The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is the perfect place for a luxury, socially-distanced getaway. In today’s ever evolving and rebuilding travel landscape, travelers are seeking destinations and properties that offer space, fresh air, a commitment to sanitization and cleanliness, all without sacrificing on the luxury hotel experience. This property, tucked cozily at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains ten minutes from downtown Santa Fe, offers just that.
Set on 57 acres with only 65 private standalone “casitas”, the Four Seasons is a respite for those looking to reconnect with themselves, nature and indulge in culinary, wellness and activity offerings that will blow your mind. I stayed at the property recently as it was the first trip I took post Coronavirus lockdown. Naturally, I was nervous about my first jaunt since the global pandemic ravaged the travel industry and virtually shut-down most of the world’s economies. But, I knew that if anyone could understand the new requirements, mandates and traveler concerns and desires – it would be the Four Seasons.
I arrived for a three night stay, flying-into the nearby airport and driving a short 20 minutes to the property. I arrived in the evening, so it was very dark. But, I was instantly mesmerized by the incredible stars that filled the night sky as the front desk manager led me to my casita. What I noticed instantly was the touch free check-in, social distance reminders elegantly placed around the lobby and the modifications made to keep guests safe and comfortable.
My casita was warm and welcoming, and I immediately felt at home. Large and spacious, the room was cozy with an adobe-style fireplace in the corner, flickering with orange flames. The decor is very American-Southwest with Native American influences, color-schemes and materials, in the most elegant way. Outfitted with the most sumptuous beds, flatscreen televisions, desk, sitting area, outdoor patio, large bathrooms with rain showers, bathtubs and charging stations – there’s nothing you’ll want for here.
The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe thinks of everything. Of course, in my closet I found a lovely pair of slippers and a bathrobe. Nearby was a well-stocked mini bar, a welcome bottle of Carbernet Sauvignon and a cheese board. On my second evening at the property I was surprised with a s’mores kit so I could roast marshmallows in my fireplace and make the campfire favorite with graham crackers and chocolate.
I woke-up refreshed the next morning and ready to start my day, exploring everything the area has to offer. Enjoying a Nespresso on my outdoor patio was perfect and after a quick walk to reception I found myself at Terra Restaurant for breakfast. I have to say for any fan of authentic New Mexican cuisine, with Mexican and international flavors that utilizes local, fresh ingredients – you will be in heaven.
The food here is absolutely incredible and each dish is more remarkable than the last. Breakfast might consist of local blue corn pancakes, banana french toast served in a skillet or huevos rancheros. I tried all of the dishes and there wasn’t one that I didn’t love. I was even visited by the property’s general manager, Mr. Bixente Pery, who wanted to ensure that every guest was having a remarkable experience.
During every meal I enjoyed on property, I was incredibly delighted to see staff wearing masks, gloves and encouraging as low-contact delivery as possible. Even through the masks I could see smiles and the overall attitude was that of pure service. In true Four Seasons style, the staff here will do whatever they can do to ensure everyone has a phenomenal experience – and that hasn’t changed because of a pandemic.
The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe has quite a history as a private ranch, owned and operated by a woman named Betty Egan. The ranch was a dream and Betty built it out of pure love, joy and a desire to create a particular place where being a cowboy was okay and each person who experienced it left enchanted. Some famous guests of the time when Betty owned the property included Princess Grace of Monaco, Robert Redford and others. The Four Seasons took over management of the property after it was sold and added their own touch of perfection.
Guests of the property can spend their days meandering through the galleries of Santa Fe, hiring a guide from the resort’s adventure center to hike through the mountains, which I did. Or. guests can simply lounge by the year-round pool – which now requires a reservation to comply with social distancing mandates and safety guidelines. As things begin to reopen, you can enjoy one of the largest and best spas in the Southwest, located right on site. I enjoyed an hour-long massage which was heaven. My therapist wore a mask and face shield the entire time and washed her hands frequently. Everything on-property has been redesigned to be individualized, to keep people safe and sound during a time of uncertainty.
What I loved most about the Four Seasons Santa Fe is just the freedom and space it affords one to relax. The air here is different, fresh and fragrant. The sun, as it bounces off the mountain peaks at every sunset, offers illumination on not only the surrounding area but throughout each public space of the property. You can lose yourself at this place, in the best of ways, and keep to yourself – without really seeing many other people if you should so choose.
After a scrumptious dinner at Terra watching the night sky roll-in after yet another incredible sunset I realized just how perfect Rancho Encantado is, in every way. For anyone seeking the opportunity to get away and rejuvenate after what feels like an eternity of being inside – you won’t find a better place.