El Rancho Hotel & Motel
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Travel Blogs from Gallup
Santa Fe to Gallup - 250 miles The day started with a quick run into Albuquerque but then our problems started. The signs ran out but we found them again within twenty minutes or so. After another twenty minutes, we discovered we were on the wrong 66. Albuquerque is a cross roads between two different alignments and we had strayed from one on to …
Breakfasted at the hotel, drove '66 through town for a bit, then jumped back on I-40 heading to Arizona.
Took a few side trips in Arizona. First, we drove through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. Absolutely beautiful scenery with amazingly colored rocks. Definitely worth taking the time to do. The road out of the Petrified Forest …
We checked out of the motel and continued west. Our first stop was the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa New Mexico. This is a natural spring that known for its crystal clear water. It is 81 feet deep and is a constant 61F to 64F year around. As we continued on our way we were about 10 miles outside of Albuquerque when an engine light came on. I pulled over …
25 hours after leaving Taif, I arrived in LA on the same day I left. I was well knackered and too tired to write so I got drunk! Day 1 of the ride, faffed around getting paperwork done and a few modifications to the horse then underway. I have to say that I had a grin on my face from ear to ear! Nearly ran out of fuel in the Mohave desert but …
Got up around 7 again, packed our stuff and left around 8.30am. Not bad, we are getting better. From the map we had estimated Flagstaff, AZ to be about 200 miles. The first sign on Interstate 40 said 315. So we would have to make a stop somewhere halfway. It was cold when we left Albuquerque but it got even colder along the way. We were gaining …
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TravelPod Member ReviewsEl Rancho Hotel & Motel Gallup
Very pleasant and right on the route 66.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
What a great place to stay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews El Rancho Hotel & Motel Gallup
Look at the lobby, then leave.
The history and heritage of this place make it worth a look, but staying overnight is another matter. It's nice to stay in a room that Rosalind Russell may have used, but not so pleasant to speculate whether that could be her hair in the tub. There was also a problem with drunks hassling guests in the parking lot while I was there.
My husband and I stay at the El Rancho in Gallup every December for the Annual Red Rock Hot Air Balloon Rally. The pluses: warm rooms, hot showers, decent food, polite staff, and the great-big, lodge style lobby with a giant fireplace, Christmas tree, and lots of cozy seats from which to people-watch! The second, balcony-style level of the lobby features autographed photos from the golden age of Hollywood. And it's always impressive to hear the story of when John Wayne rode a horse into the hotel's bar! Plus they cheerfully allow pets. Our labs love to lay by the fireplace and let everyone scratch their ears. The minuses: most of the rooms are very small, the bathrooms even smaller, with no counter to put your, "hair stuff" on. The walls are not sound-proof, so I don't recommend a non-ballonist stay there the first weekend in Dec. because of the all-night parties. The rest of the year: ask for one of the few bigger rooms. If you don't sleep at the hotel, be sure to stop in and see the place, and have a hot meal in the restaurant. And don't shop in the lobby store, the Gallup Flea Market is the place for deals on authentic Indian jewelry, Kachinas, and pottery. Plus, you get to wheel-and-deal with the artist themselves!
For those interested, the balloon rally in the Red Rocks State Park is something to see: the first Fri, Sat, and Sun every December...
My wife and I stayed in the Ronald Reagin Suite and had a marvelous time. I have read the reviews about the small size of the rooms. All I can say is they did not stay in one of the suites. Additionally, all of the employees in the hotel and restaurant went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and welcome. We will definitely return.
All These Reviews Read True
This is the scoop on the El Rancho. The reviews I have read are all (the good, the bad, and the ugly) credible. I have often recommended the El Rancho to out of town visitors. After their experience some hate me, some love me. The El Rancho isnt for everyone. My folks wouldnt stay anywhere else. Ive come to recognize the type of American that places like Holiday Inn Express have built their businesses around if you like that sort of thing, a certain dependability and static comfort, than stay away from the El Rancho. But if you are the type of person who prefers a shabby hotel with character, than I think you will love the El Rancho. Do not stay in the motel, and generally speaking, ask for a room with a balcony. If you are willing to spend a hundred bucks and want to stay on the ground floor, get the Ronald Regan Room which is probably the only room in Gallup with a bidet. Ive always liked the Suzanne Plechet Room on the 3rd floor. A lot of Westerns were filmed in this area, and so the rooms are named after the stars but enjoy yourself, and dont be fooled! I dont think John Wayne could have turned around in his namesakes bathroom, and what would Sidney Greenstreet (another nice room) have wanted with two beds?
It may have been improved by now,but back in 2000 when we did our Route 66 trip,we had looked forward to El Rancho and found it a great disappointment.The Air-conditioning didn't work very well and was noisy,the room was dirty and there was (honest) what looked like a bullet hole in the window! Even the food in the restaurant was diappointing and below par. We have been telling friends to avoid it ever since.Apart from that,we encourage everybody to drive Route 66.What a way to see the real America and its people! J.McGill
Charming and Nostalgic
We stumbled across the El Rancho Hotel while traveling in New Mexico on our honeymoon, and immediately fell in love with it! Not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill hotel, the El Rancho was loaded with charm and nostalgia. We loved the feel of the southwest and the old western world. It may not have some of the amenities of more modern hotels, but in our eyes, that's what made it so special. It was small and quaint, and we spent time just walking around the 3 floors to see who had actually stayed there. We have been back every year and are planning to be in New Mexico in a few weeks. The El Rancho will be our first stop and we are looking forward to being there again. If you plan to be in the area, it is definitely a must-see!
What a dump!
El Rancho is an impressive building but the bedrooms are shabby, dirty and the bathrooms are horrible! We wished we had just looked around the lobby and then driven on.
Fun place to stay
Lots of nostalgia here. The lobby looks like it did when the place opened in 1937. Tons of autographed pictures from movie stars that had stayed there. Elevator is manually run by the desk clerk! 2nd floor porch/balcony gets a great breeze. Someone was playing a guitar with his family on it the night we stayed. Definitely a motel highlight on our vacation. Tips: Get a room at the hotel, not the motel. The hotel is where the history is; Parking lot is small. If you arrive too late, you may have to park next door; The room we had was not air conditioned, but had a ceiling fan. We were a little warm during the 100 degree heat wave this summer, but not too bad; Rooms are big (we stayed in the Burt Lancaster room), but bathrooms are the originals from 1937-just enough room to turn around and that's it. Would definitely recommend to anyone that wants to take a trip back in time.
Very, very funky
This ia about as funky a place, yet acceptable, as it gets. Decor from the 50's (30's?) small rooms, decent food, old west bar, garish yet very interesting, low rates. Definitely not a chain atmosphere. We would stay here again if ever we pass through the metroplois of Gallup again.
The Place To Stay In Gallup
When I told a friend that I was spending a night in Gallup, he suggested the El Rancho. If you like sterile cookie cutter accomodations stay at one of the chain motels. If, on the other hand, you enjoy an older hotel with character, the El Rancho is great. The lobby is fantastic with steer (bull?) horns and indian (Navajo?) rugs. The rooms are smallish and, as I recall the plumbing is semi-antique, but everything works and the beds are comfortable. Each room is named for a movie star that once stayed there. I stayed there a few years ago, but I assume it hasn't changed much and I reccomend it. A room for 2 is about $60