A friend recently went to Sante Fe and had a less than scintillating experience at the Inn and Spa at Loretto. I thought the online review he posted at tripadvisor.com was masterful. (I may copy some of his refined language the next time I have a crappy experience.)
Herewith, his review:
If you really enjoy being treated with contempt (I understand some people do), then the Inn and Spa at Loretto is the place for you. My wife and I had planned two days at this four-star inn as the culmination of a visit to the Southwest, but as soon as we saw our room, we decided to leave as early as possible the next day. No one at the desk asked us why we were checking out early. I'm sure they knew the reason; it's doubtful anyone has ever stayed more than one night in that room.
The room is on the first floor just down the hall from the public restrooms. It has no windows, just French doors opening directly onto the parking lot—I mean DIRECTLY: no lawn, flower border, or screening of any sort. You can step out of the door and bounce off the grill of a car—maybe your own car, which you can park there for an extra $18 a day. If you are particularly gregarious, you might enjoy relaxing in your room and exchanging cheery greetings with hotel staff members bustling by with their cleaning equipment or valets parking cars 12 feet from your bed. But if you have a more retiring nature, you'll feel compelled to draw the curtains, making the dark and gloomy room with its blood-red walls resemble a vampire's crypt.
A four-star hotel should give a four-star experience to every guest, not just those with the best rooms. We had a third-rate motel experience at three times the cost. When we left, we moved into a larger, more pleasant room at a Marriott Courtyard at a savings of $100. Admittedly, we could still see the parking lot (where we parked for free), but it was four floors below our balcony, and it was separated from the hotel by a lawn and trees. So we recommend the Marriott, where you will get a nice room for the price, and you won't feel either cheated or insulted.