The Hotel Blue (717 Central Ave. NW, 877/878-4868, www.thehotelblue.com , $82 d) offers decent value downtown, billing itself as a “boutique hotel” but really just a spruced-up chain motel. The low rates include parking, and rooms, decorated in a vaguely art deco style using black-and-white and vintage travel posters, have good-quality beds, refrigerators, and plasma TVs—though they are not always as sparkling as one would hope. There’s also a small pool. Request a room on the northeast side for a mountain view.
Hidden on a narrow road in Los Ranchos , Casita Chamisa (850 Chamisal Rd. NW, 505/897-4644, www.casitachamisa.com , $95 d) is very small—only one bedroom, and one guesthouse for four people—but it’s wonderfully private and the sort of place that could exist only in New Mexico: The 150-year-old adobe house sits by an old acequia, as well as the remnants of a Pueblo community established seven centuries ago and partially excavated by the owner’s late wife, an archaeologist. There are also a heated pool and a glass-covered patio—both lovely in the wintertime.
Central Avenue is strewn with motels, many built in Route 66’s heyday. Almost all of them are unsavory, except for Monterey Non-Smokers Motel (2402 Central Ave. SW, 505/243-3554, $75 d), which is as practical as its name implies. The place doesn’t really capitalize on 1950s kitsch—it just offers clean, good-value rooms with no extra frills or flair. The location near Old Town  is very convenient.