Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort
Article by Warren Resen –
American Travel Writers Association
Photos by Jeanne O'Connor
Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa
was the first planned stop after leaving West Palm Beach on
our 2013 cross country road trip. Until then it was just
drive and stop for the night where ever we were.
Welcome to Bishop's Lodge
Historic Bishop's Inn is nestled in
the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost foot hills
of the Rocky Mountains just a few miles north of the
historic, touristy, art-filled downtown of Santa Fe, New
In 1610, Santa Fe was proclaimed the capitol of the Kingdom
of New Mexico by the Spanish governor making it the oldest
capitol city in the country today.
Desert waterfall at entrance.
To clear up any confusion at this
point for Florida readers, St. Augustine, Florida, is the
oldest continuously occupied European city in the United
States having been founded in 1565, almost half-a-century
before Santa Fe's capitol designation.
Running streams and gurgling
waterfalls (man made) in the middle of this high desert
country greeted us when we turned in at the entrance of
Bishop's Lodge. As we arrived, several large mule deer
watched our approach from across the road as if to let us
know that we were in their territory also.
Bishop's Lodge is named for Jean-Baptiste Lamy (1814-1885),
the first Archbishop, appointed by Spain, of the Southwest
Diocese, who arrived here in the mid 1800's. Bishop Lamy
lived on this site for many years and the small chapel,
which he built on this property almost 160 years ago,
remains practically unchanged from its original design.
Still in use today, the chapel is open for guests to visit
and a favorite location for weddings.
Main lodge registration area
This area of New Mexico is a world of
open spaces, crisp mountain air and four seasons. Bishop's
Lodge is spread out over 450 acres of rolling foothills
adjacent to the Santa Fe National Forest, its earth-tone
adobe buildings blending into the landscape.
Bishop's Lodge is not a monolithic resort with a large
bustling central lobby, its rooms radiating out in all
directions. The Lodge's registration and public areas are
comfortably furnished in traditional southwestern style
incorporating Colonial Spanish, Native American and
southwestern furniture, art and artifacts. Typical of a
charming, warm, inviting hacienda, the setting sets the
theme for the rest of the resort.
Typical lodge building
An obscure booklet about the resort, which I was fortunate
to obtain, titled "From Retreat To Resort,"
describes the property and its history and best sums up the
soul of Bishop's Lodge.
"The Lodge is
modern and up-to-date in every respect and offers all of the
comforts and conveniences of the leading metropolitan
hotels, yet it possesses none of the atmosphere of a hotel.
On the contrary, it is most homelike. It is a place where
one may take things easy and enjoy the pleasure, wonders and
glories of the out-of-doors in absolute comfort but without
any of the unnecessary conventions of fashionable retreats."
That is precisely what we encountered everywhere we went
on the property.
Heading out on the Sangre de Cristo Mountain
There is no reason to leave Bishop's Lodge during your stay.
Everything is here for your comfort and enjoyment: horseback
riding for beginners and advanced riders (their horse or
yours), miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, skeet &
trap shooting, fitness center, outdoor heated pool, hot tub,
tennis, spa, winter skiing, nearby golf courses and many
more amenities. There is also a camp for kids on the
premises. Should you want to visit the nearby bustling city
of Santa Fe with its world-class museums and fabulous
shopping without the hassle of trying to find a scarce
parking space, Bishop's Lodge provides complimentary shuttle
Las Fuentes Restaurant
Bishop's Lodge residences offer
guests a mix of accommodations ranging from
distinctive rooms located in the lodges, to suites and 2 & 3
bedroom Villas. A few on-site single family units are
available for purchase or lease. All units are comfortably
and individually furnished with decor reflecting the area's
As to that all important question of, where to go for
dinner, Bishop's Inn has the answer….the Las Fuentes
Restaurant and Bar in the main lodge. The restaurant's menu
offers "contemporary American cuisine with a Southwestern
flair" in a setting that pays tribute to
the area's history and surroundings. Rustic beamed
ceilings, Navajo rugs and murals by the famous Santa Fe
artist W.E. Rollins add to your dining experience.
One of many original paintings in
The restaurant is also open for
breakfast and lunch but it is the dinner menu that was of
greatest interest to us. Diners can make their selections
from "the mountain top" or "from the waters" listings on the
Their signature dishes, supplied by
local sources, include
Braised Buffalo Short Ribs, Pan Roasted Lamb Loin and
trout. Samplings and salads are prepared from fresh local
ingredients. Vegetarian and vegan diners have their own
selection of fresh foods.
A knowledgeable and efficient wait-staff took our orders
while soft guitar music played in the background.
Sandwiches, fresh salads and drinks are available to guests
on the main lodge's Sunset Terrace or poolside from the
Sunflower Bar & Grill.
Bishop Lamy's original chapel building
Favorite reading for many guests
after visiting Bishop's Lodge Resort & Spa is the novel
"Death Comes for the Archbishop." American author Willa
Cather (1873-1947) visited the lodge in 1927 and based her
story around the life of Bishop Lamy for whom Bishop's Lodge
is named. The novel concerns the attempts of a catholic
bishop and a priest to establish a diocese in the New Mexico
I've often been asked why room rates are rarely mentioned in
my articles. Trying to quote exact prices is like trying to
hit a moving target.
Rates at hotels vary depending on unit, season,
day-of-the-week, special promotions and many more variables.
Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa is
a proud member of
Historic Hotels of America guaranteeing a commitment to
preservation and authenticity of the property.