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“If you need quiet, don't stay here”
Review of Hotel El Capitan

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Hotel El Capitan
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Van Horn
Certificate of Excellence
Fort Worth, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“If you need quiet, don't stay here”
Reviewed November 18, 2010

Unfortunately very close to train tracks. Extremely loud and you can hear every sound your neighbor makes. Although the rooms look nice, upon closer examination the bedspread didn't seem very clean and the blanket smelled like someone else's perfume! Also, when I turned on the heater it put out a bad smell and set off the smoke detector briefly! I wanted to love this hotel, but alas, I was pretty miserable. I stayed in the Hampton on return and was much happier. I did see people seeming to enjoy the restaurant that they have open till 10 at night. Wish I'd tried that, it looked pretty cool. El Capitan does have a great patio area and is close to a quaint coffee shop. Their breakfast was pretty good, too.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank carolynyg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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378 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2010

This is indeed the best place to stay in Van Horn and certainly the only place with local flavor and a personality. From the lobby to the halls and rooms, everything appears to be tastefully restored and mostly understated, except the beautiful, oasis-like courtyard which almost seems garish in comparison (but in a good way). You can sit out there and dine amidst the greenery and burbling fountain (complete with braziers for those cold desert nights) or gaze down on it from your patio...

... which I wish we got; we tried one of the smaller (and cheaper) "historic" rooms that does not have a patio. It is about the size of your average hotel room with an even smaller bathroom, but it was all as advertised on the website so I don't dock them for that. It was very clean and the beds were cozy.

Noise is a problem - both because this is a railroad town (similar to many others in the Big Bend region) and some from the halls (it is nearly impossible to close the room doors quietly from the outside) but every room comes with earplugs - and they were a must for us - but I slept like a baby with them on.

There's also free wi-fi, TV with cable, free continental breakfast, and restaurant with bar (not mentioned on the website yet, I don't think). The restaurant food is on the pricier side but arguably the best in town; the bar and restaurant were hopping when we came both nights and although service was friendly, the servers were clearly overwhelmed. Still, it was a comfortable and pleasant stay and we'd definitely be back.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank clumsy_plumsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
190 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2010

Stayed at the Hotel El Capitan during my climb of Guadalupe Peak. This is by far the top hotel in the area. Their website lets you view each room and pick the one you want. It offers real time information as to the room being available or occupied on the dates you type in.

The hotel is located at the main crossroads in town and has onsite parking. As others have reported, there is a train track nearby, but our room was very quiet and I never heard any trains from the room.

Your stay includes a typical continental breakfast and the hotel has recently opened their restaurant for lunch and dinner. The food is a bit pricey for the area, but it was excellent as well as the service. I think it's great that Van Horn now has a upscale restaurant and they also have a new banquet room and business room just across the patio.

No question that I'll be staying at the Hotel El Capitan anytime I'm in the Van Horn area.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank AvianQuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Angelo, Texas
1 review
Reviewed August 20, 2010

We went out for a get away birthday. What a neat place to stay. The staff at the hotel, restaurant and bar were very efficient and friendly. Only problem was that we didn't find our ear plugs for the first night and we counted 5 trains passing through. The staff gave us plugs for the second night, but the wedding party arrived at 3:30 am, BUT all in all it was a great place and we will definitely go back out again. The first floor is not completed , but one of the drawing cards to the hotel was that it does have a nice elevator. The food was excellent, but dining does not open until 6:00. We both recommend.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jubach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Canada, California
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2010

Based on TripAdvisor reviews, we spend one night there on our way from Los Angeles to Austin. The El Capitan lived up to everything we'd heard about it. There are "remodels" and there are "restorations" and I'm sure that anyone who stayed there in the '30s would be right at home today. It may be a "guy thing," but the bathroom fixtures are top of the line Kohler, the bath tub is metal and not fiberglass, and there is real tile on the walls and the old-fashioned black & white hexagonal tiles on the floor. The workmanship is outstanding. A truly nice touch was a flat-panel, LED television. We couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable time.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Contraclarinet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2010

The first thing you will notice is the friendlyness and easy going nature of the staff. You can drink wine in a big leather chair in the lobby, sit out by the fountain or put the group puzzle together downstairs.

Kerry, Donna, Lindsay, and a whole lot of others on the staff go out of their way to make for a pleasant stay.

And what can I say about the menu: it's all good but my favorite so far is the pistachio encrusted steak with potatoes and jalapeno gravy....bring your appetite, this one is huge.

If all you care about is 300 channels of cable and free happy hour, this hotel is not for you. If you want to see one of the few surviving examples of Pueblo Revival (by architect Trost, I believe) this is for you.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank WestTexasRocketMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherman, Texas
1 review
Reviewed June 23, 2010

If you are independent, looking for comfort and quiet, and enjoy the desert, this is a place for you.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank timothymorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Capitan

Property: Hotel El Capitan
Address: 100 E. Broadway, PO Box 667, Van Horn, TX 79855-0667
Location: United States > Texas > Van Horn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Van Horn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel El Capitan is the only historic hotel in Van Horn. The hotel was established in 1930 and built by the famous Trost & Trost architecture firm of Texas. The owners of the hotel are native born Texans and have established a reputation for buying and restoring historic inns in Far West Texas. The hotel is on the Texas Mountain Trail as well as the crossroads of the Guadalupe Mountains and the Big Bend National Parks off Interstate 10. ... more   less 

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