Where to Stay: The Best Route 66 Motels in New Mexico

Last updated on April 25th, 2024 at 11:57 am

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Roadside attractions, classic diners, informative museums. No matter what fills your New Mexico road trip itinerary there is one type of attraction that every Route 66 traveler must add to their list: accommodation. After a long day on the road everyone needs a good place to get a good night’s rest. Whether you’re looking for an AirBNB, a chain hotel, or a classic vintage motel, when you’re looking for where to stay on Route 66 in New Mexico, you’re probably looking for the best Route 66 motels in New Mexico.

As you travel through The Mother Road in New Mexico you’ll find some iconic vintage Route 66 motels with equally iconic neon signs, historic hotels as old as the route itself, and modern accommodations that offer everything a traveler could want or need. There are plenty of places to stay in Tucumcari, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Gallup, and in towns beyond and between.

Whether you’re looking to spend a night or a week in one of the major cities on Route 66 in New Mexico or looking to stay in one of the smaller towns in between, you’ll probably be looking for at least a couple of the Route 66 motels in New Mexico to spend the night at.

Below we’ve compiled a directory of New Mexico accommodations, including some of the best motels in the state. There’s a mix of motels, hotels, and B&Bs to spend a night at on your road trip.

Should you book your New Mexico Route 66 motel or hotel in advance? That answer depends on a few factors. Traveling in the prime summer months, during a holiday, or during certain festivals or events means hotels are more likely to book up well in advance. In the colder winter months when not as many people are road tripping Route 66, you’ll have better luck just showing up. If you are set on traveling by the seat of your pants and want ultimate freedom in where you go and when to go, and are willing to risk the possibility of lit up “No Vacancy” signs, you can definitely wing it and try your luck. But, if you prefer to travel on a schedule or have your heart set on staying at a certain hotel or motel, book your accommodation ahead!

Peruse the options, check out the reviews, and book ahead to be sure they have a bed waiting for you!

The Best Route 66 Motels in New Mexico

Please note: We have not personally stayed at every one of these properties, and ownership, prices, amenities, and policies can change at any time. Read reviews before booking to find the New Mexico Route 66 accommodations that fit your budget and needs!

Route 66 Motels in Tucumcari

With roadside attractions, museums, and plenty of iconic neon signs, Tucumcari, New Mexico is a can’t miss stop on your Route 66 road trip. It’s also home to some of the most famous motels on Route 66. In fact, billboards once lined the roads leading into town with advertisements promoting the 2,000 motel rooms available in the area, earning its popular slogan, “Tucumcari Tonite!”

Two of our top picks for where to stay in Tucumcari, and, really, all of New Mexico, are the Blue Swallow Motel and Motel Safari. They both offer everything you could want in a modern motel: comfy beds, high-speed WiFi, flat screen TVs, and plush linens, while maintaining the vintage charm of Route 66’s heyday. Choose Blue Swallow if you want a motel with pure history, a more vintage feel, and one of the most recognizable neon signs on Route 66. Choose Motel Safari if you are looking for a more updated stay that still taps into the past (or if you’re planning to come in and out a lot, the parking lot is a lot easier to maneuver).

Whether you choose to spend the night at Motel Safari or Motel 6, you’ll certainly to get a good night’s sleep to prepare you for a long day on the road. Where will you stay in “Tucumcari Tonite?”

Blue Swallow Motel

815 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401

Neon sign at Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico Route 66 Motel

With one of the most recognizable neon signs on Route 66, the Blue Swallow Motel is a must-add for your travel itinerary, whether you spend the night or not. The motel has been operating since 1939 and offers warm hospitality, comfy beds, a touch of nostalgia, and a convenient location near everything you’ll want to see in Tucumcari.

Motel Safari

722 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401

Route 66 Accommodations - Motel Safari in Tucumcari, New Mexico

Motel Safari is a classic 1959 Route 66 motor inn. Look for its historic camel sign, Googie architecture, mid-century modern decor, custom furniture, memorabilia, murals, and vintage billboard ads. The hotel also features modern amenities like flat screen TVs, free wi-fi, and “the best beds on the Mother Road.”

Roadrunner Lodge Motel

1023 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401

For a blast from the past, Roadrunner Lodge Motel is a restored 1960s Route 66 hotel with mid-century style and modern comforts. Rooms feature flat-screen satellite TVs, seating areas, and free toiletries. Select rooms play the motel’s private radio station with 1960s music and commercials and a fire pit outside allows visitors to relax and meet other travelers.

Historic Route 66 Motel

1620 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401

This mid-century modern hotel opened in 1963 and provide comfortable overnight accommodations at a reasonable rate. With pet friendly rooms, this motel is perfect for those traveling with their four-legged friends or anyone wanting “the best bang for buck on the Mother Road.”

Palomino Motel

1215 E Rte 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401

Palomino Motel is marked by a distinctive neon sign. While this motel might be a bit more dated than its counterparts down the road, it’s a good choice for those on a budget.

Want more Tucumcari Route 66 hotels? Explore more here and peruse reviews.

Route 66 Hotels in Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico, holds a prominent place in the history of Route 66. Established in 1706, it predates Route 66 by centuries, but its location along the route made it a pivotal stop for travelers, both in its heyday and today. The city’s Central Avenue thrived with motels, diners, and neon signs, defining the classic Route 66 experience. Today, Albuquerque preserves this heritage with the vibrant Nob Hill district, the historic KiMo Theatre, and the annual Route 66 Summerfest.

Whether your road trip itinerary includes exploring the adobe buildings, shops, galleries, and restaurants in Old Town; taking a Breaking Bad RV tour of TV filming locations; riding the Sandia Peak Tramway (the world’s longest aerial tramway); or visiting during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, spending a night or two in Albuquerque is a must.

Here are some of the best Route 66 hotels in Albuquerque: find one to add to your travel itinerary.

El Vado Motel

2500 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Neon Motel Sign at El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico Route 66 Motel in Arizona

El Vado Motel opened in 1937 and was one of the first Route 66 hotels in New Mexico. The hotel has been fully renovated and features historic character and charm combined with modern comforts and amenities. Enjoy your room, relax by the pool, or grab a beer at the on-site tap room.

The Monterey Motel

2402 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

The Monterey Motel has been attracting Route 66 travelers since 1946. The motel emits a vintage vibe while offering a modern touch . A stay here promises you’ll “go straight from the road to relaxation.”

Bottger Mansion of Old Town

110 San Felipe St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Bottger Mansion of Old Town is a boutique Albuquerque bed and breakfast located in the heart of Old Town. The hotel offers historic charm while featuring private baths, free parking, free snacks, WiFi, flat screen TVs, iHome docking stations, and a shady courtyard. The convenient location is walking distance to shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, attractions, and landmarks.

Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn

310 Rio Grande Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Located just three blocks from the historic Old Town Albuquerque, Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn is a secluded adobe style bed and breakfast that dates back to the 1930s and 40s. The spacious casitas feature hot tubs, fireplaces, courtyards, patios, and more. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast in a sunny garden before continuing on Route 66. This hotel is the only B&B next to Old Town that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107

Listed on the New Mexico and National Registers of Historic Places, Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm offers 45 guest rooms on a working farm with a restaurant and botanically-based spa. Designed in 1932 by architect, John Gaw Meem, the “Father of Santa Fe Style,” this unique accommodation is set among 25 acres of lavender fields, cottonwood trees, and gardens.

Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post

14305 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121

Traveling Route 66 by RV? Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post is a full-service RV park with pull thru sites and 50 or 30amp full hook ups and WiFi, propane, laundry, a heated pool and hot tub, and RV supplies available on site. You can also book a furnished vintage travel trailer and check out the vintage curiosities and memorabilia in the clubhouse.

Route 66 Casino Hotel

14500 Central Ave SW, Rio Puerco, Albuquerque, NM 87121

The 154-room Route 66 Casino Hotel is located 20 minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Rooms feature flat-screen TVs, WiFi, work stations, coffee makers, and Bath & Body Works amenities. Guests can enjoy an indoor pool, on-site restaurants, the casino, and a special entertainment experience made for children.

Tewa Motor Lodge

5715 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

Tewa Motor Lodge opened on Route 66 in 1959 and was placed on National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The motel is still in operation today.

Want more Albuquerque Route 66 hotels? Explore more here and peruse reviews.

Route 66 Hotels in Santa Fe

New Mexico boasts two different alignments of Route 66. The original path, known as the Central Route or Santa Fe Loop, was established in 1926. Between then and 1937 the road took travelers in an arc between Santa Rosa, Romeroville, Bernal, Pecos, Santa Fe, Santo Domingo, Algodones, Bernalillo, and Albuquerque.

In 1937 a more direct route was born. Called the “Santa Fe Cut Off,” the new alignment provided a more direct path from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque, cutting off Santa Fe.

Santa Fe is a beautiful city, rich with culture and history, so many travelers decide to take the detour and drive the original route on their modern Route 66 road trip. If you add Santa Fe to your travel itinerary, you’ll want to add a Santa Fe Route 66 motel to that itinerary too.

Here are some of the best Route 66 motels in Santa Fe: find one to add to your travel itinerary.

El Rey Court

1862 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505

El Rey Court is a boutique Santa Fe hotel that blends vintage charm with modern amenities packaged in a hip adobe roadside motor court. The 1936 motel is located on 5 acres of beautiful gardens, with plenty of spaces to relax and rejuvenate. Save room in your travel itinerary to visit the on-site cocktail bar and chill at the best outdoor pool in Santa Fe (seasonal).

The Mystic Santa Fe (Silver Saddle Motel)

2810 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507

Opened in 1958 the Silver Saddle Motel was a Route 66 institution, offering rooms with Old-West style decor. The property has now been renovated and reimagines as The Mystic Santa Fe. The decor went from kitschy to witchy with new furnishings described as a “magical refuge.” Rooms include complimentary WiFi, bedside USB outlets, 50-inch smart TVs, vintage-style refrigerators, Beekman bath products, and blackout blinds.

La Fonda on the Plaza

100 E San Francisco St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

The only hotel located on the Historic Santa Fe Plaza, La Fonda on the Plaza offers a luxurious stay in a convenient location. The 1922 hotel features Southwest-style rooms and suites with hand-painted furniture, original artwork, Nespresso machines, WiFi, and flat screen TVs. Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, rooftop hot tub, gym, on-site restaurant, and spa.

Cottonwood Court Motel

1742 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Cottonwood Court Motel opened in the late 1940s. Today the hotel rooms come with air conditioning, refrigerators, desks, TVs, and Wifi. A 24-hour front desk and free parking are available for guests.

El Sendero Inn

311 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Located just minutes from the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe, stay at El Sendero Inn and you’ll be close to some of the best restaurants and shops in town while enjoying amenities like free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, mini-fridges, and Keurig coffee maker, and a seasonal outdoor pool.

Guadalupe Inn

604 Agua Fria St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Located in the Guadalupe Historical District of Santa Fe, Guadalupe Inn is a secluded bed and breakfast is conveniently located to shopping, dining, and sightseeing. Rooms are decorated with and crafted sconces, handmade beds and viga ceilings and offer free WiFi and satellite TV. A complimentary grand-and-go continental breakfast is included with your stay.

Want more Santa Fe Route 66 hotels? Explore more here and peruse reviews.

Route 66 Hotels in Gallup

Gallup, New Mexico was established in 1881 as a railroad town, and later became a pivotal stop along the Mother Road. This southwestern city served as a vital trading post for Native American arts and crafts and became renowned for its vibrant Route 66 atmosphere.

In Gallup you’ll find murals, trading posts, diners, roadside attractions, and museums to explore. You’ll also find one of the best Route 66 motels in New Mexico, if not the entire Mother Road: the Historic El Rancho Hotel.

In its prime, El Rancho was a favorite overnight stop for celebrities and today it is a favorite for road trippers. Be sure to book a room at this iconic motel and add it to your Route 66 road trip itinerary.

Historic El Rancho Hotel

1000 E Hwy 66, Gallup, NM 87301

Historic El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico Route 66 Motel

One of the best motels on Route 66 is the Historic El Rancho Hotel. Sleep where the stars have at this 1940s hotel that has hosted some of Hollywood’s biggest movie movie stars and makers, including Robert Mitchum, Elia Kazan, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, William Holden, Billy Wilder, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, Troy Donahue, and more. Photos of the stars are peppered throughout the intricately designed property and each room is themed with a star’s photo and information.

Want more Gallup Route 66 hotels? Explore more here and peruse reviews.

More Route 66 Motels in New Mexico

Of course, there are more Route 66 motels and hotels in New Mexico than just those Tucumcari, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Gallup. With around 487 miles of the road to explore, you can find accommodations just about anywhere you want to pull over for the night. Explore hotels in some of the most popular cities on New Mexico Route 66 and see some favorites below.

New Mexico Route 66 Hotels and Motels by City

Route 66 Inn

1818 U.S. Rt. 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435

Route 66 Inn is a pet-friendly budget Route 66 motel in Santa Rosa that features private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, TVs, mini-fridges, and microwaves. Free parking is available for all guests, including for oversize vehicles.

Lariat Motel

708 U.S. Rt. 66, Moriarty, NM 87035

First opened in 1957, Lariat Motel is a budget Route 66 motel in Moriarty. It provides air-conditioned rooms equipped with flat-screen TVs.

Sunset Motel

East, 501 U.S. Rt. 66, Moriarty, NM 87035

Sunset Motel is a Route 66 motel in Moriarty that has been owned and operated by the same family since 1959. The basic rooms feature WiFi, flat-screen televisions, mini fridges, microwaves, coffee machines, and solid oak furnishings.

Sky City Casino Hotel

7 Sky City Rd drive, North Acomita Village, NM 87007

Stay at Sky City Casino Hotel to enjoy the table games and slot machines and spend the night in peace. Guest rooms include a coffee maker, hairdryer, ironing boards, TV with Showtime, and WiFi. Take some time to visit the casino to play slot machines and table games. Suites also feature jetted tubs, wet bars, and balconies. The newly remodeled Sky City RV Park is also available for RV travelers looking for somewhere to spend the night.

Sands Motel

112 McArthur St, Grants, NM 87020

Sands Motel is a budget-friendly classic Route 66 motel with a classic neon sign in Grants, New Mexico. The vintage motel has carpeted floors, cable TV, microwaves, mini refrigerators, and WiFi.

More Route 66 Motels and Hotels

Will your Route 66 road trip stretch beyond New Mexico? Explore our list of the best historic motels and hotels across The Mother Road or search through our directory to save your favorites to your Route 66 road trip itinerary.

Plan Your Route 66 Road Trip

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Last modified: April 25, 2024
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