Mexican Hat Lodge and Swingin Steak
How has this motel rated in the past?
TravelPod Member ReviewsMexican Hat Lodge and Swingin Steak
Ristorante che cuice le bistecche in altalena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
No WIFI directed to an aging PC in the corner that had lousy service. Planned to book my next days motel but couldn't
Bright Yellow light outside room thin curtains - didn't need room lights
Air Con unit so loud couldn't sleep. Turned off could here room next door's
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Mexican Hat Lodge and Swingin Steak
Great food and ambiance
We ate dinner at the Swinging Steak Restaurant after reading a review in a guide book. The steaks were great and we were impressed by the timing of the cowboy chef - flipping steaks on a swinging grill while it was moving. The flavorful baked beans, crisp slaw, and Texas toast that accompanied the steaks were also pretty tasty. There's no dessert available, but we were so stuffed that we didn't want any anyway. Of course, there's always the convenience store at the gas station across the street. We didn't see the band, but did enjoy the ambiance of the outdoor/patio seating. We saw bats flying overhead and were amused to see a man riding along the highway through town on horseback!
A great place that is unique and full of character
After watching and photographing a breathtaking sunset in Monument Valley we were headed back to Durango in the pitch dark. Driving out in the middle of nowhere we were shocked to drive by a small festive party with a band playing! We slammed on the brakes, made a U-turn and went back to check it out. This place had a charm all to it's own. A fire was burning with a swinging grate as an old cowboy was cooking steaks on it and stiring a big pot of ranch beans. We sat down and had a couple of beers as our steaks cooked on the swing while we enjoyed a great band playing county, rock and blues. It was a very sereal time that we will never forget. We will be going back at the end of December and this time we plan on spending the night at the lodge. Very nice people, great meal and a very special time.
Not quite the experience others have found
We stayed for one night at end of September. Basic but reasonably comfortable motel room; a bit shabby, though the bathroom was good and very clean. We had dinner there and ate steak from the famous swinging grill. It was perfectly OK, but not quite the experience we had been led to expect from other reports. The lodge does not offer any desserts with dinner, which was fine by us, but bewildered some French guests next to us. If you want coffee after dinner, you have to go to the gas station over the road. The lodge does not supply breakfast either, so we had to get something pretty basic from the gas station.
Compared with other hotels we stayed at in our visit to the USA, this was not particularly cheap or good value for money. I doubt if we would stay here again if we were looking for somewhere in the region.
The staff were just about OK, but not exactly on the ball. For example, one of us found that we had lost a pair of glasses after we left the lodge and phoned back to see if they'd been found there. The staff were not very helpful and showed little interest in helping us.
Mexican Hat Lodge is Awesome!
My wife and I stayed here in Oct 2005 on our way back from a motorcycle trip to California from Kansas. If you want the full Western, cowboy, down-home experience, you can't beat Mexican Hat Lodge. Our room was inexpensive, and clean (around $75 and HUGE). I brought my notebook computer and told my wife , "Theres no way there will be wireless internet out here." But, when I flipped open the computer in our room there was a wireless network detected. Unbelievable, plus it was free.
Dinner was incredible. It was outside, with a dirt floor and a true garage band playing. (They played on a stage with a garage door in the front with a winch up in a tree used to open the door). The band was great, and the "Swinging Steak" was one of the best NY strips I've ever had. The steak was cooked perfectly rare on a swinging grate over a cedar fire right there next to our table. My wife had the chicken which was superb.
Ask the owners about their recollections about uranium mining in the area and when John Wayne came to there to film movies. Beware though, if you need a turn down service and a mint on your pillow, you might want to look elsewhere!
Great local feeling
We were so glad we chose this hotel! Not that there are many choices of location, but we felt it was just right when we pulled up to the Lodge!
Bob was there to check us in - and then we were off to find our room - upstairs on the back. The sliding glass door was our entrance and we found a pad lock to which our key fit.
Smiling and laughing we walked into a clean room - all be it fairly orange in decor, we had a nice modern clean bathroom. TV, phone, lights and a/c. What more do you need?
Went down the back stairs to find the grill in full swing. It was such a pleasure to be with these people. I especially noticed the genuine smiles on everyones faces.
We had to have one of the steaks and fixin's. Beans, lettuce, italian dressing, texas toast and of course the steak! YUM!
Unfortunately, that band wasn't playing the night we were there. One of the members was away. We had a great time - and if ever we're passing through again - we'll surely stay here!
Steak was great!
I did not stay at this motel but did eat there. The resturant is on the outside of the motel. Meals are prepared over a wood fire with a swinging grill. The steaks were great.
Lots of personality
It's nothing fancy, but has lots of personality. I think at first my husband was a little disappointed because he was tired from a long drive and was hoping more for a chain-motel predictability, but he quickly grew to like it. Our room was painted a cheerful yellow and the bathroom fixtures were brand new (again nothing fancy, but clean). They have an outdoor steak barbeque restaurant, which we ordered from one night but ate in our room (we have a small baby) - very tasty. My husband said the restaurant seemed to be a local scene with what appeared to be real cowboys! He said if he lived around there, he'd definitely hang out there! The people who ran the place were very friendly. Would definitely stay there again (well, there aren't a lot of choices around there, but we really did like it.)
After a long trip across country in late Sept.; and a colder nights stay in Valley of the Gods; we arrived in town at 8:30 Am . We woke Bob up and he gave us a room . We hung out all day long relaxing outside at his bar; meeting all kinds of people from all over. When evening came we were treated to a great swinging steak dinner and his bands wonderful music. Bob and his family were the most hospitable folks we met in a long time. Bob; Cliff, Hank, and the rest of the family really made us feel at home. Thanks for hiding us and hope to see you again when we ride through.......
Raindog and Balls- Eastcoast
You'll not find better
I stayed at Mexican Hat Lodge on my journey by Harley-Davidson from New York to Los Angeles, Bob and the folks there were most welcoming, the food and accomodation were excellent, I cannot praise this place highly enough, I will be motorcycling from Los Angeles to Chicago next year and will take the time to stop here again. For the story of my NY to LA trip please visit
The Mexican Hat Lodge was a delightful surprise.
We stayed at the Mexican Hat Lodge on a Thursday night in March of 2004 on our way to Moab. We had no agenda beyond getting a night's rest and moving on, and the lodge was just dandy for that purpose. It was clean and cozy and just fine.
However, we were delightfully surprised by the patio steak cookout and really outstanding music that was presented that night.
Evidently, the family that has run the lodge for 20-some years also does service as the house band when they can. They said that they don't do it all that often because they have to have the cooking, serving, and other lodge chores covered in order to free up the members of the family that are the band.
The steaks were very good; cooked over a quaint home-made "swinging" grill. The sides were spot on also. The service was perfect.
But the band was worth going well out of your way for. The father (guitar) and daughter (bass) play excellently and sing better. Their catalog ranged all over from bluesy honky-tonk to country classics to soft rock hits. They have a stage that they've built especially for their band with the instruments and amplifiers stored within what is basically a garage-type building with a large garage-type door that swings up to present the stage to the dining patio. The sound is excellent and the setting is surreal; there in the Utah desert just outside of Monument Valley.
The lodge and dining get high enough marks to recommend the lodge on their own. But the music was a memory that will last a lifetime; a real treat.
TripAdvisor Reviews Mexican Hat Lodge and Swingin Steak
Travel Blogs from Mexican Hat
... into an are under a huge sandstone monolith for a cookout, After eats a Navajo lady told us of their culture and sang a couple of short melodies.
We have a stunning view from our room over the sandstone mesas and towers so waiting to see what sunrise pics we can get.
Being Indian Reservation country there is no alcohol so only lemonade, iced tea and water for the thirsty. Full tour of this park tomorrow.
lookout for more photos of ...
... dust all around. We crossed the San Juan river which is a major tributory of the Colorado River.
Our lodgings at Monument are nestled around red mountains. We were to have a 'country cookout' of tacos but it was spitting rain, so we got to go to the restaurant and order from the menu.
... park by lunch time. The pictures once again will tell the story.
With much of the day left, we decided to continue driving south toward our next destination of Monument Valley. On the way down we passed a tourist trap called "Hole in the Rock" This little area on the side of the road claims to have a 5000 sq. ft home inside of a hole in the rock. Three doorways dotted the rock face. ...
... warm but still cloudy and the sun was showing only dim signs of poking through, so we thought the conditions were perfectly suited to walking if not to photography. There is a 3-mile circuit you can take around West Mitten Butte (pronounced ‘bee-ute’, not ‘butt’, although that didn’t stop me chuckling at the deliberate mispronunciation of Elephant Butt!). The trailhead starts at the visitor centre and plunges down a steep ...
... up choosing to give a home to a bottle of Merlot. We passed the sign to Hovenweep National Monument then continued on to Bluff where we stopped at the Navajo Twin Rocks, looked round the trading post and shared a portion of Navajo fry bread taco, which was a disc of ciabatta type bread which had been fried then covered with chilli beans, cheese and salad, ...