El Vado Motel: Get Your Kicks on Route 66 in Albuquerque

El Vado Neon Motel Sign

If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

It winds from Chicago to L.A.,
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

The lyrics above (written by Bobby Troop and recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole) immortalized Route 66. Constructed in 1926 as part of the original highway system that would link the United States together, Route 66 represents the freedom of a road trip along the Mother Road even as it marked an era of new mobility and personal discovery. It’s where Americans could discover their homeland and “get their kicks.” Many versions would follow with the Rolling Stones recording a rock version of the song in 1964 – an anthem for a young and restless generation. 

El Vado is one of the original Route 66 motels

El Vado was one of the first and original hotels in Albuquerque that offered Route 66 motorists a place to rest and sleep while exploring the freedom of the interstate. Here, starting in 1937, it was possible to “get your kicks.” Nowadays, a completely renovated version restored in 2018 offers the historical property with authentic decor and mid-century modern ambiance updated with modern amenities. It’s got historic character and charm with the modern comforts of contemporary living. It’s vintage yet with a youthful vibe.

There are 22 air-conditioned rooms offering a smoke-free environment that is also friendly for pets and families. Front desk service is available 24-hours with a multilingual staff and tour/ticket assistance to assist with your Route 66 stay. Free self-parking is also available, though somewhat limited.

El Vado Reception Desk

The master bedroom suite exudes charming comfort with the nostalgia of Route 66 decor. Rooms are plush and comfortable and offer a separate bedroom and living room area. Natural light is provided by full-length glass walls, providing a view of the inner court and pool area. All windows have privacy and protective dark shielding. Additionally, all suites have two flat panel HD TVs – one in each room along with free WiFi and a desk for those who bring their work with them.

And when you are ready for a cold one, take the custom-made growler that awaits in your room to the El Vado Taproom for a refreshing fill-up.  The King-size gel memory foam bed plus a Queen-size memory foam sleeper sofa ensure a restful sleep. Both have triple-sheeted, 100% cotton linens.

Modern bathrooms are supplied with eco-friendly Paya Organics bath products: hand soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner and body wash mounted in refillable containers. A coffee station and small refrigerator add to convenient modern comforts.

Bedroom suite with large picture window looking out at pool

El Vado Bedroom Suite: Photo Credit: mattophoto architectural photography


Bedroom suite with sleeping sofa, refrigerator, tv

Bedroom Suite. Photo credit: mattophoto architectural photography

Handicap Accessible Rooms

El Vado has many rooms that are handicap accessible as well as many with roll-in showers.  All rooms are at ground level (single-level property) and therefore there are no elevators. Plus, the entrance has a stair-free path. There is also wheelchair-accessible parking.

Located in the West Park neighborhood of Albuquerque, across from the ABQ Bio-Park, El Vado Motel features 7 restaurant pods, an outdoor pool, and a bar. The restaurant pods are very popular with locals, so expect the place to be busy, especially on weekends. Food trailer choices change, but expect an international flavor of diverse offerings that includes pizza, sandwiches, and even Latino specialties.

El Vado Bar

Prices range based on room type, season, and availability. As of this writing, the best prices on the internet start at $179, exclusive of taxes and fees. Check internet sites such as Expedia and Booking.com. Or contact El Vado Hotel directly on their website for reservations and specials.

The author was provided with a hosted 2-night stay at El Vado Albuquerque for review purposes. As always, all opinions are her own.


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