Known for its incredible views, surrounding surreally beautiful landscapes and of course, being the city where the hit TV series “Breaking Bad” was set, the quirky-cool spot is well worth a visit.
It’s actually New New Mexico’s largest city starting out as a Spanish colony way back in 1706. Make sure you check out the Old Town filled with historic adobe buildings, shops selling Native American handicrafts and its great museums. Also, make sure you stay somewhere equally as awesome! From intimate boutiques to trendy and modern, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Albuquerque, New Mexico…
1. Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque, Curio Collection By Hilton – a cool and unique travel sustainable property that features a rooftop lounge
Downtown Albuquerque, just a few yards back from the famous Route 66 is the good-looking Hotel Andaluz, constructed in 1939.
The hints of pueblo styling on the outside are continued inside with heavy, carved wood, Spanish arches and earthen tones mixed cleverly with modern touches creating a soft, calm atmosphere throughout. Guest rooms and suites are spacious, comfortable and tastefully furnished in similar natural tones to reflect the glorious landscape around Albuquerque.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants on nearby Central Avenue and it’s only a couple of miles to the Old Town for the full street experience of Nuevo México.
In the modern hotel, there’s an excellent tapas restaurant serving locally sourced foods, some very nice alcoves in the lobby for cocktails and an excellent small rooftop bar for views of the beautiful desert sunset.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque, Curio Collection By Hilton
2. Hotel Chaco, Old Town – a trendy modern hotel located in the heart of Albuquerque’s historic Old Town
Generally fêted as one of the best hotels in Albuquerque the Hotel Chaco rests just 100 yards north of the Old Town. It is a beautiful minimalist building of different levels, reflecting the glorious rock stacks and mountains in the Rio Grande.
Inside it is frankly exquisite with repeated themes of tactile stone enhanced by stylish furnishings with drizzles of Native American design. Everything has been stunningly curated to produce neat, comfortable, restful spaces. From the smallest room to the biggest suite the design theme continues flawlessly.
The pièce de resistance must be the restaurant on level 5 with fabulous local cuisine consumed against a background of stunning panoramic views of the Rio Grande Valley and Sandia–Manzano Mountains beyond the city. There’s a good fitness centre, weekly yoga sessions and a lovely, big outdoor pool.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Chaco, Old Town
3. Hotel Parq Central – a beautiful Italian-inspired historic hotel ideal for a relaxing stay
In the neighbourhood known as Huning Highlands on the eastern side of the city centre is Hotel Parq Central. Parq is presumably a reference to the small Highland Park behind the hotel and Central refers to Central Avenue (Route 66) that runs past the front.
With the Pan American Highway passing the eastern side this, like much of Albuquerque, is not a place to stay without transportation of your own; local amenities, like bars, restaurants and markets are close by but hard to reach on foot. Externally the hotel is a pleasant sandy pueblo-style building with a homely appeal.
Inside it doesn’t disappoint, in fact, it grows in charm as you uncover the delightful guest rooms, suites and public spaces all coolly styled in understated, traditional desert tones with an occasional nod to Nuevo México heritage.
Then there’s a lovely relaxing courtyard, a fitness room and outdoor jacuzzi to discover; and finally a truly splendid rooftop bar and bistro plus breakfast to die for.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Parq Central
4. Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town – one of the top hotels in Albuquerque where guests can enjoy an outdoor pool and on-site bar and restaurant
On the edge of Albuquerque Old Town is the imaginatively named Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town with its high pueblo-style tower and jagged balconies dominating the skyline. Not the greatest-looking exterior, but the interior is cleverly styled to create a cavernous central atrium in a Native American/Mexican style, which continues into comfortable open courtyards.
The public spaces are big, yet warm and homely, with a welcoming ranch atmosphere. The rooms and suites continue the theme with interesting unpretentious furnishings and warm earth tones. There’s a very good outdoor, seasonal swimming pool and jetted hot tub and a nice patio restaurant serving the famous, traditional local cuisine.
It’s a very short distance to the historic Old Town, founded in 1706, now the centre of Albuquerque’s cultural district, with numerous museums, shops, galleries, and restaurants, and just across the street from the trendy Sawmill Market with its many cafés, restaurants and small shops. Overall, this is a good hotel in a great location.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town
5. Isleta Resort & Casino – a world-class oasis that features an on-site casino and a bowling alley
Twelve miles to the south of Albuquerque, the Isleta Resort & Casino is a self-contained resort complex aimed at guests who intend to stay on-site for the duration. There’s golfing, gambling, swimming, bowling, billiards, a music theatre, bars, shopping, a spa and, of course, plenty of eating options.
There’s even an entire section of the estate for recreational vehicles to park up and camp. The resort towers above its surroundings like a colourful glass and Lego pastiche of quirky shapes and attractive blocks impressing, but not overwhelming, the visitor.
It is presented as a bright palace of fun throughout the shared areas, with 201 subdued, simple guest rooms and suites in restful beige and brown to add calm after a full day of fun. Overall, an excellent, polished resort suitable for singles, couples, families and even people who don’t like resorts.
- To book, check prices or availability for Isleta Resort & Casino
6. Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn – an exotic and unusual B&B built-in 1938 that offers hot tub suites and glowing fireplaces
A converted 1930s collection of artists’ casitas in a beautiful adobe-style compound on the edge of Albuquerque Old Town – this is not your standard hotel. Set amid exquisitely tended gardens and architectural delights, that hit you as soon as you arrive, this is a fabulously quirky collection of rooms offering an almost traditional cultural experience with a few mod-cons shoe-horned in.
The twenty casitas vary in size, all have separate seating areas or rooms, some have indoor hot tubs and private patios. Everywhere is furnished in comfortable New Mexico designs and styles with a mix of Spanish and Native American influences.
Casas de Suenos does a great breakfast and is only a few blocks to the museums, arts centres and Old Town Plaza shopping district, with alfresco dining at one of the many restaurants.
It’s the perfect location for a leisurely stroll through the Old Town Historic District, or just relax in the beautiful garden compound with its unique architectural art and gazebo. Definitely worth a visit if you want something different.
- To book, check prices or availability for Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn
7. Nativo Lodge, Academy Acres – a spacious hotel that offers rooms with private balconies and panoramic city or mountain views
Eight miles north of Downtown, between a residential neighbourhood and industrial estate is the Nativo Lodge, overlooking a major intersection of the Pan American Highway.
Many of the rooms and suites have balconies, those at the rear have views of the mountains and get some protection from the noise of the highway.
Everywhere is presented in vibrant pseudo-native styles, many of the rooms have been decorated by Native American artists to produce a particularly unique experience. There is no restaurant on site, but there is an exaggerated lobby bar with a few snacks, and a small fitness area with a nice indoor-outdoor pool and hot tub.
There’s plenty of modern native art dotted around to create a contemporary feeling and demonstrate that the culture is current. There is even a tepee in the grounds with seating.
- To book, check prices or availability for Nativo Lodge, Academy Acres
8. Painted Lady Bed & Brew, Wells Park – a very unique and vibrant property that is in close proximity to great museums
On the northern edge of Downtown, around 1½ miles from the Old Town with plenty of bars and restaurants in between, is the unique Painted Lady Bed & Brew.
Originally built around 1881 as a brothel, it now hosts a row of spacious suites decorated in quirky eclectic styles which adjoin a shared terrace with a cosy, community feeling.
Each early evening has a “hoppy hour” of beer tasting around an eccentric trolley-bus in the grounds before guests head out to pick from the myriad of local restaurants and breweries.
An entirely unique establishment that needs to be savoured. Painted Lady Bed & Brew has no fitness centre, no pool, no breakfast buffet nor valet parking; but it does have tons of charm, character and originality that creates a truly original, unforgettable experience.
- To book, check prices or availability for Painted Lady Bed & Brew, Wells Park
9. Red Horse Bed and Breakfast, South Valley – a cozy and distinctive B&B that provides breathtaking garden views
On the western side of the Rio Grande lies the significantly more rural Albuquerque town of South Valley with Red Horse Bed and Breakfast nestling on its own oasis of farmland. Part vineyard, part organic farming, some livestock, a ceramic workshop and art studio sit comfortably alongside the four guest suites of accommodation.
There’s a small pool, plenty of recreational areas, a gift shop and lots of opportunities to participate in farming life or take classes on this historic smallholding, or just relax in the shade of cottonwood trees.
It’s less than 6 miles to the heart of Downtown and Old Town Albuquerque but feels like an entirely different world away from the city streets.
The suites are individually and traditionally styled with charming, homely furnishings and each has a private patio where breakfast is served each morning. Red Horse Bed and Breakfast will even provide lunch and dinner if requested, using their own fresh organic produce. What’s not to love?
- To book, check prices or availability for Red Horse Bed and Breakfast, South Valley
10. Monterey Motel, Old Town – a funky motel with great amenities, including an on-site launderette
Bordered by the iconic Route 66 on one side and Rio Grande on the other, West Park neighbourhood is a small green pocket in the heart of Albuquerque; home to the Country Club, BioPark, public gardens, lakes and many hiking trails along the banks of the river. Monterey Motel is uniquely placed equidistant between the culture of the Old Town and nature of the Rio Grande.
A smart-looking motel that retains the spirit of classic accommodation, but with an upgraded, tasteful edge. The rooms, suites and shared spaces are impressively decorated in a modern take on simple New Mexico style, using earth tones and Native American designs to produce a welcoming feel everywhere.
There’s a lovely small pool and a good bar serving local cocktails and spirits, and it’s an easy 10-minute walk to the restaurants, bars and museums of Old Town. Highly recommended as somewhere that will change your perception of motels forever.
- To book, check prices or availability for Monterey Motel, Old Town
11. Hyatt Place Albuquerque Uptown – an exclusive hotel that welcomes pets, with easy access to the airport
Halfway between the Sandia Mountains and city centre in the small neighbourhood known as Uptown is Hyatt Place Albuquerque Uptown. The district is largely composed of shopping malls and drive-thru’s only accessible by car, which is a necessity as it’s 8 miles from Downtown.
Externally the hotel is a safe replica of most out-of-town 1990s utilitarian buildings. Inside traditional Hyatt corporate design abounds with plenty of dark wood and beige carpeting. Recent refurbishment has added yards of grey bouclé to spice up the décor and create a feeling of being in a Hyatt.
Rooms and suites are similarly styled with the familiar dark wood, grey and beige, and large windows with views across the parking lots to the mountains or city beyond.
There is a fitness centre, small outdoor pool, on-site restaurant and plenty of meeting rooms. Everything you would expect to find at a corporate business hotel anywhere in the world.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hyatt Place Albuquerque Uptown
12. Sandia Peak Inn – Albuquerque – an affordable and awesome hotel located off Route 66
Just across the Rio Grande in Atrisco on the famous Route 66 is the peculiar budget-range Sandia Peak Inn.
Nowhere near the peaks of Sandia, but probably visible in the distance if you stood on the roof, this odd, red-coloured motel features uncomfortable painted statues and a fountain to greet you in the car park.
A traditional US two-storey motel around a courtyard of car parking with laundry facilities and a sometimes-open indoor pool, all at genuinely affordable prices – because it’s not the nicest neighbourhood in Albuquerque. The place was presumably furnished and decorated prior to the millennium in a mixed brocante style (which could not be described as eccentric or eclectic) and is hopefully due for refurbishment sometime soon.
For such good value accommodation, it’s very well located with the Old Town, Downtown and parks along the Rio Grande, all less than 2 miles away. Probably the closest you can find to a genuine road-trip motel.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sandia Peak Inn – Albuquerque
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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.