Jenny's View

Dear Friends,

Life is a journey and each day I count my blessings that a good part of mine has taken place at La Fonda, the very heart of Santa Fe.  Here, I’ve worked alongside service oriented, passionate women and men that continue our tradition of genuine hospitality, contributing to our shared history and future success.  

Folks stay here because we’re an award-winning historic property, we boast a world-class art collection and our accommodations showcase modern luxury. But, ultimately, travelers seek refuge at La Fonda because it is here they encounter and befriend our devoted and forever loyal staff.  During my tenure at the hotel I’ve had the honor of working with two of La Fonda’s finest.  With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to two very beloved members of La Fonda’s family, Steve Wimmer, our Chef Concierge from 1989 to 2015,  and Gilberto (“Gil”) Mesa, our Purchasing Manager since 1994.

A Person Standing Next To A Painting

For me, Steve was the ultimate resource in town for an honest take on the history, the cultural transformation and the art scene in Santa Fe.  Years ago, when I became more involved with the hands-on management of the hotel, he quickly helped me discover my passion for its rich past. From his post in La Fonda’s lobby, he would enthusiastically evoke stories of  Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, John Gaw Meem, the Fred Harvey Company, Gerald Cassidy — with such animation and enthusiasm one would think he had worked alongside each one of them as they diligently planned and crafted elements of our storied past. He combined humor with solid facts, offered constructive criticism with the best intentions and funneled his love of travel into each encounter with our guests and team members.  I absolutely adored him.

The role of Chef Concierge at La Fonda really translates into Chef Concierge for the entire City Different.  Steve was the go-to authority among hospitality and tourism professionals in and around town — and he continued to generously support me, La Fonda, and the industry well after his retirement in 2015.

A Group Of People Standing In A Room

After he officially left La Fonda, Steve had more time to study the archives of Santa Fe’s past.  Rarely did a day pass when my phone didn't ping with a message from him. Hilarious memes, photographs documenting important events, and witty articles about everything from Georgia O’Keeffe cocktails to political protests steadily streamed in.  Steve valued authenticity, had a penchant for drama and he did not suffer fools, so you can imagine his daily texts were amusing and insightful reflections of his spirited persona. He called me COB, short for Chairman of the Board, and he asked me to call him Carlton, the often heard, but never seen doorman from the Bob Newhart Show.  But Steve was always heard, and always seen.  How could you miss him in those gigantic bolo ties and bright colored horn rimmed glasses?

Our good friend and acclaimed author, Stephen Fried penned this moving remembrance of Steve. With a shared love for Fred Harvey history and two very large personalities, Stephen and Steve became fast friends.  Stephen’s piece truly captures the essence of a man whose profound love of history and culture was contagious.

Contributions in Steve's memory can be made to the new Steve Wimmer Historical Research Fund at the New Mexico History Museum. Under “donate to” scroll down to “in memory of,” type in “Steve Wimmer,” and follow the prompts.

While Steve was the boisterous and outward face of La Fonda, Gilberto Mesa was the quiet mastermind working behind the scenes to ensure the inner workings of our robust business kept moving 24/7.  “I never punch out” was Gil’s motto.  He ensured that supplies were always in stock and ready for our busy chefs to prepare the signature cuisine we are known for.

A Man Wearing Glasses And A Blue Shirt

In 2019 Gil was recognized by the New Mexico Hospitality Association with a Top Hat Award for Best Food & Beverage Employee for Back of the House for the entire state of New Mexico.  No one was more deserving of the honor, and in typical Gil fashion, he accepted it humbly, with grace and with a huge smile.  It was so much fun celebrating the award with him.

Gil’s kindness overpowered any room.  His enormous heart was evident in everything he touched — especially our annual gingerbread house. A natural artist, he helped establish our annual winter masterpiece, which draws thousands of visitors to our lobby each year. Gil and his team would spend hours crafting ice-cream cone trees, adding LED lights for the farolitos, and finishing the construction with stiff royal icing before wheeling it out to the lobby to add candy canes and other sweet touches.  It is always difficult to keep folks from trying to eat some!

A Person Standing In Front Of A Cake

Gil also developed a reputation in town as a master ice carver. Artisanal ice carving is a legacy from our Fred Harvey days, and Gil infused the tradition with vibrancy and passion.  He  made many a wedding celebration prettier and happier, carved soaring birds for our Thanksgiving guests, and was always excited to add his gorgeous ice carvings to any celebration.  He spearheaded the holiday ice display of Santa’s sleigh and even reindeer, on the Santa Fe Plaza for years, perfecting his craft along the way.  He transformed our plaza into a true winter wonderland.

A Person carving ice

Each community across the globe has suffered tremendous loss this year.  And with each loss, I’m reminded that it’s the authentic experiences and relationships forged during our journey here on earth that memory most safeguards. In honor of those we've lost, let's continue to navigate the world with open minds and open hearts.

On behalf of all of us at La Fonda, goodbye Steve and Gil, safe travels, my friends!


A Sunset Over A Grass Field
A Large Clock Tower In Front Of A Building


A Bouquet Of Flowers In A Vase On A Table

Detours at La Fonda

Detours at La Fonda showcases traditional and contemporary gifts that highlight the best of Santa Fe’s culture and style.  Offering a rich and varied aesthetic, the merchandise at Detours features local artisans and folk art from across the globe.

Our handmade Root Vases are feature earth toned glass wrapped around each vessel in an organic process to reflect the root growth of trees.

Food in La Plazuela

La Plazuela

We are thrilled to welcome guests back into our sun filled dining room.  Join us at La Plazeula for socially-distanced cuisine.

Cynde Roof Fine Art Gallery

The season speaks of spring and muses. Now is the time to acquire that piece you have been longing for!

Visit  Cynde Roof Fine Art 105 Old Santa Fe Trail in the historic La Fonda on the Plaza.  


Photogenesis Gallery at La Fonda


This esteemed gallery features local artists and French photographers exclusively, offering fine art black and white photography and archival prints (giclée prints).

To order please call (505) 989-9540 or email:  Inquire about their special COVID discounts!

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Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor offers America's largest selection of premium leather & exotic skin belts, buckles & bags.

Explore their latest selection.


Gemsong Gallery

Now expanded next to Detours at La Fonda!

Gemsong Gallery features a large selection of pieces by top Indigenous artists, along with an extensive selection of collectible American Turquoise from the gallery founder's five decades of experience as a trade leader in the Gemstone and Indigenous Jewelry & Arts industries.

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Rocki Gorman

Make a bold statement with handcrafted Southwestern inspired accessories and jewelry that seamlessly blend classic and contemporary styles.

Phone: 505-983-7833

La Fonda hotel is located on the Santa Fe plaza


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