Hotel Andaluz returns to its roots - Albuquerque Journal

Hotel Andaluz returns to its roots

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An exterior view of the rebranded Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque Curio Collection by Hilton in Downtown Albuquerque. (Journal File Photo)

The Hotel Andaluz on 2nd Street in Downtown Albuquerque, opened in 1939 by hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, is once again becoming part of the Hilton brand.

As of May 1st, the hotel will be renamed the Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque Curio Collection by Hilton.

Hotels that are part of the Curio Collection “offer travelers a more authentic, non cookie-cutter experience, where the property has a story to tell and is a destination in itself,” said hotel general manager Phil Snyder.

Indeed the Hotel Andaluz has quite a history. It was the fourth hotel built by Hilton, who was born in the little town of San Antonio, best know as the town closest to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. As a child, Hilton helped his enterprising father turn the family’s adobe home into an inn for traveling salesmen — a harbinger of what was yet to come.

Years later, Hilton spent his 1942 honeymoon at his territorial-style 10-story Albuquerque hotel with the second of his three wives, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Conrad Hilton visits with a group of Harvey Girls inside the Albuquerque Hilton hotel in the early years. Opened in 1939, the hotel was the fourth one built by Hilton. (Journal File Photo)

It was the first modern high-rise hotel in New Mexico, and the tallest building in the state at the time. It was also the first building in the state to have air conditioning and the first to have an elevator.

Hilton sold the hotel in 1969, and it subsequently was bought, sold and renovated several times. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and reopened in August 1984 as La Posada de Albuquerque.

In 2005, it was purchased by Gary Goodman, of Goodman Realty Group in Albuquerque, and three years later renamed Hotel Andaluz.

In getting the Curio Collection by Hilton franchise, the hotel added some new technology updates, Snyder said. These include improved WiFi, and incorporation of the Hilton Honors app, which allows guests to book and check-in via the mobile application, as well as use their phone as a card key to access their rooms.

There are less than 70 unique properties around the world that are part of the Curio Collection, Snyder said. The Andaluz will be the only one in New Mexico, and one of only two in the Southwest United States — the other one being the Boulders Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The rebranding as a Curio Collection property “gives the hotel the ability to tap back into the Hilton name, as well as the Hilton global engine of reservations and the Hilton Honors app,” Snyder said. “It’s part of the ongoing story of this great hotel.”

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Private “casbah” rooms are located along the side of the open lobby inside the Hotel Andaluz Albuquerque Curio Collection by Hilton. (Journal File Photo)
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