Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
This mid-range property offers a unique take on the traditional Southwestern vibe by blending eye-catching Native American art with earth-toned contemporary decor. The lobby is a sight to behold, with a 14-foot shaman statue that looks like a great horned deity. Neon lights, stained glass, stylized light fixtures, Southwestern-style carpeting, rough-hewn wood banisters, and huge Native American rugs drench the lobby in color and spectacle.
A looping rock concert performed by local Grammy winner Robert Mirabal plays on large, flat-screen TVs above the small lobby lounge Club Nativo. On Saturday nights the club can become noisy with a DJ or live music -- keep this in mind when staying during the weekend. Also available on certain weekend evenings is the hookah lounge in an authentic teepee beside the heated indoor/outdoor pool.
The Nativo is charming to behold, and so are the views to the east (opposite I-25) of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains. With such a dramatic setting, Albuquerque sees its share of movie crews from Hollywood and the Nativo has hosted several crews and stars including Lou Diamond Phillips. The hotel has its own film liaison on the staff.
Centrally located beside I-25
The Nativo sits along I-25 in central Albuquerque, making it a good choice for exploring different parts of the city. The Balloon Museum, Sandia Tram, and Old Town neighborhood are all within a relatively quick drive. Because the hotel is so close to I-25, the one drawback is traffic noise which may affect guests in west-facing rooms. The only shuttle service offered is a free shuttle to the Sandia Casino. A Starbucks is within walking distance next door.
Sitting along the Rio Grande at an elevation of 5,312 feet, Albuquerque occupies a high desert environment. The city was founded in 1706 by the Spanish as a colonial outpost in the New World. Today, Albuquerque is home to more than 530,000 people of more than 70 different ethnicities, including Native Americans, Latinos, and Anglos, making it the largest city in New Mexico. Albuquerque retains connections to the past and its culture in the architecture, artwork, and cuisine to be found throughout the city.
Albuquerque is known as a center of high-tech industry and research. The Sandia National Laboratory, General Electric, and Kirtland Air Force Base all call the city home. It’s also the ballooning capital of the world. Albuquerque hosts the International Balloon Fiesta each October, an event that might be the most photographed in the world. Local hot air balloon companies offer rides to visitors year-round.
As a four-season city with 300 sunny days a year, Albuquerque has an active community of golfers, hikers, skiers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and fishermen. The Sandia Mountains just to the east provide a high-altitude respite from the summer heat and many miles of forested trails, and a winter playground featuring Sandia Peak Ski Area. Any visit to Albuquerque is incomplete without a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, the longest tram in the world, ascending 2.7 miles from the outskirts of the city to the Sandia Mountains at 10,378 feet.
Whatever you do in the outdoors here, be sure to stay well-hydrated -- mild temperatures can be deceiving and the high elevation can take its toll on the fittest adventurers.
Native American theme and some good mountain views
Rooms feature the same contemporary Native American theme that marks the lobby. Framed photographs of Native Americans adorn the walls, while brightly patterned Southwestern carpeting and understated wood furniture add an earthy feel. All rooms have small balconies.
The colorful Spirit Wind's Cafe features New Mexican cuisine
Straddling I-25, the Nativo Lodge is a centrally located, mid-range hotel with an impressive display of unique Native American art in the lobby . Out back, there’s a heated, half-indoor/half-outdoor pool and a teepee containing a hookah lounge. The lack of high-tech features like iPod docks and flat-screen TVs in the guest rooms means that nearby chain hotels such as the Staybridge Suites offer more amenities -- if less cultural interest -- at the same price point.