Gwynne Ann Unruh is an award-winning reporter formerly of the Alamosa Valley Courier, an independent paper in southern Colorado. She covers the environment for The Paper.


Albuquerque has great service industries that are the economic and cultural backbone of our community, and we here at The Paper. are proud to support them through our Albuquerque’s Best Awards. Using their resources, skills, ingenuity and experiences, these service providers have given you top-notch customer service, which garnered them a top-three award from our readers. We recorded your seals of approval for everything from “Best Place to get a Facial” to “Best Massage” to where you should get your “Do” done, maintain a gorgeous smile or adopt a new furry friend. Hats off to Betty’s Day Spa with two first place and one finalist awards.

Best Spa

The mission of Betty’s Bath and Day Spa is to provide an oasis in the desert that attends to the duality in us all. That synchronizes the mind and heart, body and soul in perfect harmony. Betty’s is well known for their outdoor salt water hot tubs, massage and facials.

1835 Candelaria Rd NW

1.) Betty’s Bath and Day Spa

2.) The Remedy Day Spa

3.) Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

Best Massage

Zeke Rhodes, massage therapist at Divine Therapeutic Massage, recently won Regional Best Therapist at Massage Envy, placed in the top five for Best Therapist in ABQ the Magazine and landed in the top five Best Therapists on Thumbtack. He became a massage therapist because he wanted to help people and make them feel better. 

1.) Divine Therapeutic Massage

2.) Betty’s Bath and Day Spa

3.) Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

Best Cosmetic Spa

Betty’s is known for its outdoor salt water hot tubs, massage and facials. Betty’s Bath and Day Spa, in Albuquerque’s tree-lined and peaceful North Valley neighborhood, remains true to its original concept: to provide Albuquerque residents and visitors with a relaxation and wellness retreat in a professional, welcoming and friendly spa setting.

1.) Betty’s Bath and Day Spa

2.) Halo Med Spa

3.) Skinovation

Best Yoga Studio

Whether you are an experienced practitioner or just beginning your yoga journey, the staff at Blissful Spirits believes that yoga is for everyone and welcomes people of all ages, fitness levels and health statuses. Their facilities have showers, changing rooms and yoga supplies. They also offer private individual and group instruction. 

1.) Blissful Spirits

2.) High Desert Yoga

3.) Bhava Yoga

Best Waxing Salon

Pretty Pum Pum was created to bring the very best of waxing to Albuquerque in high-quality Brazilian body, facial and eyebrow waxing and products. They are constantly exploring the beauty and cosmetic industry looking for new and innovative depilatory techniques and the best in skincare products for their clients.

1.) Pretty Pum Pum

2.) European Wax Center

3.) Brazilian Waxing Boutique

Best Hair Salon

Located in the heart of Albuquerque with easy access from every part of town, the Fringe Hair Studio offers a combined total of over 50 years of hairdressing experience. They carry some of the industry’s leading products like Schwarzkopf Professional as well as Oligo Professional Ammonia Free Color.

1.) Fringe Hair Studio

2.) Revelry Salon

3.) Cila Salon

Best Barbershop

Clients of Daniel Martinez at United Studio The Nob Hill Barber Lounge clearly love the man. They have left the following online comments about his work. “Amazing stylist!” “Chill environment and leaves you feeling fresh!” “Patient with kids!!!” “Good vibes, quick and quality.” “Best barber in New Mexico” “Very spectacular service clean direct to the point very professional!! 100%” Who are we to disagree?

1.)  United Studio The Nob Hill Barber Lounge

2.) Fonzy’s Barbershop

3.)  Finesse Barber

Best Acupuncture

Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine provides facial acupuncture and SkinPen micro-needling as well as Family Practice Primary Care Medicine, together with Acupuncture, Massage & Occupational Therapy in Albuquerque’s historic Nob Hill. They offer natural medicine and herbal remedies from their Doctors of Oriental Medicine: Dr. Yvette Arellano, Dr. Brandon Taylor and Dr. Janet Mandell Mariano. The facility features six deluxe treatment rooms, peaceful waiting areas, mountain views and courtyards with flowing fountains.

3216 Monte Vista Blvd NE

1.) Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

2.) Nob Hill Community Acupuncture

3.) Red Root Acupuncture and Diamondback Wellness (Tied)

Best Alternative Health Care Provider

Stefanie Juliano LPCC at NM Wellness Center seeks to assist you and your family to better improve your life. She works with all issues, all ages and all situations. The integrative counseling/therapy she and the staff at NM Wellness offer specializes in several issues, including postpartum and perinatal mood disorders, depression, anxiety, dual diagnosis, couples issues, gender and sexuality concerns, self-harm, self-esteem and family problems.

1.) NM Wellness Center and Stefanie Juliano Therapy

2.) Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

3.) Weeks Integrative Medicine

Best Chiropractor

The Albuquerque Neck and Back Pain Center emphasize returning patients back to normal function. Whether your pain is from an auto injury, pain from lifting a child or neck pain due to working at the computer, doctors at the center help you return to normal function and relieve your pain and discomfort.

1.) Albuquerque Neck and Back Pain Center

2.) Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

3.) Dr. Karen Genter

Best Dentist

One of the main reasons to choose Jack Ollason Family Dentistry is to build continuity of treatment throughout a lifetime. The family dentistry practice offers comprehensive dental services to the entire family, state-of-the-art dental equipment and the latest oral health care advances in dentistry to create the smile that you deserve.

1.) Jack Ollason Family Dentistry

2.) Dr. John Davis and Cecil Sandoval DDS (Tied)

Best Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Aaron Mayberry is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving patients throughout New Mexico. In addition to his surgical expertise, Dr. Mayberry is a trained sculptor who merges his appreciation of art and science to deliver beautiful results that are perfectly proportional to your face, body and features.

7115 Prospect Pl NE

1.) Mayberry Plastic Surgery

2.) Dr. Gooding

3.) Dr. Morehouse and Dr. Vroman (Tie for third place)

Best Tattoo Shop

Aces Tattoo offers clients a completely custom body art studio in a friendly, clean, inviting and professional space. For more than a decade they have been creating unique tattoos for clients from all walks of life and support them in being proud to show the world who they are.

2737 San Mateo Blvd NE  

1.) Aces Tattoo

2.) All is ONE Tattoo

3.) True Grit Tattoo

Best Tattoo Artist

Johnny Mac, artist and owner of True Grit Tattoo, has 15 years of tattoo experience. His forte includes Japanese and watercolor styles. He tattoos with integrity, putting clients and their visions first. Johnny Mac considers it an honor that he’s able to put his everlasting artwork on people. 

5001 Central Ave. NE

1.) Johnny Mac @ True Grit Tattoo

2.) Kat D’Orazio @ Flowerhead Tattoo

2.) Chelsey Moore @ Archetype Tattoo

Best Piercing Parlor

At Evolution their motto is “Setting a Higher Standard,” and they strive for that daily with each decision they make and every client they interact with. This Nob Hill institution offers the highest quality jewelry and safe, accurate procedures performed by highly skilled piercers to create a positive outcome for each client’s individual piercing experience.

4517 Central Ave NE

1.) Evolution Body Piercing

2.) Factory Edge

3.) Sach’s Body Modification

Best Pet Hospital

Route 66 Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center‘s team of skilled veterinarians and technicians delivers the highest quality emergency care for your pets. They provide emergency and critical care in their state-of-the-art facility. Additionally, they run diagnostics and testing in-house, saving time and contributing to better health outcomes for your pet. Plus, they’re open 24/7 and all holidays.

136 Washington St. SE, Suite B

1.) Route 66 Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center

2.) Blue Cross Animal Clinic

3.) Rio Grande Animal Hospital

Best Pet Rescue Group

Animal Humane New Mexico is the oldest and largest nonprofit animal welfare organization in the state. Their mission is to support and improve the lives of New Mexico’s cats and dogs through sheltering, adoptions, humane education and veterinary services. The website is updated daily with animals that are available for adoption.

615 Virginia St SE

1.) Animal Humane New Mexico

2.) Watermelon Mountain Ranch

3.) NMDOG and Feline Friends (tied)

Best Photographer

Paul Griego’s true love lies behind the lens, capturing beautiful moments and telling stories through his work. An experienced real estate photographer, he believes a house is best sold not as a piece of property, but as a home with a history. And he brings that history to life through beautiful photography.

1.) Paul Griego Photography

2.) Pat Berrett

3.) Apolo Gomez

Best Hotel

Los Poblanos‘ 25-acre inn and farm, with its charming guest rooms and signature lavender products, is a family-run business. The owners are dedicated to a unique model of historic preservation and regenerative agriculture. Their field-to-fork menus, in the award-winning Campo restaurant, use organic ingredients grown on-site and at other farms throughout the Rio Grande River Valley.

4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW

1.) Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

2.) Tamaya Hotel & Resort

3.) Hotel Andaluz

Best Roofer

Hundreds of homeowners throughout Albuquerque, looking to improve their home’s curb appeal and value, have chosen Lujan & Sons Construction for their residential construction needs. Specializing in interior or exterior upgrades, they breathe new life into your home to bring the vision you have for your home to life.

1.) Lujan & Sons Construction

2.) Sandia Roofing

3.) Invigorate Roofing

Best Credit Union or Bank

Nusenda Credit Union, around for nearly a century with all of the services a big bank has to offer, doesn’t nickel and dime you with unnecessary fees. As a not-for-profit, they pay back earnings to members with higher savings rates and lower loan rates, using the best tools to keep your money safe.

1.) Nusenda Credit Union

2.) Southwest Capital Bank

3.) Sandia Labs Federal Credit Union