Where do I begin with Albuquerque’s stunning new Hotel Chaco? Suffice it to say that in all my worldwide travels, this hotel, located on the edge of the city’s historic Old Town area, may actually be my favorite—anywhere.
It’s hard to verbalize exactly why, but it’s simply a result of excellence everywhere at this property. The design, inspired by Chaco Canyon, is dramatic and captivating, as is so much of New Mexico’s landscape.
Enter through beautiful decorative metal doors and the walls of the circular lobby spill upward and inward, creating a massive, yet almost sacred space.
The exterior and much of the public spaces are adorned with rough-hewn slabs of rock in various shades of beige and brown, evoking canyon walls. Large oxidized metal panels are used as interior and exterior walls, adding a sense of drama and injecting some contrasting color.
The boutique property is a part of Heritage Hotels & Resorts, which has been growing and now boasts 11 hotels across the state.
Chaco’s 118 rooms follow a similar color scheme to the public areas, with an array of medium and light browns in the wood and tiling. Elegant bathrooms feature a light-framed mirror and a stone vessel sink atop a lovely stone counter. A frosted glass panel that covers one-third of the shower lets light in from the rest of the room, and it’s etched with a funky southwestern-inspired freehand pattern.
Our room included a safe, balcony, coffee maker, wall mounted widescreen television and thoughtful touches like reading lights on each side of the bed and plenty of electrical outlets.
Chaco’s pool area is a delight, and our kids enjoyed several evenings there—the C-shaped hotel floorplan warmly wraps around the pool and a courtyard area, giving it a private feeling. The gym is stocked with high-end equipment, making for a great workout. And the ground floor of the hotel includes an extensive art gallery and a couple of small shops.
Our interactions with hotel staff were delightful, and the associates were always eager to talk about the property and point out interesting architectural elements, such as the little statue of a native man who looks down on the registration desk from a perch high above.
The other delightful part of this property is the Level 5 Restaurant & Lounge, situated on the top (fifth) floor of the property. There is inside and outside seating, and part of the extensive outdoor area is protected by a dramatic overhang that angles outward from the center of the building.
What’s more, the entire setup of Level 5 is oriented toward the east, with a gorgeous view of downtown Albuquerque and the Sandia Mountains in the distance. We enjoyed drinks on the outdoor patio area, soaking in the view of the skyline buildings reflecting the sunset behind us.
As darkness descended, city lights in every direction began to sparkle like diamonds and we decided another drink was in order. Hotel Chaco had done an excellent job of charming us, and I knew then that we’d be back someday soon.
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