We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Loved the Thunderbird!!!!”
Review of Thunderbird Hotel

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Marfa
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Thunderbird Hotel
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Marfa
Austin, Texas
1 review
“Loved the Thunderbird!!!!”
Reviewed January 21, 2009

Fantastic place! The Thunderbird is a special place, as is Marfa. I highly encourage a visit to Marfa, and a stay at the Thunderbird. Check in, wander down the street to Gallery Row, grab dinner at Maiya's or any of the other fine eateries, and then finish the evening with a drink at the historic Paisano. The wander on back to the Thunderbird. Next day, drive over to the Davis Mountains and go hiking....Perfect...

  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 1runnerman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

167 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    35
    56
    37
    21
    18
See reviews for
21
69
12
11
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2009

Smell of sewage emanated from the toilet. Not TOO bad with bathroom door shut, but still! Girl at the front desk had no idea what my husband was talking about when he asked to borrow the manual typewriter, despite this being featured in ads for the hotel. "Continental" breakfast totally sucked, I've had better at low-end chains. (No yogurt, milk, anything with any protein.) Another couple we met on Chinati tour had been booked for two nights at Thunderbird and fled after night one for the Paisano because they thought Thunderbird was too expensive for something that reminded them of EconoLodge. We are down with minimalism in posh hotels, but even without the toilet smell, this room was too Spartan. The toiletries were nice, and you could rent fun DVDs for a fee, and the pool area was pretty. But for $135 and $120 for Saturday and Sunday (off-season), I wanted more. This is NOT the same vibe as Hotel San Jose in Austin. (And I think management is now different than Hotel San Jose?)

  • Liked — decor, the "vibe"
  • Disliked — toilet smell, stuff featured in ads not there, bad breakfast, lack of atmosphere
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank chrhenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Marfa hotels

Austin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 7, 2008

We loved the Thunderbird - a sleek oasis in the middle of West Texas. Especially appreciative of how pet friendly it is.
Our favorite part? The bathrooms are minimal and hip. Great water pressure, and everything was spotless.

Stayed August 2005
Helpful?
1 Thank kelsita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brooklyn, ny
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2008

Having stayed at the similarly designed Hotel San Jose in Austin last year, we were looking forward to a couple nights at the Thunderbird. I don't understand the complaints about the aesthetics of the place. I think it's obvious from photos on the website what a typical Thunderbird room looks like: sleek and spare, with nary a square of carpet to be found. My issues with the Thunderbird stem from a lack of customer service and overall organization.

The hotel office closes at 9PM but on the night we checked in, we received a call saying they were closing an hour early. I didn't realize I had a the message until after we checked in and in retrospect, I now know why I felt so rushed during check-in. But anyway, we were able to check in before 8, which turned out to be fortuitous, because the lights in our original room didn't work. After a bit of back and forth, we were switched to an adjacent room.

I was under the impression that the hotel had WiFi throughout, which turned out not to be the case. My husband ran across the street to grab an ethernet cable but that didn't do anything. At 7:59 we called the front desk to ask for ethernet instructions (as specified in the room folio) but too late, they had already closed up for the night. Not sure why they weren't provided originally when we were given the cable. The internet situation was consistently frustrating throughout our stay. The next morning we were told that wireless only worked in the pool and outdoor sitting area and that the in room access was not working. The WiFi coverage was spotty at best, working maybe half of the time. We never did get access in our room and none of the employees seemed to have any sort of idea of what the problem was.

The room itself was fine, though we didn't get the same sense of comfort that we got from the San Jose. This might have been due to the number of bugs in the room. During our stay, I must have caught a dozen mosquitoes. The walls and ceiling were dotted with squished bugs and there were several tiny dead mosquitoes along the counter in the bathroom. There was also a swarm by the ice machine.

Upon reviewing my bill at checkout, I was surprised to see a resort fee and resort fee tax. The supplemental charge turned out to be a tip for the housekeepers. We had already left a tip in the room, so I went back to the room to get it back. I'm not sure I've ever stayed at a hotel that included a compulsory tip and then to be taxed on that tip is ridiculous! The Thunderbird should really mention it on their website.

We did enjoy the hotel lounge next to the office across the street. They showed Young Frankenstein in the outside patio one night and the bartender made a nice michelada.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank youthlarge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2008

The well-traveled visitor to Marfa will immediately notice that the town suffers from a distinct lack of corporate comforts. This paucity of options makes eating difficult, but nowhere is it more problematic than in the realm of accommodations. In the absence of a Hampton Suites, Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, or any other beacon of class and comfort, you may find yourself, as I did, rolling the dice on a local outfit such as the Thunderbird.

Despite its exorbitant high price ($175+tax/night), the Thunderbird cuts corners everywhere it can. Observe, for example, the unpaved gravel parking lot. (Don't they realize that this is 2008?) Inside, the wall-to-wall carpet standard in any respectable motel is nowhere to be found. You will just have to make do with a concrete floor and an imitation animal skin rug. The furniture, what little the rooms contain, is sub-par and lacking in ornament. The bed is very low to the ground. This allows the sleeper to be aerodynamic, but it is otherwise rather pointless. The bathroom door is inadequately thick. Groans are only slightly muffled by its presence.

The hotel attempts to compensate for these glaring deficiencies with a few "amenities". There is a fine little swimming pool, but it is surrounded by unsightly cacti. (Swimming is free of charge; there is not a water slide.) For a nominal fee, the hotel loans out record players, LPs, and bicycles. This would almost be funny were it not so pitifully small town and anachronistic.

The real problem with the Thunderbird is its clientele. The people in the rooms neighboring yours are likely to suffer from mental disorders of one variety or another. Based on close observation of eyewear, I suspect some of them may be artists, free spirits. This will lead them to believe that it is acceptable to have loud and insipid conversations directly outside of your room at 4:30am, despite your respectful requests that they speak softly or relocate. The management, when you complain the following morning, may bribe you by returning $50. This would be some consolation if the hotel were not already so overpriced.

In conclusion, a Red Roof Inn should be built in Marfa. Could there also be a Kettle Restaurant? I hope so. Ideally, it will all be located within short walking distance of the Chinati Foundation.

  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank DekeFoster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2008

This Place was priced sky high, $180.00 for one night, concrete floors, terible bed. Truly a rip off for anyone with traveling experience. We were on a 1500 mile motorcycle tour and did not have a choice of hotels as the Paisano was booked up.
do yourself a huge favor, and book the Paisano rather than the Thunderbird.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Price VS what you get. Not a good place to stay the night.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank RKGSpring_Texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2008

If you like sleek, modern, contemporary-minimalist hotel rooms, you will like the Thunderbird. However, if you're in West Texas and think that you're going to be met by a local yokel with down-home Texas charm, ehhhh, you may not find it here. While the staff later warmed up to me, I have to say I was a little disappointed from the customer-service standpoint when I checked in. Read: slight attitude.

That said, after my stay was up a couple of days later, upon checkout I found the staff to be a bit warmer. The bar is small and rather dim and hard to read a book in (if you're traveling solo like me and wanted to have something to read with your drink). I did not take advantage of the pool due to the time of year, but I found the facility to be very clean, I LOVED the sheets on the bed, and I enjoyed the stark design. Was it worth the $275/night? I think about $100 less would have been more appropriate, but the Thunderbird has carved out its own little niche in Marfa hotels, and I suppose that is how they manage to demand that price point.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank NomadGrrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Marfa
0.4 mi away
Hotel Saint George
Hotel Saint George
#1 of 4 in Marfa
4.5 of 5 bubbles 195 reviews
22.8 mi away
The Maverick Inn
The Maverick Inn
#3 of 13 in Alpine
4.5 of 5 bubbles 380 reviews
22.0 mi away
Holland Hotel
Holland Hotel
#2 of 13 in Alpine
4.5 of 5 bubbles 461 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
23.5 mi away
Quality Inn
Quality Inn
#6 of 13 in Alpine
4.0 of 5 bubbles 321 reviews
20.1 mi away
Hampton Inn Alpine
Hampton Inn Alpine
#1 of 13 in Alpine
4.5 of 5 bubbles 527 reviews
19.8 mi away
Quarter Circle 7 Hotel
Quarter Circle 7 Hotel
#5 of 13 in Alpine
4.5 of 5 bubbles 53 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Thunderbird Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Thunderbird Hotel

Property: 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 #4 of 4 Hotels in Marfa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Thunderbird Hotel Marfa, Texas

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing