Member of Historic Hotels of America, La Fonda on the Plaza turns 100 this year, and the Sante Fe icon is celebrating its staple-status with a custom tequila crafted by Herradura and a celebratory signature cocktail. If you’ve been to “The City Different,” you’ve definitely seen the luxury property at the southeast corner of Santa Fe Plaza and, if you haven’t checked in or even ventured inside yet, this is your year. Here, La Fonda’s chairman of the board, Jennifer Kimball, answers a few questions about the hotel’s past, present and future before sharing a bit about the hotel’s custom tequila, including the recipe for the anniversary margarita.
La Fonda on the Plaza is truly a Santa Fe landmark. How did that come to be?
La Fonda happens to sit on the same site as previous inns that date all the way back to the 1600s. It opened its doors in 1922 as the oldest hotel in the oldest capital city in the United States and, in the mid 1920s, hospitality giant and genius Fred Harvey partnered with the Santa Fe Railway to purchase the hotel. This was not just the beginning of a new era of hospitality; it really put Santa Fe on the map by expanding the railroads to the West and making the Southwest a tourist destination in its own right for the first time.
Today, we are the only hotel located on Santa Fe’s Plaza. This is the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail and at the exact spot where the Santa Fe Trail met the end of the Camino Real, so it’s has always been the gateway to Santa Fe and the center for all things social. We love it that locals refer to La Fonda as “Santa Fe’s living room.” We are respected as a Santa Fe landmark because we are the must-see, go-to destination for locals and visitors alike.
How does a 100-year-old hotel stay relevant?
La Fonda wears its age gracefully, and I think that’s because it has embraced a certain spirit of hospitality that inspires an enduring style. Over time, the hotel has drawn its signature design influences from all the diverse peoples and cultures of Santa Fe. It’s evident everywhere you look at La Fonda, even in our new “hotel within a hotel,” The Terrace Inn at La Fonda. No two rooms are alike but all feature handwoven Navajo Indian Chief blankets and custom drapes that showcase the original artwork of Crow artist Del Curfman.
What in store for the hotel's next 100 years?
La Fonda is focused on continuing to invest heavily in its staff as we look toward our future. We reward the loyalty and services of our highly trained and highly regarded employees and we will remain an economic force in New Mexico’s capital city.
Why did La Fonda decide to celebrate its 100th birthday with a custom tequila?
Well, basically because we knew our guests would love it! La Fonda has always enjoyed unique partnerships with our vendors, and our executive director of food and beverage, John Cuviello, was especially excited about the chance to work with his friends at Herradura on a signature, very limited edition Centennial Tequila.
Only 138 bottles!
What’s it called and how can people taste it?
It’s called La Fonda Barrel Select Centennial Herradura. It’s available for purchase exclusively in our gift shop, Detours at La Fonda, and makes a wonderful souvenir for our guests who appreciate fine tequila and want to take a taste of La Fonda, and our centennial celebration, home.
What makes the hotel’s signature tequila special?
The double barrel añejo Herradura tequila is 100% blue agave tequila that is aged for 25 months in toasted oak barrels. To create La Fonda’s signature tequila, it is then matured for an additional month in a new barrel. Each barrel is tasted, approved and authenticated by a team of professionals in Jalisco, Mexico.
For those lucky enough to snag a bottle, can you share the recipe the hotel’s celebratory margarita, the Centennial Gold?
1.5 oz La Fonda Barrel Select Centennial Herradura Tequila
.75 oz Grand Marnier
1.5 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz blue agave syrup
Lime and orange wheels for garnish
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour over ice into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with lime and orange wheels.
Discover the fascinating history of La Fonda on the Plaza and book your stay!
Read the full article from Forbes here.
About Historic Hotels of America®
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.