Built along the original route 66, the El Rey Court (as it was called at that time) officially opened its doors in 1936. With its traditional northern New Mexico adobe-style architecture the motor inn was a huge amongst locals and road trippers alike. Its popularity grew the following year when the New Mexico state legislature moved the northern leg of Route 66 creating a new section of highway that brought in even more passing travelers. That section of highway is now part of the I-40.
Today, the El Rey Inn has become a historic venue in Santa Fe and a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. In fact, 2016 marked the inn’s 80th anniversary. With a welcoming ambiance and casual atmosphere, the El Rey Inn transports guests to a simpler, quieter, more peaceful time...and just like Santa Fe itself, it keeps getting better and better.
Throughout the years, the El Rey has seen many additions, renovations, upgrades, and changes. The first major overhaul of the El Rey occurred in 1950. To accommodate growing tourism to Santa Fe, the owner decided to enclose the individual carports making them guest rooms. During that time, a swimming pool was also added to keep the El Rey in step with the newer hotels in Santa Fe.