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“Bad Smoke, incredibly average food”

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Sandia Resort & Casino
Ranked #41 of 144 Hotels in Albuquerque
Certificate of Excellence
Amarillo, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Bad Smoke, incredibly average food”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

We just returned from a stay at Sandia offered to us because we are harrah's reward members. The facility is pretty and our room was nice, but the smoke in the casino was horrific. I play poker which is in a non-smoking area and they do have a non-smoking area for slots but you have to hike all the way across the casino from the elevators to get there...and if you have to use the restroom, hike once again through the smoke. The other big issue for us was incredibly average food and very poor and unprofessional waitstaff. I live in Texas and love my green chilies as much as the next person...but does it have to be in EVERYTHING?? We asked for bread in the downstairs restaurant that didn't have green chilies and was told they don't have it. My husband ordered a chicken fried steak with chorizo gravy which turned out to be a cheeze whiz sauce that made him sick for a full day...on top of which we had to beg housekeeping for an additional roll of toilet paper!! At the 'fine' dining restaurant upstairs, we ordered short ribs, which were good but the sides were once again covered in green chilies and one of my husband's sides that was touted as a 'cheese' wheel on the menu was a big round slab of fried cheese you might get at a greasy spoon! not worth the money at all. The waitstaff at the restaurant downstairs and the one on the roof complained about their managers, their customers, how overloaded they were with work (and this when there were less than 12 people in the restaurant!) and even told us they didn't trust the kitchen to redo things when we sent something back! They have a long way to go to bring this up to any sort of 'resort' standard.

Room Tip: be aware that the walls are paper thin...even the bathroom walls!!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
blujan, Front Office Manager at Sandia Resort & Casino, responded to this review, 29 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your candid feedback about your recent experience at the Sandia Resort & Casino. We appreciate your input and apologize that you did not fully enjoy your stay.

We do have a fairly sophisticated ventilation system in the resort and casino, but unfortunately when there can several thousand people here at times it can be a challenge to completely remove the smoke depending on the occupancy and the percentage of smokers. Subsequently we offer non-smoking options in various parts of the facility and in fact that non-smoking section will grow with our future expansion.

We take pride in being in New Mexico and we celebrate the regional culture – this can be found in some of the artwork and furnishings throughout the resort, certainly in the natural surroundings and also in the cuisine. With eleven different food and beverage choices, we offer a wide variety of options appealing to all tastes; our Culinary team is a veritable melting pot of talented individuals from all over the globe. On our menus there are subtle influences of chiles, spices, herbs, regional meats, local recipes, local beers and other items reflecting our heritage and location, but we balance those regional influences with many other options, so there is a multitude of items to choose from. I apologize your dining experiences were not enjoyable and we appreciate your constructive feedback on the food and staff.

Thank you again for your time and if you care to further discuss any specific items please feel free to contact me at: dkohler@sandiacasino.com

Respectfully,
David Kohler
Food & Beverage Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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458 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
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English first
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

A group of 8 guys just returned from Sandia for a golf outing, 3 days. Food was miserable, contracted some type of stomach bug from the evening buffet. Golf was 5.5 hour rounds on Sat and Sun, 4:50 on Friday. Greens were half poa annua, which grows faster than bent grass and leaves very bumpy greens. Room was good, service pleasant. Won't be back

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank eddieluda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
blujan, Front Office Manager at Sandia Resort & Casino, responded to this review, 29 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences regarding your recent visit to the Sandia Resort & Casino. We appreciate your candid feedback and apologize that you did not enjoy your dining experience and golf. In the Thur Shan Buffet Restaurant we serve hundreds of guests daily and so I am surprised to read your comments about the food as we constantly work on elevating the overall experience at the restaurant with a commitment to product quality and variety. We have made many recent improvements in menu selections and we adhere to very stringent food safety and sanitation policies and procedures.

If you would care to elaborate on any specific items regarding your stay please feel free to contact me at : dkohler@sandiacasino.com

Respectfully,
David Kohler
Food & Beverage Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

My husband and I have been regulars at Bien Shur rooftop restaurant, Sandia casino and hotel since it's opening. We are both in the players club and my husband enjoys playing poker there weekly (they DO have a GREAT non-smoking POKER room with LOTS of games going on all the time). We used to love the varied and creative bar menu at the rooftop restaurant and lounge-- as well as the upscale restaurant menu. Unfortunately, the place has gone WAAAY downhill and not even the beautiful views can make me want to sit in that stinky cigar-smoked-filled place! They also don't tell you anywhere on their web page about the cigars (and LOTS of people smoke 'em there ALL the time) --and when you say something they look at you like you're crazy and don't seem to think anything is wrong with charging $30-$40 for an entree and serving it in a cigar-smoke-filled room??! Two weeks ago, it was our LAST time trying to go there for dinner, drinks and a view! We got off of the elevator and the smoke was overflowing into the elevator unloading area --even though they had the windows open in the lounge and mountain-view restaurant areas! Then they opened the entire area to the smoke-filled lounge where the band was playing it was so disgusting! They don't even do that in Vegas! It is (and has been) illegal to do that in the city of Albuquerque, but I guess they can get away with it because it's on indian land.

We also went to the restaurant for a special birthday dinner for my 90-year-old mom and all of the steaks were way over-cooked. They took a long time to replace them - some of us were finished eating our non-steak dinners by the time the steaks arrived (and they still were not cooked to order) and they did not offer any kind of discount for the inconvenience --and they know us as good-tipping (20% and up) regulars!

Green-reed spa used to be pretty nice, but it's way over-priced just for the basics: the "Eucalyptus" steam room is a steam room that's not working so well -- a hand-held spray bottle with eucalyptus water in it that you're supposed to spray yourself - and it was also not working so well-- and the jacuzzis don't have working jets in the women's spa, and I couldn't get the sauna hot enough. Most of the lotion & soap dispensers were out, they were short on towels AND worst of all-- they were hosting some kind of loud private-party in the "relaxation room" serving nasty-smelling fried foods and then they bad-vibbed me for wanting to get my "complimentary" iced tea... Go to Betty's Bath or ABQ baths - both are MUCH nicer, more relaxing and half the price. They also hire the city's best massage therapists.

The hotel is nice and a big room - nice big bathroom, we didn't get a great view last time - even though we reserved and requested months in advance-- it wasn't worth the $85 (plus tax) a nite - which was the waaay discounted players-club price.

I'm sorry to give such a bad review - because I'd much rather support the Native-owned & run casinos, but Sandia Resort is going to have to get their act together if they want to be anywhere comparable to even a three-star Vegas casino/resort - or even some of the nicer ABQ hotels in town. We're staying at The Flamingo in Vegas next week for 2 nites free and $50 for the extra night- plus 1 day free at their spa... Much nicer than Sandia's property and amenities.

Room Tip: request a mountain view, but no guarantees.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank yidfid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
blujan, Front Office Manager at Sandia Resort & Casino, responded to this review, 29 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent visit to Bien Shur rooftop restaurant at Sandia Resort. I appreciate your candid feedback and apologize for the inconvenience. Our patio lounge is indeed smoker-friendly, representing a small portion of the total seating in several different and distinct seating areas. We recently hosted a cigar event attended by many local business people with the proceeds going to a local charity so this may have been the same night when you experienced an inordinate amount of cigar smoke. This is not the norm, this was a very special event and we tried to take the necessary precautions by opening the lounge windows for fresh air and installing several air purifiers in the lounge for that night. Typically the smokers on the patio do not adversely affect other guests inside so I apologize that you did not enjoy your evening.

Our Culinary team has made many recent improvement to the menu, changing it quarterly so that we are able to capitalize on the freshest seasonal ingredients and highest quality components going on the plate. Steaks represent the lion’s share of our sales in Bien Shur so I am surprised to see that your steaks were not done to your liking and were delayed in being replaced. We have a very talented and professional Kitchen staff, recently earning very high marks and accolades in several local publications so it is disappointing to see that your special birthday celebration was not to your satisfaction.

Thank you again for your time and constructive feedback. I would welcome the opportunity to take a more personal approach and discuss this further and my contact information is listed below.

Best regards,
David Kohler
Director of Food and Beverage
dkohler@sandiaresort.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

I'm a local and live in the ABQ metro area.
I'm just reviewing the casino in this report, and mostly from a slot players perspective.
I've never stayed there over-night.
I have had friends who stayed there and I've been in their rooms, and they seem nice and okay for the price.
I used to go to Sandia all the time to gamble, but something happened a few years back that changed all that ...the crowds!
This place is packed most all the time. I've tried going in the early morning, and in the late evening ...still packed.
So packed that most of the machines that are empty are due to those machines not paying, so who wants to play a machine that's not paying ..or at least showing you a good time.

See my view on gaming (slots) is a little different than most. Sure I'm going to lose money, but it's more of a money spent versus entertainment supplied that keeps me going. If I can spend 100 dollars and play for 5 -6 hours, that's worth it to me. I'd pay the same to be entertained at a six flags park, so why not. Plus at six flags I'd be paying for soda's and water ...here I'm not.

Not only that, but for the money I was spending the comps just weren't there.
When I first signed up in the players club (4 years ago) I was given a whole 5 dollars free play, now they offer 25 dollars to new members ...how fair is that?
I've spent less and gotten more from other local casinos.
If you like crowds and having to play machines that don't pay ...go for it!
Otherwise there are many other casinos in the area to choose from and a lot are less crowded.

Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
5 Thank Ramblin_Man63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wyoming
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

WOW, I began planning my trip a couple months prior to our stay. I contacted Britni the reservations Supervisor to book our stay and play package. She got back to me right away, and had us all set to go within a few emails. There were six of us that went for to play golf, gamble, and have a good time and we did just that.

When we got to the airport Britni had set up transportation for us, they were sitting right where she said they would be. The driver loaded the six golf bags, and all the suit cases into the bus and away we went. When we arrived at the hotel we were promptly greeted by Conrad (ask for him he is very good) and our luggage was unloaded immediately. Our rooms were not ready to go yet since it was 10:30 a.m., so they allowed us to change and they stored our bags in a secure room.
We were set for a 12:00 tee time, and by the time we all got changed into shorts and headed back to the bell desk our clubs were at the course on a cart and ready for us to go.
The golf course was AMAIZING. The staff was all really great, and the practice facility was second to none.
The rooms are awesome, clean and comfortable.
The food was good at all of the restaurants.
The casino was busy and Smokey, but that is what I expect a casino to be.

This was an AMAIZING experience and I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a good time.

Britni is the best so call her to book. (505) 798-3936

Room Tip: A room with a balcony overlooking the Golf and Mountain side.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nladd05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandia Resort & Casino

Property: Sandia Resort & Casino
Address: 30 Rainbow Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113-2156
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New Mexico > Albuquerque
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque
#4 Luxury Hotel in Albuquerque
#6 Spa Hotel in Albuquerque
#20 Romantic Hotel in Albuquerque
#33 Business Hotel in Albuquerque
Price range (per night): ₹ 13,855 - ₹ 20,299
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandia Resort & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 228
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the majestic Sandia Mountains, Sandia Resort & Casino welcomes guests to a unique Southwestern setting with outstanding service and modern comforts. Your experience begins in our enchanting guest rooms and suites, each showcasing breathtaking mountain or skyline views along with lavish bathrooms, flat-screen televisions and complimentary high-speed wired and wireless Internet access. You'll also discover the thoughtful services and amenities that have made us a stand-out destination among Albuquerque hotels, including our sparkling outdoor pool and cabanas, live entertainment, and tranquil spa. From fine dining to snacks on the go, our restaurants and lounges always deliver a memorable meal, even to your guest room, with our convenient room service offerings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandia Casino And Resort
Sandia Hotel Albuquerque

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