Mediterranean-Style Hotel in Downtown Albuquerque
Opened in 1939 by Conrad Hilton, Hotel Andaluz was the fourth Hilton Hotel ever built. In its early days, it welcomed such notable guests as Gregory Peck and James Stewart, and it was here that Hilton threw the party celebrating his engagement to Zsa Zsa Gabor in the 1940s. Recent renovations have preserved this landmark property's historical foundations while adding modern, Mediterranean-style flourishes, such as arched doorways and a latticed ceiling. Further updates included the installation of solar-powered water heaters and other eco-friendly technology that helped to land Hotel Andaluz on Gayot's 2012 list of the Top 10 Hotels in Albuquerque.
Guest rooms feature soothing earth tones and sustainable bamboo furnishings. Room sizes vary from the 235-square-foot Conrad studio rooms to the more than twice as large Conrad deluxe rooms, which boast two vanities and a 7-foot closet for storing luggage and novelty skeletons. Corner Vista rooms fall somewhere in the middle, size-wise, and feature views of the Sandia Mountains.
At Ibiza, the hotel's rooftop bar, an outdoor patio overlooks the Albuquerque skyline and mountains and encircles a trickling waterfall. On weekends, jazz music sets the tone as patrons sip specialty cocktails and sample appetizers. For more substantial fare, head to Lucia for breakfast, lunch and dinner, where a seasonal menu includes seafood entrees such as hazelnut-dusted Chilean sea bass.
Albuquerque: Multicultural City with Long, Storied Past
Not only is Albuquerque New Mexico's largest city, it's also one of the state's most diverse. Over the past 300 years, Spanish, Mexican, Asian, Native American, and English influences have shaped the local culture—reflected in architecture ranging in style from adobe and Gothic-Revival homes to glass-and-steel towers downtown.
The bulk of Albuquerque's cultural offerings center on Old Town, where you'll find a half-dozen museums, including the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which showcases artifacts dating back to the first settlers along the Rio Grande. The building is modeled after the Pueblo Bonito ruins of Chaco Canyon. To see a real pueblo, head to Acoma Pueblo just west of town. Set atop a mesa, this dusty village—one of the oldest in the country—consists of centuries-old, pale adobes housing native artisans known for their black-and-white pottery.