Worthy of a last-minute, end-of-summer vacation.
Marfa, Texas has a reputation that belies its size.
Despite the fact that you can see from one end of town to another from the middle of the main drag, this remote West Texas community has become a bonafide cultural destination--but it’s not just for the fans of minimalist art pioneer Donald Judd who escaped to Marfa from New York to create some his best known works. From Texas hotelier Liz Lambert’s El Cosmico, a dreamscape campground dotted with technicolor trailers, teepees, and yurts to shops by local artisans and historic architecture, Marfa is the kind of place where ranchers, hiking enthusiasts, art students, and big city expats cross paths.
WATCH: Scenes of the Texas Hill Country
Longtime resident Tim Crowley wanted to build on that phenomenon, literally. This past year he opened the Hotel St. George, a striking, modernist addition to Marfa’s downtown and the city’s first full-service lodging option with an upscale restaurant, independent bookstore, gallery space, and tiny details like Aesop toiletries and sheepskin rugs. The lobby and dining areas were designed to encourage even more interaction between Marfa’s diverse residents and returning fans.
But the most exciting development at the St. George is the newly opened outdoor oasis Bar Nadar. Complete with a shimmering turquoise pool, this space is more than a place to relax with that book you’ve been meaning to read and a glass of frozen rosé (known as frosé).
“In the desert, water is precious and Bar Nadar offers the best swimming option for miles,” says Crowley. “There are plenty of folks in Marfa with incredible taste and love for music of all kinds and some top-notch vinyl collections, so it makes for eclectic evenings with great community energy. We also feature live music regularly, covering a wide range from avant-garde instrumental outfits to blues to major-label rock bands.”
The menu at Bar Nadar echos the ingredient-driven themes of the hotel’s more formal restaurant LaVenture, helmed by Chef Allison Jenkins, but with an emphasis on snacks and more playful poolside offerings. Hotel guests can order Mexican Street Fruit (slices of jicama, watermelon, and mango with Tajin chile salt), guacamole, and loaded tacos all while never leaving their chaise lounge chairs. The margarita machines swirl with flavors from tamarind to traditional lime.
“Everyone understands and craves tacos these days,” says Jenkins. “That was an easy menu choice to make. We all got together and had a taco cook off and picked our favorites. Of course the menu needed to pair with our bar menu and frozen drink selection.”
If we had you at frosé and you're looking for an excuse to book a stay, the upcoming Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love on September 28th to October 1st will bring musical acts like Wilco, Tift Merritt, and Robert Ellis to town along with workshops on topics like fabric dying and wood burning, and a community pig roast. The Hotel Saint George also has a regular schedule of concerts, pop ups, DJ Nights, and family events listed on their Facebook page.