El Cosmico is an 21 acre nomadic hotel and campground in Marfa, Texas. In keeping with the belief that life should be a balance of adventure and do-nothingness we offer shelter, occasional entertainment, opportunity for learning/doing/making, and access to the majesty of the high plains desert. From its wide open spaces to the vast canopy of stars above, El Cosmico provides temporary liberation from the built world. It is second home to intrepid travelers and wanderers from all corners of the planet.
Accommodations at El Cosmico include renovated vintage trailers, safari and scout tents, Sioux-style tepees, a Mongolian yurt, and tent campsites. The property also offers several communal spaces for guests – a hammock grove, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a community lounge and mercantile, an outdoor stage, a reading room. We rent wood-fired hot tubs as the burn ban allows, and bikes for exploring Marfa.
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I stayed here very briefly because I had to leave quite early. Considering how hipster this place is, self tent camping wasn’t terribly expensive ($20) but you can also stay in some pretty cool yurts, teepee, retro trailers, or even a luxury tiny home. The whole site was well maintained and very quiet the evening I was there. The camping area has tables, trees for shade, and a hammock grove. They have a really cool shop with clothing, books, etc, and the staff was very friendly with great recommendations with things to do and where to eat. Bathrooms were semi outdoor (roofless but private) and well maintained. By far the most exciting for me was the outdoor private shower. Also roofless but covered in vines and outdoor string lights. I could have showered for hours.
This is an interesting concept for a campground. They have cool trailers and campers and traditional teepees with comfortable amenities. We were here in November and the place was nearly empty. I liked the idea but could not help to think this place lacked authenticity. They are owned by a successful boutique hotel chain operator that markets to the upscale young urban sector. So, you can decide if this is your thing. You are going to pay a fairly high price to sleep in a teepee or an old fixed up camper. It’s on the south side of town in a large open space. You will need to plan your visit if you are camping. Marfa can be quite chilly in the late fall and winter and very hot in the summer. The site is also fairly open and dusty, especially when the wind kicks up. The main attraction here is the proximity to Marfa and the arts scene. It’s one a few places to stay in Marfa and can be a good pace meet others in some of the community spaces and events.
I’ve been on a road trip for the last couple months and was looking forward to this hip alternative campground. I was tent camping not in one of the glamp tents or trailers they have available. All of us tent folk were crammed in the same small area, since it was the only area that provided some shade. It was loud all night from parties across the street and then some people partying in the parking lot at 4am. Obviously that is not the facilities fault, but so unpleasant.
The bathroom and kitchen facilities have not been well maintained and are now in my opinion gross. You still have to clean toilets even if they are outside! I also found the staff rude, clearly they don’t want to be here either.
The only upside is it’s proximity to Chinati.
Punchline: super hip launchpad to check out the rest of the Marfa art scene. Okay- first off El Cosmico is by no means a natural setting- so if you're looking for that kind of camping, look elsewhere. This place clearly works hard to cultivate a new age artsy desert vibe. It offers a variety of accommodations- of which I've only tried out the tent camping and a teepee on one 14 degree night (they had electric blankets, I caved). In addition, they have some nicely restored trailers. It is super close to the middle of town and is a Marfa art destination in its own right. The communal bathrooms and kitchen area were impeccable, but they're outside so obviously get quite chilly in the winter. Gnarly icicles coming out of the faucets when I was there. It would be an awesome kitchen setup in slightly warmer conditions. I despise the term 'glamping'… this ended up being a relatively affordable way to check out Marfa ;)