndown (though without chocolates)
    • Housekeepers respect eco-conscious guests' preferences not to have their linens and towels changed daily
    • An unusual housekeeping touch: they arranged my makeup not on the usual washcloth but on a small mat woven in the nearby arts village of Chimayo

    No Corporate Personalities Here

    There's a fine line between too-corporate and too individualistic. Personnel at this resort walked the tightrope beautifully.
    • They showed their own personalities and opinions, but did not overshare or editorialize
    • They made me feel that I was getting to know interesting young people, not merely being served by rank-and-file. It was a nice feeling

    Delightful dining & drinking at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe >>

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Dining at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    The Bar is a guest magnet. ©Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    Relaxed Yet Refined Dining at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    Overseen by passionate chef Andrew Cooper, the resort's dining is as high-quality as every other aspect of this splendid Four Seasons resort.

    Terra Restaurant

    Terra is the resort's sole restaurant. But it's a great one, and, lucky for guests, it serves breakfast, brunch, lunch,and dinner.

    The resort is airy and handsomely modern, with well-spaced banquette tables and a view of rolling hills. A bewitching monumental canvas of horse, by Santa Fe painter Kiki Martinez. commands one wall.

    Terra's Chef & Cuisine

    Executive Chef Andrew Cooper, a Culinary Institute of America alum, is a native New Yorker. (When I asked him where he's from, he responded, "79th and First.") He has manned the fires in other Four Seasons resorts renowned for their dining, most recently Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu.

    Cooper is deeply committed to local ingredients, and amongst the early shoppers at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market. His cuisine spotlights New Mexican flavors and ingredients in deluxe contemporary fashion. There are no clichés or molecular wizardry here; expect intense flavors, beautiful presentations, and a parade of hits down to a perfect cappuccino
    • Don't miss Terra's house-baked biscuits, duck and foie gras ravioli, green chile-braised short ribs, guajillo pepper citrus salmon
    • The best way to sample Chef Andrew's art: his multi-course Culinary Journey tasting menu with wine pairings

    Other Dining & Drinking Options at the Resort

    The Bar is the resort's liveliest social area.
    • Its panoramic patio is considered one of Santa Fe's best bar settings
    • It pours craft beers, international (and New Mexican) wines, and deftly mixed cocktails, including creative margaritas
    • The Bar offers plenty of seating and a tempting dining menu for casual lunches and dinners

    More Dining & Drinking Options

    Resort guests (non-guests, too) enjoy a variety of dining settings besides Terra's dining room and The Bar.
    • Terra's private dining room
    • On a breezy outdoor dining patio
    • By the pool
    • By the resort's warming fire pits
    • In their casitas, with 24-hour room service

    Aah..The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe >>

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Spa at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    It doesn't get more relaxing than the piñon fire-scented lounge at The Spa. ©Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    As you'd expect from a Four Seasons resort, this spa is top-notch.
    • Its approach in decor and treatment: New Mexican and Pueblo tribal elements blended with modern spa serenity

    Treatments at The Spa

    The spa is full-service, with an extensive treatment menu.
    • Natural bodywork is given special emphasis, offering the best of global techniques
    • High-tech, hydrating, anti-aging facials are customized and exceptional; my facialist, Monica, was fearlessly
    • Specialty treatments focus on mind-body renewal  
    • Couples' services, called Interludes, take place in suites with private pools
    • Ingredients used in many treatments are local and organic, including blue corn, juniper berries, sagebrush leaf, adobe clay, and chamisa honey
    • Multi-treatment half-days and full spa days are available

    Relaxation at The Spa

    The spa is a place of healing, but also a sanctuary for slowing down and de-stressing.
    • Locker rooms are oases of comfort
    • Spa patrons are encouraged to allow plenty of time for the purification ritual: a dip in the warm outdoor pool and healthy sweat in the steam kiva, then a rest under a warmed blanket wrap, then rehydration with infused tea (the ritual is also available on a complimentary basis to hotel guests without a spa appointment)
    • Post-treatment, guests can laze in the airy spa lounge, warmed by a piñon-wood fire

    The great outdoors at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe >>

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Adventure Partners & Recreation at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado

    The resort's Adventure Partners are ready when you are. ©Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

     Adventure Partners: Unique Natural, Cultural, & Athletic Options

    Most Southwestern resorts will give guests a hiking map of the surroundings. Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe invites guests on a morning hike, every day. This commitment to guests' enjoyment of Northern New Mexico nature goes by the name of Adventure Partners.

    The Four Seasons outpost of Adventure Partners is a full-service outfitter with a clubhouse-like office in the center of the property. It is run by noted Western outdoorsman Hans Loehr, who calls his overall aim experiential travel.

    Experiential Travel Rancho Encantado-Style

    This comes in many guises. Lohr can lead or advise guests in these pursuits:
    • A variety of enchanting hikes, from a one-mile loop around the resort to more demanding scrambles on nearby forested slopes (I recommend the Rio en Media waterfall hike)
    • Archeological and cultural exploration of the Tsankawi Cliffs at Bandelier National Monument, some 700 years old
    • Downhill mountain biking from Santa Fe Ski Mountain, over jutting 10,000 feet
    • Scenic road trips such as the "high road to Taos" and to Georgia O'Keeffe's home, Abiquiu
    • Customized adventures (wine tastings, Pueblo pottery tours, whatever you and Hans can dream up)
    • These experiential travel endeavors are a la carte, with the exception of the morning Encantado Hike, which is complimentary to guests

    On-Property Recreation at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    • The resort's Fitness Center is compact but well-equipped
    • The Movement Studio hosts complimentary yoga classes
    • An outdoor pool is seasonal, with loungers and umbrellas

    Find out more about Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe & get in touch >>

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Contact Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado

    Here's where guests cheerfully check in and reluctantly check out. ©Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

    Connect with Four Season Resort Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe & Plan a Visit 

    • Four Seasons Resort Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe website
    • Reservations & info by phone 505.946.5700
    • On Facebook 
    • On Twitter (@FSSanta Fe)
    • Pictures on Pinterest
    • Photos on Instagram 
    • Santa Fe tourism
    • Four Seasons Resort Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe
    198 State Road 592
    Santa Fe, NM 87506

    As is common in the travel industry, the Luxury Travel Expert was provided with a complimentary visit for the purpose of describing the resort. For details, see our site's Ethics Policy.