Vacationing at Villas de Santa Fe

An Autumn Getaway

Finding ourselves one November with both unused vacation time that was about to expire, as well as  some timeshare points that were about to expire, my wife and I decided to take a quick vacation.

To keep expenses down we decided to go someplace nearby.  But we also wanted to get away and visit someplace new and interesting.  

Checking our timeshare options and a map we decided that Santa Fe, New Mexico would be a good choice.  Not only had we not been there before but we also found a good timeshare deal and Santa Fe, according to Google Maps, was only an eight to nine hour drive from our home in Tucson.

Plaza in Old Santa Fe and a Few of its Famous Buildings

show route and directions
A markerVillas de Santa Fe Timeshare Resort -
400 Griffin St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
[get directions]

Villas de Santa Fe timeshare resort located at 400 Griffin St. in Santa Fe, NM

B markerPalace of thee Governors -
Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
[get directions]

Palace of the Governors - Seat of NM Government from 1610, when the Spanish first built,until 1910. Spanish, Mexican & American governors ruled he

C markerSan Miguel Mission -
401 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
[get directions]

Mission Church built by Spanish in 1610.

D markerOldest House in America -
215 E De Vargas St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
[get directions]

The structure at 215 E. De Vargas Street, the alleyway opposite the side of San Miguel Mission, is claimed to be the oldest house in the United States

E markerLoretto Chapel -
207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
[get directions]

Chapel, completed in 1878 of the Loretto Academy for Young Women. Interior circular staircase was supposedly built by St. Joseph.

F markerFirst Presbyterian Church -
208 Grant Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
[get directions]

First Presbyterian Church located near the plaza in Old Santa Fe. Built in 1867, it is the oldest Protestant Church in New Mexico.

Villas de Santa Fe

Villas de Santa Fe Timeshare Resort, main building on 400 Griffin St in Santa Fe.
Villas de Santa Fe Timeshare Resort, main building on 400 Griffin St in Santa Fe.
Corner of the living room of our 1 bedroom unit at the Villas de Santa Fe.
Corner of the living room of our 1 bedroom unit at the Villas de Santa Fe.

Our timeshare not only turned out to be even better than it looked online (and it was very appealing online) but it was also located in the historic area adjoining the city’s historic plaza.

In fact, the historic plaza turned out to be only a short walk from the Villas de Santa Fe where we were staying.

This was great because, I am not fond of driving around strange cities trying to find parking places which are usually rare to non-existent in the center of older cities.

The plaza and area of the original city surrounding it is now preserved as a historic district that retains the quaint charm of the old Spanish colonial city. Even new structures, such as the Villas de Santa Fe, have to adhere to strict building and zoning regulations that require them to blend in with their surroundings.

The resort, while new and containing all the comforts of a resort, blends in nicely with the surrounding structures which range from old to quite new.

Simply walking around the neighborhood, gives a person a feeling of strolling into the past as does the short walk to the Plaza.

Old Home across the street from Villas de Santa Fe
Old Home across the street from Villas de Santa Fe
View of one of the buildings containing timeshare guest units
View of one of the buildings containing timeshare guest units
First Presbyterian Church.  This was first Protestant Church built in New Mexico (1867) and is on way to plaza
First Presbyterian Church. This was first Protestant Church built in New Mexico (1867) and is on way to plaza

Touring the Plaza

Santa Fe was originally a small outpost on the northern fringe of Spain's New World empire. I have seen accounts of Americans first arriving there in the early to mid-nineteenth century and describing it as a busy trading center but also basically a dirty little village.

Today, the old buildings remain but the area has been cleaned up considerably. It is a very pleasant place to stroll around.

The plaza area itself is mostly old buildings dating from the early seventeenth century, such as the Governor's Palace which was built in 1610, to the later part of the nineteenth century, as exemplified by the Loretto Chapel built in 1878.

While there are many newer buildings the architecture of all of them retains the flavor of the old Spanish colonial trading village which was its image up until the twentieth century.

Many of the old buildings on the Plaza have been converted to modern shops but still retain the exterior look.  And, this is not the first time the use of such buildings has changed as, over the course of as much as 4 centuries times and people change and building use changes as well.

The Palace of the Governor's

Governor's Palace on the Plaza.
Governor's Palace on the Plaza.
Street leading away from Plaza
Street leading away from Plaza

Loretto Chapel

Staircase inside chapel, supposedly built by St. Joseph
Staircase inside chapel, supposedly built by St. Joseph

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Comments 5 comments

Max Stein profile image

Max Stein 5 years ago

Santa Fe does have such beautiful sites.


hafeezrm profile image

hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

Nice description and pictures. About 11 years back, I toured USA from South to South. I started from San Diego and ended at Jacksonville. In this way, I saw a number of cities including Santa Fe. Your hub brought back some pleasant memories.


PierrePierre profile image

PierrePierre 6 years ago

Good hub! Thank you to share the beautiful pics with us.


Clara Njekam profile image

Clara Njekam 6 years ago

Nice hub and bueatiful sites


girlpower profile image

girlpower 6 years ago from eugene oregon

oh you take me back to santa fe I was there in the eighties doing timber surveys for the forest service and santa fe was one of our respites, quaint and the pic of the governors palace brought me back in time. thanks for the treat of sharing a special magical place

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