I took advantage of Hyatt’s current “Free Night and Free Breakfast” promotion and headed to Albuquerque’s International Sunport Airport on United’s daily nonstop flight from Washington-Dulles International Airport. After the quick four hour flight and very bumpy landing in thunderstorms, I arrived in Albuquerque, picked up the rental car from Hertz, and headed to the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort. The AAA Four Diamond resort is located right in the middle between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and is the perfect home base from which to explore the enchanting New Mexican culture and countryside.
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort
The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort is situated on the reservation of the Pueblo of Santa Ana, a Native American tribe. The members of the Santa Ana, the Tamayame, have lived in the area since at least the early 1500s. The Pueblo has developed tribal enterprises, including the Hyatt, to support its economic independence. The Tamayame created the resort reminiscent of the dwellings of the Santa Ana Pueblo from long ago. Tamaya is the ancient name of the Santa Ana Pueblo’s old village located nine miles west of the Hyatt.
The resort is beautifully situated in a valley overlooking the Sandia Mountains famous for their pink color during evening sunsets. The property has 350 rooms, 6 restaurants, 3 pools, and a great spa. I was upgraded to a double room with a balcony and premium view of the mountains.
I started the trip with a visit to the resort’s spa, the Tamaya Mist Spa, for a massage. The spa is excellent and quite relaxing. I recommend arriving early to take advantage of the spa’s outdoor massage jet tub. The spa facilities are in fantastic condition and the staff are very attentive. Following the spa, I enjoyed a few hours by the pool. The weather was beautiful, with temperatures in the 90s and minimal humidity – a great break from East Coast summer weather.
Later in the afternoon, I headed 30 miles north to Sante Fe. I recommend spending a couple hours exploring Canyon Road and its numerous art galleries and specialty shops, for which Santa Fe is well known. For dinner, I chose Geronimo, a fine dining restaurant on Canyon Road. Geronimo is located in old adobe building built in 1750 and has plenty of character. The food is contemporary American. I had an heirloom tomato, mozzarella, and prosciutto salad as a starter, with miso glazed sea bass for my entree. The food and service were outstanding.
The highlight of my trip to Santa Fe was a stop at the Santa Fe Opera for a performance of King Roger. The open-air opera house is built on a hilltop overlooking the mountains surrounding Santa Fe. The experience is amazing and a must for anyone visiting Santa Fe during the opera’s summer performance season.
My second day began with a quick trip across the property to the resort’s horse stables for a two-hour private guided horseback ride to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside. We traveled along the Rio Grande and through wide open fields with great views of the Sandia Mountains, spotting several coyotes. It was a fun experience and definitely worth it if you have time. The resort also offers horseback rides for groups, and every Thursday evening, there is a rodeo for guests near the stables.
In the afternoon, I set off for a drive along the Turquoise Trail, a designated National Scenic Byway. The route is approximately 30 miles long and passes through historic New Mexico towns. Along the way, I made my way up the winding road to Sandia Peak at 10,000 feet for clear views of Albuquerque and the surrounding area. There is a lookout station at the summit with an observation area and cafe and gift shop. After Sandia Peak, I continued along the Turquoise Trail with a stop in Madrid, which has great galleries with local art.
For dinner, I dined at the Hyatt Tamaya’s Corn Maiden restaurant. This is the resort’s fine dining restaurant and it specializes in rotisserie meats. I had the the Corn Maiden Classic, “k’uchininak’u,” with New Mexico chorizo sausage, fresno chile chicken, and red and green chile rubbed New Mexico heritage beef rib eye. It was all very good and the service was perfect.
Hyatt Free Night and Free Breakfast Promotion through December 30, 2012
Now through December 30, 2012, Hyatt is offering guests the opportunity to receive one free night during each stay and free daily breakfast for two at its participating hotels and resorts in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean (minimum stay varies by property). Non-resort Hyatt properties are also offering late 2:00 p.m. checkout. Reservations must be made by November 30. Hyatt properties outside the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean are offering one free night per stay between now and September 8 and 2:00 p.m. late checkout (minimum stay varies by property). When booking your stay, request offer code FRTIME. Be sure to use your Hyatt Visa Signature credit card and receive three Hyatt Gold Passport points for every $1 spent at Hyatt properties.