June 11, 2018
Our AAA Route 66 map & guide featured the famous El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico. Although we didn’t stay there (but our Best Western was right across the street from it), we headed over there to have a look as soon as we had checked out. We were in for a treat!
Over the front door, an inviting sign:
Front entrance (there were four sets of these doors)
Inside the foyer, another set of doors into the hotel lobby
And what a lobby!
The Southwestern elegance of this hotel was in keeping with the type of clientele that used to pass through here. It was popular with many movie stars and other famous people.
In one corner of the lobby were some benches made from longhorn cattle horns, in front of a set of doors with octagon-shaped windows.
The art on the walls (as in the painting at above left) depicted Western scenes, and featured a lot of Native American art, pottery and weavings.
There was a beautiful player piano and an old fashioned cigarette machine, next to a shoe shine stand.
We climbed the red carpeted curved stairway to the 2nd floor balcony. On this floor in this part of the hotel were rooms reserved for movie stars. To stay in one of these rooms today, you pay a higher price, $175 and up, which still isn’t too bad, considering.
Door to a 2nd floor ladies’ room
The walls of the balcony are covered with autographed photographs of film stars, which were given as gifts of appreciation to the hotel.
2nd floor balcony
Another 2nd floor hallway lined with doors to the reserved rooms of the stars
Over the registration desk décor:
We inquired at the front desk about prices for the rooms. We were told that the lower prices (ranging from $110 to $150) were for “regular” rooms, in one of the more recently built wings of the hotel.
We lingered for a few minutes in the hotel store, which sold beautiful items made by peoples of the Southwest. Other items (not for sale) on display included pottery and miniature Navajo weavers, showing the different kinds of wool they used to make different colors and patterns.
As we left the hotel, another sign bade us good-bye.
Although Norm will be on vacation for two weeks, you can join the fun after that by submitting photos to his weekly Thursday Doors photo feature.