#189 - El Paradero Inn
Old Santa Fe, New Mexico
Our cozy B & B was perfectly nestled in a quiet neighborhood, surrounded by evergreens.
The porches and gardens made me want to spend a week, but we only had a night.
From the Back
The sweet adobe complex, was once a farm house and stables, built during the Spanish Colonial rule, over 200 years ago.
Facing the street, we found a walled in garden and porch.
The July weather was heavenly and we walked right into the office, through an open door. No bugs and no heat! We're not used to open windows and doors in Texas.
Our host, Amanda was delightfully chatty, with tons of tips about experiencing Santa Fe. It was fun hearing her impressions of moving to Santa Fe as a young teen.
She gave us a great tour, starting with the sitting room in the main house. She laughed about how very different the space looked in the 1980's, when the property was sold. It had many things over the years, but before its new owners, it had been a commune.
Santa Fe had been very different in the '80's. Amanda told us that one of the commune residents, just kept on living there during renovation. "He used to sleep in this room." She laughed.
Curves and Angles
We headed down the hallway, through the arched opening.
Amanda pointed to the doorway to show us how thick the walls were.
New and Old
There was a nice mix of old and new. The fresh paint, light fixtures and framed photography brightened the narrow hallway.
The old rugs and worn wood floors felt cozy. Amanda showed us the rings to the trapdoors in the floor.
The Carriage House
We walked out to the garden and Amanda pointed to the building on the right. It had been the carriage house, two centuries ago.
Peaceful and Shady
The garden was quiet, except for a trickling fountain. I tried to imagine the grounds as a farm, long ago. Could that tall tree have been there?
The main house would have only been one story, then. What else would have been different?
Our room was near the back.
I was disappointed that our door was so new, but the artwork above, was fun. When we opened the door I was perfectly delighted.
Bright and Whimsical
I think we got the most playful room at the inn.
The colorful yellow walls were filled with curves and nooks and crannies.
Dolls and a Madonna
I almost squealed at the kiva fireplace, decorated with colorful Mexican dolls. There was even an alcove for a Madonna statue.
Amanda seemed excited that I was enthused. "I love you!" She sort of laughed. "Some people call this the creepy doll room. Not everyone appreciates it." I assured her that I did...even if those dolls did keep their eyes, eerily open all night long!
On the other side of the bed, there was another window, to let in more light.
There were also two skylights. The corner held the room's sink, with lovely blue tile and large mirror.
Some guests might feel like they were staying the night in a convent, with all the Madonnas, but we were in Santa Fe afterall.
You don't come to Old Santa Fe, if you don't like the beauty of old churches and religious statues.
When Amanda left, we continued to delight over every light fixture and decorative accent.
I'm a foot shorter than Don, so it took me a while to realize we were actually staying in a pretty small space. I was so distracted by the colors and designs.
Walls and Windows
Our tiny bathroom felt less claustrophobic, thanks to the high ceiling and skylight. However, showering was comical. I was reminded of a cruise ship memory.
I'm pretty sure we had booked one of the cheapest and smallest rooms, so we weren't complaining. I was more than happy to put up with a small space, because of all the other perks. The painted windows near the kiva sitting area, were my favorite!
Cookies and Hot Drinks!
We made sure to stop by the coffee bar in the afternoon, for a cookie break.
There were coffees and teas and oatmeal raisin cookies. Yay!
Our Windows at Night
When we returned late after dinner and found colored lights in the garden, I sighed.
I ran back outside after turning on our lights, to see our painted windows, glowing!
Morning in Santa Fe
One of the biggest treats about our inn, was the location.
Early the next morning I headed out on a little run, with my cell phone. How beautiful Old Santa Fe looked in the quiet, early morning.
Greeting in the Morning
I returned for a quick and comical shower and was ready for breakfast at 8:00.
We headed through the garden, where St. Frances stood with his birds and flowers...
A Bright Breakfast
Then into the colorful breakfast room...
...with bright table cloths and yet another painted kiva fireplace.
Breakfast is Served
We grabbed our own coffee and relaxed into the peaceful setting. Unlike some B & B breakfasts,
we had our own table and I wasn't really in the mood for chattiness anyway. But when I looked around, there were some interesting looking travelers. I was curious about the other guests... and I don't always feel that way.
Food and Decor
We enjoyed the perfect breakfast of egg and English muffin sandwich, with western potatoes and fruit. Just the right amount.
We talked a bit... and I stared a bit. So many little treasures to amuse me!
Our inn was cozy and peaceful, colorful and filled with history and treasures!
I'll remember our whimsical kiva with the dolls, most of all.
AND... the location! Lovely!
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!