This review isn't from a super-picky traveler. I don't need chocolate on the pillows, or the fluffiest down comforters, or a line of fine hair care products (I prefer to bring my own shampoo and shower gel, anyway). I booked this motel based on the reviews on Trip Advisor and, for the most part, wasn't disappointed -- I was on a road trip by myself from Tucson to Austin for a family member's wedding reception and needed a comfortable but relatively inexpensive place to spend the night enroute. The Red Chile Inn (America's Best Value Inn in Las Cruces) served the purpose well and I'd almost certainly stay there again.
But I do like to write "balanced" reviews -- in fairness to both the readers of this review as well as the owners or managers of the property, who might benefit from the feedback. So, here goes...
First, let's look at the positives. The people who own and run this place are absolutely top notch fantastic. I was SHOWN to my room, not handed a key and sent packing. They turned things on and made certain everything worked. They came back and gave me free chips and salsa. They obviously care about the people who stay there and want to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. I was looking for a place to get some carry-out and they recommended a perfect place down the street. I also liked the "hominess" of this motel -- it's the kind of place where you feel comfortable enough to go out and wash your car in the parking lot without people looking at your sideways. The courtyard in the center of the complex has a gas BBQ grill if you want to do you own cooking. It's just -- nice.
But there is another side to the Red Chile Inn that the owners need to tend to -- I'll call that "curb appeal". The owners are obviously pouring their heart and soul into rehabbing an old motel into something attractive, and for that they should be commended. There are a few things they haven't taken care of that really don't cost very much -- that can cause bad first impressions. Here's a few I can think of:
1. Door knobs: the knobs on the room doors are old and dirty, and the keys have to be wiggled around a little to get them to work. If you replace those old clunky doorknobs with something more attractive and fitting for a motel/hotel, you'll eliminate the "icky!" first impression with the knobs. There are people who judge a book by the cover.
2. Guest information: there was nothing in the room telling me anything about the amenities of the hotel. I needed a little ice for a small cooler in the morning before hitting the road, and couldn't find the ice machine. You've done so much to make the motel more functional and interesting -- tell people about it in a fact sheet in the room.
3. Bathroom fixtures and faucets: The bathroom can be the most important part of an accommodation. A dirty bathroom, or something with outdated or problematic fixtures can be a huge turn-off. The shower head in the bathroom was made for a midget and needs to be raised. No need to rip out the wall -- some nice chrome piping, elbow joints, a new shower head, and you're done. The sink faucet was seriously dated and had some sort of mineral deposit grunge on it that I wiped off. Buy a new faucet on sale at Home Depot that looks a little more luxurious and you've done well. Also, the caulking was sloppily done in spots and made the bathroom look like something I'd expect at a Motel No-Tell. This is easily remedied by removing the old caulking and replacing it with fresh caulk with clean lines.
Also, although not the fault of the owners, the area of town that this motel is located in looks run-down. There are several motels down the street that look like they're inhabited by some shady characters. The fact that the front desk was evacuated at night and no one was available gives me great pause -- I felt like I paid for a room and then was abandoned. I was NOT happy to get up the next morning and discover the lobby locked up with a sign giving opening and closing hours. Sorry, folks -- just being real -- I expect a hotel/motel to be manned 24/7 for my safety. The owners of this motel can't change the neighborhood, but they can at least invest in having someone at the motel night and day, monitoring things, so that guests feel tended to.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.