Friday, May 8, 2009

The Hyatt Tamaya Resort and Spa hotel, owned by Santa Ana Pueblo, has upgraded its ballroom, spa and bar. New flat panel televisions are going into all 350 guest rooms as well.

It might seem counterintuitive to invest so much now when the economy has hit hard destination resorts like Tamaya. But Jerry Westenhaver, general manager of the hotel, said the renovations had been budgeted for some time. Also, when business is down, it’s a logical time to do construction.

“The impact on business would be minimal,” he said. “The ballroom is the engine that drives all things, so taking it down would have little impact.”
It’s also cheaper, Westenhaver added.

“With the economy, you can get a lot more work done for less money,” he said. “It’s called leveraging.”

The Pueblo is committed to keeping the product up, he added.

“It’s our second renovation in eight years,” Westenhaver said. “Most hotels don’t go through that. They are committed to doing this and improving the property, regardless of economic conditions.”

The Rio Lounge is where changes are the most obvious. The bar that stood along the windows overlooking the Sandias and the bosque along the Rio Grande has been moved against a wall. It was blocking the best view in the house, Westenhaver said.

A new onyx panel behind the bar is lit from within, lending a pleasant golden light. Large glass doors now open onto a round terrace that has a casual restaurant and fire pits. The lounge also got all new furniture and carpeting.

The Tamaya Mist spa has new slate floors and walls, new carpeting and doors. A common outdoor area will get additional upgrades early next year with a fire pit and a waterfall, as well as kivas with turquoise accents

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