Places to Stay

Minimalism & Mystery: Experience the Hotel Saint George in Marfa, Texas

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Take a comfortable seat in the lobby bar, where you’ll see visitors in every style from Santa Fe chic to Old Rancher jeans. There’s wealth here, but like the landscape, it’s understated.

The Hotel Saint George specializes in subtle conundrums. A clean, contemporary design blends perfectly with those construction materials from the past. Paintings and mixed media projects dress the lobby and 55 rooms, hinting at the range of arts available in Marfa.

Silent but present throughout the hotel and town is the impact of the late artist Donald Judd. His Chinati Foundation continues to offer events, exhibitions, and permanent installations on its 340 acres — a former military base. Another repurposed treasure. Can’t make it out to the Chinati? Look for art books on Judd in the bookstore, where one can browse or buy, day or night. You may run into an international art tour guide, a past Chinati employee bringing a well-heeled group to the hotel. She says, “No matter where I go, I always want to come back to this place.”

Minimalism & Mystery: Experience the Hotel Saint George in Marfa, Texas

Photo: John Spaulding. A wide selection of authors awaits in the bookstore. Well-read dogs are welcome.

In the bookstore, we visit with a young man who has lived in Marfa ten years, teaches in the Marfa Elementary School, and has small children of his own. In a town with many visitors and vagabonds, he calls this place home.

Unexpected combinations continue. The five-star hotel welcomes well-behaved dogs. On a recent visit, our 10-year-old greyhound took pride of place on her comfy pad in the lobby bar, where we were served a delicious dinner, followed by a hearty breakfast the next morning.

Minimalism & Mystery: Experience the Hotel Saint George in Marfa, Texas
Photo: John Spaulding. The lobby itself can be a great gathering location for people-watching.

Since Marfa owes its existence to the railroad, don’t be surprised when the occasional freight train rumbles by, less than a block from the hotel. Earplugs are provided for light sleepers. At first, the horn may be startling, but the sound eventually fades into the surrounding desert. One actually becomes used to the sound, as it’s a reminder of the grit and grand vision that built this place.