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“The only thing going for this place is the location” 2 of 5 stars
Review of White's City Cavern Inn

White's City Cavern Inn
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White's City Cavern Inn
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   17 Carlsbad Caverns Hwy., Whites City, NM 88268   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Whites City
CONNECTICUT
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The only thing going for this place is the location”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2009

Skip this place and travel the extra 25 miles to Carlsbad, where for less money, you have choices for lodging and dining. Most of the facilities for this place were not operating at the time of our stay (late september 2009). Pool-closed for renovations, bar/saloon-closed, steak house restaurant-only open thursday thru sunday, and of course, we stayed monday thru wednesday. The only restaurant in this tiny town was a cafeteria style place, not very clean and quite outdated. A light was out over the sink, and on request, it was replaced right away. When I blow-dried my hair, two large dead moths fell out of the light overhead. The room was huge, but not nicely decorated-sink is outdated and the bathroom is no bigger than that on a cruiseship. The staff was very nice and friendly and you can't beat the location to the Caverns, but this tired old place that could be a gold mine has a long way to go.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    3
    13
    5
    7
    19
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, PA
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2009

My fiance and I traveled throughout the southwest over the summer of 2007 and stayed at many hotels along the way. In our travels, we decided to go to Carlsbad Caverns on a whim. We decided to stay at this motel since it was close and right on the way to the caverns. Where to begin... The hotel looks like something you would find in the old west back in the cowboy days and has not changed since. We got just a basic room and were terrified when we opened the door. The room was filthy with dead bugs on the floor, stains on the sheets, and a smell that was awful. To put it in blunt terms, I laid a towel from the bathroom on the bed rather than lay under the covers. There was a large group of high school students there on some sort of tour. They were loud and then some of them got into a fight breaking the windows and such. Needless to say, we were out of there first thing in the morning and were glad to be. We weren't expecting much since it was a motel but thought since it was a best western that it may be decent. We were so wrong. On a follow up survey, we were given a free night to come back and try again which we never used and never plan on using ever. I would not recommend this hotel to anybody. Take a hint from all of the other reviews on the site and go somewhere else.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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Travelers are raving about these Whites City hotels

San Diego, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2009

Loved the caverns, didn't have a whole lot going on in the town if you can call it that.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cardiff by the sea, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2009

Just stayed at the adjacent Walnut Canyon Inn (all part of the "White's City Resort" complex, along with an RV campground and several individual casitas). The property has recently changed ownership and is in the process of being renovated.

While the "resort's" (using the term very loosely) rustic appearance might be offputting to some (read carrotseed's review for a good, detailed description), in our experience, the new ownership has corrected the issues we read about in a number of the other reviews. We found it to be clean and quiet, with spacious rooms and a comfortable bed -- in fact, despite having already paid for the night, we fled the America's Best Value Inn in Carlsbad (a real dive), when we stumbled on White's City.

If you're in Carlsbad on other business, you'd be better off in town at the Hampton or Holiday Inn. But if you're there to visit Carlsbad Caverns, this is the place to stay.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Lynnwood, WA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2008

We chose to stay at the Best Western Cavern Inn because of its proximity to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We anticipated several round trips from the park to the motel and back, and didn't want to add an additional 20 miles (40 miles round trip) to/from Carlsbad. A mistake. The hotel is no longer affiliated with Best Western. It is very dark. There is little exterior lighting at night, leaving you wondering whether your car will be there in the morning. The carpets are very dirty. The Coke vending machines do not work. There is no HBO as advertised. Not the worst motel we've ever stayed at, but certainly well below average. The only restaurants nearby are the Velvet Garter Restaurant and their companion Jack's. It is quite simply the worst restaurant we've ever eaten at. We ordered prime rib and it was not recognizable as such. Even if you decide to stay at the motel, avoid these restaurants at all cost. I would strongly recommend eating at the cafeteria at Carlsbad Caverns National Park instead of eating at these restaurants. Or better yet, stay in the town of Carlsbad and eat there.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Restaurants
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Cruces, NM
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2008

Unfortunately, we booked our room before reading the reviews. After reading what others had experienced, we were braced for the worst. The bottom line: This is not a 5 star resort. But they don't claim to be. It's a motel in the armpit of NM. And for that I really can't complain. In fact I'd even go as far as giving it two thumbs up. We paid $65 +tax and got a good clean, quiet room and a full breakfast for 4 people. No roaches, rats, blood on the sheets, or anything creepily unidentifiable.

If you care to read more, here is the breakdown of our experience:

Upon arrival, we were somewhat perplexed. The lobby is completely vacated, doors locked and looks rather abandoned. We saw a small sign that said "lobby across the street." We didn't really understand which way across the street, so we went to the hotel next door and they too seemed to be lobby-less. We found another guest and he pointed and explained that it was a hundred yards or so across the main road heading to the caverns. It was quite surreal; a has-been and want-to-be grandiose lobby that really is a facade, because there is no hotel attached! The staff were pretty useless and I was already thinking "oh oh, should we turn and run?" Between the two of them they were able to communicate the basics.

We found out the "water park" only opens on Memorial Day weekend - we were there on the last day of the closed season. Would have been nice to know, since I was telling my kids the whole drive they had the water park to look forward to! But listen, don't plan this trip around the water park. There are two long slides, a pool that smells like pee and a cute paddling pool with a ship in it that would be great for small small children. Nothing to write home about. We had a quick swim in the pool but realized they need a sign that says; "Notice there is no P in our ool. Please keep it that way."

We were braced for the worst as we opened the door to our room. But.... hey, IT WAS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD!! The room was huge. (Maybe once two smaller rooms opened into one.) Once we'd left the door open for 5 minutes, the closed room smell was gone. The sheets were clean and fresh, pillows comfy (we'd even brought our own in case, but needn't have). The bathroom was clean. Two queen size beds that were perfectly comfortable.

Jacks restaurant is an interesting place, but we had a very accommodating dinner waitress who made our experience pleasant. They have you by the short and curlies though - the only food for 20 miles. So expect to pay $10-$20 per dish. The food was fine.
Our breakfast waitress seemed largely inconvenienced by the guests, so bad it was actually amusing. We were impressed that we got 4 big cooked meals, coffee, juice, milk etc. included in the price of the room.

Would we recommend the place to others? Sure. The right kind of people that know what I mean when I say I'd give it 5 stars for a 3 star motel. It's not hidden gem, but it saved us the time of driving into Carlsbad and back and that I appreciated. And of course the caverns themselves are absolutely phenomenal. So you won't be looking back at this experience reminiscing about the motel, you'll be thinking fondly of the caves.

  • Liked — close to caverns, clean and good value
  • Disliked — Unwelcoming - lack of lobby.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastern Connecticut
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
226 helpful votes 226 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2008

The property has a short list of positives. It is the closest motel to Carlsbad Caverns (a 15 min. drive to the Visitor Center.) The water pressure in the shower was very good and the hairdryer had decent power. That's it.

We arrived about 1 hour before the official check-in and were told that the room was not ready even though the motel had only a handful of guests for that Tue. evening. So we went to the Caverns and toured the Big Room then returned to this motel. The first room we were given smelled musty and the tub faucet wouldn't shut off so we requested another room. The second room smelled musty as well. We were informed that the region had received an uncharacteristic 2.5 inches of rain the night before. Not wanting to spend too much time in the room we went back to the Caverns to see the Bat Flight. After an exhausting day of travel and sightseeing we retired early so that we could get up before dawn to watch the bats returning to the cave.

The bed was okay but the pillows were so uncomfortable I woke up with a stiff neck. The bathtub was dirty and the towels very thin. Our stay included a choice of from 4 breakfast selections at Jack's, adjacent to the motel complex. The entry door to the restaurant was tacky to the touch. We're thinking, oh no, but the food was okay and served very quickly.

The City of Carlsbad has many more choices for accommodations and is only another 20-30 min from the Caverns. On this trip we spent 2 more evenings in Carlsbad and returned to the Caverns each day to do some of the guided tours. It was convenient to be in White's City that first evening but we couldn't have tolerated another night at this motel.

  • Liked — Proximity to Carlsbad Caverns
  • Disliked — Not clean or comfortable, rediculously strict check-in policy
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about White's City Cavern Inn

Address: 17 Carlsbad Caverns Hwy., Whites City, NM 88268
Location: United States > New Mexico > Whites City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Whites City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — White's City Cavern Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
White's City Cavern Inn is not and has not been available for tourists to reserve a room since 2010. This hotel is currently in a private partnership with another company. All reviews after 2010 are mis-labled or from business tenants. The Rodeway Inn is the only hotel available for reservations in White's City, NM. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
White`s City Cavern Hotel Whites City
Whites City Cavern Hotel
Whites City Best Western
Best Western Whites City

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