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Chisos Mountains Lodge
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Okay, first, I would ordinarily NOT use texting abbreviations for a review BUT it got your attention, didn't it? In a way, I have mixed feelings about that . Let me explain. This NP and it's lodge is such a well-kept secret that many Texans do not even know it exists! We discovered this while also visiting Austin and San Antonio and engaging their residents in conversations about it. The park is REMOTE , taking over 7 hours to reach by car from San Antonio, much of that distance on 2 lanes . Be forewarned: If you go on I-90 (which is the more scenic route) fill your tank OFTEN as you could easily run out of gas and be stranded. Once you get to the lodge, there is a small gas station that you can fill up. Of course, expect to pay for it since, again, it is remote. The park property, a motel, is tastefully decorated and generously sized. What sets this property apart from all others, though, is it's location. When you pull back your drapes or step outside, you are enveloped in the most magnificent scenery! At sunset each night, you can sit out on the patio of the restaurant ( which incidentally serves delicious food!) and watch the view of the Windows.Every night, you see something different in that sunset. I couldn't possibly say enough good things about this property, it's location, it's menu, etc. So, back to my original statement about having mixed feelings in "talking it up." What makes it so beautiful is , I'm sure, related to the fact that very few travel to it so as more discover it, will it get "run down" as humans have a tendency to do . I'd prefer to think that more would care about preserving it's beauty. BTW, there are several "must do" hikes including Windows, the Lost Trail and the South Rim. Altitude sickness may well happen here. I had a headache for 2 full days and insomnia that persisted for our entire stay there, but guess what? It didn't matter as it was soooooo worth it!!

Room Tip: They DO have some TV/DVD units but skip them...focus on nature and the solace one finds through that...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank 2011lovinitsteph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 8, 2012

As you probably know by now, the Chisos Mountains Lodge is the only place to stay in very remote Big Bend National Park. So it's a good thing that they provide better-than-average National Park accommodations.

Well, at least if can get a cottage, which isn't easy to do because there are only a handful. I understand they start taking reservations for these on New Year's day for the NEXT year, meaning many folks are booking these prize accommodations more than a year in advance! For most potential visitors this is impossible to do, but folks who know how pleasant the cottages are (aka "the locals" who still live hundreds of miles away!) snag the best nights way in advance. The good news for "normal" travellers is that plans booked months in advance often change, and last minute cancellations are fairly common. Check the website for them. My recollection is that Cottage 103 has the best view. We had Cottage 102 (on a cancellation) and that was also very well located. As described by other reviewers, the cottages are historic (built by the CCC in the '30s), atmospheric, spacious and (relatively) comfortable. I guarantee that staying in one will improve your Big Bend experience.

I didn't see the "regular" motel rooms, but from the outside they looked like standard-issue National Park rooms. Overpriced by non-Park standards, but pretty much what you get in most Parks.

Fortunately, the restaurant at the Lodge is pretty good. Which is a good thing because it's the only place to eat in the Park! Pretty standard Texas cafe food, and the prices are OK. Like chicken fried steak is $12. You can get a burger for about $9, and fancier fare is about $20. There's a $9.25 breakfast buffet (drinks not included). Not gourmet but, given the choices, hard to complain. They let us substitute a salad from the decent-looking salad bar instead of taking the soggy vegetables with our entrees, and I highly recommend you ask to do the same.

Given the relatively high-cost of accommodations here, I recommend most folks have about 2 full days in the Park. Our favorite stops were the Santa Elena Canyon, which has a beautiful, fairly-easy walk, and (for the slightly more adventurous) a dip is the somewhat crumbling Hot Springs. You honestly won't believe the Hot Springs: it is a small man-made pool on the side of the Rio Grande, about 35 feet from Mexico.

BTW, the Park seemed very safe, so don't let concerns about border safety interfere with a very nice National Park visit.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
3  Thank Dave's_reviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We stayed two nights in September 2012. It is a very scenic place, remote, and quiet. Check in was quick and easy and staff friendly. We had to play Ozzie and Harriet, as most of the rooms just have two single beds in them. It would be nice if they put more king sized beds or even queen sized beds in the rooms, as it seemed to us there were a lot of couples there.
The room was a good size and it appeared the tile on the floor in the bath/vanity area was new, as well as the carpet. The decor is rustic, but fitting for the area. The room and linens were clean.

There's lots to do while at the lodge. On our second night there a park ranger conducted a star party at the outdoor amphitheater that was fun and entertaining. Thank goodness there is a very nice restaurant on the premises, as well as a convenience store. The location is remote and the speed limits are slow, so it takes awhile to get into Terlingua; however, there is not much there either. There's paved roads on both sides of the park and lots of unpaved roads for sightseeing. It would be very hard to see everything in one day. There are overlooks and exhibits along the roads that definitely are worthwhile to stop at in order to enjoy the scenery and learn about what your are seeing. The land formations are just as exciting to see as Monument Valley.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 210SATX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We stayed in the Roosevelt Cottages, Rooms 101, 102 and 103. Awesome! We have gone to Big Bend Natl Park for 20 years now on a yearly basis. A few times we have stayed in the Casa Grande Lodge when we went on the spur of the moment. However, our yearly planned trip with 3 others is always booked well in advance so we can get our desired rooms. They are furnished with 3 beds, microwave, refrigerator and coffee pot. Bathrooms are very small but clean. Water pressure can be iffy. Main room is very spacious. Beds are comfortable. Rooms are always clean. The rooms are not as important to us as the view and just seeing all the different areas of the park and talking with the different people. Food at the Chisos Restaurant is always good and reasonably priced. The wait staff is super nice and friendly. The reception area is very nice and Kudos to Linda and Dick who work the desk. They are just exceptionally wonderful and we love talking with them each time we visit. Definitely the place to stay if you want to see the park. this time we saw mule deer, tarantulas, javelinas and bunnys.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Jackie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

The Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only hotel inside Big Bend National Park. It is perched atop the Chisos Mountains facing west and offers spectacular sunset and mountain views. The lodge itself is older and a bit rustic. We had room A3 (Buidling A in the 'case grande' hotel rooms, our room faced the "Window" view west). It was very clean although the bathroom itself was dated. We had a microwave and a mini fridge and we packed insome of our own food. We also brought our own pillows and bath towels since we've read mixed reviews about the accomodations. There was no wi-fi available except in the restuarant/lobby area of the lodge and there are no televisions in the rooms. AT&T does not work in the area for cell coverage. I would recommend staying at the lodge, it is a part of the US that most people don't visit and it is simply stunning. I enjoyed waking up on top of the mountain. It was a wonderful, central location to stay for exploring all that Big Bend has to offer.

Room Tip: Rooms in the "A" building of the Case Grande section have the best views. Try to get a co...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank stinkypig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I was expecting the worst from trip advisor reports of bed bugs being found by other people who had stayed there.
Thankfully the room we were given upstairs, at the end overlooking the window in the mountains was very clean, without any smell at all, a very nice room indeed. AC worked perfectly and being able to sit ourside on the balcony in the evening was lovely.
The price is high, but can somewhat be justified by the location.
Wi-Fi was almost nonexistant in the motel room. but was ok in the main HQ building.

DO NOT do as I did and book through the national park phone number, they charge a hefty booking fee. I rang this number as the motel front desk number wasn't answered on several tries.

The only down was it was mainly staffed by people who had a poor grasp of English and we had trouble understanding each other !!

Room Tip: Upstairs was a couple of $$ dearer but was worth it for the views.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank DavidSB66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Had a wonderful long weekend here. the temperatures are about 15-20* cooler that down in the desert. the rooms are very clean, staff very cheerful and the food in the restaurant was good. I will definitively be back in the spring. the only thing I would say is watch the rooms not all have AC and WIFI is available but not in many of the rooms.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank dcomputerguy61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chisos Mountains Lodge

Address: Basin Rural Station, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
Location: United States > Texas > Big Bend National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Big Bend National Park
Price Range: $212 - $241 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Chisos Mountains Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Known as the last frontier of Texas, Big Bend National Park encompasses over 800,000 acres of breathtaking desert landscape. Here you'll find the uniquely located Chisos Mountains Lodge, offering comfortable accommodations and friendly Texas hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chisos Mountain Hotel Big Bend National Park
Chisos Mountain Lodge
Chisos Mountains Lodge Big Bend National Park, Texas

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