A haven for “culture tourists” in the hip west Texas town of Marfa, the Thunderbird Hotel juxtaposes contemporary design with Western touches—polished concrete floors and handcrafted wood furniture.
Built in 1959 as a classic horseshoe-shaped, single-story roadside motel, the 24-room stucco-over-concrete block motel was gutted to the walls and rebuilt to reflect a modern, minimalist aesthetic. Inside each guest room, a fusion of light, wood and concrete textures await with architectural features such as smooth floor-to-ceiling doors and translucent windows. Each room opens onto the vine-covered breezeway that surrounds the courtyard. Low stucco walls and a live ocotillo fence create a private oasis around the pool, which reflects the vast sky above. Stands of native plants and cacti anchor the hotel in its environment, and a latticework of salvaged oil-field piping shades the breezeways and poolside lounge with orange honeysuckle vines. An outdoor lounge with fireplace for cold desert nights completes the complex.