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I was in ABQ this past weekend checking out some potential investment properties.
I’m not sure I found a good mix of price, appreciation, rental demand, and location – but maybe I’m being too picky. It’s a whole other thing I’m thinking through now.
To set the stage for this heady trip, I booked 2 nights at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Albuquerque Uptown (and booked the flights and car rental, all within 10 minutes).
It was so good to remember the serenity of the high desert. The days were gorgeous. And the skies there are incomparable. I love seeing mountains in the distance. I’ll take mountains over sea any day.
After landing, I immediately drove to the East Mountains to meet the real estate agent. And checked in to the hotel around 8pm that night.
In This Post
Arrival and check-in
I was what the kids these days call exhausted.
The desk agent was very friendly, noted my Hilton Diamond elite status, and offered to load me up with bottled water. She put a bottle in each of my bags and in both hands. And gave me a package of Milano cookies.
She told me about the breakfast, how to connect to wifi, and asked if I needed an area map. The whole thing took only a few minutes – she was extremely thorough and made me feel welcomed.
I headed up to the 6th floor, and to my room, 613.
Though it was a suite, the room was pretty basic (as was the entire hotel). Everything was nondescript but functional – that seemed to be what they were going for.
There was a table with a couple of chairs that I used as a desk. Kind of an awkward placement in the middle of both the kitchen and living area.
The kitchen was stocked with lots of cups, plates, bowls, and utensils, in case you want to cook or prepare meals en-suite.
I liked the Neutrogena “Clean” toiletries.
And here are a couple of alternate views so you can see how it all comes together:
Overall, it satisfied all my tenets of a good hotel room: clean, quiet, comfortable bed, and blazing-fast wifi.
Sorely lacks personality, but it’s all about function, not form. As a business traveler, I give them points for a decent (free!) hot breakfast and having coffee available in the lobby 24/7. I definitely refilled my cup each time I walked by.
I didn’t snap breakfast pics because I was rushing like a maniac both days – and there was a greeter (?) standing in the breakfast area the entire time.
I’d never seen that before. A girl just monitoring everything constantly. Safe to say she was on top of everything.
The breakfast had biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon and sausage, yogurt, cereal, fruit, juices, and coffee – the basics. The hot items were pretty filling and the coffee was decent. They had a few different varieties, which I appreciated.
If you’re traveling with family (or even not), the free breakfast here is definitely a huge win – no elite status required.
There were also a couple of computers in the lobby in case you needed to print anything. There were people at them pretty much constantly.
A couple of gripes
For a hotel with over a hundred rooms and 6 floors, their elevator situation wasn’t great. They only had two elevators to service the entire property – and they were slow as molasses.
One was on the right, the other was all the way on the other side. Why not have two elevators on each side, for a total of four?
It was particularly irksome during the day because the staff used it to move their carts around – and the elevators were also small. So you were really packed in there.
Getting in and out was kind of a pain in the ass. Wish I’d just stayed on the first or second floor.
Tip: Do just that if you stay here!
Seriously, leave me alone
Checkout at this hotel was 12pm and my flight home was at 6pm. So I knew that no matter what, I’d be sitting somewhere for a few hours.
I went down to the desk to ask about a late checkout. As a Diamond guest (god that sounds douche-y), I was hoping for a 2pm checkout (or later if they could swing it).
They offered me a… 1pm checkout. Gee, a whole other hour.
So I went back up and tried to get some work done.
Around 11:30am, the cleaning staff knocked on the door. I explained I had a 1pm checkout and that I’d be out shortly before then. I put up the DND sign.
Whatever, back to work. Around 12:15pm, they knocked again. I was irritated, because I was actually trying to work. Also like, what if I was trying to sleep before a long flight? Seriously, do not disturb means just that.
I yelled through the door that I was fine, thanks. Then I packed up to leave.
On the way out, I saw they’d removed the sign. And at the end of the hallway (to go to one of the 2 elevators), a couple of maids were leaned against the wall, arms crossed, scowling because I’d stayed a whole extra hour. Wow. Talk about an awkward moment as I had to pass them.
Also, geez. I really only an extra 30 minutes because what can you do in an hour?
Anyway, after that I turned in the keys and drove to the airport to settle in for a few hours.
This hotel is across from ABQ Uptown, a huge (Simon) mall with a few restaurants and lots of shops. So it was nice to grab dinner in the evenings within easy walking distance.
After driving around Albuquerque, I wished I’d stayed closer to University/Nob Hill instead. There was more fun/artsy/quirky stuff and more going on in general there.
If/when I get back to ABQ, I’ll stay in this area instead. And for someone doing general visit, it’s actually more accessible to the main interstates, too. So overall, I wouldn’t recommend Uptown ABQ unless you have business in the area.
And overall, I wouldn’t stay at the Homewood Suites Albuquerque Uptown again.
I can usually find good things about most hotels. The rooms check off all the right boxes, but the elevator and rush to checkout don’t make me want to return any time soon.
And, even for a chain hotel, this particular location mostly stands out for being forgettable.
Have you stayed here or at another hotel in Albuquerque? Any recommendations on a good place or neighborhood to stay?
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