I took my sweetheart to the balloon fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico oct. 1-4. We stayed at the Hyatt on the Santa Ana Pueblo. It was an excellent choice except for the highly scented hallways and rooms.... the indians on this pueblo own the property and the hyatt manages it. The hotel and spa were so respectful to the beautiful land, and the culture....the architecture blended in, the rooms were decorated tastefully, the staff was genuinely kind, the restaurant food was delicious...we walked along the trails,and saw the breathtaking rio grande ,went to the dam and walked along the surrounding areas...everything was so incredibly gentle, and peaceful...except for the heavy incense
That is sprayed in the rooms and hallways a zillion times a day. My sweetheart has an incredible sensitivity to scents; so it was a serious situation....they brought in a machine to stabilize the air in the room...he could never walk in the hallways, and the restaurants set out tables outside for us to eat....this hotel literally took his breath away! however if scents do not impact you in this way...it is the most wonderful, beautiful peaceful place i've been to yet!
We are local residents and chose Tamaya for a special birthday weekend getaway. And we were very glad that we did. We have stayed at many fine resorts and Tamaya is now part of our very short list. All of the staff, front door, desk, dining rooms, room service were outstanding in their apparent desire to be helpful and provide the best service possible. The food was good and a few dishes excellent. The room was comfortable with unexpectedly ordinary bathrooms but sufficient, and most important, beds and pillows were extremely comfortable -- and the room had fine soundproofing so that not an outside sound could be heard. Golf course, pools, trails, etc. are all excellent and security will provide transportation to the one other restaurant that is nearby. However, if a visitor is not used to being out of easy reach of other attractions, they might be disappointed; one must drive about 20 minuters to Albuquerque and at least 45 minutes to Santa Fe.
Great perks, but spotty on service & cultural issues
My partner and I stayed here two nights, including Thanksgiving. For such a place, with so many amenities, how can one complain? Well, I can. That said, I'd still go back--for a low price.
But first, some of the qualities that are worthy of a resort *.
The wonderful amenities that folks have already pointed out (though we found them uniquely special for us) included the giant outdoor rock/waterfall hot tub, the extensive fitness room (with headphones hooked up to the machines to listen to multiple TVs and radio), the spa steam/sauna/hot tub and exquisite locker rooms, and the outdoor grounds along the Rio Grande and the Sandia mountains in the near distance. As many people prior have pointed out, the staff will go the extra mile to help you (though they may need some prodding -- see below), as the concierge did in helping us find a vegetarian-friendly restaurant on Thanksgiving.
My complaints: I called up nearly a week ahead of time asking for 'special' requests (like a non-smoking room and a mountain view on an upper floor). The over-the-phone staff were kind and honest and assured me my requests would be honored because it was such a relatively slow time of year. Yet, what I was not impressed with was when I checked in at the front desk, the staffer had trouble finding my reservation for both nights and then after noting and affirming my 'special' requests my partner and I were given a lower-floor room with a view of the inner courtyard main door.
When I returned to the front desk to ask for another room, a different staffer (new, in training), initially had trouble honoring my request. A manager stepped in, listened to my requests and apparently over-rode the system. Thirty minutes after checking into the new room I was nicely called and asked if the room was satisfactory. Kudos.
Next jeer. On the Hyatt's website, I found that the hotel usually offered several cultural activities. So, nearly a week ahead of my reservation, I called and spoke with Ben, the concierge. He was helpful in telling me that practically nothing was happening the days I was there except the guided nature hike in the bosque. Surprise, surprise! When my partner and I arrived, we found a laundry list of activities planned during our stay. I asked the front desk staff about each activity and asked about making reservations; they assured me I could show up for each without a reservation.
After checking into our room, we took a stroll around the complex, ending at the in-house concierge, querying this staffer about the tennis courts and bicycles. She assured us because it was a slow time of year and getting cooler, we'd have no trouble using the courts and bicycles, practically whenever we wanted (this proved accurate). However, she carefully noted, other planned activities did require reservations, such as several of the cultural activities we had just asked the front desk about. Of course, the traditional bread-making, which we’d very much wanted to participate in, was already full with folks who had reserved in advance!! That said, she encouraged us to just 'show-up' at the different activities, such as the bread-baking the next morning, without reservations. She slyly and strongly encouraged us to always consult with her about in-house functions and to not trust what the front-desk or concierge says. She added that there was a 'communication problem' in the hotel that apparently no one had interest in addressing. (Note, the in-house concierge (called 'resort reservations') is distinct from the main concierge (which handles everything external to the hotel).
We did attend the bread baking the next day and, of course, one needed reservations to participate. Standing aside listening was rude, pointless, and inappropriate (and staff rightly ignored us).
Last jeer. What is most unique about this resort, and was a very attractive feature for us, is that it is located on the Santa Ana Pueblo and listed as a commercial enterprise of the tribe. As folks who do our best to support indigenous peoples’ struggles for equality, sovereignty, respect, we were very glad to have a chance to support such an endeavor. However, the actual control the Pueblo has over the resort is unclear to us. Though the fact of the resort’s location is well-milked as a commodity for guests, the relationship a guest would have with actual people from the Pueblo is muted and controlled in ways that at times are quite disconcerting.
One could forget the resort is located on the Santa Ana Pueblo because most of the staff one encounters are white (especially the front desk/concierge, up-front service staff). This was jarring for us (we have nothing against white people—we’re white—but we would expect in an enterprise owned by Pueblo folk to meet Pueblo folk as something other than drivers and housekeepers). Some of the spa staff were people of color. Naturally, the dancers and drummers who graciously shared from the Pueblo’s traditional dances were from the Pueblo (though strangely they were performing inside the hotel's bar, for folks who obviously had no understanding of the significance of what they were watching). There's also a small cultural museum with very limited hours (it was never open when we were there, though apparently with a phone call tours could be arranged).
If one considers the immense history of the physcial and cultural genocide of the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere, then it stands to reason that this resort might want to be a bit humble with its entertainment/commercial commodification of the tribe. Sadly, compared to many similar such places in Hawaii and elsewhere in Indian Country, the Hyatt was humble. But why not require (or strongly recommend?) guests to at least watch a 30-minute video history of the tribe and in particular its relationship to European-America (which makes up the majority of the guests)? Gosh, people who stay here (especially young folks) might think 500 years of European colonialism have been just super for this tribe.
You need to be patient and persistent in getting special requests met. If you're into the commodification of the 'exotic' then this place will suit you without any responsibility on your part. If you want more of a relationship with the people, their land and their history (including your participation), then you'll need to go beyond the confines of this resort.
I can't say enough about the Hyatt Hotel and Spa. It is by far the most beautiful place my Partner and I have stayed. The service was excellent and the staff was very attentive. We are planning another trip to the Hyatt very soon. If you want a classy and relaxing time, this is the place to go! The the rooms are very beautiful and I loved everything about the Hotel. You just don't want to leave and room service is so good. Everyone from the bell boys to the desk clerks treat you like royalty everytime they see you. The room was spacious and cozy. The views are gorgeous no matter where your room is. They offer a variety of things to keep you busy from golfing to horseback riding. We didnt get a chance to take advantage of this as it was very cold, however, we will be going back this summer to enjoy all that we missed. This resort is worth every penny!!!
We needed a long weekend getaway and this hotel/resort delivered! The setting is gorgeous (the mountainview room is worth the upgrade) and the staff were welcoming and friendly. Needless to say, the service is a highlight. We played golf on the challenging Twin Warriors course and it is in resort condition. Again, the staff were both helpful and accomodating at every turn.
This is a beautiful place and the sense of the Indians and their culture permeates the resort but does not overwhelm it. Santa Fe is a short drive as is downtown Albuquerque. The food was delicious at the resort, but the New Mexican food on old Route 66 was fantastic! I highly recommend this resort. Enjoy!