If you’re taking a trip to Marfa, staying at El Cosmico is a must – especially if it’s your first time visiting this West Texas town. El Cosmico is one of seven hotels in the Bunkhouse Group family, with most of the hotels residing in Texas. Bunkhouse is a local Austin company, and they kill it when it comes to trendy stays, and El Cosmico is no exception.
El Cosmico is a 21-acre campground nestled just past the Marfa square. You have your choice of staying in one of the trendy, airstream trailers, teepees, yurts, tents, or, you can bring your own supplies, and pitch a tent anywhere on the premises. Both times I’ve gone to Marfa, I’ve stayed at El Cosmico, in one of the tents. It sounds way more rural than it actually is. Glamping is the best word to describe the tent experience at El Cosmico. Your tent comes with a queen size bed (that’s EXTREMELY comfy), bath towels, night stands, lighting, a small desk and fan, and a heated comforter for those winter months when the temperature gets below 32 degrees at night. The restrooms and bathrooms are cleaner than any other camp site I’ve been to, and although there’s no Wifi, if you REALLY need it, stop in to the lobby, where you have all the free Wifi you’ll need. I hate to admit that I’ve spent a few mornings in that lobby, with my laptop, working on my newest Marfa post.
El Cosmico hosts creative workshops throughout the year, which includes art and cooking classes, songwriting workshops, and live music. Check out my list below for happenings on the camp grounds.
El Cosmico Provision Co – Yes, it’s the hotel lobby gift shop. I know it sounds so mediocre, as most hotel gift shops are, but this gift shop/lobby has the most amazing high desert goods. From creative posters and wall art, to art-centered coffee table books and the best smelling incense and skincare products, this gift shop has everything. Make a point to look around, either at check-in, or when you’re heading out of town.
Sunset Soundtracks – Usually once a weekend, EL Cosmico hosts a live music show. This was honestly my fave part of my first trip to Marfa. We visited on Easter weekend, and on Friday night, a bluegrass gospel group performed, and it was such a cool experience. El Cosmico has a stage, and bar, that is only open during the live shows. Everyone gathers around the bon fire to drink and listen to some good music under the desert stars. The shows are pretty intimate, with only about 30 people attending the time we were there, which makes it all the more authentic.
Rent a Hob Tub – El Cosmico has wood-fire hot tubs on the grounds that you can rent for $85. I recommend renting one during a live music show. The hot tubs are nestled just behind the stage, close enough to hear the music, but out of sight, so you can chill out to the music, while still maintaining privacy in your tub.
Hammock Grove – I highly recommend spending an afternoon napping in the hammocks. Trust me, it’s just good for your soul.
Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love – The music festival that’s hosted by El Cosmico on their campgrounds every year in September. I’m DYING to go, and in the next few years, you’ll definitely find me there. Everyone camps out on the grounds, and it’s one big, desert party. There’s also workshops, art installations, and a baseball game during the 4-day festival.
Big Sky Yoga – El Cosmico hosts a yoga class each Saturday morning for $10/person. What’s better than a yoga session, in the middle of the desert, to cleanse your body and soul?
Camp Cooking – El Cosmico hosts a cooking workshop weekend each year, that includes a professional chef who hosts the weekend. There’s a welcome reception on Friday night, intensive workshops on Saturday, followed by a cook-out dinner that evening, and a camp breakfast on Sunday, to close out the weekend.
Cosmic Karaoke – The first Saturday of each month, El Cosmico hosts karaoke, on the stage by the bar. Anyone is welcome to karaoke from 6pm – midnight. What’s better than belting out your favorite lyrics under the desert sky?
Things to remember for your first stay:
- Be sure to bring a make up mirror, if you’d rather do your makeup and hair in your tent, instead of at the outdoor bathroom sinks
- If it’s the winter season, be sure to pack warm clothes for sleeping – this includes sweatshirts, long sleeved shirts and pants, along with warm socks
- If it’s the summer season, be sure to pack light pajamas – you’ll probably only need a tank top and shorts to sleep in
- El Cosmico doesn’t have food to purchase, so be sure to bring plenty of your own snacks/food and drinks for meals
- El Cosmico provides ear plugs, but I would bring a back up pair, just in case! Especially if you’re staying in the tents/camping. It’s usually pretty peaceful at night, but there can be loud neighbors. Last time I stayed in the tent, there was a crazy storm in the middle of the night, and I didn’t wake up once to it, because I used my ear plugs! My sister didn’t wear ear plugs, and she could hardly sleep. Trust me, they are a necessity. These can also be purchased in the lobby gift shop
I’m not lying when I say that El Cosmico is one of the most magical places in all of Texas. Making a stop at El Cosmico means tuning out the distractions and stresses in our daily lives, and tuning in to our inner-self. All while camping under the desert stars. El Cosmico puts it best – “It is the culture of hippies and surfers and Buddhist monks and its presence in a people tends to have a direct correlation to contact with the natural elements. It is not to be confused with lazy – it is the liberation from an obsession with productivity. It is a revolutionary act rather than a dereliction of duty. It is a declaration of total freedom to say “now, I do nothing for a little while.”
I’ll have my most recent Marfa trip recap up on the blog soon – until next time xoxo
Photos by Mack Eveland Photo