Once in love with Santa Fe always in love with old Santa Fe.
It is a truly remarkable old city steeped in New Mexico culture and tradition.
And it was just the place that I wanted to celebrate the New Year 2013
at the enticing Eldorado Hotel & Spa in the heart of town. The holidays are a wonderful time of year here snowy, chilly and sun-kissed, too.

En route by an hour shuttle from Albuquerque, I was anxious to reach Santa Fe to marvel at the sight of the Plaza lights and decorations at sundown.

Again,I returned to the Eldorado Hotel, my third visit; now it was a welcoming holiday haven against a snowy backdrop; my place to be in Santa Fe. The halls of the Eldorado Hotel were decked with beautiful Christmas trees and decorations and filled with day skiers and holiday visitors.

Everyone comes to Santa Fe for their own reasons be it culture, nature or spiritual
considerations and they do return again and again.  For me it was holiday spirit,
curiosity and relaxation.
After taking just moments to get a feel for my spacious and comfortable room with its warming fireplace, I headed to the beloved Plaza, walking at an even pace since the altitude is at 7000 ft, to check out the illumination extraordinaire with more than 12,000 lights around the Plaza. I was informed that the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, the evening after Thanksgiving, begins the magic of the holidays in Santa Fe. It was a breathtaking view. Surely, it was worth the visit; however, baby it was cold outside.
Stopping by the Agave Lounge, for Happy Hour, this sophisticated chic place was new for me at the Eldorado. It was lively and fine chance to check out their signature flavors of margaritas or martinis with bite-size appetizers was a good choice. This was a friendly stopping spot and a great place to hobnob with other Eldorado visitors.
At home at The Eldorado, my relaxation began with their wonderful spa Nidah, the Native American word for ‘your life.’ Here was the place for natural healing augmented by their skilled technicians utilizing stones, plants and herbs based on the wisdom of the ancient people
of the pueblos. The relaxation lounge was a quiet place in perfect harmony and calming, hot tea and fresh fruit were served while waiting for a massage. My Hot Stone Massage with heated river stones was just what I needed to relax my muscles and lift the stress of my hectic previous days.
My enthusiasm was high as I prepared to dine again at The Old House, an award-winning restaurant, one of New Mexico’s best at The Eldorado; it’s always been my favorite and never a disappointment the best seasonal and regional tastes. I’m loving their Lobster Bisque and their always-unique dishes utilizing local produce and products.
During my end of year visit, I did a lot of walking; Santa Fe is one of America’s
great walking cities. There are awesome museums here and foremost was the New Mexico Museum of Art, the spectacular Georgia O’Keefe Museum, the Romanesque St. Francis Cathedral, the historic Palace of the Governors on the Plaza surrounded by Native Americans displaying their original jewelry and artwork. There are art galleries galore; however, art lovers agree that the fine art galleries on Canyon Road are fabulous.
At this time of year many visitors come to Santa Fe to ski; I prefer shopping.
New Year’s Eve morning was clear and cool. It was my plan to search for last minute shopping treasures at the beautiful Origins shop with an abundance of velvet outfits
scarves, accessories and so much more. Across from my hotel an artisans market
was drawing crowds, so I dropped in and discovered a one-of-a kind local artist’s
handcrafted turquoise necklace that was destined to be adorned by me.
At 4 p.m. in a few steps I was at the cherished Lensic Performing Arts Center for a New Year’s Eve afternoon concert by the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra.  At the concert’s end, Santa Fe was snowy white. Again I made my way back to the Eldorado to get ready for the big Rock and Roll New Year’s Eve charity party for fun, good cheer and a glass of champagne. New Year’s Day was sunny and snowy and was a last day breakfast at the famed Cafe Pasqual’s, sitting a the community table, the perfect place to meet and greet new friends.
Make the most of your New Year celebration, spend it at a destination that you love for all the right reasons that’s why Santa Fe, New Mexico was the perfect place to end the year and begin a new one. Check out the Eldorado hotel at:www.eldoradohotel.com.
Find out everything you want to know about Santa Fe at: www.santafe.org. or
Call Santa Fe CVB at 800-777-2489.
Story & photos by Barbara Singer
Barbara Singer is a well-known Travel and Entertainment Writer, who resides in Westwood and Santa Barbara. She is a member of North American Travel Journalists,
International Food Wine & Travel Writers and Film Independent.  She shared Santa Fe
Nov. 7th on Around the World Travel Show at www.atw.tv and AM1290 radio in
Santa Barbara. You can reach her at: barbstriptips@aol.com.