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Marfa is a west Texas town revered for its austere beauty, understated vistas and internationally acclaimed art scene. This context inspired and underpins HKS’ vision for the interior design of the Hotel Saint George. Opened in 2016 on the site of a 19th century hotel in the heart of Marfa’s thriving arts community, the hotel is within walking distance of many of the town’s galleries, quirky shops and historic landmarks. The 55-key Hotel Saint George is characterized by its refined, yet relaxed, design and boutique accommodations.
The Vision and Design
The hotel’s minimal, sophisticated spaces are punctuated by vintage and custom furniture pieces from both high and humble origins, along with a world-class art collection that evokes the distinct spirit of Marfa. Reusing elements from the site’s existing structure, HKS designers created a refined, yet unpretentious, design language to define the hotel’s interior. Reclaimed materials, including brick, marble and wood from local sites, stand in warm juxtaposition to industrial finishes such as cold-rolled steel and concrete floor, lending the interiors a distinctive character.
Located within the site’s original columns and dark, lustrous, steel-clad core, the lobby pairs vintage furnishings with lynchpin industrial pieces. A custom mahogany and steel reception desk, created by local fabricator SILLA, interpreted from the designs of HKS’ Adele Cuartelon, stretches the length of the lobby. Designers arranged classic Alvar Aalto lounge chairs in conversational groups to create a casual, comfortable living room atmosphere, where guests and locals can connect and unwind.
Marfa Book Company, a nationally-celebrated, independent bookstore, offering a wide variety of art, literature and design tomes, returns to its original 1996 space inside the lobby. Serving as Marfa’s beloved cultural anchor, the unconventional shop and gift space features reused, raw industrial materials, austere design furnishings and fixtures from local artisans.
Guestrooms and suites continue the hotel’s minimal, industrial style, layering in personalized elements. Distressed leather and soft-lustered steel elements compliment lush sheepskin rugs and white cotton bedding. Artwork by Texas artist Mark Flood accent vernacular materials such as large, mirrored, sliding barn doors and hard-surface flooring. Vintage blankets and a classic chair unique to each guest room create a relaxed, residential feel. Expansive windows overlook the surrounding plateau and mountains, including the breathtaking Chinati Peak rising 3,000 feet above the landscape.
The design for LaVenture, the hotel’s destination restaurant, pays homage to Marfa’s past, with the use of repurposed brick and wood from dismantled local buildings, as well as marble from the hotel’s former facade. A wine room and private dining area provide exclusive culinary experiences for intimate parties. Additional design details include vintage rugs and Mies van der Rohe chairs that convey classic sophistication, while recalling the personal furniture tastes of renowned artist, Donald Judd, whose love of Marfa and installations nearby brought international attention to this remote Texas town.