By Stephanie Pearson
August 22, 2014
Credit: Courtesy of El Paradero Bed & Breakfast Inn

For being consistently ranked as one of the most popular destinations in the U.S. by popular travel publications like this one, Santa Fe still has some surprisingly reasonable hotels—if you know where to find them. Most of these places are a throwback to a different era, mom-and-pop, family-run businesses, some of which have been in operation since way back in the 1930s, when Route 66 still ran through town. The family business may have changed hands from one generation to the next, but the values and vibe haven’t changed: These hotels offer clean, comfortable rooms, quiet open spaces, special touches like fresh flowers or breakfast specialties like huevos rancheros that have been handed down from one generation to the next, and, in most cases, easy access to the Plaza, Canyon Road, great restaurants, and beautiful trails—all at a price that feels like a steal. Be sure to book far in advance—rooms this good go fast.

Drury Plaza Hotel

El Paradero Bed & Breakfast Inn

Santa Fe Motel & Inn

This is the kind of mom and pop place where the clientele come back to Santa Fe every year simply because they can, with this motel’s reasonable price. Plus it has great city access, and extra touches like fresh-cut flowers and a full hot breakfast. Reserve a drive-up standard or kitchenette room or splurge on a pet-friendly casita with a fireplace. All rooms are an easy walk from the Railyard, and the Plaza. From $139.

El Rey Inn

A throwback to the days when Route 66 was Santa Fe’s main thoroughfare, the whitewashed, retro El Rey sprouting bougainvillea everywhere, is a hotel from another era. It’s on busy Cerillos road, but the rooms and junior Olympic-sized pool are tucked back into the lush, flowery, five-acre grounds in such a way that it still feels like a peaceful oasis. From $89, includes continental breakfast.

Pecos Trail Inn

This quiet 3.9-acre retreat off the Old Pecos Trail is in a residential neighborhood and a car or bike is required to see the sites of Santa Fe. But the rooms are big and newly remodeled, there’s an attached restaurant that serves New Mexican favorites, and the rates are right. From $89.