Santa Fe International Hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation option in New Mexico’s capital city that I highly recommend for people looking to spend some time in Santa Fe.
The hostel is located along Route 66 and was converted from an old motel.
Because the hostel used to be a motel, the rooms and common areas are not under the same roof. Walking between the kitchen and rooms, for instance, requires you go go outside. Not a big deal, but it’s something to note.
The cost for a dorm bed is $20/night, while rates go up to $55/night for two people in an efficiency apartment, which is equipped with a small kitchen, cupboards, a sink, a shower, a small dining table and a small desk. Pretty good deal if you ask me!
The small inconvenience is that it’s cash only. But with rates like that, you’re not handing over a ton of money anyway 🙂
Santa Fe International Hostel is an educational not-for-profit corporation. One of the perks of that status is it receives donations from places like Panera Bread. What does that mean for travelers? Free breakfast and an abundance of free food! Who would say no to that? In the mornings there are an assortment of pastries to choose from, a generous variety of teas (this is like heaven if you love tea), and coffee.
In the kitchen, there are boxes of produce you can use to cook. I was told what’s available depends on the season. During my stay, there were bell peppers and apples.
Part of the reason this hostel is very affordable is because it operates as a traditional hostel. What that means is it doesn’t provide maid service. Guests are required to do a chore before noon that helps maintain the cleanliness of the hostel. Every morning there will be a set of chore cards to choose from laid out in the lobby. Some of the chores I did included separating recyclables into appropriate bins, sweeping and mopping the kitchen, and cleaning the toilet and tub in the women’s bathroom. This was the first time I’ve ever stayed in a traditional hostel, but with how affordable it is and the fact that there’s free food, I thought it was a reasonable requirement for guests.
One thing I wasn’t a fan of is that Wi-Fi costs $2 per day. Thumbs down for that. But I guess that’s part of what you get for an affordable hostel. It’s not that much anyway, and if you don’t want to pay for it, you might just end up focusing more on exploring and interacting with other guests instead.
On another positive note, the hostel is just a 30-second walk away from a city bus that can take you close to the downtown area. It’s also about a half mile away from the South Capitol station, where you can access the Rail Runner (a train that can take you to Albuquerque) and other buses.
The dorm room I stayed in had six beds and I was the only person there for most of my stay. When I walked in, I was happy to find it clean and I was happy to find a clean bathroom. It was stocked with two rolls of toilet paper and a bath mat, and it was nice that I didn’t need to walk outside to get to a bathroom.
The room has a space where you can hang clothes, as well as hangers. There’s also an old school heater to keep the temperature warm if needed. (In February, it’s needed.)
I don’t have any complaints about the room, but I did have a slight issue with the fact that were that there were no lockers available. Most hostels I’ve visited do. I didn’t have any issues with my belongings since I was mainly the only person in the room for the days I was there, but during busier seasons it’s always reassuring to leave the room with your things secured.
I loved staying at Santa Fe International Hostel and I’d love to come back again. On one of the evenings I was there, I heard they had a little get together for guests with a movie and food. I missed it, but it’s always nice when hostels facilitate activities where travelers can meet each other.
It was a new experience to have to do a chore every morning and pay for Wi-Fi, but with such friendly staff and clean facilities, I would still recommend it to travelers looking to pass through or explore Santa Fe.