Albuquerque’s Nativo Lodge proudly proclaims its sense of place as one of New Mexico’s Heritage Hotel & Resorts. It’s impossible to escape New Mexican regional culture and traditions when staying at the Nativo Lodge; from the entrance totem poles, to the 14-foot lobby shaman, to the teepee out back, but this is no stereotypical representation of Native American art. The Nativo Lodge celebrates contemporary Native American art by local artists currently pushing the boundaries of their craft, and this is particularly evident in their artist rooms. If you are looking for a taste of current Native American culture, then continue reading for more details, photos, and a review of my stay at the Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Location and Lobby
Centrally located in Albuquerque off Interstate-25, the Nativo Lodge makes an excellent home base to explore Old Town, Balloon Fiesta Park, Sandia Peak, Petroglyph National Monument, and more. However, your immersion in New Mexican culture and art does not end when you return to the hotel after your excursions. Instead, a 14-foot tall shaman, designed by Horacio Cordova an award-winning artist from Southwestern New Mexico, welcomes you back from your adventures.
In addition to Cordova’s shaman, you’re surrounded throughout the lobby with carvings and art by Hopi-influenced artists such as Gregory Lomayesva.
Below, traditional Hopi symbols from left to right: turtle holding a cloud, Hopi bird, badger claw, rain cloud motifs, and Hopi sun face.
Reflective of Nativo Lodge’s mission to support local cultural and artistic endeavors, a portion of the room rate supports New Mexico cultural efforts and, upon check-in, each room receives a “Local Treasures” passport to receive 15% off local shops, galleries, restaurants and attractions.
The rooms of the Nativo Lodge are similar to a moderate level, slightly larger than average, no refrigerator or microwave, and a Keurig-style coffee maker. My room had an ultra-soft plush king sized bed, that was extremely comfortable. Of particular note are the Nativo’s Native American artist rooms – currently there are eight of these custom designed rooms, but more will be added every year. These rooms are truly unique and worth the small upcharge.
I stayed in Directed by Rose B. Simpson, a contemporary artist who lives on the Santa Clara Pueblo Reservation near Santa Fe, NM. Rose B. Simpson describes the art-installation of Directed as a prayer, with each of the three portraits representing blessing, guidance, and protection.
The art continued into the bathroom space that featured C.O. Bigelow products. Certainly nice bathroom products, and I particularly enjoyed the lavender and peppermint shampoo. But the NYC Apothecary products seemed out of place and in contrast to the southwestern Native American theme.
The room grew on me, and over the few nights of my stay I became more and more comfortable with and intrigued by the installation. Not to imply the art made me uncomfortable at first, but it’s rare I’m afforded the luxury to truly spend time to get to know an artist’s work. Staying in Rose B. Simpson’s Directed made me want to seek out more of the artist’s pieces.
The Nativo Lodge features a lobby bar with Happy Hour drink specials daily from 4-7 p.m. including margaritas and tequila, of course. Fans of the television show “Breaking Bad” can even find a few specialty drinks based on the popular Albuquerque based show. Spirit Winds Café is a full-service restaurant offering breakfast and dinner. Menu items include Southwestern fare such as Huevos Rancheros and breakfast burritos, and dinner features dishes filled with New Mexico’s omnipresent chili pepper (both green and red).
Amenities, Pool, and Recreation
Kids will be happy to know the Nativo Lodge has a pool with both indoor and outdoor components, and there’s also a hot tub for soaking your legs after all of those active Albuquerque adventures.
Those looking to continue their training programs can make use of the exercise room off the pool with treadmills, stationary bikes, and resistance equipment.
The outdoor space also contains a full-sized teepee that doubles as a Hookah lounge available by reservation only. Although anyone can explore the teepee, when it is not reserved.
Heritage Hotels’ affordable Nativo Lodge complements a family vacation to Albuquerque, New Mexico by continuing the cultural immersion with its contemporary Native American design. The Nativo teaches us that the New Mexican cultural heritage is not static, but alive and thriving, and filled with exciting, young artists with stories to tell. The Nativo Lodge celebrates New Mexico’s unique blend of Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and the American West in its local art scene, and I came away with a better understanding of Albuquerque’s multi-cultural heritage through my stay. I know the next time I’m in New Mexico, I will definitely seek out another Heritage Hotel & Resort to enhance my visit to (and understanding of) the region.
DISCLOSURE: Adventures by Daddy was hosted by the Nativo Lodge, and received a special media rate during our stay. However, all opinions expressed are those of the author. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.