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Riata Inn Marfa
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All reviewsmarfa lightsin townmanager brendamini fridgeviewing areasmall townwonderful hospitalitythe usual amenitieshighly recommend staying hereplace to sleepup to dategreat roombed was comfortableupon checkper nighthot waterel paso
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Reviewed March 25, 2008

I stayed at the single-story Riata Inn-Marfa over the night of 21 December 2007. In short, I strongly urge you NOT to patronize this or (on the basis of my experience) any other Riata Inn.

Riata is a small, privately owned Texas chain, with 4 or 5 locations. I had also stayed at the one in Crystal City, TX. The policies, prices, and unpleasantries are similar.

The hotel's information can be found on the Web, but reservations can be made by phone only. Mine were made in friendly fashion, although I was told that the Riata has a 3-day (!) cancellation policy. Also, anyone arriving or calling when the office is not open (10p to 7a) is out of luck. The lady reservationist said that they would call me before my trip in order to confirm the reservation, but no call ever came.

This stay was the first stop of a 4-day, 1200-mile business trip. I arrived dead-tired at 8:30 p.m., was greeted nicely by the manager, and was given room #103, in a fairly quiet location as requested. The room rate is a uniform $65 (FAR too high -- see below), which I paid in advance. The parking spaces are blessedly wide, and the rooms are very big. This is where the positives end.

The room's heater was not on, and the outside temperature was headed to 19 F. The heating unit caused the room's curtains to billow. The room contained a low dresser with an old-style (fat) TV, low-wattage lighting, double beds with a nightstand between, and a table with a chair. The carpet was not new but not yet at life's end; it had obviously never been vacuumed around its edges (and I know exactly what this looks like whenever it's the case).

The bathroom counter had enough area on which to spread toiletries. Only two tiny bars of soap were provided. The faucet was filthy with crusted white grime. The towels were all nearing the end of their useful lives. The shower-head was perhaps 5'8" from the ground and nearly frozen in place, with very inadequate water pressure. The single shower-curtain was thick vinyl (so thick that it could not be creased) and with four large spots of mildew on the inside. The shower faucets turned on & off in weird directions, and they were unbelievably crudded with white grime. I was 100% CERTAIN that they had never been cleaned (some crud came off when I tested it with my thumbnail, and some was obviously "baked" on).

After spending a good half-hour trying to find anyplace in Marfa that served food after 9 p.m. (only one deli inside a gas station does), I hit the sack. The linens were clean and the mattress was fairly comfortable, but the pillows were so thin that it took two to equal a regular pillow. I noted with curiosity that the bed had only a sheet and the bedspread (no blanket). I went to sleep at 11 p.m. with the heater on (barely) warm ("low heat").

At 2:20 a.m., I awoke, drenched with sweat. The heater was malfunctioning. I could not turn it off completely because of the 19-degree temperature outside. The entire rest of the night was spent sleeplessly tossing/turning and continuously getting up to adjust the heater control by a billibeter this way or that way. Nothing worked.

Come daybreak, I was so tired that I was staggering with fatigue. At checkout, I said to the managerette, "Look; I'm not a complainer and I'm not used to doing it, so please bear with me." I explained the situation with the heater and also mentioned the crudded shower faucets. She said (with my unspoken reactions in parentheses):

"I'm sorry that our heaters are so good. We get fried in the managers' apartment, too." (Fine for you, Honey, but how does this help me?)

"Blankets are in the dresser under the TV. The owners won't let us put them on the beds until next week, when it gets really cold." (Why didn't someone tell me where the blankets were when I checked in, Honey? And 19 degrees NOW isn't COLD?)

"The shower faucets are cleaned every day with Ajax and wiping. We have well-water here, which you should know produces a residue." (Honey, I KNOW when fixtures aren't cleaned, and you're lying. And if you have well-water, which I don't care about, do more to overcome its residue.)

I didn't bother mentioning the dirty carpet-edges or the mildewed curtain. Somehow, I managed to avoid accidents on the challenging mountain roads that I had to drive during the day, but it was not because of any restful night at the Riata.

This is my second stay at a Riata Inn. I can state with accuracy:

1. The rooms are completely overpriced -- $38 tops MIGHT be worth it. For the standard $65, the rooms should at least have a microwave & small fridge, and be clean.

2. Given the constant statements (during this and my other stay) of "the owners say..." "the owners won't...", it's completely clear to me that "the owners don't care" and the managers therefore don't, either.

3. Be forewarned -- Riata Inns are intentionally situated to be the FIRST motel that you will see upon entering at least three towns, so you will be tempted to stop at a Riata overnight. DON'T.

4. Although I am quite tolerant, the treatment and the quality of stay at this Riata deserves one of the worst possible reviews that I could write, which this is. In my experience, you should NOT stay at ANY Riata Inn, as I never will again.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled on business
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5  Thank TBoneTX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile
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Stayed: April 2018, traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2018
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Room Tip: apparentemente non ci sono differenze per posizione camera
  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2015
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  • Stayed: August 2015, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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