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Ah, Spa....

Jenny’s view

Dear Friends:

We’ve been working for months behind the scenes to create a tranquil space that takes the La Fonda experience to the next level. Barbara Felix, our extraordinary architect, has been working with us since 2007 to bring authenticity, continuity and flow to the entire hotel. She’s done it again with the new and improved Spa.

Barbara has transformed the Spa with the colors of a New Mexico rainstorm.  Our beautiful monsoon thunderstorms that create moody blues, glorious greys and soft whites throughout the New Mexico skies are the hues you will notice in the Spa. And you’ll love the new glowing reception desk – a streak of illuminating lightning with a nod to Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter in an otherwise soothing décor.

A bigger, better space, including two new treatment rooms (one especially for couple’s massage) means we’re bringing on more staff and offering services unique to La Fonda. And there’s now a relaxation area, too. No need to rush back to your room with wobbly post-treatment legs! Or just come hang out for a respite from the bustle.

Chris Bentley, our Spa Manager, has created a delicious menu for your treatments. We’ve partnered with Epicuren Discovery® to offer responsibly sourced, cruelty-free products with natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals. We’ve been using this line, originally developed for those with skin severely damaged from the sun, burns or other environmental and toxic exposure, for several months. Guests love it. The therapists love it, too. And you know that when therapists love your products, they’ve got to be special. Look for Detours, our gift shop, to carry some of these products in the future.

Epicuren Discovery® Products

So clear away the fatigue and stress of travel, get energized and exfoliated, or rejuvenate your feet after exploring everything Santa Fe has to offer. Check the website for a full list of treatments, and pamper yourself or someone you love to a massage, facial or other treatment today.

I’ll be the one in the cucumber eye mask,


Detours at La Fonda 


We have just received a lovely selection of various sized cups, mugs, bowls, and vases from long time artist Don Swanson. Each colorful one of a kind piece is hand thrown, hand painted and glazed by Don in his studio in Tucson, AZ . Being in such demand has created waiting lists for his much coveted work and his production is limited since he is a “one man show”. Pieces go quickly, so stop by soon to view the collection.

Don Swanson Pottery 

With time, talent and inspiration, Kelly Jo Kuchar turns plain ceramic plates, bowls and vases into one-of-a-kind, hand painted works of art, which are widely treasured throughout the nation. Some of the designs offered at Detours are even custom designed for La Fonda, many resembling the murals featured in each of the bathrooms throughout the hotel. Each piece of Kelly Jo Designs ceramic ware reflects the artist’s inspiration – rooted in the styles of the American Southwest, her bold and colorfully striking art captures elements of the food, the culture and the landscape that characterizes this beautiful part of the country. Because of the functional nature of the products, these pieces of art can be on display in the home and then when entertaining, be taken down and used as serving pieces. All Kelly Jo Designs, Inc. ceramics are made with non-toxic, lead-free materials so they are food safe and can be used in the microwave, dishwasher and oven. All pieces are crafted in her production studios in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM. We especially love Kelly Jo as Jenny Kimball has been collecting her work for years and they both went to SMU. Go Ponies! 

Kelly Jo Kuchar Pottery

Kelly Jo Kuchar 

Recipe for Adventure

Tuna Tartare - Serves 4

Chef Lane proves that gourmet food can be good to your waistline as well as your taste buds. The fish tartare is best served chilled, not at room temperature. And, because the fish isn’t cooked make sure you get the freshest, best quality you can. You can also make this dish with bass, mackerel or salmon instead of tuna.


16 ounces Ahi Tuna, small diced, keep ice cold

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon serrano chile, minced

2 ounces avocado, diced small

1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated and chopped

1 Tablespoon honey

2 ounces soy sauce

1 ounce lime juice, fresh

1 ounce sesame oil

2 Tablespoons black and white sesame seeds, toasted

Toss all ingredients together, keep cold and serve in the next 3-hours or so. Chef recommends serving it immediately.

For the dressing:

½ Cup Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon Sambal Oelek ground chile paste (Can be purchased in the Asian section of the grocery store)

1 Tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 teaspoon black and white sesame seeds, toasted

Mix all ingredients and spoon over and around tuna tartare or keep on the side

Serve with crisp wonton chips…..


Live at La Fonda

Two-time New Mexico Music Award winners, The Bus Tapes, fronted by husband and wife duo Case and Heather Tanner and backed by Daniel Murphy on electric guitar and Jim Reid on drums, take audiences by the hand through a “what’s-cool” tour of music. Their eclectic mix of originals and covers, everything from blues and folk to R&B ballads and country-western swing, has been rocking crowds since 2008. In fact, they headlined the Silver City Blues Festival this May!

“We’re excited to return to La Fiesta Lounge,” said Case. “Heather is a wonderful entertainer with an engaging personality. Audiences immediately find her quite likable. And our music resonates with audiences young and old, because its reminiscent of the era they most familiar with. We put our modern twist on it.”

The Bus Tapes

Heather Tanner

Case and Heather met at a local music store, where Case worked and Heather was a customer. A co-worker of Case’s introduced them, noting that both shared the last name of Tanner. What were the odds? Now the two make beautiful music together in front of audiences all over, including La Fiesta Lounge. Come see them in La Fiesta September 14th & 15th. Take a listen on YouTube or visit their Facebook page.

Correction: Unfortunately, due to her new contractual obligations, Flamenco star La Emi will be unable to return to La Fonda’s Fiesta Lounge in the foreseeable future. However, we will have Flamenco dancing again soon, along with our other nightly entertainment. We apologize for the incorrect information in last month’s newsletter.

It’s a good time to…

Burger anyone? Yes, please! Especially when it’s The Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown (Sept 8), an afternoon of tasting and voting for the best combo of meat, cheese and chile in the land. Who will be crowned the Reigning Chomp? Who will take the coveted People’s Choice Award? The event benefits Cooking With Kids and Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance, so everyone wins!

The Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown

Then lace up your running shoes for the Race Different (Sept 16), the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon. Don’t worry couch potatoes, there are 5K and 1-mile events, too. Join the fun for a good cause - raise funds for the work of Global Running Culture, an all-volunteer non-profit organization that promotes healthy lifestyles.

Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon

Santa Fe Global Runners

Santa Fe Wine and Chile is the biggest food and wine event of the year (Sept 23-30), a week of tastings, seminars, wine dinners, chef demos, a golf tourney, bike tour and film fiesta and a whole lotta vino. La Fonda’s La Plazuela has paired with Michael David Winery for a wine dinner (Sept 26), and will be at the Grand Tasting to showcase an inventive dish of Chef Lane’s (Sept 29). Check out the menu here. This year’s 28thannual event features the unique culinary artistry found in Santa Fe, complemented by wine from around the country - 75 local restaurants and 90 national wineries!

Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta

Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta 

And don’t forget to get up early the first two weekends (and the week between) of October. It’s the annual Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque (Oct 4-14)! Make Santa Fe and La Fonda your home base for the pre-dawn mass ascensions and sunset glows that for locals, mark the official beginning of fall.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Shops at La Fonda

Things Finer

Things Finer has been Santa Fe's premier source for fine antique and contemporary jewelry for over 25 years. These beautiful angels are European 18th Century, and nineteenth century ecclesiastical antiques. Available now by calling 505-983-5552 or visit the website, ThingsFiner.com.

Tom Taylor

The smell of roasting chiles is in the air, and that means Santa Fe’s annual Wine and Chile Fiesta is just around the corner. Tom Taylor celebrates with new additions to their world-renowned collection of belts, buckles, bags, jewelry, and accessories handcrafted by prominent local New Mexico silversmiths and leather artists. Visit Tom Taylor online or stop into their La Fonda store to subscribe to their Newsletter for an invitation to their annual Fall sales event. info@tomtaylorbuckles.com; 1-800-303-9733; 1-505-984-2231

Tom Taylor Accessories

Tom Taylor Store

Film & Performance

What better place for Shakespeare in the Garden to present A Midsummer Night’s Dream than at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s outdoor amphitheater (through Sept 2)? The 99th annual Fiesta Melodrama lampoons local politicians at the Santa Fe Playhouse (through Sept 9) with biting, topical humor. Teatro Paraguas presents the world premier of Atacama, by Augusto Federico Amador, about two people who meet in the northern Chilean desert (Sept 7-23).

Santa Fe Botanical Gardens

The Lensic’s fall season promises spectacular films, courtesy of National Theatre Live in HD from the UK: the modern Julie (Sept 10), and age old King Lear (Oct 1). The Met Live in HD series begins with the opera tragedy of Aida (Oct 6). The Lensic’s Big Screen Classics series zooms around France with Steve McQueen’s 1970 classic Le Mans (Sept 13).


Le Mans

The Jean Cocteau welcomes The Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque (Sept 11) the sexiest, smartest, geekiest, and most fun definitive pop-culture live burlesque show on its 2018 tour. On the opposite side of the spectrum, catch Drilling Mora County, a new documentary covering the first county in the US to ban fracking – right here in New Mexico (Sept 12).

The Suicide Girls

Drilling Mora County

Out & About

Ski Santa Fe has lots to do in September even without snow! Start with a super hard 50 miler with 28,000 feet of elevation change, a gnarly 50 K, a challenging 13 miler and a lung busting and quad burning Up Hill Mile. They’re all on Sept 1, part of the Endurance Santa Fe Ultra. Or maybe try the Ski Bueno Classic Disc Golf Tournament (Sept. 8-9), or the Buenofest (Sept 15) offering an Oktoberfest theme, a beer garden, cider and pre-mixed cocktails from 8 local breweries, plus games and more.

Endurance Santa Fe Ultra

Ski Bueno Classic Disc Golf Tournament 

El Rancho de las Golondrinas welcomes kids of all ages for Fiesta de los Niños: Camino Kids (Sept 1-2), so bring yours for story telling, magic shows, animals, crafts and more. The 11th Annual Santa Fe Renaissance Fair (Sept 15-16) is your chance to pet a unicorn and enter the Fairy Village while you enjoy music, food, arts and crafts. And save October 6-7 for the #2 Best Fall Harvest Festival in the nation (says USA Today), El Rancho’s very own Harvest Festival. Mark your calendars for the Farmers’ Market Fall Fiesta, too, celebrating local food, culture and community (Oct 6) at the Railyard Market Pavilion.

Santa Fe Renaissance Fair

Fall Harvest Festival

Head to Ragle Park for American Indian Community Day (Sept 15), sponsored by the Santa Fe Indian Center, to promote, support and enrich our vital, diverse community. This free family event with Native music and dance, booths, breakdancing, giveaway prizes, face painting, art projects and more.

Don’t forget the 94thannual Burning of Zozobra at Fort Marcy Park (Aug 31) when Old Man Gloom goes up in smoke, taking our cares and worries with him, with dancing, food and music. Burn him! He’s part of Santa Fe Fiestas (through Sept 8) with events that include a fine arts and crafts market, music, dancing, food, a pet parade and more. And, if you are a guest at La Fonda that weekend and want to avoid the crowds and the hassle of hauling chairs to the park early just to get a good spot to watch the burning, we’re throwing our own Zozobra party here for you. During the week, we will be gathering your glooms in the lobby to take to the burning followed by a viewing party in the Lumpkin's Ballroom with a cash bar and a live stream of the Zozobra burning, sponsored by Meow Wolf. Hope to see our guests there!


Take a drive out to Madrid for Steampunk Spectacular (Sept 23) a day full of entertainment, merriment and fun! Have your fortune told, participate in a scavenger hunt and costume contest, learn how to steampunk waltz, and join the Engine House cabaret.

Steampunk Spectacular

If it’s fall, it must be art studio tour time. Start with the 25th annual Pojoaque River tour (Sept 15-16) then High Road Artisans Studio Tour (Sept. 22-23 & 29-30), swinging by Pecos (Sept. 29-30), Abiquiu(Oct. 6-8), and Galisteo (Oct. 13-14). And while you’re soaking in the culture, head over to Railyard Park for the 2018 installation of The Fence, a juried photo exhibition that shows simultaneously in six cities (through Oct 21). This year take in the vision of 56 photographers, unfurled across 450 feet at Guadalupe and Cerrillos (through Nov. 4).

25th Annual Pojoaque River Tour

The Fence 

The Railyard is the epicenter of the New Mexico Railroad History celebration(Sept 8-30), with talks, art, photography, a model railroad exhibit and living history reenactments. La Fonda will stage docent-led tours organized by the NM History Museum in conjunction with the events.

Music & Dance

Local favorites Aspen Santa Fe Ballet return to The Lensic for An Evening with Joyce Yang, a program of dance and piano (Sept 1) and the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble from India (Sept 27). The Rumi Concert returns (Oct 5) with poetry, story-dancing and music. The Lensic also hosts indie favs Iron & Wine with Erin Rae (Sept 30), and on October 15, experience an intimate evening with the legendary Graham Nash.

Aspen Ballet with Joyce Yang

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

The Lensic also hosts indie favs Iron & Wine with Erin Rae (Sept 30), and on October 15, experience an intimate evening with the legendary Graham NashPerformance Santa Fe presents 18-musican group, A Far Cry, with pianist Simone Dinnerstein (Sept 11) at the Lensic, which also hosts the National Latino Behavior Health Association with Jerry Lopez and Friends 2018 (Sept 14). Lopez is one of Santa Fe's premier musicians and entertainers and a New Mexico Music Commission Platinum Achievement Award winner.

Graham Nash

Jerry Lopez and Friends

Rufina Taproom is a new addition to the performance scene, with Ryley Walker (Sept 17). Around the corner at Meow Wolf, see Remo Drive (Sept 2), Murder by Death (Sept 7), Butch Walker (Sept 8), Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears (Sept 11), Flamingos is (Sept 13), Eleanor Friedberger (Sept 21) and El Ten Eleven (Sept 22), Skizzy Mars (Sept 23), The Voidz (Sept 29), Devotchka (Oct 2), Houndmouth (Oct 3) and Toronto singer-songwriter Bahamas (Oct 5).

Ryley Walker

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears

The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing Company hosts a Noise for NOW concert with Grizzly Bear (Sept 14), to benefit Santa Fe NOW Action Network. Over at GIG Performance Space, hear Hawaiian guitar from Makana (Sept 7), Nashville-based Griffin House (Sept 8), and Irish fiddle champion Dylan Foley (Sept 13). Southwest Roots Music brings Dom Flemons to GIG (Sept 16). He’s a founding member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, for an evening of banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, percussion, quills, and rhythm.

Grizzly Bear

Dom Flemons

AMP Concerts wraps its amazing Santa Fe Opera line up with The Mavericks (Sept 3) The B-52s (Sept 10), Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters (Sept 13) and St. Vincent and Andrew Bird (Sept 18), another Noise for NOW event.

The Mavericks

Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters

For classical music aficionados, the Santa Fe Symphony season opener (Sept 16) showcases violinist Sirena Huang joined by Avery Fisher prize winner Elmar Oliveira. Santa Fe Pro Musica opens its exciting season (Sept 22-23) with music from Haydn, Cerrone and Mozart.

Sirena Huang

Elmar Oliveira

At the Museums

The 4th Annual Museum Hill Community Day (Sept 23) means free admission to all museums and a slew of activities for the entire family. There will be special events and activities at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of International Folk Art, The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, The Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts, The Santa Fe Botanical Garden, with activities by the International Folk Art Alliance and the National Parks Service.

Museum Hill

The New Mexico Museum of Art and the NM History Museum commemorate the 100th anniversary of artist Gustave Baumann’s arrival in New Mexico with A Gathering for Gus, a two-day symposium featuring speakers, exhibitions, films, visits to collection storage to see Baumann works and his famous marionettes, and a house tour (Sept 28-29).

Center for Contemporary Arts and CODAworx have teamed for the inaugural CODAsummit (Sept 20-21), exploring the intersection of art, technology and place. CODAsummit will include both theoretical and practical approaches to art making from internationally-known artists, technologists, and theorists.

Gustave Baumann


Whether you are a new or seasoned collector of Native American arts, you are sure to find something perfect at the Native Treasures Collectors’ Sale at the Laboratory of Anthropology (Sept 22-23). Pottery, jewelry, textiles, paintings, baskets, carvings - vintage and contemporary - will be available for purchase at this unique sale of Native American jewelry and art from private collections that benefits the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.

Native Treasures Collector's Sale

There’s still time to see No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art, more than 150 examples of tramp art, concentrating on works from the United States, with additional examples from France, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. At the Museum of International Folk Art through Sept 16.

No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art


A major figure in American conservation, Santa Fe resident Stewart Udall (1920-2010) served in the cabinets of JFK and LBJ and was the most successful U.S. Secretary of the Interior in history. Author Scott Einberger talks about and signs his new book, With Distance In His Eyes: The Environmental Life and Legacy of Stewart Udall (Sept 4) at the NM History Museum.

School for Advanced Research and the NM Museum of Art present Pueblo Textiles & Embroideries (Sept 23), exploring the history and evolution of textile arts in Pueblo communities. Brian Vallo, director of SAR’s Indian Arts Research Center, moderates a panel of former SAR Native American Artist Fellows: Louie Garcia from the Prio Manso Tiwa tribe of Guadalupe Pueblo in Las Cruces, known for revitalizing historic pueblo weaving techniques; Ramona Sakiestewa, a Hopi artist who lives and works in Santa Fe and is known for tapestries and architectural public art installations; and Isabel Gonzales of Jemez Pueblo, credited with reintroducing historic pueblo embroidery on both traditional and non-traditional textiles.

Author Scott Einberger

Brian Vallo

La Fonda and Santa Fe in the News


Rik Blyth, La Fonda GM, raised over $3500  for Girls, Inc. 

The Santa Fe New Mexican: Dozens rappel off La Fonda for fundraiser for Girls Inc. READ MORE 

Albuquerque Journal North: Rappel Raiser READ MORE

Local Food Eater: New healthy viva XXXii cocktails for Tequila Day READ MORE 

Forbes: The Best Ways to Celebrate National Tequila Day READ MORE

BestProducts.com:  The 50 Best Places to Visit in the USA READ MORE

Athomevictoria.com: July 24 is National Tequila Day - Here's How To Do It Right! READ MORE

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