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Friday, March 26, 2010

Albuquerque, New Mexico -- Holiday Inn Express Old Town

Status perks and check-in
We arrived at the Holiday Inn Express Albuquerque Historic Old Town about an hour before check-in time. The front desk agent acknowledged me as Platinum member, and she read the requests I had made in the reservation before asking me if a room on floor three was okay--yay! We had been pre-assigned a guestroom on the top/4th floor (my preference); however, that guestroom was not ready. I said that the third floor would be fine, and I asked if the room was a suite upgrade. The agent said yes. We later realized that the guestroom was actually an executive mountain view king guestroom, rather than a suite. This was still an upgrade, and the executive guestroom was slightly larger than the basic king room I had reserved.

Executive, mountain view, king guestroom #304
The guestroom was located at the end of the hall. The bedroom included a sitting chair, small table, two end tables, desk and chair. The living area contained a couch, chair, footstool, two lamps, and two end tables. There was a good sized fridge, microwave, and sink between the living area and spacious bathroom. The room was clean, comfortable, and everything looked new. There was a full length mirror in the living area, and a nice hair dryer in the bathroom. The comfort of the desk chair and couch were acceptable, although not as comfy as the bed. The local channels on the flat screen TV did not have a good signal. The cable channels had excellent reception.

The complimentary breakfast was the standard Holiday Inn Express fare: cheesy omelets, biscuits and sausage gravy, sausage, yogurt, juices, milk, cereal, cinnamon rolls, and breads. It was well stocked and the food was fresh.

One thing I usually do not like at Holiday Inn Express is the pool area, and this hotel was no exception. We used the hot tub, although not for very long. The acoustics were terrible--the area echoed loudly when just one child or noisy person was present. Guests were not out of hand, it is just the way the room is designed, which does not make for a very relaxing atmosphere.

Fitness center
The fitness center was adequate, although I could not find the TV remote. There were several cardio and weight machines. The entire exterior wall of the fitness center was all glass with an excellent view. The center was open 24 hours.

Every employee I spoke with was smiling, cheerful, and helpful. I was disappointed about the fact that this hotel advertised a shuttle on their IHG website when they do not have one. The hotel is also not located in Old Town. I knew the hotel was not actually in Old Town before we arrived; however, since I had thought they had a shuttle bus, I thought we would be able to visit without having to drive there. To be fair, none of the hotels listed on the Old Town map are in Old Town or even within walking distance.

I was happy with the guestroom and bed comfort. We did not hear any noise from other guests or from the outside. We had a view of the mountains and an excellent rate. I had originally booked the AAA rate, which was less than $100; however, on the day of our arrival, I read about a visitor's rate in the New Mexico Vacation Guide and was able to get that rate for $30 less!