SANTA FE -- The Inn at Loretto may be the only hotel in this region that provides its guests with two distinct places of refuge: a chapel and a spa.

The hotel, part of Noble House Hotels and Resorts, recently opened Spa Blue, which it said aims to rejuvenate the "mind, body and soul" with Asian and indigenous treatments.

The spa
Unique to the spa is a Desert Heat Wrap, which features adobe clay applied to the body followed by a thermal wrap and Vichy shower. A moisturizing lotion is then applied to hydrate and tone the skin.

This can be followed by one of 12 different massages, including the Native Desert Sage Massage, which begins with an exfoliating polish of sage and rosemary and a massage using a rare desert sage oil blend.

The facility, decorated in warm earth tones and natural textures, "is a personal refuge for relaxation and renewal," said Dan Pierotti, corporate spa director for Noble House.

"We wanted to blend together the harmony of Eastern philosophy with the spiritual beauty of Santa Fe."

The chapel
Although today's visitors to Santa Fe may find tranquility in the spa, the hotel also offers a place in which visitors have sought peace for more than a century.

The Loretto Chapel was constructed in 1878 on land that was part of the Loretto Academy, a Roman Catholic school run by the order of the Sisters of Loretto.

Room decor at Santa Fe's Inn at Loretto blends Southwestern colors and styles. According to local legend, there was no access to the 20-foot choir loft, so the nuns prayed to St. Joseph, the patron of carpenters, to resolve their problem.

Nine days later, a white-bearded man appeared with a tool case and donkey in tow. He built a spiral staircase to the loft and left before he could be paid for his work.

The staircase is awe-inspiring to visitors as well as architects. It features two 360-degree turns and no center post for support. No nails or pegs were used to secure it.

The chapel is now part of the hotel's wing of shops and galleries.

The inn
Built in 1975 by the Kirkpatrick family of Santa Fe, the Inn at Loretto carries the signature adobe-style architecture of the region.

In 1996, the family sold the property to Noble House, the Seattle-based company that also owns and operates hotels in Arizona, California, Florida, Texas and Washington. Two years ago, Noble House completed a $10 million renovation of the property.

In May, the Restaurant at the Inn at Loretto opened. The hotel also has a lobby bar that is popular with locals as well as guests, offering food, drinks and live music in the evenings.

There also is an outdoor, heated swimming pool open year-round, a sculpture garden and a fitness center.

In addition to 135 standard rooms, there are five suites. The 2,800-square-foot Presidential Suite is the most lavish of the accommodations, containing a pool table, a full kitchen, a dining room and a large living room with a fireplace and a terrace with a view of the city.

A spiral staircase leads to the master bedroom and a private rooftop balcony.

Rates and packages
Room rates start at $209 for standard rooms and $359 for suites.

There is a travel agent rate of $69 per night that includes a Santa Fe trolley tour for two.

The hotel will provide a $25 gift certificate for the spa or restaurant to agency clients, in the agency's name, once the booking agent has stayed at the hotel.

To introduce the spa, the property created a Body & Soul Renewal package with prices starting at $299 for two. It includes a one-night stay in a standard room, two 30-minute massages, parking and taxes and tips.

The package is available Sept. 2 through Dec. 31, subject to availability. The booking code is NC in the GDSs.

The hotel is located a block from Santa Fe Plaza and within walking distance of major attractions, including the Canyon Road area, where art galleries and craft shops can be found.

For details, call (800) 727-5531 or (505) 988-5531, or visit www.hotelloretto.com.

Comments
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI