Sandia Resort and Casino Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Northern Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Pros

Cons

  • Cigarette smoke from casino can be detected in some public areas
  • Self-parking involves a long walk
  • No alcohol allowed on the casino floor

Bottom Line

Situated on the Sandia Pueblo Indian reservation just north of Albuquerque, this rambling resort is packed with amenities, including a huge casino, large amphitheater, massive pool area, and restaurant. Great views of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains grace the gorgeous grounds and 18-hole golf course. The Native American art on display throughout the hotel is spectacular, but be prepared for cigarette smoke in the public areas.

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 Scene

Sprawling resort surrounded by gorgeous mountain views, and packed with amenities

Spacious lobby at the Sandia Resort and Casino
Spacious lobby at the Sandia Resort and Casino

The Sandia sits in a spectacular, isolated location in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains within a six-story, Pueblo-style building. A large bronze sculpture of a horned Pueblo dancer clutching a gourd greets guests at the hotel entrance. The sculpture is a prelude to the array of local art on display in the massive lobby -- such as pottery, historic photographs, and Native rugs.

The lobby's massive central space and spacious hallways leading to the many meeting rooms off of it are completed by an impressive Pueblo-style ceiling of wood beams and hundreds of vigas. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the stunning views of the mountains and the pool area.

The seasonal pool is large and surrounded by dozens of lounge chairs, several cabanas, fire pits, a Jacuzzi, and the poolside bar. Some guests find it an impressive place to soak while enjoying the mountain vistas. Many visitors have also raved about the spa, which offers a full range of services and understated, nature-themed treatment rooms.

In addition to the outdoor pool, the resort's sprawling grounds include a golf course and amphitheater. The Sandia Golf Club offers an 18-hole course with great views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. If golf isn’t on your agenda, live entertainment can be had outside at the amphitheater where large shows are regularly staged featuring artists such as Santana.

The casino also offers performances (at the Tlur Pa Lounge) and features numerous slot machines, a poker room, and other gaming options. The cigarette smoke can be an issue for some guests in the lobby area, as the casino is adjacent to it. If you obtain a players' club card at the front desk, you’ll receive perks such as room and food discounts.

 Location

Just north of Albuquerque on the secluded Sandia Pueblo reservation

The Sandia Resort sits in an isolated location near I-25 on the Sandia Pueblo reservation, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There is little to do in the immediate area but the Sandia is a destination resort, so some guests don't leave the grounds during their stay.

However, attractions such as the Santa Fe Opera are only a 5-minute drive away, and the Sandia Tram can be reached within 10-15 minutes. Shuttle service is offered to the Albuquerque Airport for free.

Sitting along the Rio Grande at an elevation of 5,312-ft, 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 over 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.

  • 25-minute drive to the Albuquerque International Airport
  • 10-minute drive to Balloon Fiesta Park
  • 15-minute drive to Sandia Peak Tramway
  • 20-minute drive to Albuquerque Convention Center
  • 20-minute drive to historic Old Town Albuquerque
  • 25-minute drive to BioPark (including the Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden, and Tingley Beach)
  • 25-minute drive to Albuquerque Uptown (shopping area)
  • 25-minute drive to Petroglyph National Monument
  • 90-minute drive to Santa Fe

 Rooms

Spacious and modern with Native American decor

View from the balcony of the King Room
View from the balcony of the King Room

The Sandia offers 228 rooms and suites that offer lots of space (the smallest rooms are 795 square feet) and feature Native American Pueblo-style decor. The rooms have an earthy feel, with cream-colored walls, light wood furniture, and Native American motifs adorning the headboards, lamps, and duvets. Bathrooms feature granite counters, glass-walled showers with separate tubs, and a Pueblo-style partition for the toilet area.

Some rooms contains wood beams in the ceilings and kiva-style fireplaces.

  • 32-inch flat-screen TVs
  • Glass-walled showers with separate tubs
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Safes are big enough for laptops
  • Upgrading to a suite gets you more space, a living room with sofa bed, and two TVs

 Features

Numerous amenities, including a large casino, 18-hole golf course, pretty spa, and popular ampitheater

Golf course at the Sandia Resort and Casino
Golf course at the Sandia Resort and Casino
  • Pretty spa features understated decor and many treatment options
  • Huge, heated pool (seasonal) with adjacent Jacuzzi and bar
  • Solid fitness center with weight machines and cardio equipment
  • Big casino with more than 2,100 slots and a poker room
  • Sandia Golf Club offers an 18-hole course and practice range
  • Popular amphitheater with capacity for more than 4,000 people, books famous groups like Santana
  • Free shuttle, valet parking, Wi-Fi

 Food

A mix of restaurants offers a good variety of dining options

The Council Room restaurant and bar
The Council Room restaurant and bar
  • The Bien Shur Restaurant is the signature dining option at the Sandia, specializes in steak and features a wine cellar, rooftop location offers beautiful views. Open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays.
  • The Council Room Restaurant and Bar features a mix of New Mexican specialties, hamburgers, and salads served up in a casual environment with understated decor, soft lighting, and flat-screen TVs. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Thur Shan Buffet is a global buffet in a sizable dining space offering a mix of booths and small tables, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • P'a Shur Deli & Kowira Grill, located in the casino, features casual cuisine (including hot dogs and sandwiches).
  • Kiva Coffee is open early daily in the lobby.
  • The Pool Bar and Grill is open seasonally, and serves cocktails and food in a poolside location.
  • Ba Shie Sports Bar is open nightly and serves bar food.
  • Room service is available from early morning to late night.

 Bottom Line

Situated on the Sandia Pueblo Indian reservation just north of Albuquerque, this rambling resort is packed with amenities, including a huge casino, large amphitheater, massive pool area, and restaurant. Great views of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains grace the gorgeous grounds and 18-hole golf course. The Native American art on display throughout the hotel is spectacular, but be prepared for cigarette smoke in the public areas.

Things You Should Know About Sandia Resort and Casino

Address

  • 30 Rainbow Rd Albuquerque, NM 87113 United States of America

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Super Suite
  • Two Bedroom Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 228
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
Casino: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Northern Albuquerque, Albuquerque
Address: 30 Rainbow Rd Albuquerque, NM 87113 United States of America
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