Hotel Santa Fe and Picuris Pueblo stand test of time

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By Renee Fajardo
Santa Fe, New Mexico (NFIC) 3-08

It is the smallest of the 19 Pueblos in New Mexico, with barely 200 residents and a mere 17,000 acres. The Picuris is nestled on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains amidst aspen and cottonwood forest. A long winding 45 minutes north of Santa Fe, this is not a Pueblo that lies along the beaten path of the art aficionados that frequent the Plaza. But that did not stop Paul Margetson, a world class hotelier from England, from courting and winning the heart of the people on the Picuris.

In 1986 Margetson, who had come to Santa Fe after managing exclusive hotels in such exotic locations as Sir Lanka, Italy, Guyana and Barbados, wanted to try his hand at something new, ownership! Well respected as a businessman and community leader, Margetson enlisted the support of several private investors from New Mexico and together via an introduction by the BIA, approached the economically struggling Pueblo about an innovative partnership.

After months of consideration the Picuris Pueblo became the first and to date only tribe in the United States to partner with non-tribal investors to build and operate an off reservation hotel. And what a hotel!

In 1991 the Hotel Santa Fe opened its doors in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A stunning paradise of adobe architecture, Native American art and sculpture, hand crafted pine furniture and wildflower gardens situated on three private acres. The hotel made Travel and Leisure’s list of 500 greatest hotels in the world. The 35 million dollar four-star hotel is located in the Guadalupe Historic District and a mere ten minute walk from the heart of the Santa Fe Plaza. The Pueblo style complex boast 163 rooms, most with balconies or patios that offer breath-taking views of “The City Different.” A warm inviting lobby, conference amenities, spa services, fireplaces, pool, hot tub and the delectable cuisine of the Amaya Restaurant add to the charm and ambience of this hotel.

Craig Quanchello, governor of the Picuris Pueblo, said, “This hotel is a source of pride for our tribe. It has allowed us to claim ownership of our destiny by providing us with a source of income to run programs and projects on the Pueblo. We are a non-gaming tribe and are often overlooked because of our location. But this hotel has given us a new life and a new outlook. We have put our heart and soul into this hotel, and we are happy to be able to share our dreams and culture with our guests.”

Front Row:Craig Quanchello,Picuris Governor;Stana Quiver picuris tribal member and hotel Santa Fe purchasing agent;and Joe Mermejo.Picuris council member.Back Row:T.J. Knitter,Picuris councilman;Paul Margetson;and Ryan Griego,Picuris tribal member and Hotel Santa Fe grounds keeper.

Margetson added, “We as partners work well together. We have been successful and strive for excellence. We have pride in ownership. We want to be the best and give people what they want. We find that guests who stay with us are interested in Native American culture and genuinely find this hotel meets their needs on many levels, including services, amenities and if they want, culturally.”

The Picuris owns a majority 51percent in the partnership of the Hotel Santa Fe and has 100 percent ownership in the on-site gift shop, which features the unique mica pottery of the Pueblo and paintings by Picuris artists. It is the only Native owned gift shop in the city.

Room rates vary with season and occupancy anywhere from a low of $99 per night Sun-Thurs/$129 Fri-Sat for a traditional room in the Hotel Santa Fe to a high of $300+ per night for suites in the new Hacienda wing. The Hacienda opened in 2001 and features 35 deluxe rooms with fireplaces, separate sitting areas, balconies, Native American artifacts, private lobby, and butler service and spa amenities. A special Romance package can be added to any stay for an additional charge per night and includes flowers, a gift basket, massage for two and breakfast at the Amaya.

So if you find yourself sauntering down to Santa Few on a sojourn of the heart during the month of love check out a true love story. Give yourself to the TLC of the Hotel Santa Fe and see why this long distance romance has stood the test of time. Rates vary based on room size and seasonal occupancy: $99-$300+

Hotel Santa Fe
1501 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, New Mexico
For Reservations
1 800-825-9876

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