My husband and I stayed at the Candlewood for 4 nights. This was our first experience at any Candlewood establishment and we chose it because we were looking for a place that would enable us to cook our own meals and 'settle in' for a few days while on a short holiday in the US.
We were very impressed with our experience. Our 1 bedroom apartment was neat, clean and spacious, with everything we needed for a comfortable stay. All the kitchen basics were covered - cutlery & crockery, cooking items, dishwashing liquid, tea towels and even paper towels and filter coffee sachets, plus plenty of storage space for any groceries we bought. A small cooktop was complemented by a microwave and even a dishwasher.
The bathroom was well equipped and not cramped at all, and the towels were thick and fluffy.
The bedroom had one of the most comfortable beds I've slept in and the bed linen was crisp and good quality. They even provided both feather and foam pillows to choose from. The drapes did an effective job of blocking the light.
There were two large flat screen TVs, one in the living area and one in the bedroom. The living area also had a DVD player, which you can use to watch any of the DVDs from the free video library at reception. The only thing that wasn't perfect for us was the air conditioner - we were there in October but still needed the cooler in the afternoons and it did get quite noisy, but luckily we didn't need it on all night. I can imagine that this would be frustrating in the hotter months.
As well as the free DVD library, there's free wi-fi, free laundry facilities and gym. And the best part about Candlewood was the Candlewood Cupboard - an assortment of very reasonably priced ready meals, snacks and traveller essentials available for purchase on an honour based system. Perfect for those late arrivals when you are too tired to eat out.
The location is clearly the Candlewood's weakest aspect for anyone who doesn't have their own vehicle (it was a good 90 minute walk into Old Town), but there is a bus stop right on the corner that will take you into downtown every 20 minutes or so for $1 (or $2 for a day pass). There are a few dining options within easy walking distance (an Applebees almost across the road and a Little Anita's a few blocks away), and a 24 hour Walmart is about a 5 minute walk away for all your grocery needs.
To top things off, we found the staff at the front desk to be very friendly and helpful. This was great value for the price. If we are ever lucky enough to visit ABQ again, we will definitely be back.