Pack a Bag: The Hotel Paisano, Part I

The Hotel Paisano is a prime example of a historic property hospitality success story. This National Register of Historic Places hotel was designed in 1928 by storied architectural and structural engineering El Paso-based firm, Trost & Trost and exemplifies Spanish Revival style as defined by the red stucco roof, arches, and stucco finishes. It concluded construction and subsequently opened in 1930.

The cast and crew of the film Giant stayed at the Hotel Paisano and several of the suites are named for the celebrities who stayed there: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Deen, and Dennis Hopper. Framed black and white vintage photographs featuring behind the scenes of Giant are hung throughout the corridors of the hotel.

Previously known as El Paisano, the Hotel Paisano is listed in the Texas state inventory of historic places in addition to being listed in the National Register. While the criteria is not explicitly stated in the El Paisano application to the National Register of Historic Places, the statement of significance leads me to believe that it was listed under the third criterion, or C. The application details the midwestern architectural influence on Ohioan Trost’s work in the southwest, merging the Prairie style with regional southwestern styles.

The Hotel Paisano was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978; however, the late 1970s brought a change in the use as the then-65 hotel rooms were converted into nine condominiums for time share use. Eventually the time share model went dormant, the hotel fell into disrepair, and tax issues imposed foreclosure by the county. The current owners acquired the property in 2001 and rehabilitated the project. Currently, the Hotel Paisano has 41 rooms and additional suites and historic rooms, a heated pool, ground floor commercial space, meeting and ballroom space, Jett’s Grill which is home to the best margarita in Marfa.

Sincerest thanks to Hotel Paisano for sponsoring our stay.

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