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The Gardner Hotel in El Paso, TX

The Gardner Hotel in El Paso, TX


The Gardner Hotel is the oldest continually operating hotel and hostel in the city of El Paso, located near Downtown El Paso. The rooms still have their original antique furniture, with the exception of a few necessary upgrades, to give you a small taste of the history we have to offer. The Gardner Hotel is situated near downtown El Paso and the pubs, cafes and clubs that encircle the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).


Established in 1922.

The Gardner Hotel is the oldest continually operating hotel and hostel in the city of El Paso, located near Downtown El Paso. The rooms still have their original antique furniture, with the exception of a few necessary upgrades, to give you a small taste of the history we have to offer. Many famous people have stayed at the Gardner Hotel. Even John Dillinger, one of the most notorious gangsters in the 1930's stayed at the Gardner Hotel just before his capture in Tucson, Arizona.


Company Info:

Rating: 2.44

Address: 311 E Franklin Ave, El Paso, TX, 79901
  • Mon: Open 24 hours
  • Tue: Open 24 hours
  • Wed: Open 24 hours
  • Thu: Open 24 hours
  • Fri: Open 24 hours
  • Sat: Open 24 hours
  • Sun: Open 24 hours

Hotels in El Paso, TX



Comments (9):

1. Sara B.
Disclaimer: I stayed here 8 years ago! I was driving cross country from LA to NYC with a friend who was moving from coast to coast. We were all about cheap yet interesting accommodations. This was our first night and I don't recall what side we were on but it wasn't luxurious or safe feeling so I am guessing the hostel side. In fact, we moved the room furniture in order to barricade ourselves in. Yes, we were that scared. Young and silly? Probably. Little did we know at the time it wouldn't be the scariest place we stayed during our adventure however. Obviously we survived but from what my hazy memory recalls I wouldn't want to stay there again. But hey, this was 8 years ago so you never know!

29/12/08 | Link | Rating: 2.0
2. Tom K.
Need to stay somewhere in El Paso for a few nights? Look no further than the Gardner, a hostel with character! You'll feel like you're taking a step back in time. This is a must for all you history buffs and fans of the "Public Enemies" movie, because this is the hotel where John Dillinger stayed in the 30s when he came through El Paso. The lobby has a vintage phone booth and switchboard, and a display case with lots of photos from a bygone era. The elevator is 70+ years old, and still works; it's like the ones you only see in old movies. Rooms are a bit small; I didn't care because I only needed to sleep. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms. There is a downstairs TV room with hundreds of channels. When I stayed there on Memorial Day weekend, I was able to lounge on the sofas and had the whole room to myself!  Front doors are locked after 10:00; you need to ring for the attendant on duty to open it up.  Walking distance: Bars, Dance clubs, Downtown El Paso (interesting art and history museums), and the border to Juarez Mexico. Also there is a wonderful Holocaust Museum nearby, well worth a few hours of your time. Also, if you are a movie buff, you have to check out the nearby Fellini Film Cafe, a coffee bar/restaurant/art-house video store that shows classic/artsy movies here on almost every night of the week. You could easily spend 2-3 days here without a car, but I would recommend one to see more of El Paso, or if you are doing road trips to Carlsbad Canyons or Roswell, New Mexico. If you stay here, the staff is very helpful.  This is the only place I stay when I am in El Paso.

The only downfall is that they were painting all the hallways when I was there (May 2009). I'm sure they have finished by now.

29/08/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
3. Kantiki J.
Quirk El Numero Uno: There appears to be two websites. The old Gardner Hotel is one part hotel, three parts hostel. Depending on which you're looking for defines which URL should best suit you. Here's both:

Hotel: gardnerhotel.com
Hostel: elpasohostel.com

Quirk Secondo: There is a dramatic difference between the workers in the morning and in the evening. Reviews on hostel sites support this, as they almost all either love their experience or hate it. I asked around during my own stay, and it's pretty much been narrowed down to someone (or more) on evening shift that is the bad apple. Ergo, show yourself up 'n check in before the afternoon/evening. That should perk your experience immensely.

Third: Hostelers be warned, this is one of the more pricey U.S. hostels. It comes in at over 25-bones. There was no free WiFi when I was there, although they had an Internet kiosk that you could pay to use. The kitchen is open to use, but you'll need to bring your own food. Lastly, the dorms are nothing fancy... and are more than a bit run down.

Positives: This isn't the El Paso shelter... which is more of a prison than a safe haven. The hostel's location truly is superb. It makes an excellent launch point for almost any trip you're planning within forty or so miles. Also, El Paso has been consistently ranked among the top three safest metro areas in America. That ranking doesn't take into account the lithium content in the water reservoirs, or the corruption of the police force, but it's still a great place to wander around. Just remember that Ciudad Juarez--which is just across the bridge--sits on the opposite side of the safety spectrum.

NOTE: I've never stayed in one of the private rooms of the hotel section. I hear they are clean, well kept and quite luxurious. I look forward to seeing a review from someone who's stayed in one just to hear back on the actual costs and if it's worth it..

05/10/08 | Link | Rating: 2.0
4. Jay K.
I do not know how it got good reviews. I saw dead bugs along with hairs everywhere in my bed.

18/10/11 | Link | Rating: 1.0
5. Panfila C.
I was in town for a job interview and didn't have much to spend, so I took a chance on the hostel despite the reviews.  I must concur with others in that it is not the cleanest around, but in all fairness, i dont think the place is actually dirty, it is just visibly old and not well updated. It had a bed and a shower for a reasonable price, which was all I needed.  The place is not terribly charming, but the staff was friendly and accommodating.  I suspect I was one of few guests at the hostel- hardly saw anyone else.  If you are looking for a social place look elsewhere.  This is really just meant to be cheap housing for a brief period.  The basement has a kitchen, couches and a television and seems like it could be a decent place to congregate if the hostel had any guests.  The rooms are tiny and poorly lit, the bathroom is suspect, but if you go in expecting bare minimum facilities, you are set.

20/02/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
6. Allie L.
I have had an actual nightmare about this place.

bathrooms are shared and covered in mosquitos where as texas has the highest rating of west nile in the country

men bringing prostitutes into the hotel as we were trying to check in

no air conditioning

not clean

not well lit

not safe

windows above all doors so anyone of the creepy people that live there can push them in and crawl into your room


07/09/12 | Link | Rating: 1.0
7. Jason M.
Do you like the hairs of random strangers to grace your minimalist towel?

Do you like when bugs magically appear in your bed over night?

Do you like when the throbbing bass from an Adele dance remix wafts its way from the gayborhood into your hostel room on the third floor?

Do you like when a hostel inexplicably has free wifi on every floor?

If so, this is perfect for you!
Also, lock your door at night. There are some interesting characters renting rooms month to month.

18/03/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
8. Ellen S.
If you like hanging out at the bus station, you'll like this place. My husband picked the place because it was historic and the oldest hotel in El Paso. The downstairs was very cool and using the old elevator. But there was also a shabby quality that felt not so much hip and cool, but rather seedy. It's clear that the owner has tried to keep it up and running but with minimal input. In our room, curtains were falling, blinds, we're filthy. Not sure if there is AC or not but we could open the window. Our shower didn't work. I requested of my husband that we move to a different place for subsequent nights.

05/04/15 | Link | Rating: 2.0
9. Trevor S.
For a cheap, quickly accommodating place, I was quite happy with my stay at the hostel. It obviously wasn't a five start hotel, but for 23 bucks i was given sheets and great service. I was given a room that had two bunks and could sleep four people to myself so there was no need to get a locker like other hostels. Sink in the bedroom and a shared shower and bath down the hall.

I walked around the area in the evening and felt pretty safe. Good little restaurants in the area, and interesting history as well. When I came back, I was locked out but the front desk man quickly came running to the door to let me in. He told me he locks it after a certain hour to "keep the ugly people out." I told him thanks for letting me in, then.

15/07/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0