Sandia Casino & Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Sandia Casino & Resort Albuquerque
Summer in the Desert at Sandia
Living in Chicago during July is bad enough - the heat can be awful. So when I was invited to New Mexico in mid-July it sounded like an awful trip -- too hot! However our stay at the Sandia Resort was outstanding. July is the "rainy month" so the desert flowers were in bloom and because there is almost no humidity the New Mexico summer heat is easier to live with then back home in Chicago.
The Sandia Resort is not cheap -- but here you do get what you pay for. We were greeted at the airport with a super-stretch black limo for the free ride to the resort which is snuggled against the beautiful Sandia Mountains. Check-in was friendly and professional with free extra services provided by the front desk staff.
The resort features an award winning "Scott Miller" signature golf course and Indian gaming rules casino, but there is a lot more to the Sandia. If you do nothing else, be absolutely sure to be on the rooftop patio bar just before sunset. The resort is positioned for spectacular views of the Sandia Mountains as the red setting sun bounces off the tan rocks producing a dazzling watermelon play of colors on the entire mountain side. The word "sandia" roughly translates to "watermelon" and the area mountains obtained their name because of this showy watermelon color at sunset.
The standard room was much larger than your typical hotel room with many up-scale appointments: large flat-screen HD plasma television set, huge bathroom suite all in granite with separate 2-person walk-in glass shower, and a wonderful bed and furnishings. The only disappointment was the $9 daily charge for internet access. I'm so used to free high-speed internet at Holiday Inn that I expect the same access when paying nearly $200 per night for a hotel room. Housekeeping service was first rate, and I'm a little surprised at the earlier posting comments about the towels- they seemed fine to us.
We dined at the Council Room Steak House mid-week without reservations and were seated after a brief wait at the small bar. The drinks were perfectly made and the food was wonderful. Prices seemed in-line with an up-scale steakhouse and the manager came by to check that everything was right- a nice touch. On the weekends, reservations are strongly recommended.
We highly recommend visiting Bien Shur on the rooftop of the resort. We didn't eat at the adjoining rooftop restaurant (which has spectacular views of the city and the Sandia Mountains along with a cozy fireplace in the center of the dinning room) but did have a couple drinks on the outdoor rooftop patio bar. The waitress was very friendly and stopped to chat about sights to see in the area, and the drinks were expertly made and reasonably priced.
The swimming pool and cabana bar is a nice retreat. We enjoyed drinks there in the after noon and the misters really kept the bar area cool. Unlike most hotels, the Sandia has a adult pool attendant who checks with you on a regular basis and offers suggestions on things to see and do in the area. We also enjoyed a light luncheon at the golf course cub house out door patio which over looks the golf course and lake fountain.
The only disappointment was the Indian rules casino. It is forbidden to have a drink while playing any games, which seems a little odd. The other casino disappointment was the heavy cigarette smoking in the gaming area. What is it about slot machines that cause people to chain smoke? The non-smoking casino area is far too small, and there were not as many table games as a Vegas casino. Most of the gamblers were not hotel guests and a few were a little "rough around the edges" but I didn't see any problems while we were their.
We highly recommend the Sandia.
Nice Rooms, Decent Casino
Nice hotel rooms, good size for the regular rooms, and as I got upgraded to a suite, I have to say it was the largest suite I have ever been in. Very clean - I don't know why others are complaining about housekeeping, but I had no such issues. It was clean was I got there and cleaned to more than my satisfaction each day. Casino is fair, but nothing special. I don't know if it has to do with Indian Gaming Laws/Permits, but they could definitely use more table games. The "bar" is also only OK. It was pretty busy, as you can't drink at the gaming tables, so service was a little slow. I thought the buffet was pretty good. I didn't eat there for dinner, but breakfast was generally pretty appetizing, and pretty inexpensive.
The pool area is nice with a good sized deck area and outside bar, but could use a few misters or something, in the summer months.
Location-wise, the resort is away from everything. So, plan on driving a bit to your tourist/sightseeing areas, including downtown. But if you are here for the resort alone, you can pretty much stay there the entire time.
The golf course gets about a "B" grade. It's well cared for and the greens rolled well, but it's pretty much a standard "resort" style course. Nice clubhouse/patio area though, to enjoy a drink after your round.
I don't often go to Albuquerque, but I didn't think the rates were that unreasonable. This hotel definitely holds up to any of the Vegas or Napa resorts I do frequent, and it's much less in price then those locations.
All in all, a good experience. Good accommodations - clean and nice, friendly service, and all the amenities I need in one location.
Service with a Frown
We stayed here 4 nights and played the Sandia Resort golf course on the first day, and other courses on following days. The course is a little hard with afternoon wind. Pro shop staff and starter are profesional, but the bag boys and girls are not.
Checking into the hotel, the front desk staff seemed bored and as other reviews have stated, not very friendly. The room was nice sized for 2 people, but the 4th floor view was of a roof.
The large bathrooms have separate tub and shower, but the towels need improvement, the current ones being cheap and scratchy. 5 people in our group commented on this.
Because our 4th day was an extra night, I asked about a possible discount on the room rate for that day, but was told it was not possible since I'd booked the stay thru a golf broker. This had nothing to do with the extra night and as previously experienced, the desk person was not helpful at all. There were still rooms available on the hotel website for 20 dollars less. Checking out in the early morning, a different bored woman was chewing gum with her mouth open while asking "Can I help you?"
Sandia is a place with potential, but our group of 14 will not be back.
Overpriced, no place to sit
We were at the Sandia on a Friday evening before Mother's Day. The buffet was overpriced at 27 dollars a plate, so we opted for the deli where 2 hot dogs and two small styrofoam cups of soda cost almost 10 dollars. They were out of most menu selections and there was no place either to sit and eat or to gamble. There are some "thugs" in the bar area checking to see what is written on people's tee shirts or whether or not they have tatoos. Not having any, I stood in line to go in so I could sit down. There was no place to sit in the bar area, either. The drinks were as overpriced as the dinner. The staff was rude and didn't respond to pleasantries like "Hello", but just stared like they were the gaurds outside an English castle instead of the bouncers they are. I left as soon as I ate my hot dog and rented a room elsewhere. I think they were probably in violation of fire safety codes.
OK, but probably not worth the price
We stayed just one night here so I can't rate housekeeping on here. However, here are some things that bothered me about our stay. First, the self-parking is a good 1/4 mile away from the hotel. Second, the front desk employee did not make us feel welcomed. She must have been having a bad day (I hope that's what it was). Next, the room was decent sized - separate shower which I love hotels with separate showers. TV was LCD, but who really cares - it was all analog content so no need for the extra expense! The shower was very touchy. You'd finally find the spot where you want it, then a minute later you'd either be freezing or scalded. That was a huge pain. There's also a constant "water moving" sound in the walls that doesn't ever stop. I thought it might have been the toilet but it wasn't. The bed was comfortable though. We could not smell smoke in our room. Room was clean. Casino was ok - not too big, but had plenty of slots to play. Only 1 craps table running and it was always full with a waiting line so I never got to play it. Blackjack tables at $5 minimum even at night - and there were plenty of those ro play on. For 180.00 per night, I won't be staying here again though. No, I'm not rich, but I do expect to be treated well when I pay that much for a room.
Wonderful experience..absolutely the best service
We make trips to Laughlin, Nevada for gambling but will think twice about going again because of the great experience at Sandia Resort.
From Check-in to Check-out, the staff was friendly and helpful and went out of their way to help.
The spa was great and Nancy is the best.
The food at the breakfast buffet was very good and the omelets were great
The rooms were AWESOME! The bathroom was huge with granite and tile with walk in shower and deep garden tub.
The bed was heavenly. It had crisp sheets and clean white down comforter.
My husband and son played the golf course. They said it was beautiful but hard. Even said, they want to go back again soon.
They have a new gambling game that we all played for hours and hours. It was a virtual roulette game. The other slots, video poker and table games were not as fun. The slots and video poker seem to be tight and the tables minimums were high, for me. (probably not for most). Although my daughter-in-law played craps and walked away with $300 in a short amount of time. We will definitely return soon and find our seat at the virtual roulette table. Bet on 14, 29 and 6. They seem to hit a lot. Enjoy Sandia Resort.
Can't wait to go back
flew from houston,tx. primarily for the SUGARLAND concert. their amphitheater is outstanding for music-- the view of the sandia mountains at sunset-- breathtaking-- the casino-- professionally operated and lots of fun - -staff friendly- helpful- the room; a bargain at twice the price-- quality restaurants - reasonable prices-- airport transfers-- on time-- out of this world golf course.
i'm looking for a good reason to go back-- oh heck it doesn't have to be that good-- you gotta see this place
Poor Housekeeping and food at Sandia
The hotel is beautiful, large room, nice bathroom. Housekeeping was poor. Shower, toilet and sink not cleaned after the first night. I called Housekeeping and told them. The sink was cleaned, but not the shower (hair was in the drain) or toilet. Finally after the second request (third day), the bathroom was cleaned, but no face towels were left. When I called the Front desk and Housekeeping, I was told it would be taken care of, but no apologies. Also the food was poor. Buffet was poor quality food, poor service. Coffee stand with Starbucks coffee was slow and awful. I will never stay here again.
What a treat!
My husband and I stayed for a night at this resort as a treat at the end of a camping trip. What an excellent choice. The service, from the doorman through the checkout, was great. Our room was large and comfortable with a picture window view of the pool, golf course, and mountains. Loved the bathroom - garden tub with large separate glass shower, granite countertops, nice amenities. Breakfast at the buffet was good and plentiful. Dinner at the steakhouse was delicious. The only "less than stellar" meal we had was the lunchtime buffet. It was pretty standard stuff with basically the same menu two days in a row.
The casino has tons of slots and gaming tables. One nice touch was a separate smoke-free casino room, although as a non-smoker, I wasn't bothered at all by the air in the main casino area.
I would definitely stay here again. As a matter of fact, friends and I are planning a "girls only" trip next spring to take advantage of the spa, salons, and casino.
Las Vegas style Resort in New Mexico
My wife and I stayed at Sandia Resort the weekend of July 15, 2006 and loved it.
The rooms are huge with nice comfortable chairs, table, LCD TV, refrigerator, crown molding and plantation shutters. The southwestern tiled bathroom was almost as big as the room itself and included a large walk in shower and separate oversized tub. Granite counter top with sink and very nice shelving as well. The beds are very comfortable and rival the Westin "Heavenly Beds".
The pool was great and has a very beautiful view of the golf course and Sandia Mountains. Pool area also has private cabanas, bar service and plenty of loungers. My wife used the spa services and said it was terrific. I didn't golf but heard the course was very nice and has that cool desert look that you see on Arizona courses. I was also surprised to see that the resort has its own outdoor amphitheater which looked very nice for a night of great music in an intimate location. Last but not least they have a huge casino with plenty of slots and all the table games.
Had breakfast at the Buffet for $6.95 which was a great value, they had a great selection of local and overall very good food with cooked to order omelets. There is also an incredible restaurant/bar called Bien Shur on the top floor of the Resort. The views went on for miles and was a great open air location for a night cap or a few happy hour cocktails on the open air patio. We also attended a banquet and the steak and chicken dinner was very good along with the spinach leaf salad and moose for dessert. There are also many great restaurants in the Albuquerque area that are not too far away as well as a Smith's and Trader Joes grocery stores if needed.
Given all of the amenities and location I would say that this is easily a 4.5 star resort which rivals most Las Vegas properties.
TripAdvisor Reviews Sandia Casino & Resort Albuquerque
Travel Blogs from Albuquerque
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... see in the distance how it was obscuring the distant Sandia Mountains.
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1. "With an average elevation of 5,312' Albuquerque is the HIGHEST U.S. metropolitan city. Average? Does it change daily?
2. The city averages 9 INCHES of rainfall annually.
3. The Rio Grande Valley includes a 4,300 acre open space park known as The "Bosque" meaning "woodland" in Spanish.
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In the Grapes of Wrath there is an exchange between Casy and Tom:
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'Track a what?'
'Tom, they's hundreds a families like us a'goin' west. I watched. There ain't none of em' goin' east - hundreds of em'. Did you notice that?'
'Yeah, I noticed.'
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