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“I really wanted to love it....” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Cosmico

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El Cosmico
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“I really wanted to love it....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2011

My husband, toddler son and I stayed here for a few nights with our friends (also a couple with a toddler) a few months ago, and while I really wanted to love it, I'm not so sure I did. We chose to tent camp to save money. I had hoped there would be actual campsites, but it's basically a big open field with a few trees (so the tents naturally cluster around the trees). We were lucky enough to get a spot under some trees, so we had shade...but there's not really anything to see, other than the yurts, teepee, and trailers.

I liked the outdoor restrooms but had a few run-ins with bees. I'm assuming that was just a temporary thing. They had an outdoor kitchen available but we were not able to use it one night due to a private party (and, as you might imagine, it was a bit loud that night).

I will say for camping with toddlers, it worked. There didn't seem to be too much trouble for the little guys to get into, and they had lots of fun with the wagons El Cosmico provides to help you tote your stuff to your site. There was plenty of space for them to play with sticks and balls without wandering off the side of a cliff.

All in all, I guess I just wasn't that impressed. The house had a really cool vibe and they sold some pretty sweet-looking t-shirts, but it wasn't really camping...nor was it anything else. It was like we pitched our tent in someone's yard and they had a cool outdoor bathroom we could use. It was nice being so close to Marfa, Ft. Davis, McDonald Observatory, and Balmorrhea, but I'd much prefer to camp in the parks next time we go -- or stay in a hotel.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sada74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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157 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    26
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2011

El Cosmico is a place for people who want to off the beaten path and experience life from a different angle. You will meet seekers and dreamers and people who might follow a tumbleweed down the road or be chasing the marfa lights- you never know. I love this place! The actual accommodations are downright cool- the beds arent plush but give you a camping vibe so if you know that you will be fine. as long as you have an open mind you will be just fine here and will probably want to keep it the best unkept secret! :)

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ashmack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2011

Let me say first DO NOT GO HERE from may through September. The cute little trailers have no ac -- which in all fairness they told us about when we booked it-- so when it's triple digits outside the inside stays a toasty 95 degrees until about 2 am. The place is literally is
a 12 acre vacant lot on the outskirts of town with city lights and a road
out of town within hearing distance. And after you've gotten no sleep
because of the heat and want to go
to the art galleries because Marfa is
an "art colony" don't go on Monday
or Tuesday because THEY ARE
CLOSED. And in a one horse town
when the horse ain't there there is
Nothing to do. I'm a native Texan
and the whole area is depressingly
ugly. And the final kicker is that it cost 150 a night. I'm always open to new travel experiences but I'm not understanding the "vision" here unless it's the hallucinations from the heat

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Arnospel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ft Mitchell Ky
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2011

We planned to stay here during a cross-country trip by tandem. Were told a campsite for our tiny backpack tent and tandem would be $50 for the night because a concert was happening the next night and were pointed to a site at the far end of the compound. Investigated the primitive shower and loo and headed for a mom and pop motel at the edge of town. Next morning, eating breakfast, an attractive young couple came in and I asked them if they were staying at the El. They replied yes, asked about the setup, was told they were charged $45 for a campsite for up to four tents. We're semi Woodstock types and were thinking of staying over for the concert, but the poor reception by the "front desk" and the $$ camp fee leads us to believe we did not meet their "standards." Marfa is an intriguing place, but we'll never consider El Cosmico The Place to stay there.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank ontwowheelsfortwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2011

This place is definitely not for everyone, but it redefines lodging in the modern age. You are part of the community the second you check in and it is wonderful. We camped out. There is a wonderful outdoor shower there that is the best and it's very cool showering outdoors in the dessert. It's walking distance from Padre's and The Chinati Foundation. What more could a person want?

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sasadango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2011

We couldn't be more pleased with the facilities and staff at El Cosmico. During unprecedented high winds our Tepee blew out. The staff quickly notified us and made alternate arrangements to ensure our satisfaction. They truly went out of their way to make our stay pleasant and enjoyable. I was not surprised to read in the papers that they facilitated shelter and hospitable services to those families displaced by the Fort Davis fire. Way to go El Cosmico. Two Thumbs Way Up!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jbthunda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
310 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2011

We were in the area to visit Big Bend, and ran across the website for El Cosmico while researching the area. Being fans of all things 50s, we thought that a night in a restored vintage trailer would be like stepping back in time. What a disappointment! Sadly, the trailers are not restored; they are simply made habitable. One might say "renovated," at best. A distressed wooden table of the yard sale variety and two mismatched captain's chairs, a bit worse for wear, replaced the original -- what? probably a table with padded benches -- an electric cook top set into a hot pink stand in place of a stove; no oven, not even a microwave; a modern mini-fridge; the sofa is now a vinyl padded bench with no back cushions; the bed was a futon on the floor. No rod in the clothes closet, but we were only there for one night. A small shrine had been set up on a counter, with an Indian-style print and candles.
The kitchen was "full equipped" only if a cast iron kettle with a broken spout and a stock pot qualify as "full equipment." No skillet, so no eggs for breakfast. There were plates, bowls, glasses, and flatware. Dishsoap, but no sponge or drainer.
You do have to park at the office and walk back, but they provide sturdy garden carts for hauling your luggage.
All that being said, if you are one of the crowd it caters to, you'll love it.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dr_QBatonRouge
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:
Region: United States > Texas > Marfa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Speciality 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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