ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The old University Lodge in Nob Hill received an upgrade with pizazz or “Zazz”, to be more precise. Dr. Sharmin Dharas, the owner of Hotel Zazz, is responsible for the facelift to the property late last year. For her, it’s more than a business venture: it’s a passion project.

“Growing up here, literally my living room was right behind me,” said Dharas, “I understood the value of this property and we wanted to really showcase it.”

The 48-room property features a number of unique features, including chromotherapy rooms with custom artwork from predominately women-of-color artists, a life-sized chess board for guests to play, a full pool with custom-built furniture, and the buzz-worthy Z Lounge.

The quirky, outlandish design caught the eye of editors in Forbes magazine. In the fall of 2022, they named the property one of the new hotel’s world travelers needed to check out in 2023.  The feature led to dozens of bookings from international visitors, said Dharas.  

“We weren’t even open yet.  It was all based on our renderings and concept that we had to provide.” 

While developing the hotel, she wrote a children’s book inspired by her toddler’s experience at the property.  The book is the first in a series, Dr. Dharas said. 

And like the book, she says the property itself is the first of many property developments. “So we’re just going to keep carrying that on.”