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Where to stay?

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Austin, Texas
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Where to stay?

I am rarely so conflicted about where to stay! Do I want Old Town, Downtown, Uptown, or out of town?

We are a couple in our 30s, no kids, and will be spending two nights in Albuquerque during our upcoming New Mexico road trip. I usually gravitate to B&Bs and smaller hotels, but I also like resort-style hotels. I was considering Adobe Nino B&B, but then I thought Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town would be a better location, but then I liked the look of Hotel Andaluz. However, I thought that since a lot of what we want to do is actually not in town, maybe we could stay outside of town at the Sandia Resort & Casino or Tamaya Resort.

I like having breakfast options at or near the hotel and having a place to grab a drink late in the evening. Being close to good restaurants for dinner is also a plus. Wifi is a must. Any suggestions?

Albuquerque, New...
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1. Re: Where to stay?

We get this question often.

Tamaya resort is fantastic. Very nice restaurants, very nice bar/lounge, amenities, pools, spa, bosque river trails, beautiful setting, golf course, wonderful views. Truly wonderful. Down the road just a little bit (maybe even shuttle) is another great restaurant & bar with views, Prairie Star. Range Cafe in nearby Bernalillo is great for NM food.

A few good B&Bs near Old Town, the north valley (north of Old Town), and in Corrales (a small village between ABQ and the Tamaya). I don't know the Nino.

Probably the best hotel choice near Old Town is Hotel ABQ, with restaurant. Its Q Bar is good adult scene. The hotel is within walking distance to other restaurants, such as Seasons, which has a nice bar. Old Town is nice for strolling but is quiet at night. Its sister hotel is Nativo, which is a bit isolated along the northern I-25 corridor. At very least it has breakfast and there is a very small bar, perhaps with limited hours. A Starbucks is next door.

I like the Andaluz, too. I have stayed before its recent renovation when it was La Posada. Before that it was one of the original Hiltons anywhere. Much of historical charm is still there, but the renovation gives it a very new flavor. It always had a decent restaurant and one of the best bars in downtown. The original bar, sadly, is no longer there. But I understand they have venues for entertainment and bar service. The room layouts can vary, including the famous Zha Zha Gabor honeymoon suite when she wedded Conrad. Downtown has other restaurant options, college bars, and lounges. The Downtown is improved and "vital" but may seem sleepy for cosmopolitans.

Another area to consider is ABQ Uptown, with several hotels, dining and bar options, mostly new. And not far from Nob Hill, with very good restaurants and bars but no accommodations. In between Nob Hill and Downtown is Central Parq, a new "boutiquey" hotel getting attention (despite its location) and not far from a nice restaurant and small bar called Artichoke Cafe and other good restaurants.

How far out of town? Which direction? Santa Fe? That opens 'nother world of options in and around. Hope this helps. I bet you get more advice.

Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: Where to stay?

I had to rewrite the above because once you leave the screen there is no save to draft. Darn, happens every once in a while....

But forgot my comment about Sandia casino, which is I think it's okay, it's large enough to offer choices for dining & drinks. Many like it. I find the lingering casino smoke a drawback, despite their best efforts, and I thought the rooms were standard. Others may disagree.

I did just see your other post. It struck me that much of your ABQ itinerary was in fact in ABQ. If you go Tamaya, you'd want to take advantage of it, spending some time there, and concentrate your day trip into ABQ. It's relatively close to tram (Sandia casino is much closer). If youre in that area, you might want to look at El Pinto, too, for dinner and Margaritas. From Tamaya, you'd be on your way to Santa Fe and Tent Rocks. There is also a short cut you could find to Madrid and Cerrillos without having to go back to ABQ and around the back side of the mountains. Staying in Old Town has advantage for a couple of museums and IPCC. Your must sees are fairly dispersed so there may not be a real advantage to what you finally select in ABQ.

New Mexico
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3. Re: Where to stay?

In addition to Bleicherblog's excellent suggestions, I'm going to add in Casas de Suenos in Old Town http://www.casasdesuenos.com/. It is an old artist's colony with individually decorated casitas, and wonderful breakfasts. It puts you within walking distance to several excellent Old Town restaurants, including Antiquity (www.themenupage.com/antiquityrestaurant.html), which if you want Old Town atmosphere and good food is hard to beat.

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: Where to stay?

Thank you for all of the wonderful insights. I mistyped the name of the B&B I was considering. It's Adobe Nido, not Nino. Sorry about that. I also looked at Casas de Suenos earlier, and really like the concept of having a separate casita, but I can't find any mention of there being wifi access, which we really have to have.

As for hotels, it seems like Tamaya would be great if we were staying longer. I would probably get out there and not want to leave! It sounds like we are going to want something more in town, and Hotel ABQ is still leading the pack. Andaluz seems like too much of a party place, though maybe it wouldn't be on a Monday and Tuesday night. I do like the look of Parq Central, but some of the reviews I read said the neighborhood is "sketchy". Can anyone provide some perspective on that?

New Mexico
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5. Re: Where to stay?

On the website for Casas de Suenos it does say that there is property-wide Wi-Fi, so this might be worth a phone call to confirm. First page, midway down.

<*Free High Speed Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout the property and in all rooms.>

I understand your concern about Parq Central. It's a great concept, but until there's more feedback, I personally would not recommend it.

Hotel Albuquerque is a lovely hotel, and an excellent location, so I don't think you'd go wrong there if you decide against Casas de Suenos.

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Where to stay?

I totally missed that on the Casas de Suenos website! Thanks for pointing it out, ConCeili. It's back in the running. :-)

Austin, Texas
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7. Re: Where to stay?

After much consideration, I decided to book Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. It just seemed like the right fit for us. Thanks for all of your help!

New Mexico
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8. Re: Where to stay?

I hope you come back and post a trip report and let us know how everything went.

Austin, Texas
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9. Re: Where to stay?

I definitely will! I like to write very long trip reports. :-)

New Mexico
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10. Re: Where to stay?

I'm a little late to this party, but I think you made a good choice here. Really, you can't beat the location and it's a nice place.

I really like what they're trying to do with Parq Central, but the neighborhood is currently at the very early stages of gentrification. Albuquerque has had much success with the gentrification of down town and some of these old sketchy neighborhoods....converting long established, but long abandoned buildings into something wonderful and usefull.

About a decade ago or so, the old abandoned Albuquerque High was purchased by a private investor and converted to high end condos....having lived here quite awhile, I simply couldn't imagine that working out....but 10 years or so later, it's a pretty hot and happening area of downtown. I think the same will happen with the Parq Central area, just will take time, as these things do.

Spooky place though (Parq Central)....it was abandoned for years, but it used to be the old looney bin.