After researching Marfa's hotels on the web, we decided that there were two reasonable options: The Hotel Paisano and the Thunderbird Marfa. (We did notice one additional hotel on US 90 on the East side of town, but frankly it looked more suitable for the "Help", Dahling.)
We settled on the Thunderbird Marfa - the sister of the Hotel San Jose in Austin and a hotel that had been positively reviewed in publications like Conde Nast Traveler and the NY Times.
We called and made a reservation with the hotel directly: $112.50 for a Friday night in January, 2006. We used a confusing package: Essentially we got a $12.50 discount if we agreed to buy a T-Shirt ($20) once we got there. Total with tax and T-Shirt: $140.75 for a "daybed" room for two for a night (January, 2006)
The hotel was once a typical roadside motel but the owners completely remodeled it and gave it a modern, hip look. Concrete floors with cowhide rugs. (I prefer wall to wall carpeting, but sometimes style hurts). Platform beds. Luxury toiletries. Indian blankets on white linens. An outdoor pool and fire pit (Which we didn't see in action). You get the idea - it's not a Day's Inn franchise. In addition the service was outstanding and the staff was very friendly.
The rooms were not generous in size, but were extremely well maintained. Overall - we liked the hotel, although I wouldn't describe it as a bargain. And it was really more "arty" motel than "luxury" hotel. When you're booking your room be very specific about what you want and ask questions.
The hotel is not within easy walking distance of the Chinati foundation but you can walk the 5 or 6 blocks to downtown. Of course, if you're in Marfa you'll have a car anyway.
Finally the hotel offers guests the chance to borrow a record player and LPs as well as a typewriter (In case you get the urge to create your own incomprehensible art after visiting the Chinati Foundation)
Unique Quality: The room we were initially given had a doorway connecting it to the adjacent room. Normally that's acceptable but this room had a single door separating the rooms (as opposed the more traditional two) and was unlocked when we arrived - allowing us to waltz into the adjacent suite. But more concerning than the fact that we could see light around the crack in the closed door was the fact that the door was in the bathroom. Unless you want to experience the intimacy of an army latrine with your motel neighbor you might want to consider avoiding this room The room was the 2nd from the end on the east side of the hotel.
The 2nd room we were given was at the opposite end of the hotel and was fine - although it lacked a window in the bedroom. There was a small opaque window in the bathroom. If you're claustrophobic another room might be more to your taste.
We reserved a "daybed" room - which included a platform daybed to accompany the platform bed. We peeked in the windows of some of the non-daybed rooms and they seemed smaller. .
The hotel offers a selection of DVD's at $2 per rental, but we found out moving rooms that some rooms have TV/DVD players while others have flat screen TV's. The hotel has extra DVD players for the flat screen rooms, but you have to request them.
The motel has high speed wireless internet access, but the signal is weak and only works at the pool and in the hotel office (Which is across the street from the main body of the hotel). However you can request a cord for a high speed plug in connection. Internet is free. The hotel doesn't have a restaurant, but there is a Dairy Queen next door. In addition, reading the hotel information in the room seemed to suggest the front desk isn’t manned 24 hours, so late arrivals might want to notify the hotel in advance.
Directions: On US 90 in Marfa. Trust us, you'll find it.
207 N. Highland Ave., Marfa
600 West San Antonio, Marfa
Box 67 Candelaria Route, Marfa
215 N. Austin, Marfa
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Address: 600 West San Antonio, Marfa, Texas, 79843, United States