Historic La Fonda On the Plaza Hotel Changes Ownership

One of the historic and iconic centerpiece buildings of Santa Fe is changing owners. La Fonda on the Plaza, the 85-year old hotel, will belong in a few weeks to longtime family friends of the Ballen family, the current owners.

One of the historic and iconic centerpiece buildings of Santa Fe is changing owners. La Fonda on the Plaza, the 85-year old hotel, will belong in a few weeks to longtime family friends of the Ballen family, the current owners.

Jennifer Kimball and her brother, Philip Wise, were already on the corporation’s board. Kimball acted as the hotel’s board chairman; Wise is a principal of Cienda Partners, a Dallas-based company that is looking into the acquisition. The new ownership group is called La Fonda LLC. Details about the transaction have not been disclosed.

“We’re honored that the Ballens have put their faith and trust in us and we’re excited and honored to be entrusted with such an historic property that means so much to so many people,” said Kimball.

Lois Ballen, La Fonda’s board president, said in a news release: “We are pleased that Jenny and Philip will continue the tradition of family ownership and take the reins of ownership of our much-loved La Fonda.

La Fonda was built in 1929; formerly a Harvey House hotel, it became a Ballens property in 1968. During the Ballens ownership, the hotel received a new roof over the interior patio, a new parking garage, and the Lumpkins Ballroom and the banquet room La Terraza. In 2008 the La Plazuela restaurant received a facelift, and in 2013 the most comprehensive renovation since 1920 was finalized, which included new room furnishings and improvements to the pool and Bell Tower areas. In 2013, the hotel received the American Automobile Association’s Four Diamond Lodging rating.

La Fonda offers 180 guestrooms, including 15 luxury rooms and is a popular place for conferences and weddings. The hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“We are confident that Jenny and Philip’s business expertise, commitment to La Fonda’s employees, service excellence, and dedication to an authentic and unique experience, and most importantly, their heartfelt love for La Fonda and Santa Fe will continue to deliver wonderful results for our guests, employees and our city,” stated Lois Ballen.

Photo courtesy of La Fonda On the Plaza.