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Marfa, Texas: A remote desert town with a population of only 2,000. Hard to explain and easy to Instagram, Marfa is one of those places where, in spite of its notoriety, you walk down the street and are often the only person on its dusty sidewalks.

For years, art pilgrims and curious wanderers alike have made the trek to the west Texas town to experience its moving, often permanent, art installations by some of the greatest artists of our time (think Dan Flavin, John Wesley, and Robert Irwin). This past spring, Marfa welcomed a new hotel to its main drag — well, sort of new. The recently opened Hotel Saint George was built on the site of a 1880s-era hotel of the same name, which operated until 1929.

Its re-opening marks a crucial step for the much-visited art community: its first high-end hotel. “Marfa needs hotel rooms,” admitted Tim Crowley, the hotel’s owner and longtime Marfa resident, who recently earned the title “Citizen of the Year.” Crowley teamed up with architect Carlos Jiménez of Houston’s Carlos Jiménez Studio and Dallas-based interior designer Mary Alice Palmer of HKS Hospitality Group to transform the old building into a 55-room boutique hotel complete with restaurant, bar, a locally-loved independent bookstore, and a neighboring community and event space. There’s a split second when you walk though the towering iron doors (commissioned by Crowley from a local fabricator) of the Hotel Saint George that you forget you are in Marfa, recalling rather a chicly renovated warehouse in New York’s Meatpacking District.

But upon further inspection of its contemporary artworks, locally-crafted furnishings, and nostalgic architectural stylings, the town’s deeply rooted artistic soul – and what designer Palmer calls its “unassuming collaborative spirit” – cannot be denied.

Click through the slideshow to see images of the latest reason to schedule your trip to Marfa. It will be worth the journey. We promise.
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