I've never been to Albuquerque and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Albuquerque is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!
Other have mentioned the Hotel Andaluz, and I highly recommend it if you want the optimum location for seeing Albuquerque's most important attractions. First of all, it is arguably the most beautiful hotel in Albuquerque and has three excellent and trendy restaurants along with excellent live entertainment. It is pricey at aprox. $175 per night, and offers the best hotel experience in Albuquerque. Another recommendation is the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. This sits in the heart of Old Town, the most important tourist district in Albuquerque and is also an excellent hotel. It is a bit more reasonable at aprox. $125.00 per night. These are the two hotels I always recommend when I have out of town guests who want the ultimate Albuquerque experience.
Hotel Andaluz is in the downtown district, putting your near Nob Hill (upscale Route 66 restaurants, boutiques, bars). Also, because it is one block away from the Alvarado Transportion Center, you can catch the excellent RailRunner commuter train to Santa Fe for a day trip (or two, worth it!). In fact it is better than driving and gives you a taste of the amazing countryside that surrounds Albuquerque.
Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town puts you in the heart of Albuquerque's Old Town, its most important historic district and near the downtown area. If you don't plan to drive, Hotel Andaluz is the better option. If you will have a rental vehicle, the Hotel Albuquerque is a great choice.
Both of these hotels also have a southwestern flavor that you won't find in the more generic hotel chains in Albuquerque. If you intend to visit Santa Fe, you get a 5-star boutique hotel experience at the Hotel Andaluz for half of the price of equivalent hotels in Santa Fe. By taking the RailRunner to visit Santa Fe you will be only a block from your hotel when you come back to Albuquerque. If you want a good idea of the attractions and restaurants worth visiting in Albuquerque (from a local), check out http://abqstyle.com/
Albuquerque is rather spread out, like many western towns, and hotels are scattered all over town. If you are looking for a hotel with some atmosphere and a bit of charm, I would suggest Hotel Parq Central, which is a very nicely renovated building near downtown or Hotel Andaluz, which another nicely renovated hotel located right downtown and which was one of the original Hilton hotels. Hotel Andaluz has a large central lobby and bar in the southwestern style where you can enjoy a cocktail and a very decent tapas restaurant off the lobby. Parq Central is actually a remodeled old mental hospital. It has a small somewhat expensive bar upon the top floor with a limited food menu. Another good choice is Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town , where I have had relatives and friends stay. It is larger than the other two and is located right next to Old Town. Seasons Rotisserie & Grill is right around the corner from Hotel Albuquerque, and it is one of my favorite restaurants in town. Most of the other hotels in town are just parts of large chains which, while perfectly nice, are no more suggestive of the southwest than they are of Atlanta or Minneapolis or Pittsburg.
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My recommendation would be the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. It 's very reflective of the local southwestern culture and charm and not far from the must-see Old Town area with its shops, restaurants and the historic church San Felipe de Neri. The Explora! and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science are nearby and it's also not far from the Zoo, Aquarium, the Botanical Gardens, and the downtown area. Be sure you ride the Tram while you are there too! Fantastic views of the city at the top!
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