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“Hip place for the Marfa experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thunderbird Hotel

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Thunderbird Hotel
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600 West San Antonio, Marfa, TX 79843   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Marfa
ATX
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Hip place for the Marfa experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2007

The Thunderbird was the perfect place to stay in Marfa- cool minimalist chic that feels designed but not over the top. We loved it and will stay there again, but its probably not for everyone- I'd tell my parents maybe to stay at the Paisano (didn't see it, but based on the reviews it may be more their cup of tea). The AC is a little noisy, but I like white noise and I think it helped drown out the train so I had no trouble in that department. The pet fee is a little steep, but they put a really comfy dog bed, dog bowl, and treat bag in the room for us. Overall, it was a great experience and we will be coming back for sure!

  • Liked — great location, cool rooms
  • Disliked — high pet fee, but at least they allow pets
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Interlochen
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2007

Loved the Chinati Foundation. Loved the Marfa Book Company. Loved Prada Marfa. Did not, however, love the attitude of the desk staff at the Thunderbird, who looked like Prada models and demonstrated the same languourous indifference to the common folk around them. I was quite surprised at the attitude of these people (who definitely made my travelling companion and myself feel as if we were not really "cool" enough to BE there), since the woman who took my reservations months earlier was so engaging, friendly, warm and charming (we must have talked for 20 minutes!)

Since we came to Marfa to see the Chinati, we were quite happy with the aesthetic of the hotel, although the room could have been a bit more comfortable. The main problem, though, was the ATTITUDE, which was the biggest unpleasantness of a 7 day, 1400 mile road trip (yes, I realize how lucky that makes us). If you're the kind of boutique hotel customer who wouldn't be caught dead in the wrong pair of jeans this season, you probaly won't mind the 'tude at all. I, however, am definitely staying somewhere else when I go back to Marfa this summer. (I was leaning towards the Paisano last year, but friends who have spent time in Marfa told us that we HAD to stay at the Thunderbird.)

  • Liked — The aesthetics of the architecture and decoration were beautifully modern.
  • Disliked — The attitude of the front desk staff.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2007

After reading other reviews, I was leaning more towards the Paisano, but a friend of a friend said T-Bird was THE place - so we tried it last month. Not next time.

The bathroom has no openable windows, so take a shower and the entire ceiling is dripping from condensation like a cave - and this was in the winter. Then the bathroom door is not a true door - rather a swinging kitchen door, but no window - just make sure you and any traveling companions operate it slowly or you'll not enjoy the wallop. Also the "closet" is in the bathroom, so at least your clothing gets steamed out often.

The bed is merely a mattress on plywood, uncomfortable, and it creaks if you move around in bed - didn't sleep thru the night once.

The office staff are art and/or music wannabes, so they close down the office if there's a hot ticket in town.

The internet connection from the rooms is broken; from the way they cover for this fault it seems it's been broken for a while with no ETA for a fix. And the wireless connection outside in the public areas is iffy at best, and tough to use if you want to do some surfing at night.

On the other hand, the trains didn't bother me - but then again I was tossing and turning in the uncomfortable bed so much maybe I was too tired to notice.

Next stop we stayed at a Radisson - what a relief.

  • Liked — It was clean.
  • Disliked — Design failures - bed and bathroom.
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
santa fe
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2007

The Thunderbird is high on style but low on comfort. Noisy, thin finshes, and either too hot or cold if the outside temp is uncomfortable. It's a very nice motel. Food is also a problem, only one place in town open M - W. No refrigerators in the room make one dependent on very few Marfa food outlets.

  • Liked — style
  • Disliked — noise and tempurture
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2006

The hotel is wonderfully designed, a Liz Lambert gem. It looks a bit shoddy compared to the pictures on the web, though the smart use of space is apparent. The beds were comfortable and the I enjoyed the peacefulness of the rooms....UNTIL the train came through! It woke me up every time, and I struggled to get back to sleep at least three times during the night (and I am a heavy sleeper). The experience was also tainted by two obnoxious front desk clerks. The young man was simply aloof and the older woman was a bit condescending. How easily people forget the paying guest/hospitality staff dynamic! For the price--and the location--I would have expected less atittude and better customer service. They seemed bothered with my questions, so I will likely not bother with the hotel next time. All in all, a beautiful place that might be too cool for school.

Stayed September 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derry, NH
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2006

Hotel is nicely decorated, very minimal furniture, chic and modern and clean. Beds are comfortable, linens are great. Staff is OK at the Front Desk, Bartender seemed a little stuck up and given the small bar and not alot of people he should be extra friendly!

The hotel is about 100 yards from the railroad track and freight trains with horns BLARING race pass all day and NIGHT! They need to give you ear plugs. If you are not a heavy sleeper expectto be woken up every few hours. They need iron and ironing boards in very room as well as a coffee maker. Dont like to walk across the street to get coffee. At a $175 per night for a standard room in the tiny town of Marfa, I would expect that. All in all, very pricey for the room and $9.00 in the lounge for 4oz of wine is excessive.

  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2006

Briefly, bring:
- swimming trunks (bikini is fine, as appropriate)
- slippers (floors are cool)
- iPod, they have a clock/radio/iPod receptacle by the bed
- laptop for DSL connectivity
- CDs/DVDs for the player
I brought a game for idle times and a book. I used their pool which was cool but manageable and very refreshing in the evenings after a hot day of hiking or touring. The staff was helpful and cheery. Across the street is their Lounge, which opens at 6pm (being on a schedule is a rare thing in Marfa, so relish it), starts quiet then becomes lively as the evening wears on. I would say that The Thunderbird Lounge is an "in" spot in Marfa.

The motel was a classy-styled minimalist but comfortable chic place to stay. I recommend it to friends and would stay there again.

On the downside, some guests were flaky - not the fault of the motel but it's what you can expect for such an original establishment. Parking is not meant for each room to be able to handle a full-size Hummer but was sufficient for most vehicles, though rules such as "No Parking Here" didn't stop some oaf from parking his monster truck blocking two pathways the last evening I stayed.

With respect to the comment on noise, yes, there is some train noise but I didn't notice it. Keep in mind that Marfa is on an important route, be it rail or road, and therefore it makes for interesting traffic. Marfa has a blinking red light, but not a traffic light per se, such is the amount of traffic. I enjoyed seeing the farm & ranch vehicles, the Amtrak passenger trains, and the like passing through - it evoked the town's historical importance. If you want a dead quiet town, then go stay in a ghost town.

Thumbs up!

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thunderbird Hotel

Address: 600 West San Antonio, Marfa, TX 79843
Location: United States > Texas > Marfa
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Marfa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Thunderbird Hotel Marfa, Texas

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