Vintage Trailer Hotel: Visiting El Cosmico in Marfa TX

One of the awesome places we got to stop and stay at as part of our Tiny House Road Trip (Part 2) was El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas.

Marfa is a weird town. We were kind of not cool or hip enough to "get" it, it was a very ironic place.

The pizza place on the corner (there's one corner, if you've ever been through Marfa you know what I mean) has a "CLOSED" sign perpetually posted in the window, even when they're open.

You can tell that behind the main street facade of hipster art galleries and $15-a-glass juice bars there was a real town that was probably pretty awesome at one point.

We ate breakfast at a place called Buns and Roses, a flower shop combined with a donut place.

Our night spent at El Cosmico was pretty magical. It was my very first foray into any type of desert landscape. We ate grilled cheeses at the only affordable restaurant we could find, then went down the highway a bit to catch the Marfa Lights.

I had read and heard about the Marfa Lights, so we kind of knew what to expect.

I did not expect to be so perplexed at the sight of them though. I mean, I KNEW that they were supposed to be strange, but once you're actually looking at them you are totally stumped and totally fascinated.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the Marfa Lights are a sort of unexplained phenomena of glowing lights over the desert at night. It's really neat! If your'e ever heading towards Marfa, definitely stop for the night to check them out.

El Cosmico itself was really cool. I was obsessed with the trailers. I especially loved the modern exterior paint jobs.

The landscape was beautiful, and the place was friendly and comfortable.

A few days before we got to Marfa, while we were hanging out in Austin, we had the pleasure of interviewing one of the design/build architects that worked on El Cosmico, Jack Sanders.

It was really neat to talk to him about his process designing the landscape and out-buildings at El Cosmico, and then see what he was talking about first hand a few days later.

Jack was really interested in the experience of the "approach" - what you saw and felt like when you walked up to the trailer, or entered the space. He focused on the outdoor space, sculpture, and bath and shower houses.

Jack told us in our interview with him that he likes to bring as much outside as he can when he's designing for vintage trailers.

If the trailer is going to be in one spot for a long time, Jack suggests making the most of the surrounding outdoor space with decks, patios, outdoor showers and outdoor bathrooms, and even outdoor kitchens.

This leaves more room inside the trailer for other activities. And who doesn't love taking outdoor showers?!

Enjoy this gallery of photos that I took at El Cosmico. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Just a note - the three trailers you see (photos #7 and #8) are currently un-restored and have plans to incorporated into the hotel/motel/space in the future.


Travel guide to El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas! This hotel of vintage trailers is such a fun tiny living experience set in beautiful Texas. Check out the full feature!