Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Review 731: Chapelle Street Casitas, 225 McKenzie
2bed/1bath house in center of Santa Fe, New Mexico
November 2003, 4 nights
This little house ("casita" in Spanish) was on a quiet street, just two blocks from the main Plaza in downtown Santa Fe. The location was ideal, as we didn't have a car. We were able to easily and quickly walk to shops and restaurants. There was a grocery store a little further afield; still walking distance but not convenient if carrying lots of groceries.
The casita had a small front yard, and a good sized enclosed flagstone patio in the back, with a wooden swing and patio table and chairs. Unfortunately, it was too cold during our stay to make use of it!
The house was clean and in good shape, with hardwood floors covered by area rugs, white plaster walls, and lots of windows. There were some nice Southwestern art pieces located throughout the house. (There was also one wacky painting that we took OFF the wall and faced the other way!)
All rooms in the house were clean and arranged nicely. The furniture was in very good shape, and quite comfortable. The living room sofa and loveseat were cushy, and arranged around a coffee table to face the gas fireplace.
There was a Dish satellite/cable TV. We requested a CD player, and one was supplied but we couldn't get it to work.
We emailed the agency with a request for two extra chairs because we knew we'd be entertaining; two additional dining chairs were in the house when we arrived. The dining room table was really only big enough for four people, but we squeezed six around it!
The queen canopy beds were comfortable; the bed linens were simple yet elegant. My room had a bedside table, but no dresser ... which would have been nice. It had a good sized walk in closet. The other bedroom had a nightstand and a dresser - I don't know about its closet!
The bathroom had a shower/tub with lots of hot water and good water pressure! There wasn't a fan in the bathroom, but a frosted glass window could be opened. The sink was free standing, with no vanity space for toiletry bags, but there was a small medicine cabinet above it for some storage.
The kitchen had a pretty painted table with four wooden chairs with rush seats around it. The cupboard doors were beautiful punched tin in a nice design. The kitchen supplies were adequate, but not really up to preparing full meals on a regular basis. We were able to borrow extra pots and utensils, but for travelers without local resources the kitchen might not be as usable.
There was a drip coffee maker with coffee, a toaster, a microwave oven, and a tea kettle with generic tea bags.
The dishwasher worked fine, but had a long cycle and was very noisy!
There was a small washer and dryer behind louvered doors in the kitchen; we didn't use them.
Problems or Bonuses
We couldn't figure out how to turn on the gas fireplace, and the instructions from the office worker were incomplete. It would have been nice to have a little "How To" book for guests.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Everything was handled smoothly via email. The agency also handles a B&B (the Casa del Toro), which was just around the corner from the casita.
With the exception of the description of the kitchen as "great" (although it did *look* good!) the website details were right on target. I think the charm and character of the house are even a bit underplayed...
Note from SlowTrav: I visited Colleen and Shannon in this rental and agree that it was very nice. This agency has a few other houses in Santa Fe. I recently looked at the Garfield studios (2005) and I did not like them as much (they were clean and nicely furnished and well priced, but the building is not pretty and the apartments are a bit dark, bathrooms are small).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I really liked this rental!! I will definitely stay here again if I have the opportunity, and highly recommend it to others.
Things to do in this area
Downtown Santa Fe has many restaurants, shops and art galleries, as well as the lovely St. Francis cathedral.
We enjoyed wine on the upstairs balcony of the Ore House, overlooking the plaza and the cathedral. I believe they have regularly scheduled live music; one late afternoon we were there when a flamenco guitarist was playing.
We had a great lunch at the famous Cafe Pasqual's at 121 Don Gaspar Ave., a delicious Thai dinner at the Banana Cafe at 329 W. San Francisco St. One afternoon we sat outside in the sunshine of the small patio and shared a very good pizza at Il Vicino, 321 W. San Francisco St.
The Georgia O'Keefe Museum is only one or two blocks away from the casita.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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