Complimentary Art & History Tours of La Fonda

Led by trained docents

La Fonda's has a 95 year old history that will transport you back in time. Join us for a complimentary docent-led art & history tour of the hotel which is filled with stories about Fred Harvey and the Harvey girls, the architecture and the beautiful art collection that graces the lobby, hallways and rooms in the hotel. 

High Season: Wednesday - Saturday, 10:30 am to 11:30am

Winter Hours (November- April) -Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10:30 am to 11:30am

Duration: 1 hour

Reservations: Complimentary tours are limited to 12 people and we encourage you to sign up with the concierge to reserve your space at extension 4200.

TESTIMONIALS:

  • This tour is a MUST! Appreciation of the art, history & building is greatly enhanced and made our stay even more special. What a great service that you provide! We will definitely return in the future. You have excellent guides- very knowledgeable and friendly.”
  • “We have stayed here for over 25 years and never had such an appreciation of the history and art until we took the docent tour. Thank you!”
  • “Tom & Jerry were wonderful, friendly and informative docents. Thank you for providing this wonderful tour of your most interesting hotel”
  • “Museum” tour of the hotel…Grade A PLUS”
  • “We had the most wonderful tour with Jerry Ryan last week - he was knowledgeable and charming. We would recommend the tour and the hotel!”
  • “We recently had a docent tour conducted by Julie. She is amazing! So knowledgeable & appreciative of the La Fonda history and is so excited about what she is doing. Her enthusiasm is infectious. You have a star”
  • “My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the informative and personalized tour of La Fonda’s art and architecture today. Thank you for the memorable experience”

DOCENT ART AND HISTORY EDUCATIONAL TALKS

As part of the education for our docents and anyone else that might be interested, La Fonda holds monthly talks with artists and writers. We record these talks and make them available on YouTube as well as here on our website. We hope you enjoy these videos.

Please check with our concierge at extension 4200 for the specific dates and speaker.

Jenny Kimball is the Chairman of the Board of the La Fonda on the Plaza hotel, which the oldest hotel site in the United States. In this interview, Jenny discusses the rich history of La Fonda, from its establishment in the 1600s through its development as part of the famous Harvey hotel chain to its award-winning status today. She describes the role of the Harvey family in branding the hotel, and the important work of Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, who designed La Fonda and other iconic Harvey hotels. She also explains her involvement in the hotel and her efforts to showcase La Fonda’s architectural and cultural history. The process of restoring the interior of La Fonda is described, and the work of artists and others to make the rooms match what they looked like in earlier decades. Jenny concludes by talking about La Fonda’s role as a watering hole for Manhattan Project scientists working in Los Alamos.

Stephen Fried, author of "Appetite for America", discusses the Fred Harvey Company at La Fonda on the Plaza.

Bruce Bernstein, Executive Director at Continuous Pathways Foundation and Executive Director at the Ralph T Coe Foundation for the Arts as well as former director of SWAIA in Santa Fe.

Comanche Artist Nocona Burgess is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and his work can be seen at the Giacobbe Fritz Gallery. 

Jenny Kimball, La Fonda's Chairman of the Board and and Barbara Felix, La Fonda's lead architect, talk with La Fonda's docents on their involvement and collaboration in renovating La Fonda on the Plaza and their history with the hotel.

Marla Allison is a member of Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico. Marla lives and makes art from her home studio where she finds comfort and inspiration by connecting with family, tradition, and being close to her community. Marla is a contemporary Native artist whose primary medium is painting.

Jann Haynes Gilmore, PhD is an art historian, writer, and watercolorist. Here she talks with La Fonda's docents about her new book "Olive Rush: Finding Her Place in the Santa Fe Art Colony". She directed the Museum's Program at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC

Dr. Leona M. Zastrow, or Dr. Z  as she is know, is a national and internationally recognized expert on Native American Art, History and Culture.

Barb Arlen is a volunteer docent at La Fonda on the Plaza and also teaches Color Theory at Santa Fe Community College School of Art & Design.

Katherine Promonis worked 20 years at the UNM Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Her talk is "Making Sense of Santa Fe: a chronological history".

Kathy Flynn is the coordinator of the New Mexico Chapter of National New Deal Preservation Association and the Executive Director of the the National New Deal Preservation Association, the private non-profit organization established to promote identification, documentation, preservation, and education of people.

Valerie Plame moderates this talk to our docents by legal expert Jim Fitzpatrick, Dr.Gregg Herken (author), John E. Haynes on Oppenheimer.