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Featured in Southern Living Magazine - Marathon

Bedrooms 2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

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, plus local roasted coffee and tea. 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

Carole Carden
Member since: 2007
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
June 16, 2017

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 Country

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


Marathon House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Queen size Beds (2)
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Outdoor Grill
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • 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:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
Outdoor shower, fire pit, stone BBQ and screened in porch.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(30 traveler reviews)

Featured in Southern Living Magazine - Marathon
average rating of 4.9 based on 31 reviews

Perfect house for a weekend getaway!!

  • 5 of 5

La Esmeralda was such a gem - we knew within minutes of arriving that we had made a great decision in booking it.

The house:

La Esmeralda stayed true to the spirit of West Texas - not a modern home plunked in the desert, but a hundred-plus year old beautifully decorated piece of history, that was still somehow perfectly appointed for the type of traveler who is not interested in roughing it. Tons of books, DVDs, CDs for your entertainment if you get tired of going out and exploring. Overflowing with towels, plates, glasses, spices, extra pillows, blankets, and any other amenity you'd need while away from home. It was clean and comfortable and we felt at home right away.

The screened in porch is the thing we'll miss the most - having coffee, drinks, and all our meals out there made the trip so much more enjoyable - especially when we were blessed with such perfect weather for our entire stay. The landscaping is awesome and provides for lots to look at while you're hanging out on the glider.


Great place to stay and have easy access to all the other attractions in the area like Big Bend, Marfa, Terlingua, Fort Davis, etc. It's a tiny town, but has just enough to make it not feel desolate or inconvenient. The Gage Hotel offers a coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch, a fancy restaurant that serves dinner, and beautiful gardens to roam through. There's also a few other places to eat, get groceries and drinks, etc. And the wonderful host Carole provides a ton of info on what to do on your stay there.

Especially appreciative that our pup Walter was allowed to come stay with us. He also loved the screened porch, and I noticed that the house did not appear pet-friendly in any of the ways you might fear - it was clean, smelled nice, etc.

When we go back, we'd definitely book La Esmeralda again in a heartbeat.

  • Submitted: Jun 9, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wow, thank you for your kind words about La Esmeralda and Marathon. It's been a 12 year labor of love for me and makes me happy to share it with my guest. Marathon is a special place. Cc
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Denver, CO


  • 5 of 5

Great weekend getaway

  • Submitted: May 14, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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league city tx

La Ezmeralda, Historic building, Every amenity, Creature Comforts. Marathon, Texas

  • 5 of 5

Exceptional in every way: location, privacy, responsive owner, fantastic care-takers who go above & beyond, beautiful old place, lovingly curated, w,ith attention to detail & all the amenities. SO comfortable & easy, clean, pretty, great library -- I could go on & on & just want to go back & stay again. Perfect "headquarters" for me, Mother of the Groom, to try to help oversee & help out with BBNP outdoor wedding, 40 guests, rehearsal dinner one night & reception the next at another rental house in Marathon. I truly love the nice, helpful, friendly nature of people who live in the Big Bend of Texas, and especially the people of Marathon, and the rental community in Marathon who did all they could to accommodate our group, and to help us in any way they could.

  • Submitted: May 9, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So happy your wedding weekend was a success! Marathon may be small buts it mighty in friendliness! I am always amazed at how many weddings our little town of less than 400 people host.
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Houston, TX

West Texas Charm

  • 5 of 5

La Esmeralda was host to my husband, sister, brother-in-law and myself for three nights and we loved everything about it. The beds were comfortable, the screened-in porch perfect for early morning and late evening chats, the kitchen fully stocked with everything we needed to make delicious breakfasts (spices provided, we supplied the eggs, bacon, etc!) We even grilled one evening outside on the stone grill. The house had all the modern amenities yet retained a certain rustic charm and coziness. Carol was wonderful to deal with; very responsive to questions and clear with instructions. If you ever have the chance to visit Marathon and the Big Bend area, I would highly recommend La Esmeralda as a place to stay!

  • Submitted: Mar 29, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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The house was exactly what we expected and wanted!

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful 5 days/4 nights and only wished we had stayed a whole week! We spent a lot of time in Big Bend and surrounding areas only to come "home" and sit in the enclosed porch at night and watch the sunset; spectacular! Also the sunrises! It truly was peaceful. The house is wonderfully decorated in the 100 year old ranch house theme. Plan on visiting again.

  • Submitted: Feb 14, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for taking the time to right this review. So happy you had a great trip! I love the screened in porch so much I even sit out there when it's raining. Love the sound of the rain hitting the medal roof. Best, Carole
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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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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.


Rates & Availability

Marathon House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

cleaning fee $75
Tax Rate 13.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Contact Owner

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