There are the obvious reasons anyone might have for visiting the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, the 65-casita property in New Mexico: the brand’s legendary hospitality, the property’s 10,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor spa, and the Southwestern-inspired fine dining among them. But according to General Manager Bixente Pery, there’s more to the destination than just its amenities.“Being here,” he says,“you forget about your cell phone and your laptop and you reconnect with nature and with yourself.”
Unless, of course, you can’t. In response to travelers who are looking for ways to combine a stay with remote working, or remote schooling for their kids, the resort has started offering guests complimentary office spaces in casitas kitted out with business essentials as well as dedicated classrooms (and kid-friendly programming) for virtual and socially distant learning.
Here, Pery talks to T&C about the resort’s best room, its storied history, and how its changing to meet the demands of today’s most discerning luxury travelers.
What do you consider the”best” room at the resort? Why?
The best casita, as we call them, is our Encantado Suite. Why? You are basically on top of the resort, with a 360-degree view of the entire valley that lets you see Los Alamos and the Jemez Mountains. You also have your own enclosed patio, indoor and outdoor wood-burning fireplaces, and a butler who’s on call at any time in addition to all of the amenities you’d expect from the Four Seasons.
What does it start at per night?
It varies depending on the time year, but I I’ve seen all the way to $3,000 a night.
Who’s your typical guest? Has that changed over the past year?
A lot of couples and a lot of families come to enjoy what Santa Fe and the resort have to offer, but we also have guests who are just driving through from Texas to Colorado or California. We are a small resort—with only 65 casitas and spread out over 57 acres—so you never feel that you have people around you. We have seen a lot of honeymooners in the last 18 months, and a lot of families who are able to stay with us because of our remote schooling setup, which we call Escuelita; it’s a little school classroom with a table and chairs, a TV to connect to your computer, crafts, and everything a student might need.
Can you tell us about any famous guests who’ve stayed with you?
I cannot name names, but I can tell you we have seen people from every corner of the world visiting us. The location, we are outside of Santa Fe, but you can go into Santa Fe. So, I cannot really mention names, but I can tell you go from actor to owner of company, CFO, CEO. Yeah. We are very private within Four Season. We keep for privacy reasons we want to keep this private. We want those guests to come back, no? [The property played host to at least one star for Town & Country, serving as the location for a shoot with Love Story star Ali MacGraw in 2020.]
What’s one local recommendation you always give first-time visitors?
I always recommend guests visit Santa Fe, walk around the Plaza, and visit Canyon Road, which is where all the art galleries are—and Santa Fe is a truly great city for art. If someone’s looking for something a bit different, I always suggest they take advantage of our adventure center; we can organize and customize tours about history and culture in Santa Fe or we can do hiking, biking, or any kind of outdoor sports. Finally, I always tell guests to keep time open to enjoy the spa—we have an outdoor jacuzzi and steam room, we have a sauna, we have the wonderful pool—or enroll in one of our mixology class or cooking demos.
Can you share an interesting tidbit about the hotel’s history?
Today, the ranch is, but it used to be called Rancho Encantado and was developed 50 years ago by a woman named Betty Egan. Betty came from Ohio with her kids, and she created this dude ranch. If you visit the bar, you can see pictures of that time, with guests like the Dalai Lama, Robert Redford, and Prince Albert of Monaco. A lot of artists and famous from the world came to the Rancho Encantado; we still have people coming and staying with us who stayed 20 or 30 years ago, and now they come back to see the new Rancho Encantado.
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