Located close to the Plaza in downtown Santa Fe, the Inn of the Turquoise Bear occupies the home of Witter Bynner, who for decades was a prominent citizen of New Mexico. Noted as a poet, playwright and essayist, Bynner was a staunch advocate of human rights, including the rights of women, Native Americans and other ethnic minorities. Bynner's rambling adobe villa, constructed in Spanish-Pueblo Revival Style, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is consider one of Santa Fe's most significant structures. Bynner and Robert Hunt, his companion of more than 30 years, were famous for the parties they hosted in this house. Their celebrity guest list included D. H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Willa Cather, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Stephen Spender, Christopher Isherwood, Georgia O'Keeffe, Mary Austin, Thornton Wilder, Robert Oppenheimer, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Lynn Riggs, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn and countless others. Bynner's home, in its magnificent garden setting, was the center of intellectual and creative activity in Santa Fe. Robert Frost and Ralph Bolton, the owners and innkeepers, have faithfully restored the property. Their goals - as innkeepers and as custodians of the home and land that Bynner loved - are to rekindle the spirit of excitement, hospitality and creativity for which this home was renowned in the past, to protect and extend the legacy of its famous creator, and to provide their guests with the experience of a unique setting that captures the essence of traditional Santa Fe. They are painstakingly restoring the adobe villa and the gardens to their former glory. They look forward to the privilege of serving as your hosts during your visit to Northern New Mexico.
The Witter Bynner ($245-$255)is a spacious, second-floor room which may be rented alone or, in combination with the Robert Hunt Room, as a two-room suite ($365 - $375). Since access to the Hunt Room is through the bathroom used by guests in the Witter Bynner Room, the Hunt Room is never sold separately. The Witter Bynner Room has a large fireplace, a king size bed, viga beams,a sitting area with a large sofa facing the fireplace. Attached to this room is a balcony with gorgeous views of the gardens, Santa Fe, and the Sangre de Cristo's.
The D. H. Lawrence Room (on the second floor) is a junior suite named for Bynner's friend and traveling companion. Bynner and the Lawrences traveled together on an extended trip to Mexico, about which they each wrote a book. D. H. and Frieda Lawrence spent their first night in an American home in this house and were frequent guests here. The bedroom is separate from a sitting area and has a queen-sized bed, kiva fireplace and wide plank floors. The sitting area has a twin-size sofa-bed, bookcases and two chairs. The balcony overlooks an interior courtyard with a rustic staircase leading to the courtyard
The Shaman Room is a very large room with a king-size bed, a polished brick floor, viga beams, bookcases, and a grand fireplace. There are two sitting areas, one with a twin sofa-bed and the other has two large chairs. There is a long built-in bench beneath an expansive picture window that looks out into the lush grounds. The private bath has a Mexican tile shower. The room also has a small refrigerator and Native American decor. Originally Bynner's study, this room was built for solitude, writing, and contemplation.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Room is named in honor of one of New Mexico’s most illustrious painters with whom he shared an interest in Chinese art and culture. Bynner and Georgia O'Keeffe were longtime friends. This is a very large rectangular room with a king-size bed, kiva fireplace, sitting area, viga beams, bookcases, and a pine wood floor. The sofa is a twin sofa-bed, and there is small refrigerator. The bath is private with tub and shower.
The O. Henry Room is a standard-sized room with a queen bed, a kiva fireplace, viga beams, and a wood floor with area rugs. The bath is private with a large talavera-tiled shower. This room is named for the famed short-story writer whose work was edited by Bynner when they lived in New York. The sale by Bynner of three short stories by O. Henry paid for the construction of several rooms in the house.
Ansel Adams, the famous photographer, was a close friend of Bynner. A frequent guest in this house, along with his wife, Virginia, Ansel Adams took photos of Bynner and his rambling adobe home. The Ansel Adams Room has a queen-size bed, a saltillo tile floor, and a large private bath with claw-foot tub-and-shower combination. The Eden Tree Courtyard is just outside the door.
Willa Cather was a friend of Bynner and a visitor to his home. The Willa Cather Room is named for the author of the most famous novel about Santa Fe, New Mexico, Death Comes for the Archbishop. This is a standard-size room with a queen bed, kiva fireplace, large chair and a saltillo tile floor. The bath, accessed from a common foyer, is shared with the Millay Room
The distinguished poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, was once engaged to Bynner. The room named for her is a pleasant room with a view across the grounds toward the Old Santa Fe Trail and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The bed is queen-sized and there is a small sofa, kiva fireplace, viga ceilings, and a saltillo tile floor. The bath, accessed from a common foyer, is shared with the Willa Cather Room. This room also opens onto the small Eden Tree Courtyard.
The Igor Stravinsky Room is named for the composer who made the Santa Fe Opera famous, and who was a house guest of Bynner for the opening season of the opera. It was originally built as lodging for Rita, Bynner's housekeeper. There is a queen bed, two overstuffed chairs, kiva fireplace and windows looking out onto tree-shaded patios. The bath is private with claw-foot tub-and-shower combination.
Separate from the main building, the Spud Johnson Room was once the carriage house and is decorated in a Western cowboy motif. There is a queen bed, two large comfortable chairs, kiva fireplace, a saltillo tile floor and a private bath with a large, tiled shower. ADA compliant, it is adjacent to the parking area. Features include a portal with a brick floor and a red willow bench for enjoying the gardens and a fountain. Willard “Spud” Johnson was the writer and editor of The Laughing Horse, and was Bynner's secretary/companion before he was lured to Taos by Mabel Dodge Lujan.
Witter Bynner is a very large room on the second floor with a king bed, two sitting areas, and private balcony. The bath is private and is 3 steps down from the room on a private landing. Only the Bynner room has access to this bath (unless the Hunt room has been added to make the Bynner Hunt Suite.)
3.6 on September 15, 2014
Inn of the Turquoise Bear is a very impressive property with gracious hosts. Breakfast was tastey and varied with beverages and light snacks available most hours. The room my wife and I shared was small with no a/c. A fan was provided and windows could be opened making the room comfortable. Not sure what you do when you need heat in the room. The building is 150-years old so allowances must be made. Overall not a bad stay but don't think I'd go back, though many guests do return as we met several returning customers during our stay.
Susan, thank you for the kind review! It was a pleasure meeting you and your husband during your brief stay in Santa Fe. We regret you don’t think you’ll return. As you noted, we have many return guests and we love getting to know them better and better with each stay. The Willa Cather room is our smallest and most economical room and regret you were disappointed by booking from a 3rd party web-site. We always suggest guests contact us directly to answer any questions they have about the rooms they’re considering. We’re glad you found the room comfortable. Of course our rooms have heat. As you mentioned, 150 year old adobes don’t have air-conditioning but of course have heating. Heating and air-conditioning are rarely served by the same system in older buildings. We know that B&Bs are not perfect for everyone, but invite you to contact me to try a room more suitable to your preferences should you decide to return to Santa Fe. Happy Travels.
4.8 on May 04, 2012
Beautiful, old, adobe buildings allowing you to be immersed in the histroy of Santa Fe. The Inn keeper was friendly and helpful, and could fix a breakfast that made you anxious to wake up in the mornings. John, who works at the Inn, has a relaxed comfortable personality, and is just fun to talk to. The wine hour makes you feel at home. It was a wonderful experience. Also the Inn is an ideal distance from Old Santa Fe. Ron and Marg Price, Manheim, Pa
5 on March 06, 2012
The Turquoise Bear Inn is Robert's and Ralph's labor of love, and it showed in all aspects of our stay. They are some of the most generous and hospitable people I have met in a very long time. The room was clean and comfortable. The sumptuous food was some of the best I’ve encountered in any hotel or B&B. The entire staff was friendly and polite. My husband and I are sure return and we confidently recommend this B&B to everyone. It's so convenient, authentic, comfortable, cozy, welcoming and delicious, I can't wait to go back. Mina Kinsey
5 on September 29, 2011
Another great stay in Santa Fe. I almost always stay here when visiting Santa Fe, and it is always wonderful. The doggies are so much fun, Colt & Cody, helps me keep the girlfriend from getting a dog of her own. The breakfast is great . . . the times we've actually woken up early enough to get it (and they do keep it going for a while, I think until 9 or 9:30), but we sometimes don't make it out of the room until after 10:00. Mostly because the rooms are quite and comfortable. This place is walking distance to downtown Santa Fe, which is awesome since we like trying out different restaurants downtown. And one of the best restaurants is one of the closest ones, near the capitol building. Every room is different, so your experience might vary as you stay in different rooms. But I've stayed in at least 4 different rooms, and they are all great. The place has free WI-FI, which is transmitted from the main living room/dining room/office, so if your room is close, you'll get great signal. If your room is farther away, you might get a weaker signal. But you can bring your laptop into the living room and lounge using the internet there. It is very comfortable. If you are visiting on business, or need internet, something to keep in mind and ask the reservation person when you call; for one of the rooms that gets stronger wi-fi signal.
5 on November 14, 2010
Stayed for Veterans day. Owner gave free stay to veterans. The man is the most generous and hospitable person I have met in a very long time. The room was clean and comfortable. The food was some of the best found in any 5 star hotel or B&B we have ever had. The entire staff was friendly and polite. I will return and recommend this B&B to everyone I know.
4.8 on August 25, 2010
My sister and I had a delightful experience at your lovely inn. From the time we were checked in by Michael who gave us a little history of the historic inn to next, meeting other charming guests and our host Ralph (Robert had to go out of town) to a entertaining wine and cheese social, and finally the huge breakfast of our choice the following morning. Everything was marvelous. The landscapers even helped us with our luggage to our car!!! We will be back and tell our friends in Colorado and New Jersey!!!!
5 on August 07, 2010
should not really be a surprise since innkeeper Robert is from Alabama; the blue bear, from my room, common room, breakfast (incredible), wine and cheese, all of the other inn and guest "keepers", the critters, and the gardens are all there waiting to be thoroghly enjoyed. This place and the people can keep me any time! s, atlanta
4.6 on July 20, 2010
My friend and I absolutely ADORED The Inn of the Turquoise Bear...I'd never stayed in a bed and breakfast before and it was just wonderful. I loved the people there, so helpful and personable, the food was stupendous and the Wind and Cheese Social hour was SO FUN! Such an eclectic group of people that fast became friends. I cannot wait to go back...
5 on July 08, 2010
Forget those overpriced five-star hotels off the Plaza. Been there, done that. From now on this, Robert's and Ralph's labor of love, will be my go-to home away from home in Santa Fe. It's so convenient, authentic, comfortable, cozy, welcoming and delicious, I can't wait to go back. In April, I read by "my" fireplace every evening and drifted off to sleep in the comfort of a great bed. As others have mentioned, the afternoon wine and cheese hour's a blast; lots of laughter and trading of travel stories -- and opinions. Don't miss it or the Inn of the Turquiose Bear.
5 on April 05, 2010
The charm, the food, the service was better than any major hotel chain I have ever stayed. We were celebrating our 19th anniversary and wanted to take our dogs with us as we toured Santa Fe. Who knew Santa Fe was very dog-friendly! This place was amazing. This was no victorian B & B. Close to the central plaza and everywhere we wanted to go we walked. The staff, the old-world charm, the breakfasts and the wine/cheese get togethers every evening allowed us to enjoy the privacy of the rooms and still mingle with the other guests. The food was so good everyone took advantage. What a lovely time...we will definitely be back!!!
Albuquerque, NM (ABQ) 55 miles
Antique Shopping, Art Galleries, Casino, Concert venue, Extreme sports, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Outlet Stores, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Rodeo, Ruins, Ski area, Tours, Winery
Bed and Breakfast, Historic Inn
Board games, Computer, Conference Rooms, Copier, Fax Machine, Library, Parking, Wedding Facilities
Air conditioning, Alarm clock, Bath robes, DVD Player, Desk, Fireplace, Fridge, Hairdryer, Internet Service, Ironing Board, Private entrance, Satellite/Cable TV, TV, VCR, Wi-Fi
Bicycle rental, Bicycle riding trails, Bicycles, Billiards, Bird watching, Boating, Canoeing, Cross-country ski trails, Downhill Skiing, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Horseback riding, Horseshoes, Kayaking, Mountain Bike trails, Sunbathing, Massage and spa treatments, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Ski rentals, Snow shoe rental, Snow shoe trails, Swimming, Swimming pool, Tennis courts, Tennis racket rental, Video Arcade, Whitewater Rafting
Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian , Vegan