Vintage Hotel, Cool Stay

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(Photograph by MacQ)

I realize you are reading this in the simmer of summer. And I know, far west Texas (194 miles southeast of El Paso to be exact) does not bode well for cooling off. But in Marfa, nearly mile-high elevation and devoid of hellish humidity, the Thunderbird Hotel truly is a Highway 90 oasis of flair and of temp. Yes, revamped with Marfa’s own style-of-thumb (local art in rooms, Judd-inspired spareness, Sante Fe in feel), the Thunderbird uses its desert locale with reclaimed oil-piping latticework and well-groomed cacti. But it’s the cool-conscious list of hotel amenities that keep guests out of the heat and in the hip, indoors and outside, with vintage offerings and thoughtful features. The West never was so chic or so sunny.

INSIDE: Two musts for a true T’bird experience – the retro Stack-o-Matic turntables and the hotel’s manual Remington Quiet Riter typewriter, both available from the front desk. I paired up a Beatles’ album and Waylon Jenning’s greatest hits while typing a letter (hotel stationary or postcards on each room’s pecanwood desk).

OUTSIDE: Once the car is parked feet from your room, rent an old-school Firmstrong bicycle, blue or gray, and grab the Thunderbird’s town map of food places, shops and art galleries. Even in the noonday sun, the breeze of riding bikes will combat the heat. Just wander; this town is tiny and friendly.

(Photo Credit here)

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