El Vado Motel

Albuquerque, New Mexico

New MexicoAccommodation
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Traveling Route 66 in New Mexico? Stay in style. The historic El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been expertly renovated to retain all the vintage charm you’d crave in a Route 66 motel with the modern amenities you need to make a perfect road trip stop. Book a room here and you won’t be disappointed.

El Vado Court opened its doors to travelers in 1937, making it one of the first hotels in New Mexico to cater to those traveling on The Mother Road.

The Albuquerque motel was owned and built by Daniel Murphy, who had previously managed the Franciscan Hotel in downtown Albuquerque. Capitalizing on the influx of tourists driving through the city he opened the motel and named it “El Vado,” meaning Ford in Spanish, after its location proximate to the old ford that crossed the Rio Grande.

The single-story El Vado Court Motel featured 32 units, covered carports, a front office, and on-site gas pumps. A now-iconic neon sign featuring a Native American figure in a headdress lit up, beckoning travelers to pull off the road and spend the night. El Vado soon became known as one of the best motels on Route 66, and, in 1993, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

As the years went on and as traffic was diverted away from the once iconic Route 66 motel, El Vado suffered. Ownership changed hands multiple times and it seemingly closed its doors for the last time in 2005.

It was then that a new owner purchased the property with the intention of bulldozing it to the ground in order to build brand new luxury townhouses. Neither Route 66 aficionados nor the city of Albuquerque were happy with that plan. So they fought to save it from demolition. In 2006 the motel was designated a City Landmark by the Albuquerque City Council, a move that was able to give the landmark a level of protection. And in 2010, after a legal battle, the city was able to gain control of the property and purchase the motel and an adjacent site for more than $2 million.

In 2018, after extensive renovations that brought it back to its former glory, El Vado Motel opened its door to travelers once again.

The restored Route 66 motel retains the historic charm that drew travelers to it in the first place. The adobe-style property is a beautiful example of the Spanish Pueblo Revival style, and is characterized by stuccoed walls, buttresses, stepped massing, curvilinear parapets, and thick vigas. And, of course, there are vibrant blue doors typical of the local architecture.

As part of the $18 million renovation, the motel was reimagined from its original motor-court configuration to a multi-use property. The inner parking lot was removed in favor of a landscaped courtyard and wading pool, perfect for relaxing at on hot summer days. You can also find a convenient tap room, gift shops, and small “food pods” that house a variety of local food vendors.

But a motel is a motel after all, so great detail has also gone into the 22 guest rooms where visitors spend their night. Inside each room you will find Southwest meets mid-century furniture and decor, memory foam beds, cotton linens, eco-friendly toiletries, coffee stations, and large flat-screen TVs. Whether you’re driving Route 66 through New Mexico or vacationing in Albuquerque, El Vado Motel is the perfect spot to spend the night. Book a room at El Vado Motel and look for the neon sign that still shines brightly out front, calling weary travelers to pull over and stay awhile.

Last modified: April 21, 2024
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Neon Motel Sign at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona

El Vado Motel

5 based on 1 reviews

Address:
2500 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Cost:
$$

Phone Number:
(505) 361-1667

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Hotel Amenities

  • Free parking
  • Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
  • Pool
  • Bar / Taproom
  • 24-Hour Check-In
Hotel Room at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona

Room Amenities

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / Tea Maker
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Walk-in Shower
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • Hair Dryer
Courtyard at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona

Room Types

  • Standard King
  • Double Queen
  • Suite
  • ADA Suite

Photos of El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Neon Motel Sign at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona
Hotel Room at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona
Pool at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona
Courtyard at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona
Neon Motel Sign at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona
Courtyard at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona

Know Before You Go

Staying at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico? Here are some things to know when you book a room.

  • Parking is around the back of the motel. Turn at the north side of the building. There are a few spaces marked off for hotel guests but you can also park anywhere in the lot.
  • Don’t want to drive around finding parking? This Route 66 motel is located a short walking distance from the Old Town Plaza.
  • Hungry or thirsty? Check out the on-site tap room or food pods. You can stop buy for a meal or drink (and to see the iconic neon sign) even if you’re not spending the night.

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Reviews & Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

1 Review of El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico

  1. LOVED LOVED LOVED staying at El Vado Motel on my Route 66 road trip! The whole place has been impeccably renovated while maintaining all the vintage charm. Would 100% stay here again and again.

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