By: Sheean Hanlan
Together with Auberge Resorts Collection, Black Tomato’s tailor-made itinerary for New Mexico and Texas might just be the most elevated way to experience true Americana. Off-the-grid towns and big cities, iconic street art murals and abstract expressionist sculptures, Pueblo-style mission churches and abandoned art studios—this desert adventure has it all.
For the 10-night trip, cruise through the Lone Star State’s live music capital, Austin; drive up to Marfa, the mecca of minimalist art, and get lost among the leather boots and western objets d’art of Santa Fe’s vintage boutiques.
In Austin, drop off your bags for a four-night stay at Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection, a swoon-worthy mansion slumbering on a 1920s country estate that once belonged to Edgar Howard “Commodore” Perry and his wife, Lutie. The 53-room boutique hotel provides a Texan charm—divinely designed by Ken Fulk—and grandiosity that feel like an F. Scott Fitzgerald book setting. With a floral-and-wicker garden nook, leisurely croquet matches, and an old-fashioned living room, no one would blame you for spending all of your time on the estate.
But you will want to go into town at some point to see the city’s best and most obscure street art, and then try your hand at your own graffiti masterpiece in a private workshop with a local street artist. In the evening, head to the hotel greenhouse for an intimate seven-course meal with natural wines. The next day, dodge past the hand-painted pastoral murals of the Inn Foyer and head to the Mansion Library for a rare wine and spirits tasting. Allow vintage jeweler Bell and Bird to fashion you a signature silhouette ring, one-of-a-kind jewelry case, and Victorian-era profile portrait to treasure for generations.
When you’ve had your fill of BBQ and breakfast tacos, wind over to Marfa. Small but mighty, Marfa is the middle-of-nowhere town where minimalist Donald Judd planted artistic roots in the 1970s. Don’t let its population of less than 2,000 people fool you. Aluminum boxes, steel plates, concrete slabs, and other bold pieces by Judd and his contemporaries at the Chinati Foundation are Marfa’s answer to the Chihuahuan Desert’s cacti and creosote bush. You’ll spend two nights at El Cosmico, a campsite with accommodations ranging from psychedelic vintage trailers equipped with queen beds, indoor bathrooms, and cedar decks, to stylish 22-foot yurts for a more bohemian feel.
Just when you think things can’t get any better, Santa Fe happens. On the final leg of the trip, spend four nights at Auberge’s new Bishop’s Lodge, with its Pueblo Revival–style architecture and unbeatable views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Back in the 1850s, Jean-Baptiste Lamy settled on the 317-acre property as the first archbishop of Santa Fe. The hotel was designed by architect Nunzio Marc DeSantis and interior design firm HKS and embraces a southwestern aesthetic inspired by the landscape and its rich Native American history. Adobe-like rooms and suites come with cultural touches such as woven Navajo rugs and kiva fireplaces. As part of the itinerary, get the full history of the Pueblo people with a private tour. Let celebrity stylist Amy Violette dress you in the right pair of custom cowboy boots and show you around Santa Fe’s impressive vintage scene. Then, enjoy a glass of wine, or two, with gallery owners at both popular and under-the-radar galleries. $8,950 per person; blacktomato.com