The Alamo Inn Bed and Breakfast
The Alamo Inn Bed and Breakfast is located in the town of Alamo, in the heart of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It caters almost exclusively to birdwatchers who come to the Valley to see Mexican and subtropical species of birds that can be found nowhere else in the United States. The owner, originally from South Africa, is a good source of information about rare and vagrant birds, and where to find specific birds in general.
I did not know about the Alamo Inn Bed and Breakfast because the owner does not heavily advertise. He relies on word-of-mouth business from within the birdwatching community. I learned of the inn when I met a birdwatcher in the field who recommended it. I stayed for three nights, and it was a welcome change from the generic chain motels that I had been staying in. The Alamo Inn Bed and Breakfast is in a historic two-story building built in 1919. The rooms and suites are furnished with family antiques. There are several single rooms, as well as four suites, each of which has a different theme. The Pancho Villa Suite features pictures of the notorious Mexican bandit and revolutionary. The Edinburgh Suite has a Scottish Victorian theme, the Johnson Suite features early southwest pioneer farmers, and the South Padre Island Suite has a theme highlighting the area's history of pirates. The suites also have a seperate living room.
Each room and suite has a private bath, coffee maker, cable television, and iron and ironing board. Most rooms have queen-size beds, but some of the single rooms have twin beds.
The kitchen and dining area has a well-stocked refrigerator where guests can help themselves to whatever food is available for breakfast and lunch. Guests pay for their food on the honor system by putting money in a box on the shelf. They also are expected to clean up after themselves by putting their dirty dishes in the kitchen sink
The inn also has a birding and wildlife shop where guests can buy field guides to the area's birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and other insects, mammals, and plants. There are also international field guides to birds, as well as historical and travel books and maps. The store also has a good selection of binoculars and other optics, checklists, and T-shirts. Again, guests can pay for these items on the honor sysytem.