ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dade Lahar stepped into the hotel room with splashes of electric blue and tipis outlined in neon green before scanning a mural that offered a contemporary take on Native American reservation life.
“Whoa,” the 9-year-old said while donning a pair of 3-D glasses to see how the room’s painted geometric designs and abstract landscapes could seemingly fill the space around him. “This is the absolute, most coolest room in the whole wide world.”
It’s also unique, and part of an ongoing project at Nativo Lodge, a boutique hotel in New Mexico’s largest city, to transform guest rooms into spaces that owners say can be considered art pieces unto themselves.
In cities from Tokyo to Marseille, France, the concept of commissioning artists to convert guest rooms into contemporary, large-scale installation works has taken hold at a handful of hotels. For New Mexico, where art connoisseurs and collectors may be more likely to hit places like Taos and Santa Fe, the collection of rooms at Nativo Lodge has created a new art stop along Interstate 25 amid a string of mostly chain hotels and businesses.