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“Funky accommodations in weird little Marfa”
Review of El Cosmico

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El Cosmico
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
72 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Funky accommodations in weird little Marfa”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

We stayed in the Little Pinky trailor and found the trailer to be very small (as advertised) but just fine for a couple wanting a fun Marfa experience. The outdoor shower was fantastic. The hammock grove is great. Sadly, the landscaping in the grounds is lacking and the larger trailors could be a little nicer for the price they charge. Some of oour friends stayed in the Imperial and it has probably the best bed setup and is a huge comfortable trailer with a nice deck. If you're there with a group and like to stay up late chatting and laughing, that's not really possible because everyone in the place will hear you! Our favorite part of Marfa was the hangout joint "Planet Marfa" and the drive down 67 to the Rio Grande River. Overall, nice getaway in the middle of nowhere!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank FrostJourneys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2012

We decided to stay @ El Cosmico based on the NYTimes review from the spring. And, aside from the 100 degree heat, I found this property quite acceptable, funky, and (most importantly) clean. To all those considering staying here - know that none of the accommodations have AC. At the height of summer (ok, we visited during a hot week in June) ... this was not an insignificant factor. We stayed in a tent one night (and couldn't catch a cool breeze - the temp inside the tent was easily over 110 degrees) ... and a refurbished trailer the second night. Once the sun went down, it took several hours for the breezes to cool things off a bit. And, during our first night, there was a wonderful band playing in the common area. Still, if you pack a sense of adventure and keep an open mind (in the event some self-important poser looks at you with disdain) anyone can appreciate this unique place.

Room Tip: Trailers have fans - a MUST when booking in the summer time.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SunnyPetunia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2012

My husband and I wanted to spend our 3 nights in Marfa at El Cosmico because of all the rave reviews we had heard about it in Austin. When we made reservations for our stay at the end of April, there was only one space available...the most expensive trailer. We took it, and booked the other 2 nights at a bed and breakfast in Marfa.
Thank goodness El Cosmico was booked those other 2 nights.

I am a native Texan. So were my parents. I don't brag about much in Texas, except about our friendliness to others. With that in mind, I found the staff at El Cosmico to be an embarrassment to our state. I shudder to think of people from out of state, and Texans, too, having to suffer the "too cool to work or care" attitude we encountered at this place from the extremely unfriendly, bored, and ignorant staff.

The accommodations were interesting, but didn't warrant the price. The cost--$150 per night--was way out of kilter with the price for other accommodations in town. I guess I just had too many friends who grew up in dusty old Texas trailer parks to see the novelty of the place.

El Cosmico does not serve food, so we asked the staff if they could recommend a place for breakfast. The staff would have you believe there really isn't anywhere to eat breakfast in Marfa. Excuse me, but Marfa has had a vibrant community long before the hipsters arrived. My husband and I found a great place to eat, once we headed into Marfa and spoke to the local, friendly folk.

All of the tourist information one would expect to get at a place that charges $150/night we found at the local tourist bureau. Again, staffed by friendly local people who knew the area and the culture.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank TomnLindaAustin_TX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

Not much of the way of "camping" is available in Marfa. One of the other spots is set up for trailer parking but no amenities. El Cosmico is set up for tents only, and those are all walk-in sites, with cargo wagons provided for moving your equipment. No privacy. Trailers are relegated to a gravel parking lot with no assigned places, no hookups or tables. Only 3 others using the parking area so it was fine. The main office & lounge area is very cool as is the hammock grove. Nice staff and awesome souvenirs. Good coffee available in the mornings plus wifi (at office area only). The outdoor bathroom is groovy but totally inadequate. Only two toilets and hogged by a couple of campers. Thank goodness we had a porta-potty in the trailer. Only one outdoor sink for cleaning up. I was taken aback by the outside appearance of the vintage trailers for rent. Not restored at all and not particularly attractive and essentially no outside space, very unlike other vintage trailer spots. Have no idea what they are like inside since they were occupied. No evidence of AC in them either. If I'm back in the area, I will definitely stay there again as I'm an old hippie and liked the vibes. Doesn't look like it would be good for families or the staid.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BlindDogAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2012

I have inadvertently cruised around Texas on the 'Liz Lambert' tour - 2 weeks away from London. Bliss. Hotel Havana in San Antonio (lovely place, cool bar), Hotel San Jose in Austin (Hipster Central) and finally, El Cosmico in Marfa.

Disclaimer: Aged 34, I have never slept in a tent, a caravan, a trailer, a motorhome or anything in fact that doesn't have foundations, full electrics, plumbing, etc. and I was coming from 5 Star Liz Lambert City Style. Travelling solo. I was nervous. But I feel in love immediately. I was in the Royal Mansion trailer (green and white), right at the back of the camp site...one HUGE double bed, a little loo (that flushed - wow!) and a door out the back to the outdoor shower, secluded by curtains and with LOTS of hot water.

I wasn't going to do any cooking but there was stuff in there to cook with and a trendy jar of coffee grounds and a pot for the making thereof. A fridgey thing. Electric points for recharging stuff, etc. Several electric heaters for when it got chilly.

There are handy carts to haul luggage from the cars and I loved seeing the coming and going of tents throughout the 3 nights I was there. There are teepees you can hire for the night and one yurt (I think they're phasing them out).

A good reception area with free coffee from 8am, sofas to chill on to do emails (only wifi is in reception) and some tables outside. And I gather there are BBQ areas for those in tents...

Anyway - whatever. El Cosmico was wonderful. In the UK we'd call it glamping and if this is the standard of glamping I'm now accustomed to - woe betide any other site I stumble upon. Stay there.

The truth is, I'm not a Hipster. But having done what is clearly the list of hipster's (with money) hangouts in Texas - I'm a convert. If ONLY I could grow a beard.

And while I'm at it...if you're looking for somewhere else quirky to stay on the way back to Dallas/Fort Worth - check out Sayles Ranch in Abilene. Amazing, self-catering and totally awesome interiors. A far cry from the Lambert minimalism but rather lovely.

Right - I'm off for more red meat.

Room Tip: If you have cash and can book in advance - go for a trailer - and the website is useful for spelling...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank chloerfowler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 14, 2011

Some friends and I stayed in a couple of yurts back in September. They were nicely furnished with a futon, cow hide rug, extra blankets and towels and a cool recycled tin can lantern. When we arrived early that evening the sky was clear and temperature was perfect. By the time we returned from the show we were attending that night a storm had rolled in and when we got in our yurts we saw they were leaking from several places. We had to use the extra towels and blankets to stop the leaks but even that didn't prevent our bed from getting mostly soaked. My boyfriend realized that the wind had blown the rain flap ajar, so we figured out how to readjust it so that less water leaked in and we made in through the night laying on top of what few dry blankets we had left. Honestly I was pretty miserable there for a minute. Had it been a nice dry desert night this place would have been absolutely amazing. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans for us... My only gripe would be that the El Cosmico website states the yurts have "weatherproof fabric walls"... yeah the material may be weather proof, but definitely not the structure.... If theres a chance of showers stay in the safari tent.... Those seemed to hold up better in the rain.

Room Tip: Skip the yurts if there is a chance of rain... go for the trailers or safari tent instead.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank andyhatesyou2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed October 15, 2011

It's a great place to stay! Love the outdoor showers and the furnished tents are clean and simple. Also next door to the chinati foundation and very close to town.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank royallace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Cosmico

Property: El Cosmico
Address: 802 S. Highland Ave., Marfa, TX 79843
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Marfa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Marfa
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Cosmico is an 21 acre nomadic hotel and campground in Marfa, Texas. In keeping with the belief that life should be a balance of adventure and do-nothingness we offer shelter, occasional entertainment, opportunity for learning/doing/making, and access to the majesty of the high plains desert. From its wide open spaces to the vast canopy of stars above, El Cosmico provides temporary liberation from the built world. It is second home to intrepid travelers and wanderers from all corners of the planet. Accommodations at El Cosmico include renovated vintage trailers, safari and scout tents, Sioux-style tepees, a Mongolian yurt, and tent campsites. The property also offers several communal spaces for guests - a hammock grove, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a community lounge and mercantile, an outdoor stage, a reading room. We rent wood-fired hot tubs as the burn ban allows, and bikes for exploring Marfa. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Cosmico Marfa, Texas

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