Each year, my husband and I travel for our anniversary. It’s more fun and exciting than giving material gifts—travel and experience are more meaningful. Sometimes it’s an epic trip like Europe (2012 and 2016), but other times it’s a weekend getaway (Tijuana 2017). This year, we pulled up the old Southwest Destination Finder and booked Rapid Rewards travel to somewhere close: Albuquerque, New Mexico. I know it’s not a normal vacation hot spot, but it is a quirky town that I have always wanted to get to know a little better. With tickets booked, that left the question: Where to stay in Albuquerque?
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There are plenty, plenty of nationwide chain hotels in ABQ. I’ve made many road trips through this city and I’ve certainly been happy to rest my head in the familiar comfort of Hampton Inn or affordable Days Inn after a long day of driving. Bonus points for this particular Motel 6 I’ve used; it is walking-distance from Buffalo Wild Wings. You probably have your chain of choice, and I’m sure you’ll find it has an outpost off of I-40.
Lap of Luxury
You know I’m a sucker for boutique hotels, so my first and foremost choice is the Hotel Andaluz. Located right downtown, this hotel features a swanky Spanish motif as well as historical New Mexico details, all with a luxury touch.
Another downtown location is Hotel Parq Central, which is approaching its centennial birthday. They offer the same amenities that most upscale hotels offer, but their most appealing feature is the rooftop bar with a view of downtown Albuquerque’s lights (see photo above). They are also pet-friendly.
Fifteen minutes south of downtown is the Isleta Resort & Casino. This breathtaking property has unique architecture and lots of amenities. Aside from the casino, which is in the name, guests can enjoy the pool, spa, massage, restaurants, and even bowling!
Get your Kicks
If you are on a Route 66 pilgrimage, there are any number of vintage hotels on Central Ave: that is where the historic highway cuts through the city. Some of them have the dreaded 1-star on TripAdvisor, so use discretion. When picking where to stay in Albuquerque (Rt 66 version), I recommend Sandia Peak Inn Motel and Monterey Non-Smokers Motel, where you will get clean vintage charm. Reviewers rave about each motel’s friendly and helpful staff. You can also read the chronicle of driving the entire Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. written by some of my favorite bloggers.
What lodging did we land on? This time we went with Airbnb since I had a travel credit expiring this summer. My husband discovered this cute studio loft, doesn’t it look so picturesque? Here are a couple other cute ones: Casa Nopal and Casa Yucca. For a big group trip, I would want to stay at this cozy custom home or this 70s time warp with indoor pool.
Are you a New Mexico native? Is there somewhere I missed? What MUST I do when in ABQ? I need your recommendations in the comments!