A historic hotel along Route 66 once frequented by movie stars
Historic Route 66 is lined with quirky old hotels, nostalgic diners, gas stations, old neon signs and tourist attractions. Some are vacant and sad-looking. Others are still operational and playing up their connection to the road that was once the major route across the United States. The historic El Rancho Hotel along Route 66 in Gallup, New Mexico is still very much operational. During an overnight stay in Gallup at a different hotel, our hotel clerk directed us to El Rancho when we asked for restaurant recommendations. We discovered a unique and interesting place known as Home of the Movie Stars.
Entering the two-story lobby with its heavy beams, mounted trophy heads and Navajo rugs felt like stepping back in time.
El Rancho opened in December 1937. It was built by the brother of movie magnate D.W. Griffith. It was the headquarters for over 15 films made between 1940 and 1964, including Desert Song, Streets of Laredo, Rio Carnival and The Hallelujah Trail.
A circular staircase leads to a second level balcony gallery featuring autographed photographs of movies stars and Southwest art.
The restaurant decor resembles a Mexican cantina. It features both Mexican food and American standards. Each dish is named after a movie star. My steak was cooked perfectly. My husband enjoyed his tacos. The salsa was very hot.
I cannot say anything about the quality of the rooms. I did not see them. Each one is named after a star who stayed at the hotel. The gift store on the main floor has a great collection of Indian art and jewelry.
As you exit the hotel a sign wishing you Happy Trails says All Our Guests Are Stars.
Have you been to El Rancho Hotel in Gallup? have you visited another interesting and unusual hotel along Route 66?