Hotel prices have increased substantially post-COVID. Whereas I used to be able to book a decent hotel room for around $75-100 per night, nowadays the minimum seems to start at $100. And if you book last minute, expect that price to increase even more.
My husband and I recently took a last-minute road trip to El Paso, Texas, hoping to experience the landscape, culture, and dining scene. What I discovered is that the hotel prices were quite high. After extensive research, I finally came up with what I considered to be a bargain price at The Hotel at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member.
Since we were driving, we wanted free parking as well as complimentary WiFi. The included breakfast so many hotels offer was not important to us. And it wasn’t that important to be downtown, as our activities included horseback riding the next day.
Sunland Park Casino El Paso Location
The Hotel at Sunland Park Casino El Paso is a 3.5-star boutique hotel that is 13 miles from El Paso International Airport. It is located in a shopping and entertainment district with theme parks nearby.
Besides the racetrack and casino which are next to the hotel, the Western Playland Amusement Park is close by, and can even be accessed by foot – about a 6 minute walk. As is Bob-O’s Family Fun Center. El Paso Outlet Shops are close by as is El Paso University. The UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso) Dinner Theater is a cultural highlight with 2023 season shows that include The Rocky Horror Show, The Prom, The Full Monty, and Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical.
The irony is that the hotel is located in Sunland Park, New Mexico and not in Texas. The border is about 2 minutes away. So, don’t get confused like I did.
The hotel is within 30 minutes driving of several horse stables that feature horseback riding. This is a fun activity and is a great way to experience the local desert and agricultural landscape. For our following day’s activity, we chose The El Paso Trail Rides. Located within 20-30 minutes driving distance from the hotel, it was my husband’s first horseback ride and he was a tad nervous. But the horses are well-trained and the stable hands did an excellent job in matching experienced and novice riders with the right horses. We rode along beautiful farm roads and fields of pecan trees. Regardless of your riding experience, there is a horseback adventure for you.
Inside The Hotel
The smoke-free property offers 78 rooms that are clean, comfortable, and convenient, with basic amenities such as A/C, free self-parking and extended parking, multilingual staff, and a 24-hour front desk that also provides tour/ticket assistance, and concierge services. The lobby is both welcoming and spacious, with an excellent view of the racetrack.
Meeting rooms, a gym, vending machines and free coffee are available. Food is available at the next-door casino, as is breakfast for a fee. (Some sites haven’t been updated and state that a complimentary breakfast is included. That is not the case).
Rooms at Sunland
All 78 rooms offer comforts such as premium bedding, modern bathrooms with showers, flat-screen TVs with premium channels, and safes. There are in-room coffee/tea makers and desks. Rollaway/extra beds (surcharge) and free cribs/infant beds are available as well.
Select rooms have accessibility. Just let the reservation desk know at the time of booking. Some of the features include:
- Accessible bathroom (select rooms)
- Assistive listening devices
- Braille/raised signage
- Grab bar near toilet
- In-room accessibility
- Low-height counter and sink
- Raised toilet seat
- Roll-in shower (select rooms)
- Wheelchair accessible (may have limitations)
- Wheelchair-accessible path to elevator
Reserving at Sunland Park
You can book directly through the hotel’s website, a member of Choice Hotels. Rates vary from around $96-141 for a room with 1 King or 2 Queens.
Shop around and compare rates with those you may find at Hotels.com as well as Expedia.com. Remember, it will vary depending on day of the week, season, and availability.
For other hotel reviews in downtown El Paso that are focused more on the convention center, check out Hotel Scoop reviews on The El Paso Courtyard Downtown/Convention Center and the Doubletree Hotel Downtown El Paso.
The author and her husband were full-paying guests for one night at the hotel. As always, all opinions are those of the author, and are based on the author’s personal experience. All photos are credited to Karin Pezo with the exception of the horizontal photo of the hotel exterior. This is courtesy of the hotel.