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Carole Carden

Member since: 2007
Speaks: english

Featured in Southern Living Magazine - Marathon

25 Reviews
Sleeps4
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

Overview

Big Bend House Rental Photos and Description

House, 2 Bedrooms + Sleeping Porch, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)

La Esmeralda is a 100 year old wood farm house, fully restored with hardwood floors, high ceilings, central air and heat. The two bedrooms have very comfortable queen size beds with down pillows and comforts if needed. The bathroom has a deep ball claw tub for soaking or taking a shower. Theres also an outdoor shower that everyone loves!

The house is professionally decorated in 'Cowboy Modern' style. Antique and modern furniture, art, 36 inch plasma TV, books, music, and a film library that includes Oscar winning and classic films. The book collection is a mix of architecure, design, photography, fiction and books on Marathon and Big Bend.

The screened in porch is the perfect place to eat, read and relax. You can watch the amazing sunrises from the porch with unobstructive views or the sunsets from the back porch.

We provide a kitchen with all the spices and things you need for cooking, coffee, tea and even a complimentary bottle of wine when you arrive. La Esmeralda is within walking distance of everything in Marathon and is the perfect place to unplug and enjoy the beauty of Big Bend.

Keywords: Charming 100 year old beautifully decorated farmhouse on six acres.

More Details
Suitability:
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Carole Carden (Owner)
Member since: 2007
Speaks: english

About Carole Carden

I am a native Texan but now live in California. I have a background in magazine publishing and now own a retail shop that offers architecture and design books, home furnishings and gifts in Solana Beach Ca. named SoLo. I owned an independent bookstore in Del Mar Ca. for 13 years named Esmeralda, hence the name for my vacation home in Marathon.

Carole Carden purchased this house in 2005

Why Carole Carden chose Big Bend

I fell in love with the high desert beauty and climate of the Big Bend area. You have the best of both worlds, beautiful mountains, amazing star gazing, clean air and Marathon is a great little ranching town with nice friendly people.

What makes this house unique

La Esmeralda is a great old house with all the modern conveniences and comfort. The house is a lot of fun with great views and feels remote from neighbors. The front porch faces away from the street so it is very private. The landscaping if mostly natural grasses with agaves and cactus. I am in the design business so the house has been furnished with interesting art and furniture. I also love to cook so the kitchen has everything you need. La Esmeralda is not your typical rental. La Esmeralda is featured in Southern Living Magazine's January 2011 issue.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Loved the house, so comfortable and relaxing, our second stay and we will be back!
Mar 2010
  • 1 of 1

Reviews

4.9
based on 25 traveler reviews

Featured in Southern Living Magazine - Marathon
average rating of 4.88 based on 26 reviews
5

Perfect Escape

  • 5 of 5

La Esmerelda exceeded our expectations! I just wanted to curl up on the screened porch and read a book on the rocking lounge. It was too warm to build a fire, but in cooler temps that would have been a must!

The kitchen comes equipped with all the basic necessities plus more...the french press made my day! The beds were cozy, the bathroom had plush towels and a variety of toiletries. The book collection met the interests of my music loving husband and my outdoorsy, inquisitive 7 year old!

We can't wait to stay again. We're already planning our next trip to Marathon and La Esmerelda.

  • Submitted: Jul 8, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So happy you had a good retreat at La Esmeralda. I love to sit on the porch and read for days and listen to the birds and the breeze rustling thru the cottonwood tree. Glad your husband and son enjoyed the books. I try to keep it interesting. Thank you for your nice review. Look forward to hosting you again.
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0 0
Buda, TX
5

A part of my life now

  • 5 of 5

This trip marks the fifth year I have come out to La Esmeralda. I return, always once, sometimes twice a year depending on how much repair and solace I need. This is an utterly peaceful, healing place and it's done as much to repair the tears and strains in my soul as any other store-bought therapy could have.

I've been through storms, through snowfalls, heat that makes the air wobble in the near-distance....heck I've even lived through some of those monster big-boy West Texas thunderstorms with hail that would knock you sideways should you be foolish enough to step outside the safety of the house. La Esmeralda endures all. It's been here before you and will be long after, likely.

The house may appear spartan but is actually incredibly well-stocked for about everything. Before you go, just remember this is an authentic, frontier railroad house that's over 100 years old. The house has ... character, earned by years of surviving everything Texas has thrown at it. Part of the charm, indeed, is learning all the various quirks and learning to love them. Me? Wouldn't have it any other way. If I want boring consistency I will go stay at a Marriott.

The owner has been nothing but wonderful, flexible and accomodating for all of my stays dating back to 2012. She's very understanding when it comes to hiccups in travel and work-related interference. For me, that's something that really can't be bought.

If you are an avid reader or lover of music, La Esmeralda will be an absolute find for you. Stocked with hand-picked CDs and books dating back to when Marathon was founded, you'll be able to spend your quiet mornings out on the screened-in porch reading signed hardcover copies of books and listen to the subdued splashing of the fishes in the outside pond and, that high-lonesome sound of the railroad as it enters and departs town several times a day. Do your homework -- Marathon is and always has been a railroad town, one of the first.

As for amenities, the town is.....quite limited. Although -- you can find some pretty decent mexican food at the gas station, at the Oasis, and at The Marathon Cafe. If you go to the latter, tell Francene and Nancy that Dave from Austin sent you and that I miss them.

  • Submitted: Jun 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0
5

THE place to stay in Marathon

  • 5 of 5

This property was amazing! We loved it so much and extended our trip a couple more nights. So comfortable with attention to all details. We think this is THE spot to stay in Marathon. The Big Bend National Park is easily accessible but, really, all you want to do is hang out and enjoy this home. There is really no reason to leave. The rental process was professional and delightful. Highly recommend a stay and this property.

  • Submitted: May 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Jan 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0
5

Wanted to stay longer!!

  • 5 of 5

What a perfect "taste" of Marathon this house is! Beautifully equipped, cozy, wonderful screened porch. I wanted another day in the area just to spend hanging out at the house! Tons of books, movies, music or just plain quiet. It has 100 years worth of charm!

  • Submitted: May 3, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: SO happy you enjoyed the house and Marathon! Everyone wants more time in the area. Come back soon!
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2 0
Westcliffe, CO
2

Not Impressed

  • 2 of 5

My husband and I, and a senior friend recently stayed at this property, and although I found it tolerable, I was not impressed. It is quaint, but is also cluttered. Every room is so full of "decorations" and the owners personal items, that the vacationer doesn't have space for their necessary items (clothes, suitcases, etcetera). The "antique" wardrobes don't accommodate standard size hangers and the doors hang open. There is essentially no counter space to prepare meals on in the kitchen. Two of the three burners only worked on high. I didn't try the third. The cloth shower curtains in the bathroom needs a thorough washing. By the time taxes and cleaning fee were added, this property definitely was not the money. On a positive note, the beds were comfortable.

  • Submitted: Mar 1, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wow, in eight years of renting my house La Esmeralda, I have never received anything but glowing reviews. I am sorry my house did not live up to your expectations. The house is 100 years old and since in the old days the houses did not have closets, we provided antique wardrobes. One does have a door that stays open about an inch. There is also a dresser in each room for additional clothes. I was just there and the old cute stove worked fine but it is old and the low and medium setting start a little slow. I did not want my house to be a typical vacation rental so I provide books, music, movies and art for the guest to enjoy. What you describe as clutter has been a delight to our other guest. The numerous photo's on the VRBO site show the furnishings and design. The kitchen has counter space by the sink, one half of the stove, the spice cabinet and a large round table to cook and prepare food. We wash the shower curtains after every rental and replace them often because of the hard water stains. We work very hard to make sure the house is clean and provide so many extras for happy guest. I am glad you liked the beds! Sincerely, Carole
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4 4
5

Wish there were more stars to give

  • 5 of 5

We just got home from our first trip to the Texas Big Bend area. We originally planned on spending 4 nights in Marfa but could only find accommodations for 2 nights there - so I booked our first 2 nights in Marathon at La Esmeralda. Now I wish we'd never left La Esmeralda. Wow! While the photos on VRBO accurately reflect what you'll find in the house - they still don't do it justice. The house is a knockout - decorated in the most perfectly rustic, Texas style imaginable. Antique bureaus, uniquely quirky lighting and art, beautiful vintage Mexican pottery and what must be the world's most comfortable porch glider. Plus everything to make your stay comfortable - cable TV, a large selection of DVDs, CDs, books and magazines, fluffy towels in the bath, everything you need to prepare and serve meals. You can just feel that this house is loved. If La Esmeralda was mine, I'd never leave - but I thank Carole for sharing it with us - if only for a couple of nights. We'll be back!

  • Submitted: Oct 26, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Lee! Love sharing my house with guest and so happy you had a memorable first trip to the Big Bend area.
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1 0

Map

Car: necessary

Marathon is 46 miles Big Bend, 26 miles to Alpine, one hour to Marfa and Fort Davis, Marathon basin is surrounded by the Glass and Del Norte Mountains, Beautiful views and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Birders that have stayed at the house love the small fish pond for spotting unusual birds! La Esmeralda is a short walk to everything in Marathon.

Photos

Rates & Availability

Marathon House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
USD
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
 
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
$195
 
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Amenities

Big Bend House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
General:
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1
Bedrooms:
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Queen size Beds (2)
Entertainment:
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library ...
Outside:
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Outdoor Grill
Suitability:
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Attractions:
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
Notes:
Outdoor shower, fire pit, stone BBQ and screened in porch

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