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Which Place To Stay

New Jersey
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66 posts
1 review
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Which Place To Stay

Hi,

I'm trying to decide between the Motel 6 in Beatty or El Portal Motel. Has anyone stayed at either of these places? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated :)

Western PA
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741 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: Which Place To Stay

We had planned to stay at El Portal last week but the rate on their confirmation was higher than the rate reserved (and the rate still on their website.) I emailed twice to clarify rate, to the same email address they used to send me the confirmation, and received no response. Perhaps I was just feeling stubborn, but I felt that I had tried hard enough to get them to honor the rate that was shown when I completed my reservation. When we arrived the higher rate was in the reservation book, and the person on duty said she couldn't honor any other rate. We decided to go elsewhere, and got a lower walkup rate at Motel 6. The room there was small but clean and adequate for an overnight.

I know that FriscoRoadrunner has had much better experiences at El Portal.

But if you're planning a few days at DV I would only stay in Beatty for the night before entering the park. Staying in the park is definitely the way to go!

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El Portal
El Portal
California
San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,988 posts
50 reviews
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2. Re: Which Place To Stay

How long do you plan to stay? If you're new to Death Valley and plan to spend a couple of days, it's best to stay at a park resort, not a town outside. You'd have a more authentic Death Valley experience, enjoy the natural setting and the scenery continually, and not have to drive back and forth to explore.

There are lots of comments in the DV and DVNP threads and review sections about the resorts. There are three, maybe four. Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resorts is two separate places near each other. Stove Pipe Wells is a smaller rustic resort farther west. Panamint Springs is a bare-bones place, probably closer to a nice motel with amenities than a true resort. It is far to the west, not that central to most of the major park features.

Xanterra is the operator for FC and SPW. Panamint Springs is independent.

http://www.xanterra.com/

http://www.deathvalley.com/psr/

I have not stayed at this Motel 6, but I stay at enough of them to be an expert. In fact, I am at this moment in a Motel 6 in Sacramento where I went for some personal business. Motel 6's are good for overnight, to sleep, shower, and be ready for the next day. The El Portal is an indie on the west side of town, just before you leave town toward DV. It was built in the 60s or 70s but has been well maintained. The same family still owns it; I go to church with them when I'm in DV. The town museum is across the street. Stores and restaurants are a bit farther, but "downtown" Beatty is small and you can walk to most places.

The EL Portal has a pool, open spring to fall, with a separate kids' pool. Motel 6 has none. Don't ask me why a recently built motel in the town that calls itself the Gateway to Death Valley would not build a pool. I think they recognized they were just a stopover, not a vacation destination.

Either the Motel 6 or El Portal would be OK for overnight, but don't cheat yourself out of the full enjoyment of Death Valley by spending 2-3 days in town. Stay in the park where you can go for nature strolls just outside your door in the evening, hear and hopefully see wildlife, stargaze, look for wildflowers, and in every other way be immersed in the desert.

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Sacramento
Sacramento
California
El Portal
El Portal
California
New Jersey
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66 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Which Place To Stay

Thank you both for such quick responses. We will only be staying in town for 1 night. We are flying into Vegas (early morning) and decided at the last minute since we will be close to Death Valley to spend a day and a half getting an idea of the park and what it has to offer for a future trip : ) We are heading to Zion and Bryce for a week and some other places along the way.

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4. Re: Which Place To Stay

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