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With tips for Fido-friendly travel, road trips on a budget, and much more, PlanYourRoadTrip.com is our favorite new trip-planning website.
|Stay in a Trailer: El Cosmico in West Texas|
|Written by Rich Truesdell|
|Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:49|
Where your overnight accommodations are an adventure in itself
Difficult to believe in this age of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but I still maintain an AOL account--partly because I've had the same e-mail address for almost 20 years, and many of my business colleagues and peers still contact me through that address.
What's the first thing you see when logging in on AOL? The welcome screen, of course, with its rotation of news, events, lifestyle, and travel items vying for your attention before you can access your e-mail. The other day, a list of the best boutique hotels for under $150 popped up. I clicked through to the article and one of the recommendations immediately caught my eye: El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas. Why, you ask? Like the Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona, El Cosmico is made up of restored travel trailers.
The town of Marfa (population 2,000-some) is in West Texas, not far from Big Bend National Park and home to an eclectic, growing arts scene. (Renowned artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa from New York City in 1971.) An ideal location for an offbeat "boutique" hotel, Marfa was a smart choice for Liz Lambert and her management company Bunkhouse (the force behind the Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin). El Cosmico has been rolling out its welcome mat for guests since late 2009. Accommodations include a collection of restored vintage post-war trailers (which start about $100/night), plus yurts ($60 a night) and even a teepee ($75 a night). The trailers' small kitchens make them attractive for families on a budget who plan to spend a day or two in the area. The yurts feature bamboo floors and cozy futons, while a private fire pit and king-sized mattress is the order of the day if you choose to spend your night in a teepee. With many communal spaces available for guests, a visit to El Cosmico is like a trip back to simpler times.
An example of the sustainable-lodgings trend, El Cosmico is well worth a detour. If you're traveling cross country west along Interstate 10, Marfa lies about 90 minutes south of Saragosa, Texas on Texas 17. If you're traveling east on Interstate 10, head about two hours south of Van Horn, Texas on U.S. 90. I have vague recollections of U.S. 90 from my own 1986 participation in the One Lap of America, and if any part of the continental United States could be called out of the way, this part of West Texas fits the bill. But being far removed from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life is what gives quirky places like Marfa their appeal. With the Marfa Film Festival just around the corner in May, now may be the time to plan your first road-trip adventure of 2010.