Even as you step off the jet way at Albuquerque's Sunport terminal, you know instantly you're not in Detroit, Denver, or Dallas. How? The gate waiting area has solid wooden-framed leather chairs which you find throughout the terminal, the decor features lots of turquoise, over-sized pottery, silver accents, and interesting tile patterns (even in the restrooms!) that let you know you're in New Mexico. These motifs are carried out admirably at the Best Western Rio Grande, conveniently located just north of Old Town at the I-40 interchange.
This is my second stay here, having been assigned by Hotwire in April, 2012. In the meantime, I'd gotten a Best Western rewards card which at least got me a USA Today at my door each morning even though I hadn't booked through BW. The lobby decor is tasteful, obviously southwestern in its character and this is carried out even in the elevators (wood atop turquoise walls which are polished every morning). The hall carpet, the room number signs, and more turquoise are unmistakably themed. My room had a small bathroom with instantaneous and abundant hot water, plenty of towels, toiletries, and clean as an operating theater. Housekeeping throughout this property is of an obviously high quality and overseen for white gloved consistency by Ricardo.
My king-sized bed was very comfortable, though typically "over-pillowed" and with a useless decorative throw piece at its foot which seems to be found everywhere these days.
Solid wooden end tables and rustic lamps flanked the bed. There was a table-like desk, again solid wood, large bureau, a wall-mounted LG television set (with a bagged remote control) featuring Direct TV which offered no fewer than 5 HBO options, and an encased 3 foot mini-fridge. Especially noteworthy was the large chair with cushioned wooden footstool and a floor lamp. A generously wide window had a sunny, southern exposure looking down on the very well-maintained pool area.
Rebecca, Marissa, Dee, and Aaron rotated on front desk duty and were unfailingly cheery and helpful. The hotel provides a free shuttle to/from the ABQ Sunport. There are several good restaurants within walking distance as well as two gas stations/convenience stores directly across Rio Grande Blvd. The hotel has a restaurant which seems busiest at breakfast. For lunch and dinner, try the more high-priced dinner salads which are imaginative and feature better varieties of greens.
The lobby features two stand-up computers and a printer. Around the corner are two more sit-down computers and a printer in a rather stuffy room. Any quibbles? Just the minor ones I find common to many hotels: bathtub drains left closed after cleaning, "tippy," loose lampshades, and occasional noise bleed from adjacent rooms. The elevator doors seem to take forever to close - even when you push the inward arrow button. There is adequate on-site free parking.
All in all, this is an outstanding property with a lot of TLC invested in it by the staff. I'd happily stay here a 3rd time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Full service hotel located in the Historic Old Town District with over 150 unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries nestled around the Albuquerque Plaza. The Inn is bordered by I-40 to the North, the Downtown District to the East, Route 66 to the South, and the Rio Grande River to the West. Swimming pool, hot tub, restaurant, cantina, business center, and free Wi-Fi. 100% non-smoking facility. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Rio Grande Hotel Albuquerque
- Best Western Albuquerque
- Albuquerque Best Western