New Mexico's unique group appeal stems from its stunning vistas, Native American culture, fiery and delicious cuisine, and diverse offerings of sophisticated cities like Santa Fe and Albuquerque (above). Extra cool factor: Breaking Bad
was shot here.Taste Tips
Gwyneth Doland, an expert on New Mexico cuisine, offers advice on experiencing authentic local flavors at itsatrip.org/abqexperts/cuisine
. Some suggestions:
Order blue corn enchiladas served stacked, not rolled. Traditional ingredients include ground beef, red chile, onion, melted cheese and a fried egg on top.
If you like green and red chiles, ask for a Christmas-style enchilada.Breaking Bad
Junkies going through series-end withdrawal can still get their fix via tours in and around Albuquerque by firms such as ABQ Trolley Co. (abqtrolley.com
• Phase II of the $22 million renovation of the Albuquerque Convention Center
began this past October. The project includes a 5,600-square-foot addition with a new large entrance vestibule, a small retail space and an outdoor deck. The work is slated for completion this summer. The first phase, which revamped the facility's meeting spaces, was finished last summer.
• The 300-room Radisson Hotel and Waterpark has completed a renovation and been rebranded as the Hotel Cascada-An Urban Resort.
The property has an indoor pool and interior atrium, an adjacent water park and more than 26,000 square feet of flexible conference space.
• Casas de Sueños Old Town Historic Inn,
a 1930s adobe-style hotel with 21 casitas, opened an event space, the Casa de Banquets, on Central Avenue in the former Gus's Trading Post. The venue can accommodate up to 200 people for events.Meeting Hotels:
Major properties include the 411-room Albuquerque Marriott Hotel, 395-room Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, 300-room Hotel Cascada-An Urban Resort, 295-room Albuquerque Sheraton Uptown, 295-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Albuquerque and 261-room Albuquerque Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa.
The 276-room Sheraton Albuquerque Airport and 150-room Courtyard by Marriott Albuquerque Airport are at Albuquerque International Sunport. Ten minutes away is the 228-room Sandia Resort and Casino.
For more area hotels, and to send RFPs, go to mcvenues.com
Albuquerque Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 167,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 30; (505) 768-4575; albuquerquecc.comAirport Transit:
Albuquerque International Sunport, about five miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $15; by shuttle, $18Taxes:
Room tax, 6%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13%Group Venue:
One of the city's most celebrated activities -- hot-air ballooning -- is showcased at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
. Groups of up to 500 people are accommodated. (505) 768-6020; cabq.gov/balloonContact:
Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 733-9918; itsatrip.org/meetings
The ABQ Biopark Zoo in Albuquerque welcomed four new residents -- Tasmanian devils -- this past December as part of a conservation program to save the species from extinction. cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark/zoo