Rich with more than 150 years of history, landmark Santa Fe property Bishop’s Lodge is reborn as a stunning luxury destination for the A-list.
Suites offer stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape
Some places have a sense of history so palpable you can feel it in your bones—where past and present effortlessly mingle, and just by sitting still you can almost hear the whispering voices of generations past. As I discovered on a recent visit, Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection is exactly that kind of place. Set on 317 acres in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains adjacent to the Santa Fe National Forest (and just a few miles from downtown Santa Fe), it’s a destination brimming with the history of the Southwest: French missionary Bishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy made his home on the site in the 1860s, and since then the property has been a private residence for the Pulitzers and a resort that has hosted U.S. presidents. Now, after a top-to-bottom renovation (including the preservation of Lamy’s original personal chapel), the place has been transformed into one of the region’s poshest luxury getaways— and a must-visit for visitors to Santa Fe.
Accommodations beckon with chic native textiles and double-sided kiva fireplaces.
It’s a striking scene: As you approach the property, clusters of low-slung adobe structures climbing the hills come into view, surrounded by verdant natural landscaping, from sagebrush and catnip to juniper trees. Inside, those understated buildings (the hotel has 100 guest rooms, suites and casitas) reveal themselves to be sumptuously outfitted villas boasting luxe finishes that are both chicly modern and deeply mindful of the region’s heritage—think colorful native textiles, carved wood beam ceilings and double-sided kiva fireplaces. Indulge in one of the stunning Kiva Suites, which boast private terraces, hammered copper tubs and outdoor plunge pools with stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains, and settle effortlessly into the comforts of the property.
Kiva Suites boast inviting outdoor plunge pools
That full-bodied regional flavor extends to the appealing culinary offerings, the centerpiece of which is SkyFire, the lodge’s rustic-chic contemporary New Mexican restaurant. Over a series of memorable meals, we relished everything from hearty breakfast rancheros served Christmas-style (both red and green chile) to a deconstructed shrimp tamale delicately wrapped in a husk and mesquite-grilled strip steak with jalapeno creamed corn. Simply put, nearly every dish was a master class in regional technique.
Selection of regional offerings from SkyFire, the property’s fine dining restaurant
There’s plenty else to keep you happily on property, from hiking and trail rides on horses from Bishop’s Lodge’s own stables to healing arts experiences that combine Santa Fe’s art culture with traditional, mindful wellness practices. If adventure calls, though, there is much to explore away from the lodge: Immerse yourself in the history of Santa Fe with a fascinating guided downtown walking tour; get an in-depth geology lesson during a hike through the epic Nambé Badlands; raft the picturesque Rio Grande; or reel in a trout or three on a day of heli fly-fishing. It all adds up to a luxury experience that feels both completely of the moment and, at the same time, enveloped in the fabric of Santa Fe’s deep sense of place—and that’s a thrilling combination. “The resort has long been a steward of Santa Fe’s rich history and a place that families and friends have traditionally gathered,” sums up Angelica Palladino, the property’s general manager, “and today the reimagined Bishop’s Lodge is carrying on these traditions to the next generation. It is so rewarding to witness the memories being made while telling the story of Santa Fe’s history and culture.”
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION