Vacationing in Albuquerque – We decided to do something different this year, and headed to Albuquerque for Labor Day weekend. I have driven through Albuquerque before, but this would be my first trip where Albuquerque would be my destination. I checked several websites including Hotels.com, Yahoo.com, Orbitz.com, as well as various hotel homepage sites scouring for the best deal. I was looking for a hotel that had exceptional reviews, while also maintaining a reasonable price. Based on this, I chose to stay at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Midtown.
This Holiday Inn is conveniently located just off I-25 and I-40. The hotel’s central location allowed us to venture out without fear of getting lost, or driving excessively. The large hotel is visible from either highway, and its’ distinctive signage makes it stand out from the rest. We arrived ahead of schedule at approximately 2:20pm. Check-in time was 3:00pm, but I attempted to check in early, in hopes that our room would be available.
The outside of the hotel was clean and kempt. There were no signs of poor maintenance, and the grounds were inviting. Once inside the hotel, I was impressed with the cleanliness. The lobby was inviting, and attention to detail was evident. I approached the desk and spoke with Aaron, whom I believe was the assistant manager on-duty. I inquired if our room was available, even though we had arrived ahead of the 3:00pm check-in time. Aaron was able to accommodate our early arrival, and we were assigned a king bed suite on the fourth floor. Aaron also made the recommendation that we park around back, as the doors out back are closer to the elevator.
Following Aaron’s advice we parked in the back of the hotel (although in my opinion the back of the hotel is really the side). Upon entering our room we were pleasantly surprised to see a room that met all of our expectations. The bedding was crisp, the toiletries were stocked, and everything appeared to be in its proper place. My wife was also impressed. For a room that was under $100 this room appeared to be of high quality. We quickly turned on the room air conditioner, as it had been previously set to 75 degrees. The a/c kicked in quietly, and soon the room was comfortable.
The room was furnished with a king size bed and in my opinion had never been in a smoking room. The pillows were plenty, with two for each person, as well as an extra located in the closet area. In addition to the bed, the room also has a queen pull out sofa. This additional sleeping accommodation makes it easy for a family to fit into this room. There was also a business/study area with a chair, a desk lamp, and internet access available. I was on vacation, and as such I did not test out the internet connection. Finally, the room was also equipped with a mini-fridge, a sink, and microwave. For the family that will be using this suite as a base camp, the mini-fridge and microware would be great for storing snacks and meals for later.
One of my biggest concerns when I book a hotel is the quality of the bathroom. All too often the bathroom tends to be an afterthought, with most hotels cramming the bathrooms with a toilet, leaving no room. In the suite that we stayed in this was not the case. The bathroom was properly sized, and the rain effect shower head was luxurious. The temperature can be easily adjusted so that you can either steam away your stress, or freeze it out. The bowed shower curtain rod was also a nice addition, increasing the shower area that is available.
As previously stated the hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Albuquerque. We ventured forth on several occasions, and were able to easily find our way back without difficulty. We had asked Aaron for directions to a nearby casino. Aaron was knowledgeable of the area and was able to relay the directions to us quickly. In addition to the casino visit, we also visited Old Town Albuquerque. Old Town was crowded, with lots of little shops available for perusing. During our visit a wedding was occurring in the town park area, which caused some traffic congestion.
Another site that we visited was Sandia Peak. We opted to take the tram car up to the top. Be forewarned that the top of the peak can easily be 25 to 30 degrees cooler. Additionally, check the weather, because the last place you want to be is on top of Sandia Peak during a storm. The tram ride up the mountain takes approximately 15 minutes. Once on the top of the mountain, there are spectacular views available. There is also a restaurant on the top of the mountain. During our trip we decided to forego the restaurant and simply enjoyed the views. At one point during the tram car ride, you can look down a 1000 foot drop. For those of you that afraid of heights, I would recommend staying away from this activity.
To summarize the Holiday inn Express and Suites Midtown located in Albuquerque, New Mexico is an excellent facility. The hotel also serves a breakfast in the morning. On our visit the breakfast consisted of bagels, dry cereal, various flavors of milk and juice, toast, cinnamon rolls, sausage, omelets, and biscuits and gravy. This breakfast was adequate for us, as we had a big day ahead of us.
Until next time, Keep on Vacationing!
1. Customer Service (4 stars possible):
4 stars given – Aaron was exceptional, as well as the wait staff at breakfast.
2. Location (4 stars possible):
4 stars given – easily accessible, in a decent area
3. Room Quality (4 stars possible):
3.5 stars given – excellent accommodations – but pillows were too stiff
4. Cleanliness (4 stars possible):
4 stars given – hotel was clean and no major maintenance defects found
5. Value versus Price (4 stars possible):
4 stars given – For a sub $90 hotel this room was worth the price – I would stay again!