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“their close to everything”
Review of Thunderbird Hotel

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Thunderbird Hotel
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Marfa
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“their close to everything”
Reviewed November 1, 2010

Stayed here for two nights in June because as far as I know, it's the only hotel with a pool in Marfa, and with the Texas heat in the summer it's nice to have. You check in across the street from the main building.. hotel is more like a motor court, where you drive right up to you room's door. The rooms were nice and clean over all. Air conditioner leaked a little, I'd say because of it's age... so keep your books away from that area. I slept on the day bed (there were three of us in the room), which house keeping never made like they did to the queen. The hotel never informed us on check in that the pool area closes at 9 (?). Our problem was when we called the emergency number to find out why the pool area was locked, it took them about 20mins to call us back (no one from the hotel is on the grounds overnight as far as we knew). They offer bikes to rent for riding around town (that was a blast), their close to everything if you just want to use the bikes instead of your car. It's good to have ear plugs, trains come through the town at night and the tracks are just behind the hotel (Marfa is a very small town). Had a nice stay over all, and would be willing to stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank swellpad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Playa de las Americas, Spain
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2010

all very nice - love the aesthetics, comfortable rooms, nice staff, great location, would stay again...
BUT - daily room cleaning needs to improve!

(if you prefer overdesigned hotels with unctuous staff - this hotel is not for you)

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank traveladventures123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Argyle, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2010

The Thunderbird isn't a bad hotel, but it would definitely benefit from some warmer touches in the rooms. The all-white scheme combined with the gray concrete floors give off a clinical/institutional feel and, for us, it was a little unsettling when we first opened the door. However, once we became acclimated we were fine and appreciated that the room was clean, the bed was comfortable, the showers worked and a problem with our A/C was quickly fixed.

The staff was casual and friendly. The breakfast was good, featuring a number of healthy items - bran muffins, bagels, yogurt, granola and oatmeal. We took advantage of the bike rentals and had a leisurely ride around Marfa. My wife was also delighted to find Mo's Bacon Bars for sale at the hotel office. She had seen them on the Food Network and this was the first place she'd ever run across them. We are both now fans.

One last note: the choo choo trains are for real! Thankfully, we only heard them a couple of times throughout the night and we weren't too bothered, but for lighter sleepers, you'll definitely want to take advantage of the ear plugs provided.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JAF74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2010

Stayed at the Thunderbird for our honeymoon after our planned California trip was canceled. The rooms are decorated in a modern-western-minimalist style and we really appreciated the upscale toiletries they provided. The staff were very friendly and the place was super clean. Others have complained about the noise of the trains at night, but I'm not a particularly heavy sleeper and I didn't even hear them. Marfa is such a small town that you're not going to find a place where you can't hear the trains - it's just a fact of life in west Texas.

Thunderbird may not be for everybody, but highly recommended if you want great attention to detail and an escape from the rustic cowboy look that pervades Texas hotels. Great for younger couples and those who appreciate modern design.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Stuffnstuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
austin
1 review
Reviewed March 7, 2010

We truly enjoyed our stay at the Thunderbird. The room was very minimally decorated in a very modern, yet not sterile way. The amenities were fantastic- especially the mini-bar. The staff were all very friendly and most of all, everything was really clean.

I would absolutely stay at the Thunderbird again. Thank you.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank adj042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2010

My wife and I really enjoyed our stay here. The room was clean and we liked the style very much. The floors are painted concrete and ours was in need of a new paint job. It looked like they were about to repaint it, as the room next door had its door open all day as it had just been repainted.

This hotel may not be for everyone but if you like a cool minimalistic with style you can't go wrong. We really enjoyed the included breakfast on weekend mornings too.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank boomop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
57 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2009

My husband and I stayed here over the 2009 Christmas holiday. I understand that this hotel is operated by the same person who runs the San Jose in Austin, and there are quite a few similarities between the two in terms of the style and concept. Basically, both are motels that had their original heyday in an earlier era (before most of us were born, but maybe we remember going there when they were on the way to being rundown in the 1970s?) that have been remodeled in a cool and creative minimalist style, but still retains some of the feel of the original roadside motel.

Austin's San Jose has a much better layout (interior courtyard). The Thunderbird is limited by its layout, which is the standard layout for a roadside motel. That is, one of those motels that is right by the highway (not a super busy one), shaped in a U, with all the room doors facing the interior of the U, and with a pool at the front of the hotel in the middle of the U. As a result, the Thunderbird has all of the downsides of the standard roadside motel -- almost all the rooms have windows that face out to the interior, and you hear/see the cars parked right outside and people walking in front of your room; the individual cooling/heating units are noisy and don't work all that well; the views are of the road; there's no private courtyard.

That said, the Thunderbird makes the most of things despite these inherent limitations. The hotel is a case study in how you can create a very cool vibe and style without spending a bundle. For example, the lights in the bathroom are just light bulbs with silver shading at the bottom. The landscaping outside is tasteful. The floors are cement, but topped with cowhide rugs. The hotel offers interesting DVDs to rent, and the "minibar" (a wire basket stocked with goodies) has interesting and original foods.

The chief, fixable downsides of the hotel had to do with the maid service and the heating in the room. Our room was not well cleaned. Towels were not replaced, dirty glasses were not replaced, it didn't seem clean. The heating unit didn't work well. It went on and off constantly, and the room never was adequately warm.

We got one of the rooms with a day bed -- I would recommend the upgrade because you have a lot more room (kind of a sofa-like spot in the room that could be converted into a single bed and sleep three). When we checked in, we were given Room 29, which was located in a corner and, instead of a window, has a very noisy icemaker immediately beside it. The room seemed cavelike, since it didn't have a window. I asked for a different room, and we were given No. 16, which was also in a corner, but had some natural light from clerestory window above the bed.

Things to do in Marfa? We did the full day at the Chinati Foundation -- highly recommended. Even if minimalism isn't your style, it will cause you to think about what art means. We ate at Carmen's (only okay), Food Shark (you have to try this! excellent), and Maiya (sp? very good). We did the Star Party at the McDonald Observatory (cold, and we had clouds, so not much to see, sadly). We drove out to see the "Prada" near Valentine -- lots of fun.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Buben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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

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