Before staying I read some negative reviews of this place which we felt were completely unfair - this place is indeed rustic - but for $59 you are staying on the doorstep to Death Valley and amongst the most incredible scenery! If you want modern decor, a flatscreen TV and wifi, then you need to be open to paying more and staying elsewhere. But you should stay here, and spend your evening around the firepit watching the mountains turn pink in the sunset. It's better than anything on television.
The atmosphere here is wonderful - you are miles and miles from anywhere and surrounded by mountains. There is a horseshoe throwing game (which our husbands loved!) but that's pretty much it for entertainment. Olancha is very small - just a gas station and a few houses, but you will probably be able to get some hot food either from the mediocre diner or the Mexican place (which was closed when we were staying there). If you do want more options, your best bet is to drive to Lone Pine, which is about 22 miles further on.
Judy is a wonderful host who worked hard to make us feel welcome, and went way beyond the call of duty by offering us chocolate cake, providing us with kindling and matches so we could sit round the fire, and making us oatmeal in the morning. She gave us lots of information about the local area, places of interest, and even showed us a film sequence in which the motel had appeared (check out this youtube video http://youtu.be/Slg59ufLKXk). She works hard to keep the rooms spotlessly clean, and to offer a friendly welcome, despite the fact that being in the middle of the desert she has limited resources. There are only 8 rooms, and only one other motel in Olancha, so if you're heading to Death Valley NP in the summertime you need to book ahead.
While we were there a couple stormed out complaining that there was no hot water. They refused to allow her to try and fix it, and left. We then went in and both had an excellent hot shower shortly afterwards, so don't believe everything you read or hear. I imagine they had realised that Olancha does not have 2 days worth of activities (!) and had decided to find an excuse to move on.
Our stay was a highlight, and far exceeded our expectations, and sitting by the fire under the stars was a lovely way to spend our evening there. In fact, the showers and service were far better than our "posher" hotel in Vegas, where everyone just tries to take your money all the time. Stay here for a wonderful, wild and rustic experience!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.