During the early 20th century, Santa Fe in New Mexico became an artist’s haven, welcoming photographers, painters, and writers who were seeking something different. It’s that same open-armed spirit that exists today, making Santa Fe one of the most popular gay-friendly and progressive small cities in the country. Not only does the city have a highly visible and sizable LGBTQ population, but it also draws an arts-minded and romantic crowd too. That’s why there are so many fantastic gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe NM that capture the spirit of not just the city but New Mexico as well. In fact, almost every second accommodation in Santa Fe is gay friendly, from smaller B&Bs to larger hotels. However, these lodgings have cultivated a bit more of a devoted LGBTQ+ following, despite welcoming everyone with open arms. That’s why you’ll find no LGBTQ+-exclusive properties in Santa Fe.
Did you know that Santa Fe doesn’t have a gayborhood? Yes! The city’s lack of a visible gay scene is one of its best features because just about everything and everyone is welcoming and open. What’s more, travelers will feel right at home here, for Santa Fe even elected its first openly gay mayor in 2014. Going beyond its gay-friendliness, Santa Fe is also one of the best US winter vacation spots. So, Santa Fe is one year-round destination. To that end, here are the 11 best gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Table of contents
- Inn of the Turquoise Bear
- El Farolito B&B Inn
- Casa Escondida B&B
- Inn at Vanessie
- Four Kachinas B&B
- Hotel St. Francis
- Ten Thousand Waves
- Drury Plaza Hotel
- Lodge at Santa Fe
- Inn On The Alameda
- The Inn of Five Graces
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Best Gay Saunas in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Inn of the Turquoise Bear
The Inn of the Turquoise Bear is one of the cutest gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe NM. This wonderful little inn isn’t as overtly gay as its cheeky name would suggest. However, the 20th-century adobe compound is both gay-operated and owned and has housed luminaries such as Errol Flynn, D.H. Lawrence, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Choose from 11 rooms, each of which varies in size and decor and is named for famous past guests. But, they all have typical Santa Fe characteristics; think fireplaces, wood-beam ceilings, adobe walls, and even private porches in some. And while some rooms have shared bathrooms, others have private ones with clawfoot tubs. The elegant Witter Bynner Room has a walk-in spa shower perfect for couples.
Downstairs, the cozy lobby with a fireplace, armchairs, and books is a great place to unwind. And despite serving no other meals, the place serves a delicious breakfast, which includes hot and cold meals served either on the terrace or fireside in the dining room.
El Farolito B&B Inn
The inviting El Farolito B&B Inn offers a homier LGBTQ+ friendly experience and is one lovely gay friendly hotel in Santa Fe NM. Choose from eight classic Santa Fe–style adobe casitas, all of which have different decorative styles but do have fireplaces and patios – some private and some shared. The decor ranges from Spanish Colonial to folk art–inspired, but all cozy bathrooms are the same with bathtubs and vibrant hand-painted Mexican tiles. Downstairs, the lounge doubles as the breakfast room, complete with a fireplace and a patio right outside for warmer days. Finally, the buffet-style breakfast with a variety of egg dishes, fresh fruit, and delicious baked goodies is the highlight here.
Casa Escondida B&B
Casa Escondida B&B is not just one of the best gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe New Mexico, but it’s also pet-friendly! This wonderful nine-room B&B sits in Chimayo, one of the region’s most historic and prettiest villages, with sweeping views of the Sangre de Cristos. All rooms have kiva fireplaces, vibrant Southwestern textiles, and blankets, and even include hot gourmet breakfasts. What’s more, most of them have covered decks or porches. The Wildflower Room has a very romantic clawfoot tub if you’re looking for a healthy dose of romance. The lobby with its fireplaces, board games, and books is the perfect place to hang out on the property. And despite there not being a restaurant on the property, the delicious hot breakfast served every morning is the standout amenity.
Inn at Vanessie
The Inn at Vanessie is one of the loveliest gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe New Mexico. This sumptuous boutique inn sits within adobe structures typical of Santa Fe. What’s great is that the adjoining Vanessie restaurant and bar are some of the best gay-friendly spots in the city. All rooms feature gorgeous handcrafted wooden beds, Southwest pieces, and a blend of Native American, Hispanic, and cowboy art. Also, all of them have mod-cons such as climate control, fridges, TVs, and most even have fireplaces. Plus, it’s very easy to feel pampered in the bathrooms, complete with slippers, robes, magnifying mirrors, and Gilchrist & Soames bath products. Downstairs, the lobby with the adjoining sunroom is a great place to relax and enjoy a decadent breakfast in the morning. However, the crown jewel is the lounge, which is very popular for live music, and even features locally beloved pianist Doug Montgomery.
Four Kachinas B&B
The equally beautiful sister of the El Farolito Inn, the Four Kachinas B&B is also one of the best gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe NM. It sits in a vintage red-roofed adobe house and has just six rooms, making staying here intimate and exclusive. Moreover, each room is designed in typical Santa Fe Spanish Colonial or Native American themes, complete with handcrafted furniture and well-chosen artwork. The eponymous Kachina room has Native American-patterned textiles and colorful kachina dolls. Meanwhile, the San Miguel Room has two striking wrought-iron beds, Mexican antiques, and folk art. Even bathrooms are no less, with some even featuring clawfoot bathtubs. Winding up the amenities is a stellar breakfast served in the lobby/lounge. And even though there’s no bar, you can store beer and wine in the common fridge.
Hotel St. Francis
Hotel St. Francis is one of the most characterful gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe NM. This stately hotel sits in a historic 1924-built California Mission Revival structure. What’s more, it’s home to two of the most acclaimed LGBTQ+-friendly drinking spots in Santa Fe. These two places, namely Gruet and Secreto and the acclaimed restaurant Tabla de Los Santos, are connected by a striking lobby lit entirely by candlelight. The lounge bar is the perfect place to enjoy pre-dinner aperitifs before heading out to explore Santa Fe’s gay scene. You’ll love the rooms here, too, complete with casement windows, high ceilings, and rustic Mexican furnishings. Finally, the lantern-style lamps and the aromatic sweet grass–scented Sister Sky bath products make the bathrooms your personal unwinding space.
Ten Thousand Waves
Ten Thousand Waves is perhaps the gay-friendliest of the gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe New Mexico! Gay travelers especially love the authentic Japanese-style baths, a.k.a. onsen ambiance of this 20-acre Japanese-inspired spa and boutique inn. Choose from just airy and light-filled hillside cottages spread across a piñon-covered hill, all of which will remind you of a Japanese ryokan. Think low-slung futons or beds, large flatscreen TVs, fine woodwork, and stone/marble wood-burning fireplaces. What’s more, they even have patios or courtyards! Plus, two of them even come with full kitchens, if you want to do some cooking yourselves. A decadent Japanese breakfast is included in the rates, and the restaurant is famous for its izakaya-inspired meals. And, of course, there’s sake too!
The standout experience here is the serene spa, which has communal and private indoor and outdoor hot tubs and treatment rooms. Many of them have Far East influences, including yasuragi neck and head treatments, ashi anma foot treatments, Japanese organic-massage facials, Thai and shiatsu massages! If you go for the private premium spa suites, they even come with ceramic tubs, seated showers, and saunas.
Drury Plaza Hotel
Drury Plaza Hotel is not just one of the best gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe New Mexico, but it’s also among the best pool hotels in Santa Fe. For one, its seasonal pool is an outdoor one, and that too on the rooftop! That’s why LGBTQ+ travelers flock to this place, especially during summers, to cool off during the day. Secondly, the hotel sits in a mid-20th-century Territorial-style structure, with every nook and corner allowing for spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Moreover, the rooms are among the largest in Downtown Santa Fe, and they feel even larger due to the tall windows and the soaring ceilings. Earthy hues aside, the rooms even have coffeemakers, fridges, coffee nooks, and local art.
Downstairs, the lobby is one of Santa Fe’s largest and most attractive, complete with plush seating and a soaring two-story fireplace. You’ll even find a cozy library with a fireplace! Aside from the rooftop pool, the hotel also has a bar next to the pool where you can drink sundowners before exploring the gay scene. An excellent gym, a restaurant serving full breakfast, and free popcorn and soda in the lobby complete the amenities.
Lodge at Santa Fe
Lodge at Santa Fe is one of the best gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe NM. Gay travelers looking for an offbeat chain hotel in the city will like this Radisson outpost, whose hilltop location offers sweeping views of the Sangre de Cristo and Sandias Mountains. Despite being a chain hotel, the rooms feature lovely Southwestern design elements; think local artwork, hand-carved furniture, and Navajo-style throws and rugs. What’s more, some of them even have balconies with panoramic views of the mountains. Even bathrooms are lovely, with bathtubs in some and C.O. Bigelow bath products in all. Of all the amenities, the nicely landscaped pool is the best, complete with lounge chairs and patio furniture. Besides the gym, the lofty hilltop location of the restaurant makes it so great, especially during mealtimes.
Inn On The Alameda
Inn on the Alameda is one excellent luxurious gay friendly hotel in Santa Fe NM. The hotel sits on lush riverside acres and is inspired by Santa Fe’s historic pueblos. Choose from a host of rooms and suites set in serene courtyards, complete with flowering vines overflowing on stucco walls for a very romantic vibe. What’s more, all rooms feature rustic-chic Southwestern decor; think Native-American textiles, Mission-style wood, local artwork. The rest of the hotel is equally impressive, especially the well-stocked library with a roaring fireplace where you can curl up with a book on cold nights. Wind up the day with a date night dinner on the romantically candlelit lounge patio. If that wasn’t enough, the hotel also offers a delicious complimentary breakfast, a free shuttle around the town, and wine and cheese every evening.
The Inn of Five Graces
The Inn of Five Graces sits atop the list of the best gay friendly hotels in Santa Fe New Mexico for more reasons than one. Firstly, it’s one of Santa Fe’s most luxurious hotels. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also one of the US’ most expensive hotels! It even lies in what is considered the oldest neighborhood in the country, Barrio del Analaco! It’s no wonder that discerning gay travelers looking for an offbeat luxurious Santa Fe experience flock here. East meets West at this five-star hotel, which sits in 17th-century adobe structures connected by romantic courtyards. Later on, the owners renamed this Relais and Chateaux property to reflect the eastern idea of the five graces, namely sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. You’ll find far-flung finds all over the hotel, such as Navajo bedspreads, Uzbek, Pakistani, Mexican rugs and tapestries, and iron and woodwork from India.
These extend to the rooms and suites, with plush beds and lavish bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs. If you want something special, go for the Luminaria Villa, designed like the inside of a seashell! Besides the world-class breakfast and the hidden courtyards, the highlight is the spa treatment room.
Best Gay Neighborhoods in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is called the “City Different” for a good reason. It’s one of the few gay-friendly cities with no gayborhoods, or even a gay bar, for that matter. That’s because the city is a true melting pot and effortlessly blends cultures and tastes to make a wholly inclusive city. So, no matter where you go, you’ll find a gay-friendly business, bar, club, restaurant, or neighborhood, in general.
That doesn’t mean that Santa Fe has very few queer people. In fact, its mayor, Javier Gonzales, is gay, and the city was also home to RainbowVision, one of the first fully operational LGBTQ retirement communities in the country. Tennis legend Billie Jean King visited the place in 2006 to christen its fitness center! Despite undergoing a change as the Montecito, the place is still proudly LGBTQ-inclusive.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Fenix at Vanessie: Located right next to the gay-friendly accommodation Vanessie is the Fenix, a gay-popular piano bar that’s popular for its live music. It’s a top destination for both visiting and local LGBTQ+ folks.
- TerraCotta Wine Bistro: This friendly and intimate eatery is the perfect spot for a date with international fare and vino. You’ll always find a small but lively LGBTQ+ crowd here during happy hour.
- The Matador: This Santa Fe dive bar bar has something of a fabulous gay scene in the basement space, complete with an un-touristy and funky vibe.
Best Gay Saunas in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe doesn’t have a gay sauna yet, although there’s a lot of activity at the sauna at Ten Thousand Waves Resort.
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Santa Fe Pride: Santa Fe Pride, which is returning in 2022 with an offline celebration takes place for a week in June. The sparkly and vibrant event includes everything from a tea dance headlined by DJs to a massive parade and a pool party where everyone’s invited.