Marfa’s  lodging options are limited but eclectic—there’s something (except large chain hotels) for everyone. Visitors have the good fortune of choosing from the magnificent Hotel Paisano, the chic Thunderbird, or the standard Riata Inn.
For the ultimate West Texas lodging experience, book a room at the historic Hotel Paisano  (270 N. Highland Ave., 800/662-5517, www.hotelpaisano.com , rooms range $99–149). This charming and classy hotel lies just a block away from the majestic downtown courthouse, and harkens back to the days of upscale accommodations for cross-country travelers and cattle traders. The Spanish Colonial architecture adds a touch of regional elegance to the experience, and guests have a wide range of room options, from the smaller quarters in the original part of the hotel to larger suites with balconies, kitchens, and plasma TVs. Call well in advance to reserve the popular James Dean room, where the movie icon stayed during the filming of “Giant.”
Equally as extraordinary for completely different reasons is the trendy and sleek Thunderbird Motel (601 W. Hwy. 90/San Antonio St., 432/729-1984, www.thunderbirdmarfa.com , $125–$160 d). Built in 1959 as a classic horseshoe-shaped roadside motel surrounding a swimming pool, the building has been tastefully remodeled with stylish stucco and accompanied by native flora. Rooms feature polished concrete floors, locally-built pecan furniture, quality bedding, minibars with specialty beverages and organic and local snacks, Wi-Fi service, access to vintage Stack-O-Matic record players and a vinyl library, and a thermos of coffee in a cloth bag placed on the doorknob at 7 in the morning.
If these options offer too much character (or, more realistically, a strain on the wallet), the only other choice in town is the commendable Riata Inn (1500 E. Hwy. 90, 432/729-3800, www.riatainn.com , $59 d). The Riata features extra-large versions of standard hotel rooms containing cable TV, Internet access, and an outdoor pool.