Chocolate Turtle B&B under new ownership

The Chocolate Turtle Bed and Breakfast continues a tradition of fine hospitality with owners Denise Stramel and Keith Buderus. The husband and wife team comes to Corrales, New Mexico from Pinewood Springs, Colo. They assumed ownership of the bed and breakfast on August 30, just in time for the busy Labor Day weekend.

The award-winning inn has a reputation that the new owners plan to uphold and strengthen. “We feel lucky to be taking over the Chocolate Turtle from the Renners, because they worked hard to make it one of New Mexico’s premier B&Bs,” Buderus said. “Anyone who has stayed here in the past will still feel right at home.”  

The couple was attracted to the area for its natural beauty, proximity to Albuquerque, and Corrales’ slow-paced quaintness. They like the style of the house, which was completely redecorated by the Renners, and they have no immediate plans for changes to the property or to the inn’s traditions. That means guests will still find a chocolate turtle on their pillows each night and awake to a gourmet, freshly-prepared breakfast each morning.  

Naturally, the new innkeepers added their own personal touches to the bed and breakfast. For instance, the “head cook” (Buderus) is perfecting a signature dish designed to embody local flavor, which will—of course—include chocolate. Buderus is a lifelong gardener and loves to cook. He adds, “Like all good innkeepers, we enjoy meeting new people, entertaining guests and sharing our home.” There has already been one family visitor: in a “small world” moment, the couple recently learned that Stramel’s cousin, who lives in Kansas City, stayed at the Chocolate Turtle on her honeymoon in 2001. Both Stramel and Buderus have been self-employed for nearly 20 years. Between them they have diverse and extensive experience in planning and producing special events, property management, and real estate. For this entrepreneurial pair the Chocolate Turtle offers an opportunity to apply their business management experience in an exciting new way, as well as bring long-time hobbies to the forefront.

They were active community members in Pinewood Springs, where Stramel worked with fundraising efforts for a new fire station. They also hosted an annual New Year’s Eve gathering for some 40 neighbors. Their annual Wine and Chocolate Party was a favorite event in the community. In their previous home of Firestone, Colo., Buderus served on the town’s parks committee for six years. They are members of Main Street Corrales, the New Mexico Bed & Breakfast Association, and the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII).

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