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“A fine place to stay on Route 66”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Blue Swallow Motel

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Blue Swallow Motel
Ranked #1 of 22 Hotels in Tucumcari
Certificate of Excellence
Laguna Beach, CA
Level Contributor
109 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“A fine place to stay on Route 66”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2007

Not for the Hilton and Hyatt crowd, this motel is really more about the memories and experience than luxury or amenities. I'm very glad I stayed here rather than in Albuquerque as I drove across New Mexico.

Bill and Terri do a fine job of providing a comfortable room, lots of parking and help with questions about the area. I found the email correspondence to book the room was easy and quick, and Terri was very welcoming when I arrived.

The room I stayed in, #3, came with covered parking and great rocking chairs outside my door. The room itself was small, but cozy. The bathroom was very clean, though some folks may find the small shower a little snug.

Free wi-fi is available if you are sitting outside and can catch it transmitting from the office (the motel walls are too thick to let wi-fi in directly to your room). I sat outside on the porch swing happily typing away with a great signal.

The town of Tucumcari does not have a lot going on and there isn't much to see, but it does have the spirit of Route 66 and the town folks were extremely friendly.

Recommended for folks who like to get off the beaten path and for anyone looking for a quickly vanishing Route 66 experience.

  • Liked — Experiencing a true Route 66 motel.
  • Disliked — Nothing - it was great.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LagunaGrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (380)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
holly, mi
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2007

We had heard very good things about this motel and since we were enjoying the Rt 66 experience felt it was a place to stay. Well when we arrived we discovered that the prices were a bit high, about $30 or more over other historic motels in the area. This motor court also
has covered parking available and despite the price we paid $72 we were not given that covered parking, even though there was only us and one other person staying in the motel that night. We were not impressed. The neon that we everyone so loves, was turned on at 9pm and turned off at 9:30 pm. We were somewhat disappointed with this motel. We found another down the street later that was more reasonably priced and had more amenities and just as much neon. It might not have quite the history of the Blue Swallow, but would have been just as good if not better. If we went back down Rt 66 we would not be staying here again.

  • Liked — the neon
  • Disliked — the price and the attitude of the owner
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Jennifera26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
krmtrains1, Owner at Blue Swallow Motel, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Hello from fellow Michiganders! I hope you will consider trying us again if you get out this way. My wife Nancy and I purchased the Blue Swallow in July, 2011, and have worked hard to make sure we provide a positive, comfortable, unique and memorable experience, that is also an excellent value.

Thank you,
Kevin & Nancy Mueller
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
71 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2007

We stayed at the Blue Swallow on the way to California, and then again on the way home. It is owned and managed by a Terri and Bill who take immense pride in this historic Route 66 motel. The motel has been meticulously restored to it's original glory by Terri and Bill themselves. The rooms are spacious, spotlessly clean, and sometimes come with their own garage.
We had blown a tire on the road shortly before arriving and the owners took care of us as if we were family, even connecting us with a woman in the next town down the road who in turn contacted her brother the mechanic who found us a tire and installed it for us, all early on a Sunday morning! You certainly can't ask for more than that. If you are headed through New Mexico, the Blue Swallow is a "must stay!"

  • Liked — The history, the location, the friendly staff.
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UCityJuls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Little Rock, Arkansas
Level Contributor
121 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2007

We stayed at the Blue Swallow the night of April 25, 2007. It was pretty much as expected and as reported by others however we had no problem with the scented sheets. While sitting outside our room we met four young people from the Netherlands and later a couple from England, all of whom were traveling Route 66. Bill, our host was a fine fellow and gave us a discount coupon to a local restaurant which proved to be very good. Our room was small, about what you'd expect in a NYC room. Everything was clean, the water was hot, and the bed was OK. If we're ever in Tucumcari again we'll stay at the Blue Swallow.

  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank oldcpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
louisiana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2007

My husband and I decided to take a Route 66 road trip for our honeymoon. We stopped in Tucumcari with all intentions of photographing the beautiful Blue Swallow motel sign and then hopping back on the road for a couple hours before checking in to a motel. Bill came out and started telling us about the motel and giving us ideas for activities for the next couple of days. After he gave us a tour of the place, we could not resist the charm of the establishment or the friendliness of the owners. The rooms were small, but all were uniquely decorated and clean. We could not have asked for better experience.

  • Liked — The friendliness of the owners.
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank andydanelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CT
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2007

After seeing the movie "Cars", my son decided that our next road trip would be to drive as much of Rt. 66 that we could. I am a single mom, and he was 11. One place we knew we had to stay was the Blue Swallow, due to both its reputation for hospitality and the fact that the Cozy Cone Motel in "Cars" was loosely based on this landmark Rt. 66 stop.

The owners, Bill and Terri, are absolutely lovely people, who bought the motel when it went up for sale not long ago in order to maintain the integrity of the motel and its friendly and unique character. They have not only restored and/or maintained it physically (real neon!) and those awesome attached garages (did I need to keep my car in it? No. Did I do it anyway? Of course!), but they have indeed preserved its reputation as the friendliest motel in the, not sure here, either world or nation, according to Smithsonian magazine.

When you get there, Bill takes your picture under the neon sign. THere are cookies and beverages for guests, and a generally warm welcome with lots of tips for where to eat, etc. They also let my son pick as many apples as he wanted from the tree. But the service did not end there. While I stayed with them, I came down with a terrible migraine. At checkout time, I asked my son to go over to the office to ask Bill if we could stay another night. Upon hearing that I was not well, Bill invited my son to go to breakfast. He took him down the street and introduced him to a delicious three dollar breakfast. Then he took my son to the fairgrounds to watch sheep being sheared. The rest of the time, my son got to hang out in the office. Later on, he came to check on me to see if I needed anything, or iff my son needed dinner. My son might have been cooped up in the motel room all day if it weren't for Bill.

Other than that, the motel is clean, comfortable, and cheap. Great place to stay.

  • Liked — hospitality, kitsch
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Krussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sedona, AZ
Level Contributor
28 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2006

The Blue Swallow is the oldest working motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari and offered us a little blast from the past for just $36 plus tax.

Pictures of the motel, with its neon sign, show units separated by little garages. Alas, very few of these are available to guests and appear to mostly be used for storage. But that is a minor quibble.

The rooms are clean and have been recarpeted and decorated in Western and Route 66 themes, replete with old dial telephone. The bathroom fixtures in our room were original and the shower stall showed decades worth of crazing in the tiles, which we took as a mark of character. In the old days, it should be noted, toilets were smaller and sinks had one handle for hot water and one for cold. Rooms were also small, and there was not much extra space in ours. Still, all the modern conveniences are not the point of staying in a place like this. The room had an AC unit that we didn't use (which vented into one of the closed storage garages), and a TV complete with more than 60 channels, so we weren't quite left in the radio era.

The downfall of this place was the queen bed. At first it was amusing to find that it had plastic sheeting under the regular sheets to protect the mattress. But as we settled in -- and it wasn't an especially comfortable bed, and it was supplied with two very thin pillows -- we discovered something that ruined our stay: management's decision to use loud, over-the-top scented laundry detergent, which turned the bed into an allergy trap. Fighting headaches, we were fortunate it was warm at night and that the windows could be cranked open for some cross ventilation. This enabled us to sleep, althoiugh were were both awakened repeatedly by the odor of the detergent.

There is a reason large and successful hotel chains use neiutral detergents on their linens. One expects to smell a faint odor of bleach, not the floral scent from hell, when retiring for the night.

Oblivious to this problem, the management here was friendly and proud of their place. In the morning at the office/gift shop, you can get a cup of coffee and a cookie and the husband and wife who own and run the Blue Swallow will be happy to tell you all about it and the history of Route 66.

The Blue Swallow is recommended for people who want a little local color and a break from the monotony of chain motels, emphatically not recommended for those with allergies or chemical sensitivities.

  • Liked — Old Route 66 charm
  • Disliked — Horrible scented detergent
  • Tips/Secrets — If you want a garage, ask in advance
  • Stayed June 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank The-Motel-Mavens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blue Swallow Motel

Property: Blue Swallow Motel
Address: 815 E Route 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401-3143
Region: United States > New Mexico > Tucumcari
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Tucumcari
#1 Romantic Hotel in Tucumcari
#1 Family Hotel in Tucumcari
#1 Best Value Hotel in Tucumcari
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BREAK THE CHAIN! Travel just a short distance away from the I-40 off-ramp to experience the best of the past, with old-fashioned hospitality that is all too rare these days. The Blue Swallow Motel is a classic Motor Court established in 1939 on historic Route 66, and one of few anywhere still operating in its original configuration. Rooms are clean and comfortable, but retain an authentic feel from the heyday of route 66 travel. Premium creature comforts including wonderful mattresses, spa-like towels, and Desert Breeze organic shampoo, soap, and lotion. Most rooms include a garage to make you feel more at home while you are on the road, and these are perfect for parking your motorcycle or classic car for the night. All rooms are non-smoking. One of the best neon displays on Route 66! Come spend a memorable night and experience the home-style hospitality of a bygone era at the Blue Swallow Motel! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blue Swallow Hotel Tucumcari
Blue Swallow Tucumcari

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