By: Genie Davis

The Gage Hotel in tiny Marathon, Texas is quiet, rustic, and luxurious. In this fairly remote corner of West Texas, the sky is big, the stars are bright, and the stay in this boutique property is stellar.

Cattle baron Alfred S. Gage, built the hotel in 1927, as a place to stay while supervising his ranches. Renowned architect Henry Charles Trost built the original Mission-style structure, which was restored by J.P. and Mary Jon Bryan starting in the 1970s. Today, the original hotel is composed of fifteen rooms outfitted in upscale Western style, and across the courtyard, 20 adobe brick rooms, Los Portales, built in 1992.

Accommodations also include three larger casitas, and the adjacent Captain Shepard’s House with five more bedrooms and two rooms in the carriage house. Each of the buildings have their charms, but Los Portales may be the most charming. This building features a long covered porch and rocking chairs looking out at a pretty, flower and fountain filled courtyard, and beyond that a lovely heated gage

Also on site: the elegant, locally-sourced 12 Gage restaurant and the White Buffalo Bar, where a taxidermied namesake stands watch over generous pours of Texas-crafted tequila, wine, and beer.

Want to explore other beverages in the region? A short drive away in Alpine, Big Bend Brewing serves up micro-brews like Tejas Lager, a crisp Pilsner malt, and the bracing La Frontera, an IPA with a pleasantly bitter edge. Just a little further down the road in Marfa, Luz de Estrella winery offers a comfortable tasting room and wine bar.

The vast wonders of Big Bend National Park are also a short drive away, and after a day of hiking the mesas, the Gage offers relaxed, refined Western style. Some rooms feature a cozy kiva fireplace, all feature unique touches such as cowhide rugs, stone tile baths, and Mexican tiled floors.

Just outside the doors of these beautiful rooms, there’s that big sky – pull up a chair in the courtyard, take a dip in the pool, and look up and enjoy.