Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque

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Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Hotel Chaco Entrance.
Hotel Chaco Entrance. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Hotel Chaco, located in Albuquerque’s historic Sawmill District, is a hotel that shows off the rich culture of New Mexico. Its design is influenced by the old Chaco Canyon civilization, making it more than just a hotel—it’s like a trip back in time. Here, luxury meets respect for Native American history and the beautiful desert scenery at this AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel.

Visit Albuquerque and Hotel Chaco hosted me, but all opinions are my own.

The Story of Chaco Canyon

My tour started at the front entrance, and I learned what it is and what it is not. When you go to most hotels in the United States, you first see a glass storefront. On the other hand, Hotel Chaco is designed to be a sanctuary from the outside world. The black front door is one-of-a-kind and is indicative of the black-on-black pottery you see in the Santa Clara area of New Mexico. The pavement was poured to look like a dried riverbed using gravel, local stone, and local rocks.

Every detail of this hotel, exterior and interior, is meant to tell the story of Chaco Canyon. Gensler, the world-famous architecture firm that built Hotel Chaco, studied Chaco Canyon on-site and greatly influenced the hotel. Native American and Pueblo artists created sculptures, pottery, paintings, hotel uniforms, and the hand-blown antler cloud for the hotel décor.

In the entryway, two primal elements–water and fire-greet you. Several times of the day, sage burns in the alcove, and the water feature produces only a light trickle of water, which is by design. It’s meant to symbolize how precious water is in the American Southwest.

The Importance of Chaco Canyon

The lobby area in Hotel Chaco is just the same size, circumference, and style as the Grand Kiva at Chaco Canyon. It is not a reproduction of the Grand Kiva because that is a holy place. The stones were stacked to the roof and were painted. It is aligned north, south, east, and west because the ancient Puebloans were astronomers.

Chaco Canyon, located in Northwestern New Mexico, was a significant center of culture and trade for the ancestral Puebloan people (also known as the Anasazi) from about 850 to 1250 AD. Today, Chaco Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historical Park, renowned for its monumental architecture, advanced astronomical markers, and intricate road system.

Chaco Canyon was home to up to 10,000 people about 1,000 years ago. It was not an easy place to survive. There wasn’t a lot of timber, not a lot of game, not a lot of water; it was hot, it was cold, and generally inhospitable. It is still a mystery why the Puebloan people chose to make Chaco Canyon their home.

Retreat in Albuquerque

Located just a stone’s throw from the bustling Old Town and the historic Route 66, Hotel Chaco offers a serene retreat amid Albuquerque’s urban energy. Its strategic position allows guests easy access to explore the city’s colorful mosaic of art, cuisine, and entertainment while also serving as a gateway to the mystical landscapes of New Mexico. I was able to rejuvenate and recharge here.

Whether you’re gazing at the stars from the hotel’s rooftop, watching the hot air balloons aloft in the distance, or setting out to explore the sacred ruins of Chaco Canyon, staying at Hotel Chaco isn’t just a regular trip—it’s like a deep dive into what makes the Southwest truly special.

Amenities at Hotel Chaco

At Hotel Chaco, every room is special—not just the guestrooms. It’s about experiencing peace and comfort while honoring the Chacoan culture. Every space is like a piece of art, blending modern comforts with the style of Native American traditions, making your stay unforgettable.

Unique art decorates the walls and alcoves in common areas like hallways, unlike any art typically found in a hotel. I enjoyed wandering the public areas of this beautiful hotel because it felt like I was visiting a museum with sophisticated exhibits.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - King Bedroom.
King Bedroom. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Guest Rooms

Hotel Chaco offers a range of guest rooms, from standard and deluxe rooms to one-bedroom and junior suites. All rooms, including the king bed, two queen beds, and suites, have wired and wireless Internet access, laptop-compatible in-room safes, and bedside lighting controls. What I liked best about the bedside lights is that I could easily change the direction of light while reading. It’s the little touches that make a big difference.

The Chaco Suite is premium luxury. It’s a sprawling space with a living room, dining area, and a master bedroom. The suite’s large terrace provides breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains and the historic Old Town.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Terrace Suite.
Terrace Suite. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

When I visited Hotel Chaco in the fall, my tour included a stop in the Terrace Suite, which was used by POTUS earlier this year. I don’t know what I liked better–all the amenities in the suite or the unmatched views from the 2000 sq ft. Terrace/Balcony with firepit. The Terrace Suite is available for events and weddings.

Every room type has high-quality linens, comfortable mattresses, four pillows per bed (a girl can’t have too many pillows!), climate control, flat-screen TV, docking stations, room service, and daily housekeeping. Bathrooms feature rain showers, artisanal toiletries, and plush robes.

Popular Amenities

  • Daily full breakfast available for a fee
  • Bar/Lounge–Equinox Café and Bar (lobby level)
  • Restaurant–Level 5 (5th Floor)
  • Valet parking
  • Wheelchair-accessible parking and van parking are available
  • Pet friendly
  • Free wifi
  • Fitness center
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Spa tub
  • Yoga classes
  • In-room refrigerator
  • Laundry facilities
  • 24-hour front desk
  • ATM
  • Complimentary newspapers in the lobby
  • Luggage storage
  • Safe at the Front Desk
  • Concierge Services
  • Daily Housekeeping upon request
  • Dry cleaning/laundry service
  • Business Center
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Garden
  • Pool loungers and tables with chairs
  • Terrace
  • Smoke-free property
  • Accessibility
  • Elevator
  • Braille/raised signage
  • In-room accessibility
  • Stair-free and well-lit path to the entrance

On-site restaurants and bars

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Breakfast at Level 5.
Breakfast at Level 5. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Level 5 Rooftop Restaurant

Level 5, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is a culinary tribute to the high-desert cuisine of the Southwest. The menu is a creative blend of Native American and New Mexican flavors, featuring locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques. From succulent grilled meats to vibrant, fresh vegetables, each dish tells a story of the land and its people.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Executive Chef Marc Quińones with author.
Executive Chef Marc Quińones with author. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

As a devoted Albuquerque local, a skilled chef, and a guide for his culinary team, Executive Chef Marc Quińones believes that New Mexican food is genuinely original.

Back in the days of the Chacoans, they were experts at preserving wild game. “That’s what we’re doing here—preparing dishes like buffalo, elk, and chimichurri, using the ways of our forebears but in a modern style. The way we think about our cooking is real and true,” he says.

The highest floor of Hotel Chaco offers impressive views of the flatlands, Sandia Mountains, and the Albuquerque skyline. The name Level 5 was inspired because Chaco Canyon is made up of five levels. The elegantly designed indoor dining area reflects the earthy tones and textures of the desert.

Level 5 is renowned for its innovative cocktails and extensive wine list, which includes a selection of local New Mexican wines. The bar area is a popular gathering place where guests can enjoy a pre-dinner drink or a casual meal in a relaxed and sophisticated setting.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Equinox Café and Bar.
Equinox Café and Bar. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Equinox Café & Bar

On the lobby level, the Equinox Café & Bar is a casual, all-day dining spot offering a selection of light meals, snacks, and beverages. The menu features fresh salads, sandwiches, pastries, and coffee and tea specialties. The café prides itself on its artisanal coffee and tea offerings, sourced from local and regional roasters and tea houses. The bar also serves a selection of craft beers, wines, and signature cocktails.

Rooftop Bar

The Rooftop Lounge & Bar is a seasonal offering that provides a unique outdoor dining experience. The menu includes a variety of small plates and a selection of creative cocktails and beverages. When I was there after a day at the hot air balloon grounds, the 180+-degree view of the lights of Albuquerque at night was memorable.

She Buys Travel Tip:  Even though the rooftop has many heaters and firepits, it can be breezy and chilly. Bring a jacket or wrap.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Spa Treatment Room.
Spa Treatment Room. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price


Hotel Chaco’s spa represents a sanctuary of tranquility and rejuvenation, a newly introduced amenity designed to provide guests with an unparalleled wellness experience. Merging ancient healing traditions with modern luxury, treating yourself to one of several unique massage experiences is not to be missed.

The spa reflects the hotel’s architecture and design philosophy. The earth tones, natural materials, and textures work together to create a calming and spiritually grounding environment.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Spa Cacao Treatment.
Spa Cacao Treatment. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

I chose the 120-minute Cacao Signature Renewal from the treatment menu because it incorporated indigenous ingredients that reflected the local culture and landscape. The therapist shared the ingredients (they are all edible) and crushed the cacao nibs with a mortar and pestle while I watched.

Knowing the history of Chaco Canyon and the cocoa nib’s origin added to the massage experience’s uniqueness. Cocoa is not grown in New Mexico but found its way here through trade with the ancient Puebloans–a significant factor in the Chacoan history.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Spa Store.
Spa Store. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

The spa is committed to using only the highest quality premium products, many of which are organic, sustainable, and sourced from local artisans. This commitment ensures that every spa experience aligns with the hotel’s dedication to luxury, health, and the environment.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Fitness Center.
Fitness Center. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Fitness Center

The fitness center at Hotel Chaco is equipped with a wide range of the latest exercise machines and equipment. Open 24/7, you can access the center whenever you like. The large picture windows looked towards the pool and courtyard, making me feel I was working outside.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Outdoor Pool.
Outdoor Pool. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Outdoor Pool

The outdoor pool at Hotel Chaco is an oasis for health and leisure. The pool is seasonal, so swimming in the cooler months will be too cold. You can, of course, enjoy the hot tub year-round.

Conference And Event Spaces

Hotel Chaco’s conference and event spaces are designed to provide an exceptional setting for meetings, weddings, and special occasions, blending the hotel’s unique architectural beauty with modern functionality and impeccable service.

Full-service catering, professional planning, support, additional event services, and rentals can be arranged.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - On-site Art Gallery Store-Gallery Hózhó.
On-site Art Gallery Store-Gallery Hózhó. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Shopping at Hotel Chaco

On the ground floor, you’ll find a men’s salon, an apparel store, two art galleries, and the Crafted Tasting Room, where you can get a lite bite and New Mexico-made wine or spirits. Check their open hours.

Things To Do In Albuquerque

Hotel Chaco is in a great location because it is conveniently located in the heart of Albuquerque, is less than a mile from Interstate 40, and is close to major attractions.

Hotel Albuquerque

Hotel Albuquerque and Hotel Chaco are sister properties in the Old Town area of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both are part of the Heritage Hotels & Resorts, a collection of culturally well-defined hotels in New Mexico. Separated by public areas between the two properties, a sidewalk, and a parking lot, it’s easy to share the amenities.

Both hotels are designed to celebrate and represent the cultural heritage of New Mexico, with Hotel Albuquerque reflecting the Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences of the region and Hotel Chaco paying tribute to the ancient civilization and architecture of Chaco Canyon.

Tablao Flamenco Albuquerque

When you are in town, don’t miss the Friday or Saturday dinner performance or Sunday matinee of Tablao Flamenco on the ground floor of Hotel Albuquerque. The dazzling traditional Spanish dancing and singing show is a UNESCO-protected art form.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Sawmill Market and District.
Sawmill Market and District. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Sawmill District

The Sawmill District, adjacent to Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque, originated as an industrial area dominated by a lumber mill. The mill operated for decades and played an essential role in the development of Albuquerque and the region.

A close-knit community of mill workers and their families created a thriving neighborhood in the area that continued after the lumber industry declined.

A Renaissance of the Sawmill District has turned it into a hub of culture, arts, and entertainment. The abandoned industrial buildings have been repurposed into galleries, restaurants, shops, and residential spaces. Blending the old with the new created a unique atmosphere honoring the past and embracing the future.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Sawmill Market Interior.
Sawmill Market Interior. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Sawmill Market

The Sawmill Market is a contemporary shopping and dining destination with a diverse blend of local artisans, chefs, and small business owners. The range of cuisines includes traditional New Mexican dishes and Native American specialties to international flavors. You can get everything from fresh street tacos and artisanal pizza to organic salads and gourmet pastries.

When I was there, I ate at Flora, a colorful, tropically decorated restaurant with window seats, delicious cocktails, thick hot chips, and three kinds of salsa. I ordered the Carnitas taco with crisp pickled onions and a Grilled Baja Fish taco. I finished off the meal with a Mole Brownie and Sesame Ice Cream.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - New Mexico Museum of Natural Science and History.
New Mexico Museum of Natural Science and History. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque is a fascinating destination for guests of all ages, with various exhibits and educational opportunities that delve into the natural wonders and scientific heritage of New Mexico and beyond.

It was fun to be terrified by the mechanical dinosaur in the museum lobby. In the planetarium theater, we explored the universe in the night sky and learned about the volcanic activity that formed New Mexico’s landscape.

Albuquerque Museum

A visit to the Albuquerque Museum is a deep dive into the art, history, and cultural fabric of Albuquerque and New Mexico and the broader American Southwest. Located in the heart of Old Town, the museum thoroughly explores the region’s rich heritage through various exhibits and collections.

Whether you’re drawn to the intricate beauty of a Navajo rug, the bold brushstrokes of a contemporary painting, or the compelling stories of the early frontier, the museum provides a rich and rewarding experience for all who enter its doors.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Old Town Albuquerque.
Old Town Albuquerque. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Historic Old Town

Old Town Albuquerque is like the beating heart of the city’s history. The old days are still alive in the earthy adobe walls and winding streets. It’s a special place where stories from long ago, local traditions, and today’s New Mexico come together. When you visit, it’s like a colorful quilt of experiences waiting for you from the original Native American and Spanish settlers in Old Town ABQ.

Old Town’s galleries showcase a wide range of art, from traditional Native American pottery and jewelry to contemporary paintings and sculptures.

Numerous shops offer a variety of crafts, textiles, and souvenirs. Look for handwoven blankets, turquoise jewelry, and other items that reflect the cultural blend of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo influences.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Ristas in Old Town Albuquerque.
Ristas in Old Town Albuquerque. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

From spicy chili ristras to brightly colored Talavera tiles, the shops in Old Town are filled with items that embody the spirit of the Southwest.

As you wander Old Town, you’ll find plaques and signs detailing the historical significance of various buildings and sites. For a more in-depth experience, you can join a guided walking tour to learn about the area’s rich past and folklore.

Why Hotel Chaco is a Great Destination in Albuquerque - Biopark–Botanic Garden and Zoo.
Biopark–Botanic Garden and Zoo. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Botanic Garden

A visit to the ABQ Botanic Garden, known as the Biopark, offers a serene escape into horticulture and natural beauty. Spread over 36 acres along the Rio Grande, the garden is a living museum showcasing a variety of plant collections and thematic gardens, each designed to educate and inspire.

How To Get To Albuquerque


From the east or west, take Interstate 40. Hotel Chaco is less than a mile away. Take the Rio Grande Boulevard NW exit.


Albuquerque International Sunport serves the central New Mexico region. The airport is about seven miles from Hotel Chaco.


Amtrak serves the Albuquerque station daily, with one eastbound train in the late morning and one westbound train in the afternoon. The Amtrak station is less than three miles from Hotel Chaco.

Hotel Chaco
2000 Bellamah Avenue Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104

  • Check-in is at 4 p.m.
  • Check-out is at 11 a.m.
  • Major credit cards accepted
  • Currency is USD
  • 24-hour cancellation policy

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