Friday, December 31, 2010

History and Heritage

We started our press trip in Albuquerque. We were hosted by Heritage Hotels and Resorts -- an amazing group of properties in New Mexico and Arizona. Founder Jim Long is passionate about preserving the history and heritage of the areas and he does it by taking over hotels and turning them into unique hostelries which feature the arts and crafts important to the area.

The Hotel Albuquerque showcases the Spanish influence in the area. You'll find traditional touches like vigas, latillas, Mexican tinwork, hand-forged chandeliers and artworks that reflect the heritage and landscape of northern New Mexico. Other features pay homage to the Pueblo, Territorial and Western styles so important in Albuquerque. My room was huge -- and comfortable with a fabulous view of the mountains -- the view at the top of this post.

The hotel is a popular wedding destination with facilities to meet every need. The chapel on the grounds is a replica of a small chapel which Jim found in southern New Mexico. In summer -- when I took this picture -- the gate (and nearby pergola) was covered with fragrant wisteria.

I can't go to New Mexico without having huevos rancheros for breakfast and the Cafe Plazuela in the hotel didn't disappoint. I had to try everything so in answer to the definitive New Mexican question, red or green, I requested "Christmas." Both sauces were house-made and excellent.

Hotel Albuquerque is one of seven under the Heritage banner -- I've stayed in three of them and visited another -- my goal is to stay in each of these hotels. Every one is different and very special. In a future post, I'll write about the St. Francis Hotel in Santa Fe. It's a tough job -- but somebody has to do it!

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