It is El Paso’s oldest operating hotel in the city. It opened back in 1922 by lawyer Preston E. Gardner and has been run by a handful of owners, including being handed down family lies. There is some history that goes with it as well. Banker robber John Dillinger stayed at the hotel back in 1934, who was eventually arrested a couple days after his stay in Tucson.
The hotel also operates as a hostel, the only in the city and one of six in the state of Texas. It was rated in 1996 by American Youth Hostels as the best in the country, according to their website. It once operated as retirement home for 20 years. It’s also home to oldest public phone in the area, which hangs on one of its walls. It was originally supposed to be a five story hotel with 100 guestrooms, but costs forced the owner to stop at three floors.
Two words to describe this hotel near San Jacinto Plaza, history and uniqueness.
The Gardner Hotel, located at 311 East Franklin Avenue, is within blocks of countless of activities to do in downtown El Paso.
The current owner, Joe Nebhan who received the hotel from his father John, has redone the hotel to match its original roots. The front desk resembles a feel of the 1920s. Skylights in the hotel are now uncovered and windows have been replaced with stained glass. Even a telephone switchboard from the 1930s is now on display in the lobby of the hotel.
It’s safe to say that the Gardner hotel certainly is your ordinary hotel here in El Paso.