Like many of our guests, hoteliers these days are staying closer to home themselves, but every now and then, business elsewhere beckons. In combination with the value of experiencing a hotel as a guest, a trip to the Big City reminds hotel professionals of the joys and challenges of exploring a destination that is quite different from home. And there couldn’t be a bigger contrast than that of the City Different and the Big Apple; after all, the population of Santa Fe probably fits in a single NYC block. Add the exhilaration of sheer verticality to someone used to living on the horizontal, and you find Santa Fe ready to paint the town red!
Remarkably, the actual travel experience was quite serene, an on-time arrival and departure, an accommodating and friendly airline staff, a clean plane, an easy ride into the city; a heartfelt thank you . Contrary to all the bad reports, travel today CAN be just fine, so don’t delay a dream.
As a denizen of a sweet little Inn with only 71 rooms, I thought it would be enlightening to expand my horizons by staying in a BIG property. On arrival, the excited buzz of what appeared to be 1000 young girls attending a dance conference made me take a deep breath. But by the time I got to the 27th floor of the Grand Hyatt, it was perfectly peaceful, and I was gratified to find that my room request had graciously been granted, with the historic Chrysler Building right outside my window. Even though we hotel folk always make our guests aware that not every request can be accommodated, we are also cognizant of the delighted feeling that ensues when desires are met, which is why we endeavor to make our own guests happy too.
Although business brought me to the city, the anticipation of filling some free hours with the many cultural offerings of New York led me straight to the Friday issue of New York Times to plan my outings judiciously. We who travel, yet also welcome travelers, know that overdoing makes everything run together in the mind; that is why we encourage visitors to Santa Fe to stay a minimum of at least three nights. It’s surely one of the reasons that the Inn’s anniversary special is so popular.
As a die-hard opera fan, I knew the Metropolitan Opera would be on the agenda, along with museums and galleries, and the decidedly more pedestrian pleasures of viewing life on the streets. As much as I wanted to do the Met twice – well, actually, every night – when I learned that Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet would have its last performance of the year at New York City Ballet, that felt like the ideal way to begin this brief romantic interlude with the city. I am not very knowledgeable about dance; I admit I went for the music, and I was not disappointed.
I had not seen a full-length story-driven ballet since childhood, and although I am no judge of choreography, I was truly touched by the way Kathryn Morgan managed to combine the virginity of Juliet with a very palpable sexual quality. Dueling, dancing, death and despair, it was all there. What was also there, sadly, was a noticeable number of empty seats; I was happy that I had the opportunity to help pay for keeping dance arts alive in this tough economy. We need to remember this in Santa Fe as well. Although our Aspen Santa Fe Ballet brings us the same joys of movement throughout the year, it also requires our participation to make sure that it not only improves but actually survives. While I don’t expect to see Romero and Juliet here just yet, the Santa Fe Concert Association presents the Moscow Festival Ballet at the Lensic with performances of Coppelia and Sleeping Beauty on February 1 and 2. And the ASFB company will be back in March with two nights of exciting dance on March 13 and 14. There will also be some Santa Fe footwork on the opposite end of the spectrum, as Aspen Santa Fe brings Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo to the Lensic for one performance only on February 9. “Now for something completely different,” as Monty Python used to say!
More on this culture vulture’s New York escapade next week…