Having having made the long car ride from Tucson, Arizona to Galveston Island, Texas, for our friends’ wedding, my car mates and I decided that instead of trying to do the entire 15 hour ride in one day, we’d split it up. At the wedding, we asked around: “Where should we stop?”
The resounding answer? Alpine, Texas.
“And where should we stay when we get there?”
The just-as-resounding response? Antelope Lodge.
Of the five or so native Texans we asked, all of them told us about the adorable cottages in the renowned college town of Alpine (home of Sul Ross University). “Two thumbs up, definitely,” one said. “The cottages are so cute!” said another. “You’ll love it,” a third echoed. A fourth, praising the local watering hole and live music venue, Railroad Blues, hadn’t been to Antelope Lodge but had heard about it–and only good things. Our choice, then, was an easy one–we’d spend the night at Antelope Lodge.
Antelope Lodge lives by the mantra of being unlike “those franchise motels which all look alike.” Instead, they’ve embraced what they call the “rustic casual” style of West Texas without being pretentious or overly modern. The result is an adorable half-moon of 1940s cottages around a courtyard of alpine trees, hummingbird feeders, brisket smokers, and camp fire rings.
We arrived in Alpine the next evening just as the Lodge was closing up for the evening (they close at 9 p.m., but if you arrive after their doors are closed, they’ll leave the key for you in the door). Alicia, the lovely receptionist, greeted me warmly and excitedly, asking me all kinds of questions and offering me suggestions for the best barbeque, live music (she corroborated the awesomeness of Railroad Blues), and traveling hot dog truck. She handed me the key and pointed to a little white cottage in the courtyard. We’d be staying in #5, which was one-half of the cottage (most of the cottages, except the full suites, function similarly to a duplex, with two doors and rooms to each cottage).
Having looked at the pictures on the website, I knew I’d be excited when I opened the door to our Deluxe Single room–and I wasn’t disappointed. There was a stone porch with a blue chair welcoming us to sit and enjoy the warm evening, and a Mexican tiled wrought-iron number on each door indicated which room was ours. As I opened the door, I caught a glimpse of a Southwestern-style comforter with matching window curtains. I noticed an air-conditioning unit nudged into the window, which, in this humid summer heat, I couldn’t help but turn on immediately.
Toward the back of the room, there was a wooden table and chair and an matching entertainment center with a television nestled inside of it. The kitchenette, which was off to the left, had a nice amount of cabinet space, a two-burner stove, refrigerator, cutting table, and note indicating that if we needed any silverware or pots, pans, and plates, we could request them at the front office. Though we didn’t have enough time to cook while we were there, I’m sure the kitchenette would have nicely sufficed for any cooking endeavor I could have imagined. After a very long day of driving through West Texas, we were mostly interested in the bed–and a good nights’ sleep. We most definitely got that–the bed was the perfect and unlikely combination of both firm and soft, and the sheets had just the right thread-count.
The property offers everything from an Economy Single, which boasts a single queen-sized bed and kitchenette, to a Full Suite, which offers a two-roomed stay with double beds, a sitting room, televisions, a full kitchenette, and serving station. Prices are also extremely reasonable, and typically range from $53.00 a night for one person in an Economy Single to $125 a night for five people in a Full Suite. (Prices vary on the number of sleepers in each room). Each room, I’m told, is decorated differently–to suit all kinds of travelers and tastes.
Leaving the Lodge in the morning, I stopped in to thank the receptionist and return the key. We started chatting about our evenings, where I was headed, and where I’d been. I noticed a little herb and budding flower garden right outside the window, and I could hear the jet-black grackle birds waking each other up with their unusual voices. I thought about our long 2,300 journey over one week, and how we’d been through so many places for so little time. I wished out loud that I could have stayed at least a day longer. Surrounded by a ring of white cottages, lush pine trees, and delightful morning birdsong, I was perfectly happy not moving–just standing right there, very still, very content, at the Antelope Lodge.
To make a reservation, check out their reservations page online or give them a call at 1-800-880-8106 0r 432-837-2451.
Antelope Lodge 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine, TX 79830
Article and photographs by Kristin Winet.
A special thanks to the Antelope Lodge for sponsoring my night’s stay at their property.