"Charm of Yesterday, Covenience of Tomorrow"
Posted Oct 7, 2014
Checking in at the El Rancho, I was assigned the Paulette Goddard room, opposite Gene Autry and next door to Robert Mitchum. My room was spacious, clean, possessing a certain Western charm, and replete with a comfortable armchair, television, a portrait of Ms. Goddard and a door which opened out onto a balcony. The balcony overlooked Route 66 and was bathed in pink from the El Rancho's famous neon sign.
On entering the El Rancho's great lobby, I was immediately transported back in time, to an age of elegance and glamour, when movie stars wore mink and tweed and red carnations. This style typified the furnishings: deer heads mounted on the high walls, vintage cigarette machines, a shoeshine stand, a grand piano, plush seating surrounding a large fireplace, and the prize: dozens of framed portraits of some of the El Rancho's esteemed guests, many signed: Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Bogie, Rita Hayworth, etc.
Being something of a connoisseur of classic Hollywood, I was completely captivated during my stay. The very air was imbued with the presence of these celluloid greats, as though their ghosts still tread the carpeted boards.
I urge you to experience the El Rancho for yourself, if not for a taste of that old Hollywood magic, then for the friendly service, the affordable, appetising menu, the gift shop selling Native American wares and biographies of the Duke, or just for a frosty one in the 49er Lounge.