When a hotel bills itself as a ‘green’ property, disposing of single-use PPE is a challenge. But COVID-19 requires the eco-friendly Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque, Curio Collection by Hilton, to do just that. “We're trying to stay in line with our green initiatives while following state orders,” says Sheila Smith, Director of Sales. This downtown Albuquerque hotel blends eco-friendliness with old world charm to create a great place to stay in New Mexico.
According to the website, Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque has adopted the following COVID-related guidelines:
- Additional measures developed in consultation with global and local public health authorities (including the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control) to make our cleaning and hygiene protocols even more rigorous
- Increased frequency of cleaning our public areas (including lobbies, elevators, door handles, public bathrooms, etc.) and have continued the use of hospital-grade disinfectant
- Adjust food and beverage service in accordance with current food safety recommendations
- Increased deployment of antibacterial hand sanitizers
- Ongoing briefings and enhanced operating protocols for team members
Per New Mexico requirements, the hotel's restaurants and bars began 50% capacity patio dining in May. They added 50% indoor restaurant seating during June.
Hopefully, monthly live jazz will return in August. The six-member band Entourage Jazz pairs formal attire with classy old-school performances. In fact, readers of Albuquerque, the Magazine have voted this the “Best Place to Hear Live Jazz!”
The downtown Albuquerque hotel lobby reflects much of this property’s rich historic charm. Native New Mexican, Conrad Hilton, completed the structure in 1939. New Mexico's tallest building was also the first in the state to feature air conditioning and an elevator.
Dark railings still complement white adobe arches inside the two-story grand courtyard. A small fountain glows with color beneath the wood ceiling. For a gathering of eight to 10 people, book a cozy Casbah room beside the lobby. Each room features plush seating, curtain-draped walls, and dramatic lighting.
The nearby library is also full of old wood and adobe. A large fireplace is particularly inviting on cold winter days.
By 2009, Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque, Curio Collection by Hilton, received a massive, eco-friendly renovation. During the project, the downtown Albuquerque hotel recycled more than 1,100 tons of debris. Today, the property recycles most discarded paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metals. It also composts food waste.
Guestrooms are now bright, airy, and modern. Many furnishings and accessories incorporate rapidly renewable bamboo or rubberwood. Refillable containers store shampoo, soap, and other amenities.
Invisible Green Upgrades
Environmentally friendly carpet and padding, paints, stains, and adhesives, create a healthier environment for hotel guests. In addition, one of the state’s largest privately-owned solar thermal systems heats water for guestrooms, laundry, and dining. This keeps 214,000 pounds of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, annually.
Seventy percent of all electricity derives from renewable sources. These include biomass, geothermal, and wind facilities. Eighty-seven percent of the energy consumed by onsite boilers also converts to heat and air conditioning.
A state-of-the-art energy management system puts the HVAC in deep slumber, as needed. When guests arrive, this system automatically brings the guestroom temperature to a comfortable level and turns on lights. Motion detectors and heat sensors tell the system when you leave your room. Then, climate controls revert to a semi-energy saving mode. Upon your return, temperature readjusts within minutes.
Wine and Dine
We didn’t have time to dine at the hotel. But there are several terrific food and drink options.
Admire those New Mexico skies and mountain peaks from the roof at Ibiza Bar & Patio. Enjoy cocktails and appetizers, such as 36 Hour Short Rib Egg Rolls, Fried Avocado Tacos, and Slow Braised Chicken Nachos. Check for nightly programming on the website. You can also grab breakfast or lunch at Ibiza.
MÁS Tapas y Vino is a full-service restaurant and tapas bar. The menu incorporates bold flavors and elements of traditional Spanish cooking. Organic, fresh, and locally sourced foods star in this ‘modernized’ cuisine. Think Cast Iron Octopus, Roasted Bone Marrow, or Assorted Spanish Cheese. When you book a Casbah room, choose from the full MÁS menu. If you prefer a cozy, low-key meal, order room service.
I never tire of visiting northern New Mexico from my home in the Kansas City area. And I would gladly stay at this eco-friendly, downtown Albuquerque hotel again.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations (meals and other compensation) for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.