Check In: El Cosmico

Marfa, Texas
04.08.2011 | by: Meghan

I have a secret affinity for good anti-design design—intentionally crude interiors, but in that intellectually curious, aesthetically pleasing, accidental sort of way. Kind of like El Cosmico, the year-and-a-half-old “lodging concept” (strangely vague-sounding hipster trailer park hotel, but better than “glamping”) by Liz Lambert, the Austin-based entrepreneur behind Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia. I’ve been trying to get there since last October, but it just hasn’t worked out. So even though this post has been written since August, I pulled it down before the site launched, thinking I’d be able to chronicle my own transcendental teepee-in-the-desert experience.

Renovated vintage trailers, eco-shacks (which are really up-cycled yurts), a gigantic Sioux teepee, and a bunch of minimalist white tents. It’s really just a big ongoing collaboration love fest between Lambert, Lake/Flato, Design Build Adventure, and a rotating cast of architecture students and local artists.

Situated on 18 acres of West Texas desert land, El Cosmico aims to be bigger than a place to sleep, drink and hang out. With a lineup of draw-sew-cook-pot-create programs, workshops, retreats and art shacks in the making, its other function is outdoor creative lab. For what it’s worth, they do also let you relax. Enter elm grove full of hammocks, a community lounge, outdoor kitchen and shared dining space, and bright orange wood-fired Dutch hot tubs! Painted on the side of the community kitchen, my favorite detail: Lucille Clifton’s poem, “Let there be new flowering.”  El Cosmico, maybe I’ll see you next fall.

[Photos: top photo by Matt Williams; next three by Eric Ryan Anderson; community kitchen exterior by Gregory Foster via]


9 Comments on “Check In: El Cosmico”

  1. Marfa! I’ve been hearing so much about this amazing little Texas town. If I ever make it there, I’ll be staying at El Cosmico for sure.


  2. I stayed at El Cosmico last summer and it was awesome. I want to go back to Marfa just to stay there again.


  3. […] Via Designtripper. […]


  4. Sarah: I want to go! Glad you had such a great experience.


  5. […] El Cosmico. Texas […]


  6. […] { Scout and Catalogue } { El Cosmico, Texas – DesignTripper} […]


  7. Marfa…it really is a State of mind…never did make it to El Cosmico but could see it wavering in the distant whispering to us “Come…visit…next time!…..
    that whole area of Big Bend and the 100 plus square miles of magic is well…Magic


  8. I stayed here with friends for my 25th birthday and on into Big Bend for hiking and camping.

    This place is AWESOME. Relaxed, outdoor kitchen, the first thing I did when I got there is plopped down in a hammock and had a beer. We stayed in a Teepee and watched the big sky all night.

    This place is a MUST stay in SW TX. Also very close eclectic artist retreat and I am pretty sure Amtrak stops very near by!


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