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Note: This establishment is closed for renovations until spring 2017

Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe

Santa Fe, NM - Hotel Review

The Early French Paradox

A guest villa at Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe in New Mexico
A guest villa at Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe in New Mexico

Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe Review

In the mid-seventeenth century, the Vatican wanted the newly annexed territory of New Mexico to be supervised by a smart and strong representative. The established padres seem to enjoy — a bit too much — what would become the City Different. Tales of loose conduct generated the transfer of the French Father Jean Baptiste Lamy from Cincinnati to Santa Fe, in the process of creating a provisional diocese know as the vicariate apostolic of New Mexico. Bishop Lamy's journey took him from Ohio to St. Louis, down the Mississippi to New Orleans, onto a boat to Galveston and up the Rio Grande river valley, arriving at his new home a year later! (That does not leave us much room to complain when our flight is a half-hour late today.) More details about the Bishop's mission can be found in Willa Cather's 1927 novel Death Comes for the Archbishop. In the 1860s Bishop Lamy purchased for $80 what became his home and is now 420 acres

These days the best way to get to the lodge is to drive a good hour north of Albuquerque's Sunport, the only major airport in the area. Once you get there, the multiplicity of activities will challenge you. Just like its namesake did with local churches and schools, Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe has consistently reinvented itself over the course of time.

Several owners later, this luxurious camp provides all the creature comforts, including SháNah Spa & Wellness Center, a spa influenced by Native American traditions. Taking into account the natural surroundings, history and careful maintenance of the site, without discounting the original chapel in which weddings are still performed today, you get a bundle of charm with friendly service.

The pool at Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe in New Mexico Outdoor dining at Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe in New Mexico
The swimming pool
Outdoor dining

The Vista Valle lodge offers accommodations high up on the hill with killer views — especially at dawn and dusk. Fully appointed rooms and suites in pueblo-style casitas with large patios make perfect abodes for your purification escape.

You won't be disappointed by the food of executive chef Christopher McLean, a seasoned chef who has created an inventive menu in the resort's feature restaurant, Las Fuentes Grill & Bar. The Continental American cuisine highlights local flavors, as evidenced in such dishes as the Mountain Man Game Tasting, composed of elk loin, venison stew, rabbit sausage, anasazi and rattlesnake campfire beans served with root vegetables.

Medium-sized refrigerators are kept empty instead of being filled as useless mini-bars, allowing you to store any food you brought and avoid it being eaten by bears, should you leave it in your car. And yes, one can see bears and rabbits, listen to the coyotes, hear of mountain lions and smell the trace of skunks.

The addition of a 4,200-square-foot versatile and magnificent meeting space, combined with 91 rooms set in fifteen separate lodges designed in varied styles, make the lodge an interesting meeting facility in this natural setting.

One last word of advice: should you plan on playing tennis, be sure to pack your "high-altitude" balls — at 7,000 feet they bounce much better than standard balls.


Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe
1297 Bishop's Lodge Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Visit the Bishop's Lodge Santa Fe official website


Guests of the lodge have their pick of ways to work off dinner...

Horseback riding:
March through Thanksgiving, the lodge provides trail rides in the canyons, foothills and Santa Fe National Forest. The lodge's stables also host a teambuilding program called The Equus Experience.

Tennis: Choose from four omni-court "turf" courts, and take lessons mid-April through mid-October.

Hiking: Nature trails are abundant, and the viewpoint above the lodge at 7,700 feet is not to be missed.

Skiing: The lodge is only 25 minutes from the Santa Fe Ski Area, 50 minutes from Pajarito Ski Area, and 120 minutes from Taos Ski Valley.

Skeet shooting: Discontinued while renovations were underway, this activity is now available again as weather permits.

White-water river rafting: A few local companies will take you on the Rio Grande or Rio Chama in season.

Drum and journey circle: A family drum circle offered Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Camp Appaloosa: A seasonal kids' camp, open Memorial Day through Labor Day.


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