Traveling as a family of five is about 10 times more complicated than when it was just the four of us. For example, did you know that most hotels cap the capacity at four people per room? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. Luckily, we pretend the little one doesn’t count, but that won’t last for long (ssshhhh don’t tell).
When you’re vacationing with kids in general, my motto is: bigger is better. Why have a one-bedroom when you can spend like $20 more a night to have a suite. On the flip side, why stay in a hotel when you can have an entire house at your fingertips? So that’s our number one option these days, and I usually turn to AirBnb to find the roof over our heads. The best places are when there’s literally enough room for everyone to sprawl out.
On our recent trip to Albuquerque I knew we needed a place to stay. We stayed in the Land of Enchantment for almost three weeks, and we would’ve literally gone crazy if we stayed in a hotel that entire time. Luckily, I found the Mountain Side Gem up near 4Hills, and that ended up being our home away from home for several days. I’ve gotta tell you, looking at the mountains as we drove to and from it every day was a sight to see.
This place really was a gem—the open floor plan (yeah, I’m channeling my inner HGTV for this review) was absolutely perfect for kids. I didn’t have to worry about them hiding in places I couldn’t find them, or making them sit still for fear of breaking or getting into something. There was even space for the baby to roll around, which he was doing a lot of while we were there.
Kevin, the owner, recently flipped the house, and he did a fantastic job. It was just so pretty and clean inside. The beds were made perfectly, and there were even individually wrapped soaps waiting for us. The Mountains Side Gem is a three bedroom, two bath, and it was the perfect size for a family. My mom even came over for dinner one night.
Speaking of meals…the kitchen was just to the right of the living area, and it was fully stocked. That’s another plus to staying in a house: you can cook. I’m all for eating out, especially when we travel, but if we’re any place longer than a few days we like the stability of cooking some of our own meals.
There’s a Sprouts conveniently right around the corner, so we stocked up on some essentials and made a few meals at “home.” It was exciting to see so many spices and kitchen gadgets available; a lot of times it’s slim pickings, but this house had it all. We could even mooch from the fridge (super thankful for the butter since we forgot to get some at the store).
I mentioned that Kevin did a great job flipping the house, but my favorite part was the master bathroom. You know you’re a grownup when you get excited about a shower, am I right? There was a waterfall shower head, and the tile surrounding the shower truly made it feel like an upscale hotel room.
It felt like we were in a large hotel from the moment we walked in. Everything was so clean and put together; I’m pretty sure my house has never been as clean as the Mountain Side Gem was, so it was truly a home away from home.
If you’re ever traveling through New Mexico and need to stay in Albuquerque, I highly recommend resting your head for a few nights at the Mountain Side Gem. And while you can make your own meals there, if you need some places to eat out, Kevin even recommends places in his guide that you get prior to checking in. He really thought of everything to make your stay as comfortable as possible.