More about Bishop's Lodge
1. Take a stroll up Canyon Road...lots of galleries and some good restaurants.
2. Nedra Mattucci Gallery: Check out the fabulous sculpture garden in the back.
3. Shidoni Foundary and sculpture garden. About 3 miles north of SFe on Bishops Lodge Road. You can visit the foundary to see works in progress. You can watch them pour moulten bronze, usually Saturday at noon...but call to check times.
A Total Fiasco
We had reservations for Christmas dinner, but had to wait 50 minutes for a table. Each time we mentioned to the hostesses that we still hadn't been seated, they said our table would be ready "in a minute." When making the reservation we had been told they only hold a table for 15 minutes after the reservation time, so we expected the same courtesy of promptness.
Our party of 3 was seated at a table for 2, near the entrance to the buffet tables. Because one of us had to sit in the aisle, all the other diners had to walk around us to get to the food. It was most uncomfortable being in everyone's way and having my chair bumped constantly.
The waiter who brought our drinks argued with us about whether we needed steak knives for the prime rib. He later lost the credit card of the people at the next table, and they had to call and cancel the card.
We paid dearly for this unpleasant experience. Each buffet dinner cost $58, three drinks and one beer $35, the tip they AUTOMATICALLY added was $42 (all the surly waiter did to "earn" this was bring the 4 drinks to the table), tax was $13. Add this up for a total of $264 for a buffet dinner for 3 people!
Stayed at Bishop's Lodge Thursday-Sunday for a wedding. The standard room I stayed in was very nice-big bathroom, VERY comfortable bed, extra bedroom w/bunk beds (didn't use it, but put all the luggage in the extra room), nice decor. The building I stayed in was in the 140 number range and right next to the main lobby. The grounds are beautiful. I had a massage, manicure, pedicure at the spa and the services were great. Friend went skeat shooting and loved it. Golfing near by was good. Had lunch and brunch in the main restaurant and the food was very good. Everything is very expensive so know that before booking at Bishops Lodge. I would not hesitate to recommend anyone staying at Bishops Lodge-it is a wonderful place. Everyone working at BL is so nice.
Only Go If You Are All About Spa's
My husband and I visited the Sha Nah Spa April of 2005.
SPA: First off let me say this. The spa is WONDERFUL. It is fairly new with great reviews. The service and atmosphere was great! We both fell asleep in the relaxation room (that's how relaxed we were). The spa services are pricey in my opinion. That's why I feel if you get the accommodations at a huge discount, more of your money can be spent at the Spa.
ROOMS: My husband and I did NOT stay at Bishops Lodge, BUT we had an employee gives us the tour of the grounds and access to a few rooms. In the employees opinion (and later ours), the newer rooms are the way to go. The newer rooms are larger and located in more tranquil areas. The rooms we saw had large bathrooms, plasma t.v.'s fireplaces, and a nice size balcony/patio. The decor of the rooms were a toned down santa fe theme. The rooms also had large beds (full & king), seating areas, desk, refrigerators, and complimentary snacks.
DINING: The dining area and meeting area were large and seemed to be very busy when we were there.
LOCATION: I loved the location of the resort. It was a little ways from the center of downtown (which isn't to much). You can see snow on the mountains and hills for days during the colder months..
Would I stay here? Only if I got a VERY good room rate for the NEWER rooms only. The older rooms apparently have a lot of history, but I prefer comfort and a large room over history. I will definitely visit the Sha Nah spa again. The tranquility and beauty drew me in.
We got that Travelzoo deal as well, $89 / night. We actually got a renovated room so I feel lucky compared with the last reviewer even though I wasn't feeling lucky then; it was a postage-stamp of a room with new carpeting, a flat-screened TV, and decent amenities. The beds felt comfortable but the noise, the light from the hall, the pillows, and the hit-and-miss central heating all added up and I slept poorly. Even through the new carpet, the floors creaked something fierce.
We didn't rent a car because we were going to rely on the complimentary shuttle to and from town and to the ski resort. Those shuttles were so unreliable that we ended up renting a car halfway through our stay. Before that, we felt cooped up and unable to see Santa Fe, just the inside of the lodge and their pretentious-yet-bad restaurant.
The spa was actually pretty nice, really expensive, now that I think about it i'm not sure it was worth it. $120 for a facial - I think I would go to Ten-Thousand Waves; it's cheaper and supposedly world-renouned.
The restaurant was just bad. The service was really, really slow and the food looked fancy on the menus and was expensive (around $25 - $35 per entree) but it was all poorly executed and often wasn't even warm on the plate (ever try cold monkfish? I have...). One night while we were eating our bad food the fire alarm went off. The noise was deafening but the staff laughed it off and said "Oh, a few weeks ago it went off all day and I felt so bad for the people dining!" Yeah, me too.
The location wasn't great; you're 4 miles from Santa Fe and most of the hotels in the area put you right downtown, allowing you to get a sense of your surroundings. This place made us feel isolated and the spa and the trails just didn't make up for it.
One good thing - the concierge was excellent and professional. When we needed to get away, she was there to help us with our car, directions, and reservtions.
All in all, a lot of people got this deal on TravelZoo but i think i would rather stay somewhere downtown like the Inn of the Governors / Anasazi. It's more expensive but you don't have to waste money on bad food or a rental car.
I would even rather stay at the Best Western Santa Fe. It is cheap and it knows it's a motel and strives to provide the amenities, space, and location of a hotel. The Bishop's Lodge just doesn't try to earn its resort status with its guests.
Some odd quirks at the Bishop's Lodge
We stayed in a Deluxe room at the Bishop's Lodge. It was spacious with a wood-burning fireplace which came in handly as it was still chilly outside during our stay. We found the check-in to be very smooth. Our room was in the Sunset Lodge which had been updated and had a lovely balcony. Our friends were in the not-so-nice juniper lodge and when we called the front desk to ask them to move them closer to us they quickly arranged that. However, our friends later received a call from the front desk at midnight which woke them up telling them they were calling to find out if the room was occupied. The ice machine did not work and the gift shop was only sporadically open. We did have to pay the resort fee which others had mentioned in their reviews but we knew about it in advance. The resort does offer excercise classes and the pool was open when we were there so we did not object to the fee. Our room was large and clean. We liked that the hotel was a little way out of town and gave us more of a rural, old-time Santa Fe feel. The only meal we ate in the restaurant was breakfast and we had the buffet each day which had nice fresh fruit and a good selection of healthy foods as well as the usual breakfast fare. The Sha-Nah spa was wonderful. I had three treatments and all were very good. The spa is lovely and the staff there were very attentive. You should definitely consider reading "Death comes for the Archbishop" by Willa Cather before a stay at this hotel as it references this area of Santa Fe and will give you a historical context for the church on the property.
After seeing some negative reviews of this hotel, we were a little worried about checking into the Lodge. How wrong could people be? We checked into a Traditional room that some users had told horror stories about. The room was lovely, not luxurious, but well appointed. The bed was a dream with a most comfortable mattress. The bathroom was not small as some had mentioned and both the shower pressure and temperature were outstanding. We were surprised that the room had a plasma television! The grounds of the resort were well maintained. The front desk and concierge service was outstanding....very friendly and accommodating. I was not thrilled about the $15 per day/per person resort fee as I feel it should be included in the room rate. The only negative experience we had was checking in at 2:30 PM and the room was not ready. They said they would call housekeeping and have the room made up shortly. We came back at 4:30 and the room was still not made up. The manager bought us a drink in the bar. Overall, a wonderful stay!
Good but needs attention to details
April, 2005. Bishop's Lodge has a spectacular setting with a beautiful main lodge building and great restaurant. My room was in the North Lodge whose age is showing. The room was nice, not great, with a deck on one side, patio on the other. Terrific quiet natural surrounding a 5 minute drive to the Plaza in Santa Fe.
The outlying buildings need attention to the details of upkeep. The handle was hanging off the screen door on my room, and there was trash around the deck and parking area. Upon check in, there was only one bellman who was busy and I finally unloaded my own luggage.
I would like to try staying here again and taking advantage of the many activities offered.
Always a great time
This was my second time staying at the Bishop's Lodge, and I've yet to encounter any of the problems other folks have run into. The BL is a lovely resort property, and the staff here is always very helpful and accomodating. Our rooms have always been beautiful, clean, and we've never had a problem (we were originally assigned to a king room when we needed two beds, but it was corrected right away). The pool is lovely, and the gym is adequate. The grounds are beautifully maintained. The food is better than the average hotel food (but you'll get better food for your money in Santa Fe). On this trip we used the BL kids' camp (they LOVED it!), and went horseback riding (very nice). We'd return in a minute!
Picturesque Hotel, Mediocre Value
This was our second visit to the Bishop's Lodge and while not disappointed by this classic hotel, it was not our best experience. The setting is fantastic, a 400 acre compound of New Mexico hills, adobes, flowers and vegetation, and recreational amenities. We stayed in a huge room (#176) with 2 comfortable Murphy beds, all located just behind the stables. The room smelled strongly of smoke from the fireplace, as did our clothes after 3 nights, even before we used it on the last night (not recommended). The room/bathroom was lovely, although the TV was small and not at a luxurious resort level (to be honest we watched little/no TV). For a fine resort, it is a bit rough around the edges and the daily maintenance of the property is lacking (we noted cups on the ground for days). The pool is nice, but unheated and a bit hard to stay in (even in the 90+ July sun). The hot tub is hidden inside a tomb-like enclosure, and less than inviting. The restaurant was beautiful and the breakfast buffet excellent. We had a catered dinner event and the food was adequate at best. The tennis courts were well-maintained, but could have used lights for nighttime play. The hiking trails were pleasant but hard to find using the hotel map (there is a huge housing community being built above the lodge that takes away much of the wilderness feel that made the lodge so memorable our first trip 15 years ago). Horseback riding was pleasant, but the mandatory 20% tip on top of the overpriced hourly rate made the experience less than ideal. While we did not use the Spa services, they were highly recommended by other guests. All in all, a lovely setting, nice lodgings, and good amenities. Worth the price ($225/night +) only if someone else is paying or if you can get 50% off!
Craftmen/women and their wares.
Shop, Madrid, NM
Children's Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
D enjoys her meal on the way to Taos
Northern New Mexico
I have plans to visit the Santa Fe/Taos region of New Mexico. Any other areas within the vicinity of Santa Fe that are must sees.
Thanks in Advance
Re: Northern New Mexico
Shidoni foundary is well worth a visit if you are interested in art and scupture...or just interested in seeing how large sculpture pieces are cast.
It is about 5 miles north of S Fe on Bishops lodge road.
Also see my travel page on Santa Fe.
Re: Northern New Mexico
Bandelier National Park and Chimayo were highlights for me near Santa Fe, more on my New Mexico pages, happy trails!
Santa Fe during Fiesta
I booked us 6 days in Sept. (Thursday 4th - Tuesday 9th) without realizing that it's Fiesta! At least 4 days of the 6, anyway. How insane will the crowds/traffic be during that time, and will it mostly be concentrated in and around the Plaza area? We plan to daytrip out to Chaco, Bandelier and Taos - should we try to do that during the weekend, to avoid the masses, and then spend Monday and Tuesday in town when Fiesta is over and it's quieter? Or will there be areas of town that aren't overrun? We don't want to avoid the event entirely as there'll be some fun things to see but crowds can be wearing...
Actually, if anyone has tips on a few things we should see during the Fiesta, that'd be great. We'll probably skip Zozobra as that sounds like a zoo but what else is fun??
Re: Santa Fe during Fiesta
I haven't been there during fiesta, but you're right, Zozobra is a total zoo.
While in SFe, go out to Shidoni foundary and see the impressive outdoor sculpture garden. It's on Bishops Lodge road about 5 miles north of the plaza. Also go to Neddra Matucci gallery and have a look at the great outdoor sculpture garden there. It's on Paseo de Peralta not too far from the state capitol.
Re: Santa Fe during Fiesta
There is so much to do that time of year and get away from the crowds. You may want to google Art Tours NM and see if any of the nearby local villages are having an art tour - many of these are really quite wonderful. Also check on google for any Feast Days at the local Pueblos. You can google Eight Northern Pueblos and it should pull up a calendar for you. Feast Days include local dances at the Pueblos and if you get a bit of a conversation going with a local you will often be invited into their home to eat with them but please note it is customary to "eat and run" as they will continue to move people through their dining room. One of my favorite getaways is to go to Mora and go raspberry picking the Salman Ranch followed by a visit to the local Alpaca Farm and lunch at the ever quirky and tacky " Spic and Span" Diner in Las Vegas. This is about an hour and 20 minutes from Santa Fe. Feel free to go to my web site to check out the local photos from this area. http://web.me.com/julienmcroberts You will need to call the Salman Ranch first to see if the raspberries are ready for picking. Google Salman Ranch. Finally for a fabulous sunset and amazing dinner visit the revamped 4 star Encantado Restaurant in Tesuque. Most of all have a great time in Santa Fe..... the childrens animal parade is cute and worth checking out. Avoid Zoozoobra like the plague and if you really have to see it turn on any local channel for the broadcast.