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“An All-Time Favorite”

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El Rancho Hotel & Motel
Ranked #13 of 35 Hotels in Gallup
Reviewed 3 August 2012

We'd last visited El Rancho about 6 years ago and have dreamt of returning ever since. Since we often travel with dogs we always choose pet-friendly accommodations. El Rancho allows pets, and no additional pet-fees are charged, though you must mention this when booking, as specific rooms are set aside for those traveling with dogs. Overall, the hotel is priced very reasonably. Our nice big room was about $100 per night, including the tax.

This historic property is the heart of Gallup, a local landmark decorated with lore and the Hollywood film stars who encamped there during the midcentury hey-day of western films. The hotel makes for a great headquarters for touring other interesting sites in this very scenic area, such as the Zuni Pueblo, about 35 miles southwest. El Rancho is a bit east from downtown--about a mile or two.

Gallup midweek is not very bustling (downtown was nearly vacant), and most of the pedestrians are panhandlers (though not very aggressive ones). The hotel has a security guard stationed at the parking lot, but the hotel property never seemed unsafe. The entrance, lobby, parking lot and grounds were always busy with hotel guests . On the night we were there a local family was hosting a festive multi-generational party in the adjoining "Andalusian Room" banquet hall to celebrate a 16th birthday. Staying at El Rancho made us feel like a part of the community, because this place is the real deal. My most favorite aspect is the spacious lobby, a vestige of a former era. Hotels don’t include such fantastic public spaces any more. Lots of comfy seats and tables. Its upper deck of cozy stuffed chairs and access to an outdoor porch overlooking Rt. 66 is a wonderful feature. The framed photos of Hollywood stars, and 1940s-60s memories of the property, past employees and events are fascinating.

Our room, named for famed 1940s pin-up gal Betty Grable, was large by modern hotel/motel standards. The mattress was great, the water pressure excellent, and the air-conditioning super chilly. The bathtub was vintage-style large, but otherwise the bathroom was small and awkwardly shaped. The housekeeping and maintenance staff do a fantastic job. The front desk clerks were also friendly and helpful. The swimming pool tucked out back is a perfect place to relax on a summer night. The restaurant serves good food and the serving staff are super, though the menu is somewhat limited. We enjoyed a dinner and a breakfast there.

On weekend summer nights a group of Native-American dancers perform a variety of tribal dances on the patio at 5:30pm--featuring traditional dances of southwestern tribes as well as other tribes from the Great Plains. Amazing, athletic and totally captivating.

On suggestion of my in-laws who stayed there a couple of years back, we requested and were allowed a sneak peak at the "Ronald Reagan" suite on the 1st floor. Wowie zowie! The bathroom, brilliantly tiled in Moorish motif, was HUGE! The closet was also colossal.

The slogan of El Rancho is "Charm of Yesterday/ Convenience of Tomorrow". Funny 'cause the "tomorrow" they were talking about when the sign was made has already long come and gone-- but also not untrue, since they are decked out in flat-screen TVs in the rooms and Wi-fi access is available in the lobby. Well worth an overnight stay if you’re traveling Rt. 66. El Rancho is an all-time favorite.

Room Tip: Some rooms have small balconies. Ask when reserving. Also, some rooms are pet-friendly, so you can...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GhiaGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 August 2012

We stayed here in Feb. and it was great. But our stay in June went down hill. The night we stayed there the hotel had a big Native American sing with lots of spectators. Unfortunately no security. With my truck setting in front of the main doors someone keyed the side of the truck and damaged the animal rescue sign on the back window of the truck. Now they were nice enough to leave their half empty beer next to the truck. Total damage was over $1500.

When we saw this the next morning and told the woman at the desk the only comment she made was oh. With this hotel, being in this part of town with NO security, I'll never stay there again or would I recommend anyone staying here that gives a damn about their car. The hotel doesn't.

I would have posted sooner but TripAdvisor will only allow one posting per 90 days on the same lcation

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank GeorgeTulsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2012

I have wanted to see this hotel/restaurant for years. Luckily, I was able too! We were on a cross country move, traveling with our small dog Nikki.

The hotel is like a grand old building pulling up. Open the door and see all the glamour and granduer. The hotel lobby is AMAZING! Such style and cozy feeling, with plenty of wood, beautiful lighting, well worn rugs and nostalgia. We walked up the grand staircase to the second floor. A housekeeper was polishing the gorgious wood railing on the case. It shined for sure. Once on landing, many numerous old black & white signed photos graced the hallways from bygone MOVIE STARS. Read: NOT reality stars...REAL MOVIE STARS. Doris Day, Clint Eastwood, Fess Parker, Bob Hope, Jane Wynman, Clint Walker, Jane Fonda and even Ronald Reagan and more. It was so special. We loved it.

Front desk to the hotel was small and intimate. We went to dining room with our yorkie in arms. A young man came to greet us. I told him we were traveling with our small dog and would like to have lunch in their beautiful dining room. He looked at me and shook his head no. I said PLEASE...I have wanted to be here for years. He said he could accomodate us in the back dining room. Thank you so much.

We were seated at a booth with only one other table occupied in this room. We ordered beers, a chef salad and a club sandwich. My salad was to die for and my husband's sandwich was so large it could feed 2-3 people! Beer nice and cold and such good service. Our yorkie was seated next to me on leash and no one would even though she was there. The other table I mentioned had a young girl at it(6-7 yrs old). She had no manners and then somehow managed to have the chiair she was sitting in fall back on the floor. Her parents started to yell...the girl statred to cry SOOO loud. Yeah...like my dog was a problem. Story told...sometimes, pets act better than children.

Such a wonderful place. We now live in Summerlin NV(Las Vegas) and are planning our return trip to the El Rancho...it WAS that special. 5 STARS.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HawaiiKaiGail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2012

This hotel has such potential to be a classic, beautiful hotel and by itself a trip destination because it is steeped in so much Hollywood history. The Hotel's structure and architecture is rock solid. However, it is obvious from the cheap quality of the linens and carpet and chairs in the rooms that the owners have invested only enough to keep the doors open. The bed sheets were terribly rough My legs and torso itched all night long. The hotel is located in a seedy part of town. When we drove up, two police cars were on the motel side of the parking lot in the process of responding to a complaint. Throughout the day seedy characters strolled through the lot. 2 kids offered to sell me CD's and one guy walked up behind my wife and took cigarette butts out of the hotel ash tray. Michael Wallis wrote in his Rt 66 Book that Mother Teresa classified Gallup on her list of forsaken places, along with Calcutta. Not much has changed since Mother Teresa passed through. The hotel needs to erect a brick wall around the parking lot with a gated entry that is manned 24 hrs by a sentry. This would insure the safety of the guests and their vehicles. I worried all night about my car. Furthermore, the hotel needs to invest in more staff who cater to the needs of the guests - so you really do feel like a star - which is a feature the hotel is trying to capitalize on. And lastly, the owner's daughter needs to take a course in management and interpersonal skills. The owner, Mr. Ortega, had visited the hotel during the late afternoon. He had the front desk turn on the player piano - which was really nice. I enjoyed it. Well, not 5 minutes after Mr. Ortega left, his daughter appeared and proceeded to publicly chastise the hotel employee for leaving the piano playing after her father had left. She said that if her father was there and wanted it playing, that was fine, otherwise she did not want it playing as it confused the guests in the hotel restaurant. I felt bad for the employee and even worse for her father. And while we are on the subject of the restaurant - the food was terrible and made both my wife and I queasy after the experience of eating there.

Room Tip: Keep Galluping down the road to one of the nice Indian Casinos within 60 miles of Gallup unless you...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rt66Warrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

We wanted to stay there because of the history and the good reviews of this hotel. But since we stapped in we experienced nothing but amateurism. First they told us that we hadn't booked a room, okay this can happen "fortunately" they still got rooms available (the Doris day room for 115$). We asked for the wifi, actually it was only available in the lobby. There was no connection possible, we asked the woman at the frontdesk, she told us that had often problems but that she would fix it.
Well, we went to our room the door of the bathroom was old and hard to open. The sheets were full of long hair... There was no coffee facility, everything seemed run down.
Later on that day we went back to the lobby for wifi, it still didn't work, we asked then an old man if he could fix it, he said roughly that we had a problem not them, he indicated us the other guests who had wifi, that is just a lie, we have spoken to them no one in the hotel had wifi...
In the next morning, we went to the frontdesk to see if there was a free breakfast, a very unkind woman told us that there was of course no included breakfast, not even free coffee!

My advice is to stay away from this hotel, not clean, run down, unkind personal, not worth it's price at all!! So disappointed!!!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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Thank Ichtili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2012

My husband and I love vintage, bygone eras and Americana. This venue has it all! We were captivated by the vintage signage, the amazing lobby, and the unique "Katherine Hepburn" room where we spent the night. It's just down the hall from the "James Cagney" room and across from the "Errol Flynn." We were told the names reflect the stars that actually stayed there. Our room was small, but comfortable and charming. You can even choose the "Presidential Suite" where Ronnie Reagan stayed before he was an elected official.
We chose to eat at the hotel's restaurant and it was very nice. Not five star, but definitely a good experience.
When you stay here be sure to check out all the movie memorabilia. What fun!!
In the giftshop we found a friendly young lady who helped my husband pick out a wonderful squash blossom necklace and earring set. A little shy at first, but then she opened up to us and gave us an amazing history lesson about her culture.
If you are a person who appreciates the past and wants to experience what is left of the cowboy cinema west, this is one place that you will remember forever.

Room Tip: You may want to pick your "celebrity." My husband said if we were assigned the "Jane...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank 2again
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2012

Me and a dear girlfriend were on a two week Route 66 trip and we loved our night at the El Rancho. The hotel lobby is breathtaking -- you feel as if you're stepping back in time. But remember, this is yesteryear luxury not 21st century luxury! While the lobby is stunning and the staircase is breathtaking, the rooms are simple (but large) and comfortable. And air conditioning is hit and miss -- so you may want to schedule a spring or fall trip. The lack of ac didn't bother us.
Loved the elevator that requires an operator -- fun!!
Loved the old cigarette machine -- don't see those any more.
Loved the hundreds & hundreds of wonderful photos of the stars of days gone by.
Spend a night or two at El Rancho -- it's a stop worth making and hotel with so much charm and character!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Rancho Hotel & Motel

Address: 1000 E Historic Highway 66, Gallup, NM 87301-5559
Region: United States > New Mexico > Gallup
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 35 Hotels in Gallup
Price Range: £83 - £88 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — El Rancho Hotel & Motel 3*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The El Rancho Hotel is the embodiment of America’s Old West. According to author Russell A. Olsen, “As you enter the historic El Rancho through the stately front entry, you immediately realize this was and still is a special place….During its heyday, the El Rancho Hotel was one of the premier hotels in the entire Southwest and became the place for the Hollywood set to stay when filming in the area. The El Rancho Hotel was one of the premier hotels in the entire Southwest and became the place for the Hollywood set to stay when filming in the area. – Author Russell A. Olsen During its glory years, the El Rancho was the definition of luxury and included many amenities that were lacking in other typical tourist hotels of the day. For 50 years, the El Rancho Hotel greeted guests along Route 66 with class and dignity…Luckily for us, this one-of-a-kind hotel once again greets guests with open arms and enjoys the renewed worldwide interest in Route 66 and its landmarks.” ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Rancho Hotel And Motel
El Rancho Hotel Gallup
El Rancho Gallup

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