Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque, NM (History)

New Mexico native Conrad Hilton, who honeymooned here with bride Zsa Zsa Gabor, built la Posada de Albuquerque in 1939. This 10-story hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The hotel opened June 9, 1939, and was the fourth hotel Hilton managed. Because Hilton was a native of New Mexico, it was an honor and proof of his early success to build this grand hotel in bustling Albuquerque, right next to the railroad station. This was his third property and his first in the “Land of Enchantment.” The hotel went through some rough times and was even vacant for a while, but it has recently been refurbished and claims its original grandeur. It was named La Posada which means “the resting place”.

Hand crafted wood railings encompass the balcony that overlooks the two-story lobby. An elaborate Moorish brass-and-mosaic fountain stands in the center of the tiled lobby floor, while carpet, drapes, and furniture, added in 1997, set off touches such as old-fashioned tin chandeliers hanging from the two-story ceiling. The lobby is surrounded on all sides by high archways, creating the feel of a 19th Century hacienda courtyard.

The Lobby Bar, with its hand-painted murals, hand-carved beams and balconies, has long been one of the city’s most popular meeting spots. This lobby is a landmark in its own right.

Today, the 60-year-old key box is still in use behind the front desk just as it was when Thomas O. Jones (a security chief for the Manhattan Project who was responsible for evacuating the area, should the “Trinity Experiment” get out of hand) watched from his

Fourth-floor room as the flash of the first atomic bomb exploded 110 miles away on July 16, 1945. Just a month before, atomic spy Harry Gold signed a hotel registration card that becomes a key piece of evidence leading to the execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

La Posada is now one of Albuquerque’s most successful hotels, as the popularity of historic properties and downtown revitalization efforts grow. The ballroom has hosted both Senator John F. Kennedy in 1957 and Vice President Al Gore in 1998. The original carved white oak elevator panels are displayed in the north entry hall. The 1939 map in the north entry hall includes San Antonio, where patrons of the Owl Café now use the bar from the Hilton family Bed and Breakfast.


Property Sold by Hilton, renamed Hotel Plaza


Property sold again, named Hotel Bradford but never opened


Property sold again to Southwest Resorts. A major renovation reduced the property to 114 rooms with four suites


Re-opened as La Posada de Albuquerque


Placed on National Register of Historic Places


Property purchased by Albuquerque businessman Gary Goodman for $4 million


Renamed Hotel Andaluz


Ibiza is chosen for the new roof top lounge


Grand Reopening of Hotel Andaluz

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