Highland Hideout

Highland Hideout

By Darla Guillen Gilthorpe


Published On: May 4, 20201.9 min read
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Beyoncé is no stranger to blazing trails in the music industry. Now she can add hospitality trendsetter to her resume. Just one snapshot of the Houston-born entertainer hula hooping at a quiet Marfa ranch in 2012 was enough to make Ford and Lindsay Smith’s vacation property a must-visit travel destination. After the photo was shared, people began asking to book their private rural gem.

The Austin couple’s Far West Texas getaway, a nearly 3,000-acre expanse better known as Ranch 2810, is now available for rent for $5,500 per night with a three-night minimum. Guests can book Ranch 2810 online at Explore Ranches, a Lone Star State startup that leases private properties to travelers who want to enjoy rural Texas without crowding into traditional accommodations. (See Land Report Texas 2019.)

LOCAL COLOR | Native trees and vegetation blend with the site’s textures.

Explore Ranches founders Jay Kleberg, Allison Ryan, and Jesse Womack launched the niche rental site in December 2018. It offers a variety of parcels throughout the Southwest. The 8,000-square-foot modern structure south of Marfa was designed by Houston architect Carlos Jiménez, a professor at Rice University’s School of Architecture. It was originally commissioned by Tim Crowley, a litigator who moved to Marfa in 1997. A former board member of Marfa’s Chinati Foundation, Crowley is also known as one of the founders of the Marfa Book Co. He also launched the nonprofit Crowley Theater and built the Hotel Saint George. Jiménez’s striking vision is perched atop a flat hilltop, which offers panoramas of the Chihuahua Desert through tall windows that allow natural light to flow inside. Clean lines accentuate and frame the home’s surrounding vistas.

ELBOW ROOM | Parties of 10 can readily bunk at Ranch 2810.

Guests at Ranch 2810 have the option of enhancing their stay with add-on experiences from Explore Ranches. These include nature adventures as well as art-centric activities in Marfa. One unique perk of renting this rural gem: You can say that you camped out on Beyoncé’s hula hooping grounds. LR EndNote US

© Houston Chronicle 2020. All rights reserved. Used under license.

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