Where in America can you go to feel like Talitha Getty at the height of her bohemian splendor? Wildly original and deeply, thoughtfully luxurious, The Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the ultimate gypsy style retreat.
THERE ARE CITIES WHERE WHAT’S BEHIND THE CLOSED DOORS AND HIDDEN COURTYARDS IS KIND OF EVERYTHING: Marrakesh comes to mind, or New Orleans, Venice, or Istanbul. Parts of Santa Fe – the oldest parts – give you that feeling. On either side of what may be the very oldest street in America (the oldest chapel is around the corner, the dusts of the ages shift beneath the cobblestones) behind thick doors, exotic shutters and secret courtyards, lies one of the most transporting hotel experiences anywhere.
“Feeling like Talitha Getty at the height of her louche, bohemian splendor.”
SO MUCH OF SANTA FE INVOLVES A SINGLE, OFTEN BEAUTIFULLY RENDERED STYLE; dramatic departures from the classic southwest-with-a-breath-of-modernism rarely succeed. The Inn of the Five Graces is a dramatic departure that somehow feels utterly of the place: exquisitely-carved antique wooden screens muffle the senses to the outside world; thick Uzbek tapestries in stunning, intricate patterns, further insulate and coddle the visitor. Every exotic detail has been attended to: antique carpets, patterned pillows, woven and printed textiles all combined so skillfully that the effect is somehow subtle, almost laid back.You kick off your shoes and wander down a narrow hallway, already feeling like Talitha Getty at the height of her louche, bohemian splendor.
“Everywhere, there are painted tiles, in the most fantastic patterns imaginable.”
THE FIREPLACES ARE THE ANCIENT SANTA FE KIVA ONES; even the skylights are edged in centuries old carved panels. And everywhere, there are painted tiles, in the most fantastic patterns imaginable. Every bathroom is different: one tub is tiled in what looks like a broken bowl of stars, another gleams with hand painted images of butterflies and hummingbirds; an enormous shower even incorporates what has to be the lid of a teapot, an azurine sink bowl is clad entirely in lapis.
“It truly is difficult to tear yourself away from your room, with its cosseted sense of mystery.”
THE PLACE IS WALKING DISTANCE FROM EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO SEE IN SANTA FE, but it truly is difficult to tear yourself away from fountained, blooming courtyards, the decadent breakfasts in the light filled, tapestry-paneled breakfast room (get the eggs with grits and green chiles), the most-decadently-decorated spa ever (coming this summer: an outdoor lounging area replete with something called a basking tub) and most of all, still, your room, with its winding hallways, painted ceilings, and its secluded, cosseted sense of mystery.