A New Vision for Garrett’s Desert Inn in Santa Fe

AOS Architects is collaborating with Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm on another exciting hospitality project – a revisioning of Garrett’s Desert Inn in Santa Fe. Los Poblanos is one of three bidders that submitted visions for the hotel to the New Mexico State Land Office. Like many things in Santa Fe, Garrett’s is a complex story. The hotel opened in 1957 as a large modern motor court, just blocks from the Santa Fe plaza. It was one of a number of mid-century projects that inspired the formalization of the Santa Fe Style into city ordinance. Initially derided as anathema to Old Santa Fe, the hotel is now the home of the celebrated restaurant, Santa Fe Bite and a growing fondness of the 1950s car culture.  Our plan, prepared with Geisler Projects and the landscape architecture firm, Surroundings, and seeks to celebrate the romance of the 1950s by stripping back some of the layers of time and revealing what was once a fun and fresh motel.  We also seek to heal the urban wound on Santa Fe’s oldest and most significant street by limiting the wide entrance to the parking court through the construction of a new gallery for the Tamarind Institute. Inside the parking court, a new trellis forms an elegant covered lounge off an enlarged pool deck. Whereas the current hotel turns its back on the adjacent Santa Fe River, we propose to engage the river through a new dining terrace for Santa Fe Bite. Bids are currently being evaluated by the state and we hope to share good news soon.