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“Nicest Neighbor”
Review of El Dorado Hotel

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El Dorado Hotel
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Terlingua
Reviewed March 27, 2013

When my family and I found ourselves stranded in Terlingua without a room due to a neighboring hotel's double booking, Deanna took us in and began to make calls on our behalf. While her hotel was completely booked, she pulled out the yellow pages and made contact with anyone in the vicinity and even offered up friends' guest houses. All of this without even being guests are their hotel. We will be ever indebted and our next rip to Terlingua will definitely include a stay here and a visit to the attached bar and grille which was hopping with a live band.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank SpainCeci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 - 139 of 222 reviews

Reviewed March 26, 2013

I spent over a year in Terlingua, Tx. for work. I stayed in every hotel, and was never happy. I began staying at th El Dorado from a recommendation. I walked in a stranger, and left a friend. The owner Dana, and her husband always ensured my stay was comfortable. They also own the bar & grill next to the hotel which is very good. I will always go back and see them every time I am in the area.

Room Tip: The second story rooms have a king size bed and jacuzzi with better wifi.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Marc H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Finding a room at the last minute in the Terlingua-Study Butte/Big Bend National Park area during spring break for Texas public schools is usually impossible. We knew that, but decided to try anyway. We had stayed in the area before and had first-hand experience with a few of the local motels and “resorts”. I tried those first. I had no luck, but the El Dorado had two rooms available. I was familiar only with the outside of the El Dorado (not impressive) and its adjoining restaurant (pretty good), but a room in the hand, let alone two, was worth its weight in gold. We reserved both rooms and headed to Big Bend.

Check in was easy and courteous. The rooms were clean, more or less, but spartan, even by Terlingua-Study Butte standards. The old mattresses were rock hard. The aged box springs and mattresses were bare under the ill-fitting sheets. The coverlets or bedspreads, which doubled as blankets, did not cover the tattered box springs. Each room had a small battered, three drawer pressed board dresser with two matching end tables. One room had an old straight back upholstered chair. The chair came in handy as a ladder. The curtain rod came down while I was trying to close the curtain and I had to climb on the chair to put the rod back in place. The other room had an ancient upholstered easy chair that reeked of stale cigarette smoke. Both rooms had old tube televisions with poor reception, not a problem because we had not planned to watch TV. Both rooms had good free Wi-Fi.

The walls and ceilings of the rooms were paper-thin. There was lots of talking during the night, whether in adjoining rooms or outside I am not sure, but we heard it all.

Switches near the sinks controlled the hot water heaters. The water in my room was not very hot, probably fortunate since the hot and cold taps for the sink were reversed. One room had a small but noisy refrigerator that needed defrosting. Otherwise, it worked well enough. My shower seemed clean but a bit moldy, surprising in such a dry climate. I regretted not packing shower shoes.

The toilet in my room flushed without any problem, but in the morning its P-trap stopped working, resulting in a nauseating sewer odor throughout the room. I opened the door to the room and the small window in the bathroom for cross ventilation, packed up and left.

There was apparently no problem with the plumbing in the second room. Instead, it reeked of stale cigarette smoke, probably from its ancient upholstered chair.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Deborah1150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

The place has soul, which is what I liked about it. Namely, there seems to be a bit of a following among road travelers and traveling musicians. The hotel has a wonderful outdoor terrace where live music is performed alongside a gorgeous view of the Big Bend. The food is pretty good, the prices perhaps a little higher than one would expect for a roadhouse but then again it's in the middle of nowhere so one could expect a premium.

The rooms are quite basic, though you can pick up a Wi-fi signal from the restaurant if you are lucky. Nothing fancy, bare floors and basic bathrooms that are so-so. We had nice hot water but I overheard another guest saying they didn't. It's more of a motel than a hotel, and if you come out to Big Bend you're not likely coming to hang out in your room so I think it's ok.

Try to get a room with a balcony, being able to sit right outside your room to take in the sunset/sunrise would have made our stay much nicer I think.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a balcony.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank travelswithfamily525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My wife and daughter and I spent 3 nights here over the New Year holidays. My wife and stayed in the older, one level section, and our daughter stayed in the newer section. Many of the problems mentioned by other reviewers were evident in our room (Room 1). It had the basic amenities, no frills. Importantly, the beds were reasonably comfortable. One of the beds had a bedside table, and there were two rustic wooden chairs. There was a a small refrigerator and a non-functioning tube TV (apparently cable is too expensive). There was no coffee-maker, but the manager gave us one - a new one still in the box - with the promise of coffee packets, but that required a second request (and when they did arrive, all were decaf). The walls were a bland tannish color, in need of a fresh paint job, making the lack of any other decorations - not a picture, not a mirror, nothing - all the more noticeable. The walls were made of some sort of composite material, thin enough to hear conversations in the next room - not so good when things got loud next door after midnight on New Year's Eve. The floors were a tan colored tile, probably the most substantial building material in the place. The bathroom fixtures were dated but generally functional. There was a note instructing us to be sure to run the water heater between showers, but we noticed no problem with water temperature. However, the cabinet containing the water heater is immediately opposite the toilet, cramping the space a bit. The sink and the toilet did not drain well - we had to go to the office for a plunger to work on the toilet. Our daughter's room, in the newer section, was more modern but still rather bland in appearance. She reported noise coming from the room above. Overall, neither room seemed up to the price paid.

Other reviewers have complimented the management, but we actually had a hard time finding anyone in the office to help us - checking in and checking out, and in our quests for a coffee machine, coffee and a toilet plunger. The front desk frequently seemed to be unattended - you had to go around to the bar to find anyone. But in fairness, the manager was nice and tried to accommodate when finally found.

All that said, why did we stay there for three nights? For us, it was a place to sleep while exploring Big Bend National Park. The location is ideal for access to the park, only a few miles away. And the location has other benefits. There's no light pollution in Terlingua, so you can sit (or lie down, like I did) on a bench just outside your room for a wondrous view of the Texas night sky. You can walk (or drive) about a half mile to the Starlight Theatre, the "place to be" to watch the sun set over the mountains and to be entertained by the local Texas ambiance. When we were there, we heard a spontaneous musical performance on the porch, and enjoyed entertainment with dinner in the Starlight. In the morning, you can walk to the local coffee shop - but be prepared for quite a long wait if you order anything for breakfast (you can use all that time to explore the remnants of the old mining town). Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, there is internet access - so you can check in on the news and weather - so, who needs TV?

In summary, the El Dorado "is what it is." The facility may not up to the price, but it is a reasonably comfortable place to sleep while exploring the wonders of Big Bend. And the proximity of the "night life" of Terlingua Ghost Town provides added value.

Room Tip: We didn't experience an upper floor room in the newer section, but would assume from other revie...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank rbfic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This place is amazing.
In the human heart of the Big Bend.
The welcoming is so...welcoming that you just can feel at the right place at the right time.
How can you feel better than this when you're just there, listening to americana and folk music, watching the stars and the milky way, drinking a nice cold iced tea, amazed by shooting stars falling in the calm and dark desert ?
We had there some nice and simple meals, simply made with love.
As we were a group of 23 people, everything fitted well for us, spaces, commodities.
Thank you el dorado !

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank gillesanquez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We recently stayed here for 4 nights at $100 a night. The beds didn't have a box springs, the heater didn't work well, and you could see daylight past the shower knobs. Overall the inside of our room was sort of run down. It was fine for our needs (riding motorcycles on the dirt roads) but should have cost $40 a night, not $100.

The location was nice being just down the hill from the front porch.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Dorado Hotel

Address: Historic Terlingua Highway 170, 5 miles east of the junction of Texas 118, Terlingua, TX 79852
Location: United States > Texas > Terlingua
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Terlingua
Price Range: $133 - $145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Dorado Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 22
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Hotel Terlingua
El Dorado Terlingua

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