by Alain Gayot
This is a simple story and a complex one at the same time. We all know who hotel entrepreneur Conrad Hilton was, and everybody knows the Hilton name. Let's make a long story short. Because Hilton was a native of New Mexico, it was an honor and proof of his early success to build this grand hotel in bustling Albuquerque, right next to the railroad station. This was his third property and his first in the "Land of Enchantment." The hotel went through some rough times and was even vacant for a while sold, resold and resold again but it has recently been completely renovated and claims its original grandeur. Much more would need to be done to compete with today's palaces, but for its historic value and location in the gentrifying downtown area one block away from the convention center and Route 66 it's not a bad place to stay. A courteous and eager-to-please staff is there to welcome and serve you.
Formerly La Posada de Albuquerque, this 1939 landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and underwent a $30 million renovation in 2009 to be transformed into Hotel Andaluz. A tantalizing and sensuous tapestry of past and future, Hotel Andaluz embraces you with redefined hospitality, historic significance, environmentally responsible design, luxurious amenities, Lucia — a Mediterranean- influenced restaurant — a sizzling rooftop lounge and a Cultural Center that celebrates the arts and culture of New Mexico.
The hotel also houses more than 6,000 square feet of conference facilities with modern amenities and a contemporary and captivating backdrop. The new rooftop bar and lounge, Ibiza, provides weekly entertainment such as the hottest local house DJs and offers an alluring ambience to locals and guests alike.
Hotel Andaluz’s restaurant, Lucia, features food and flavors with a Mediterranean flare. Enjoy indoor dining or savor a meal on their outdoor patio. The restaurant also offers an exclusive VIP room for parties of up to fourteen guests. Lucia serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a selective wine list. Enjoy dishes such as crisped Chilean sea bass or Catalonian herb-crusted rack of lamb.
*Hotel photos by Ramona Willis d'Viola/ilumus photography, 2009