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Gage Hotel: Where to Stay in Marathon, Texas

13 March 2011 7,237 views 7 Comments

On my recent week and a half long road trip, I had the wonderful opportunity to stay in Marathon for two nights — on the way out to New Mexico and also on the way home. For those unfamiliar with this tiny town of around 500 residents, it is best known for three things:

  1. It is home to the Gage Hotel, a historic and elegant building circa 1927.
  2. It’s close to Marfa, a popular arts and food destination for Austinites and East Coast art lovers.
  3. It’s 40 miles north of Big Bend National Park, a popular camping and hiking destination along the Rio Grande.


I included Marathon in the road trip because friends had recommended the hotel, and since it’s close to Marfa. Sadly, I decided not to visit Big Bend on this trip since we needed time to get to New Mexico and back. The hotel was kind enough to offer me a  50 percent discounted media rate.

Marathon is a seven hour drive west of Austin and is located in the middle of those wide open spaces that the Dixie Chicks are always singing about. The speed limit out there is 80 mph, it’s not uncommon to drive for miles before seeing another car on the road, and it’s extremely dark at night. I highly recommend arriving in the daylight hours and avoiding driving in West Texas at night. When the sun goes down, take advantage of the lack of light pollution to gaze at the constellations or sit by a fire pit with friends new and old.

Where to Stay:


The Gage Hotel: For me, the Gage Hotel alone was a reason to visit Marathon and it didn’t disappoint. I loved the West Texas charm of the place with  adobe, dried strings of peppers, gardens, and cozy fires abound. There are also plenty of skulls, animal skins, and taxidermy but that’s to be expected in West Texas. Guests have the option of staying in the main hotel or in los portales, the newer accommodations surrounding a beautiful courtyard.

White Buffalo Bar at the Gage Hotel

White Buffalo Bar at the Gage Hotel

Both times I stayed at the Gage it was in a courtyard room and they were gorgeous. The shower was lovely, the bed was cozy, and the best part was the room we had with a kiva (fireplace) where we had our own private fire that smelled of pinyon. Another lovely surprise at the Gage was that there is a sweet kitten that hangs out in the courtyard and I let it into our room in the morning. She snuggled in bed with us and I would have taken her home with me if she wasn’t the unofficial hotel mascot.

"Gage" aka "PK" aka "Porch Kitty"

"Gage" aka "PK" aka "Porch Kitty"

According to the Gage’s website, rates vary between $200-$300 but I saw rates as low as $100 by searching online. Marathon lists other options for places to stay here. I’m also intrigued by La Loma Del Chivo. Has anyone been there? I would have checked it out but didn’t learn about it until I started writing this blog post.

Below is a slide show of photos from my visits to Marathon. Stay tuned for a blog post on where to eat and where to shop in town.

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