20 August 2010

Four Kachinas B&B -- simply charming!

When I was in Santa Fe two weekends ago, my husband checked out of his dorm room at St. John's College to stay with me at a little b&B called The Four Kachinas. We ended up getting the last available room, and it was booked solid for *weeks* on either end of our stay, so it felt providential, as Anne Shirley might say.

The atmosphere is a serene one, with a courtyard fountain quietly bubbling away amidst gardens dappled with sunlight. Tables with chairs dotted around. We’re in the Kachina Room – high-ceilinged, queen-bedded, and bursting with Southwest charm. We have a door leading to a private patio for two on one side and a door leading to the garden courtyard on the other. There’s also a comfortable sofa, a flat screen tv(which we didn’t turn on once) and the quietest air conditioner I’ve ever heard. A ceiling fan and screened windows make the most of the high desert air to cool the room quite comfortably without the a/c, if one prefers. The bathroom is compact, with a bath-shower combo, thick, fluffy towels, and outfitted with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.

Clockwise from top left: our private patio for two, a sleeper sofa in a decorate Kachina-
themed alcove, our very comfy queen bed, our bathroom where the kachina theme continues

The room is altogether charming and we felt damned lucky to get it—my weekend trip was booked completely last minute to join up with my husband who had already been out there for a week teaching a workshop at St. John’s College. The dorm room where the college put him up, while being perfectly adequate to his needs, was only furnished with a twin bed, so we had to scramble to find a room. I wanted a room where I could walk the downtown area while he was still teaching, but finding one with charm and local color that also didn’t break the bank was a challenge.

The breakfast spread is quite good. They offer one hot entrée each morning, and the first morning we were there it was a mushroom & cheese soufflé. They also offer a variety of breads, cereals, yogurt, and a remarkable fruit plate with ten different kinds of fresh fruit. Coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice rounded out the offerings. Because we had to leave before breakfast on our second morning to catch an early flight out of Albuquerque, Walt, the innkeeper, arranged to leave some yogurt and cereal for us in the communal refrigerator in the breakfast room.

The breakfast room doubles as a lounge or tea room for the remainder of the day, where the innkeepers provide complimentary coffee, tea, sodas, bottled water, and homemade cookies—perfect for that late afternoon pick-me-up after exploring all day. They also provide maps of the town and the region for guests to take with them, and they’ve collected menus from dozens of restaurants in town for guests to peruse in order to best choose their meals out. The communal refrigerator is also great for guests who have leftovers or who want to keep bottles of wine chilled to enjoy in their rooms later.

The Plaza was only a 10 minute leisurely stroll (shorter if one has a brisker pace or doesn’t stop to windowshop along the way), but the location was quiet enough not to be bothered by noise from traffic or tourists. In short, it was practically perfect in every way, and I look forward to my next trip to Santa Fe and the Four Kachinas.

Milagro 139 for dinner: we met some dear friends, the Detquists, for dinner on Friday night, and they made reservations for us at Milagro 139. We all enjoyed our meal in the pleasant, relaxed courtyard atmosphere. We had two rounds of Silverado margaritas, guacamole prepared at the table, two pear & spinach salads, one steak, one salmon, and two stuffed poblanos. We finished up with a trio of desserts: saffron flan, mango sorbet, and just to be as decadent as possible, a cheesecake chimichanga. Yes, I said deep-fried cheesecake. Considering that each round of drinks was $40, our bill wasn’t as outrageous as I was expecting—it came to about $230, plus tip. Everything was fresh and tasty, but above all it was the company that was so wonderful.

The Detquists, as we collectively call our friends, Karin Bergquist and Li'ford Detweiler from Over the Rhine, were at the same Image conference as my husband. They've been attending the Glen workshop together for nearly a decade now, and on the last night the duo performed songs from their new album. Showing a photo of them is as good as way to conclude this blogpost as any:

1 comment:

Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)