I'm adding to my list of small business crushes Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had the pleasure of staying there before the final leg of my holiday travels to Chicago and it was charming (thanks to Kristina for the suggestion).

It was originally built in 1926 as a hospital to treat employees of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, then became a psychiatric hospital, and was repurposed into a hotel last year (more here). Heather Van Luchene Interiors oversaw the decor which included so many thoughtful details (from top): framed, enlarged historic postcards sent from residents of the hospital (this one says "Having a fine time" from the 1930s) in the guestrooms; mini cabinet of curiosity-esque exhibits throughout the hallways on the five senses, medicinals, old diagnosis codes, hat boxes (is this a trend? Mounting exhibit vetrines in hotels? If not, it should be); vintage inspired lighting. There's a writing desk off of the lobby that features cubbies with old photos, stamps, telegrams, coupons and railway ephemera of the day. The shutters in the hallway are industrial plastic (?), with a pattern that calls to mind hospital wards of yore. And the rest of the interior design can only be described as comfortable, institutional chic evocative of the sanatorium from Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain: terrariums, sun-drenched sitting rooms, comfortable reading chairs (the design of that green one is amazing). This, to me, is a model revitalization project.

You'll find Apothecary Lounge on the roof with great views of the city. My three minor quibbles (only because it stands in such sharp contrast to the rest): the interior space could be so much cozier, and atmospherically lighted (recessed track lighting? Really? May I suggest something closer to this from Gjelina in Los Angeles, with maybe more of a modern Shane's Candy Store quality (in Philadelphia)?). And why not list the drink prices on the menu? It's no fun making guests ask the price of a half dozen different brands of scotch ranging from $9 -$25 a glass. And I feel like implementing a dress code in Albuquerque is exclusive and off-putting, especially if you are trying to build goodwill in a community where you have to include this (admittedly endearing) disclaimer on the website:

The Apothecary Lounge is not a licensed pharmacy and does not fill prescriptions or practice pharmacy.

But overall, three cheers for the developers, designers, city of Albuquerque and Huning Highland Historic District Neighborhood Association.

{Photos by Neither Snow}