By Anca Gagiuc
After more than two years under construction, Hotel Chaco, the contemporary luxury hotel inspired by the architecture and ancient civilization of Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, opened in Old Town Albuquerque, adjacent to sister property Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town.
The 118-key hotel consists of five levels and 25 different guest room configurations. Some extend outdoors onto terraces overlooking the Sandia Mountains and downtown skyline, while others look out onto the gardens and pool terrace below. Level 5, a rooftop restaurant and bar named in honor of Chaco Canyon’s legendary five-story Pueblo Bonito, features local ingredients and a native-inspired menu conceived by chef Mark Miller and Hotel Albuquerque Executive Chief Gilbert Aragon. Additional dining options include the lobby-level Equinox Café and Bar. The property also offers meeting and event spaces along with access to an additional 62,000 square feet of meeting space at the adjacent Hotel Albuquerque. Moreover, a 6,000-square-foot spa is in planning stages.
Inspired by ancient civilization
The hotel is Heritage Hotels & Resorts eleventh property in the state, and its first project built and designed from the ground up. All other Heritage Hotels are reinventions of existing buildings. The property is also Gensler’s first design project in New Mexico, combining ultra-modern design with sustainable building strategies. To complete the design, the Gensler team traveled to Chaco Canyon to draw inspiration from the ancient architecture. Key features incorporated into the architecture of Hotel Chaco include precise stone masonry, vigas and latillas for rooftop structures, as well as the alignment of the building to the sun’s movement.
“Typically, hotels are built like stackable boxes,” Jim Long, CEO, Heritage Hotels & Resorts, said in a prepared statement. “But Hotel Chaco’s design, while very modern, captures the spirit of the civilization and the beautiful architecture of Chaco Canyon. The services, ambiance and accommodations this hotel provides embrace the native people’s artistic sensibility and oneness with nature.”
Guests at the hotel have access to its art program. In collaboration with interior designer Kris Lajeskie, the hotel commissioned an elite cadre of contemporary Native American artists to create works for the public spaces and guestrooms. Furthermore, in conjunction with Heritage Inspirations, Hotel Chaco organizes guided day and overnight camping trips to its namesake Chaco Canyon National Monument. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is referred to by many as the “Machu Picchu” of North America.
Images courtesy of Hotel Chaco