Fodor's Expert Review El Rancho
1000 E. Historic Rte. 66, Gallup, New Mexico, 87301, USA
For a combination of aging '50s-era nostalgia and Old West glamour, book a night in El Rancho's Katharine Hepburn or Ronald Reagan room. All units at this 1937 National Register historic property are named for vintage movie stars, many of whom stayed here back when Hollywood Westerns were shot in the region (the connection goes deeper—El Rancho was built by R.E. Griffith, D.W. Griffith's brother). Rooms are basic, accented with Western prints and a few other flourishes. The restaurant ($), open all day, is cozy and serves acceptable American and Mexican food. You can browse through the on-site shop for pottery, kachinas, and sand paintings.
- gorgeously appointed Western-rustic lobby
- at Christmas the lights—and two-story tree—are a serious throwback, and an assuredly warming sight
- rooms do vary—don't be shy about asking to see a few
- no reason to stay in the attached motel portion of the complex
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