Hotel Andaluz Local Guide, Albuquerque

We sent Yodeler Matt Gee to Hotel Andaluz, Curio Collection by Hilton to create an Albuquerque, New Mexico Local Guide. Hotel Andaluz is a meticulously restored historic (built in 1939) property close to top attractions, events and the Sandia Mountains. The property features unique artwork from around the world and Spanish-inspired design. Matt created an incredible travel guide full local insights just for you.

Name? Matt Gee

Occupation? Photographer

Preoccupation? Travel, Fitness, Movies

Can you sum up Albuquerque? Albuquerque is a vibrant Southwestern city in the heart of New Mexico. Spend any amount of time there and you will find that there’s an eclectic mix of people, history, art, and Americana. From the Spanish and Pueblo architecture to the thriving art scene to the chili-infused food, there are endless things that are quintessential Albuquerque. And the city is never shy about showing them off. Known to most people as the hot air ballooning capital of the world, Albuquerque does a great job of embracing its past while continuing to evolve forward. Because of this, the city never feels stagnant or quite definable, which makes it the perfect place to stay awhile and get to know.

What is the best thing about Albuquerque? I think the best thing is that it’s a little under the radar. I like visiting places that wouldn’t necessarily be first on most people’s go-to list. I think it is great that there’s a lot to do in Albuquerque but it never feels touristy.

What is a perfect day in Albuquerque? For me, a perfect day would be a mix of city and nature. Outdoor activities are easily accessible and there are so many great historical and artistic spots to explore around the city.

What are the people like in Albuquerque? During the course of my stay, I got the chance to meet many locals whether at restaurants, the hotel or while touring the city. One common thread that I noticed was that everyone was really proud of where they lived and took pride in all that Albuquerque had to offer. I felt like that sentiment made my visit even more special.

If Albuquerque was a person who would it be? I’d say that Albuquerque was like Michael Scott from The Office — a little quirky and unpredictable but ultimately you can’t help but love them.

If a friend was visiting Albuquerque would you have them do? I’d recommend starting the day with a short 10-minute walk from Hotel Andaluz to get coffee and a breakfast burrito at Zendo. Try the iced mocha with oat milk! It’s located right across the street from the Turquoise Museum, which coincidentally is the next stop. I’d take about an hour or so here to check out this stunning collection. From there, I’d head to Old Town Albuquerque. This area has so much character and I think it gives you a great sense of the city’s historical roots. While you’re in the area, keep an eye out for Albuquerque’s collection of murals, which provide beautiful pops of color across the city.

At this point, I would grab lunch close by at Cocina Azul (make sure you check in on Yelp for free chips and salsa!) I’d then start the afternoon off with some shopping and exploring around the Nob Hill area. There are tons of unique shops mixed in with Route 66-themed architecture which makes a really fun combination. For an afternoon pick-me-up, I’d stop for an iced drink at Boba Tea Company.

As the afternoon starts to wind down, I’d take a quick 25-minute drive to the Sandia Peak Tramway. The tramway takes you almost 3-miles up to an amazing viewpoint of the valley below (and you can see 9% of the state!)

After you take in the sunset in the mountains, I’d head back to the hotel and enjoy a delicious dinner at Hotel Andaluz’s restaurant, MAS. Many of the tapas have generous portions so it’s best to share. I’d personally recommend the Patatas Bravas, Iberian Black Pig “Secreto”, Orecchiette Pasta, Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Diver Sea Scallops. I’d finish off the night with a specialty cocktail (or two) upstairs at the Ibiza rooftop bar.




Best place to eat?

Cocina Azul

Best place to drink?

Ibiza Bar at Hotel Andaluz. I’d recommend the Pear of Cards or the Dobel Vision.

Best place to shop?

Nob Hill! If you’re into comic books, I’d check out Astro-Zombies.

Best activity?

Outdoor: Sandia Peak Tramway, Indoor: Turquoise Museum

Local tip?

Walk! A lot of the city is walkable and there’s tons of visual character everywhere, especially with the number of murals.

Best place to stay?

Hotel Andaluz, Curio Collection by Hilton