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“Getting our kicks on Route 66”
Review of Blue Swallow Motel

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Blue Swallow Motel
Ranked #1 of 22 Hotels in Tucumcari
Certificate of Excellence
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Getting our kicks on Route 66”
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Wonderful experience and a fantastic motel! If you are looking for big rooms, pools, hot tubs, flat screen tvs, free breakfasts, etc. this is not the motel for you. This motel was built prior to the heyday of Route 66, and was renovated to reflect that classic time in Amercian history. The owners, Kevin & Nancy, are outstanding hosts who went out of their way to not only make our stay comfortable but really worked hard at keeping the "Americana" aspect of the experience alive. Our evening was filled with relaxing outside our room sitting on the chairs every room has outside, passing the time conversing with the other guests as we imagined it was like back in the day. Then, to everyone's delight, watching the famous neon sign light up at dusk. This is an absolute must stay if you are "Route 66er."

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wspforever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Moore, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
338 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2011

Positives: clean and well-maintained, quiet, easy-to-find location, well-appointed rooms, nostalgic setting, friendly and helpful proprietors.
Negatives: firmer beds than we would like, cramped bath area.

We'd seen the Blue Swallow during previous trips through Tucumcari, and thought it was a fascinating bit of Route 66 history, so decided to stay during a trip west this year.

We were not disappointed.

The place was very well kept and quiet. Inside and out, the hotel brilliantly reflects its Route 66 heritage. Although we arrived later in the evening, Kevin was gracious enough to greet us and provide directions to our two-room accommodations. He even left the neon lights on long enough for some photographs!

Because of the size of our group, we required two rooms. They easily accommodated us in Room 107, a convertible suite that resembled a small apartment. It offered two sleeping quarters, one with a queen bed, the other with a double and a twin.

Both sleeping areas featured television (I don't recall if they were connected to cable or satellite, but they offered a wide range of programming.That pleased our sports-minded teenaged son.) However, one doesn't usually stay at a landmark to watch TV!

Kevin and Nancy had only owned the property a little over a month when we stayed, but they'd already put their touch on the surroundings. For instance, they'd parked three vintage cars in strategic locations near the office. Two were historic Pontiacs, the third was a rare AMC Pacer. If you saw the Disney/Pixar move "Cars 2", you'll recognize the Pacer as a notorious "lemon".

Kevin shared how they became interested in older cars and how they came to own those particular models. Interestingly, none of them were bought as "decorations" for a motel...each has been and continues to be used by their family as "real transportation".

As was common "back in the day", the main structure features not only rooms for people, but garages for their automobiles. Of course, these shelters are a bit on the small side, as cars of that era were not as large as they are today. A former owner had commissioned painting of several murals inside the garages. Some featured characters from the original "Cars" movie while others followed a Route 66 motif.

The only negatives we can cite are largely a result of the time the property was built. Sleeping quarters were connected by a short, meandering hallway. The bath area only featured a shower, and it was very tight. What appeared to have been a kitchenette had become a reading room.

Our queen bed was quite firm, and although we slept well enough, it could have been more comfortable. Our teens thought their mattresses were "fine".

We could go on and on about the great time we had during our short stay. We'll definitely look into staying at the Blue Swallow again when in the area, and hope the current owners have a long and successful tenure there.

Thanks for a great stay!

Room Tip: Contact the owners with your needs...they were very gracious and helpful.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank The_Real_Birdcatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
70 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2011

The Blue Swallow Motel was completely booked on a Tuesday night, so it is obviously not a well kept secret. What it is: a Route 66 gem. Kevin and Nancy love the Blue Swallow and it shows in the way they operate the motel. The neon lights are turned on each night (all work!) and with the classic cars parked outside, it takes you back in time. If you ride in on a motorcycle and are lucky enough to be among the first to check in, you will get a room and a garage to park your cycle(s) in. Each of the garages have a mural, so check them all out. The rooms are small, but clean and have everything you need, including a rotary phone! It's the kind of place where you want to sit outside your room and visit with your 'neighbors'. Stay here, you will be glad you did.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank motorcycle t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2011

This has been one of our favorite stays on our US trip this year. I am actually sad that I didn't seek out more 'mom and pop' hotels like this one previously in other towns we have stayed in!
Let me start by saying that if you are expecting luxury accommodations based on the tripadvisor rating, you will be disappointed - although why you would be considering a motor court then is beyond me! :) for what this is though, the standard is high - I felt like I was in a time warp! The owners have done a brilliant job of restoring what was a 1930s motor court on Route 66, retaining all it's great features, like mini garages next to each room for your car, the tiling in the bathrooms, and even old 40s telephones! Not to mention the gorgeous neon signage.
However, where some places would use the 'retro' excuse to make room conditions sub-par, Blue Swallow has instead provided really comfy beds, lovely bedding, really soft, new towels and fresh carpeting.
But the best thing I would say about Blue Swallow was the 'vibe' - something the owners really make themselves as they are so friendly. Every room has awesome retro outdoor chairs out the front, and when we arrived all the guests were sitting outside chatting to one another. It was just a great environment!
So yes - I can't recommend this place enough! Take a break from the chain hotels, you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank meliss777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
1 review
Reviewed September 12, 2011

After driving through Tucumcari for many years, I finally decided to stop and stay in Tucumcari on September 9, 2011. I almost always stay at the chain hotels but broke with tradition to stay at the Blue Swallow Motel and could not have had a better experience. Not only was I greeted and welcomed but so was my golden retriever. The room was shown to me prior to my stay to make sure it was satisfactory and it exceeded my expectations. The room was clean and decorated to keep with the historic theme of the place. The bed was super comfortable, the shower was great and the towels were big and fluffy. Had I known I was missing such a great place to stay, I would have stopped years ago. The new owners, Kevin and Nancy were friendly, welcoming and gracious. The guests tend to sit outside their rooms at night and visit which I found to be a welcome change of pace. I would highly recommend the Blue Swallow Motel!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Algonaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
89 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2011

My husband and I stayed here during our route 66 road trip and had a great night at the Blue Swallow. Kevin and Nancy recently took over ownership of this motel and have continued to keep the spirit of this classic route 66 motel alive. They were very gracious and friendly hosts while we were there, telling us a bit about the history of the motel and Tucumcari itself.

The room we stayed in (rm 5) was clean, comfortable and had great AC. The shower had fantastic pressure and was one of the best we had during our NYC to LA route 66 trip (note we stayed in a combination of motels and hotels including some hilton properties, comfort inns and intercontinentals)! One thing to note though is that the shower room itself is a bit smaller (narrower) than a typical shower in this decade as everything in the motel has been restored/kept in its original condition. Therefore if you require a spacious shower it may be a bit tight. However Kevin and Nancy invite everyone to take a look at the room and accommodation before actually committing so it's definitely worth stopping by to take a look.

Guests also receive a 10% coupon to eat at the Pow Wow restaurant and lounge. We took advantage of this and had a great mexican meal. Other guests staying there also at the pow wow and said the sweet potato fries were fantastic. Also, Kevin and Nancy can arrange for free transportation to and from the Pow Wow so that you can relax and not drive after stopping for the evening. They have also put together a great little book in each room with details on local sights, restaurants, etc. which is handy when it comes to making the most of your stay that evening.

Overall a really great motel. We would definitely stop and stay here again. The beds were comfortable, rooms were clean and we were able to relive some of the old 66 magic!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joanne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2011

Kevin and Nancy bent over backwards to make sure we had a cool and comfortable room. The brand new mattress and high-thread-count sheets were fantastic. The rooms at the Blue Swallow are cozy but attractive. Each room has a little garage next to it, but modern full-size cars probably won't fit. Bring your Harley or your Model A and there will be room to spare. As with all these older Route 66 motor-court style inns, the latest advances in air conditioning may or may not be present; ours was a standard window unit mounted in the wall—efficient but a little noisy. By midnight it was cool enough outside to open windows. Original tile and fixtures in the bathroom and shower. Great owners, great place to spend a night on the Mother Road.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank foodboy767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Swallow Motel

Property: Blue Swallow Motel
Address: 815 E Route 66 Blvd, Tucumcari, NM 88401-3143
Location: United States > New Mexico > Tucumcari
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Tucumcari
#1 Best Value Hotel in Tucumcari
#1 Romantic Hotel in Tucumcari
#1 Family Hotel in Tucumcari
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BREAK THE CHAIN! Travel just a short distance away from the I-40 off-ramp to experience the best of the past, with old-fashioned hospitality that is all too rare these days. The Blue Swallow Motel is a classic Motor Court established in 1939 on historic Route 66, and one of few anywhere still operating in its original configuration. Rooms are clean and comfortable, but retain an authentic feel from the heyday of route 66 travel. Premium creature comforts including wonderful mattresses, spa-like towels, and Desert Breeze organic shampoo, soap, and lotion. Most rooms include a garage to make you feel more at home while you are on the road, and these are perfect for parking your motorcycle or classic car for the night. All rooms are non-smoking. One of the best neon displays on Route 66! Come spend a memorable night and experience the home-style hospitality of a bygone era at the Blue Swallow Motel! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blue Swallow Hotel Tucumcari
Blue Swallow Tucumcari

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