If you want to go big during your next trip to Texas, or are just looking for an indulgent staycation, check in at one of these luxury hotels that all offer much more than room and board.
Hotel Saint Cecilia
Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Hotel Saint Cecilia has its own lending library | Courtesy of Hotel Saint Cecilia / Booking.com
Hotel Saint Cecilia is a 14-room Austin boutique hotel that pays immaculate attention to every detail. There are five suites – each styled differently, though, with a reoccurring rock and roll vibe – studios, and poolside bungalows to choose from, as well as an inviting lobby with a vinyl library that you can explore there or on one of the record players found in every room. Though competition is fierce, the most photogenic corner of the hotel is the pool with the iconic blazon neon “soul” sign.
South Congress Hotel, located in one of the trendiest spots in Austin, suits the location with its cleanly designed guest rooms and suites, restaurants, pool, and even a boutique downstairs offering your own personal shopper. Stop by the hotel even if you’re not planning to stay. All three restaurants and the lobby bar are unique and offer an exquisite experience, especially Central Standard, an American upscale spot ornately finished with shades of blue, wood, and golden accents and with more than 100 labels of wine from which to choose.
Take a trip to the Wild West and bring your pup along with you to the Hotel Paisano in Marfa. Designed in 1929, the hotel mixes Southwestern architecture and culture with modern, upscale amenities, including a heated pool, classic wedding and event spaces, vintage-styled rooms, and hearty offerings at Jett’s Grill, complete with outside seating options in the romantic courtyard.
Hotel Emma feels like home, but only if you were insanely wealthy with great taste. Each detail feels personal, from the industrial, repurposed chandeliers to the luxurious Persian rugs, leather couches, and throw blankets. The building was originally a brewery in 1894 and was once the tallest building in San Antonio, and its lofty ceilings and exposed infrastructure invited cathedral comparisons from renovation crews. The suites combine Southwestern, vintage, and opulent styles, some even with their own fireplace, wet bar, and terrace.
Travaasa Austin is the ultimate relaxation destination. Airy suites and sprawling lounge areas allow you to breathe in the clean air and green Hill Country canyon and treetop views from anywhere on the huge property. Decompress at the spa with meditation, breath, and body treatments, or try out new adventures through Travaasa’s featured experiences, ranging from wine tastings, two-step and drawing classes to archery, yoga, and so much more.
When you really need to get away from civilization, venture to The Inn at Dos Brisas, set on 313 acres of farmland outside of Brenham, Texas. Choose from one of the huge Spanish-style haciendas, with an enclosed patio, plunge pool, outdoor shower, and two fireplaces, or a smaller casita, with a wet bar, personal golf cart, and private porch. The on-site restaurant is the only Forbes five-star rated eatery in Texas and features organic produce picked on the property. The list of activities is nearly endless but includes hunting, golf, wine tasting, and organic farming lessons.
The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa is a wooded retreat unlike anything else in Houston. The property feels like “old money,” with dark wood paneled and stone walls, ostentatious fireplaces, and dark hues throughout, but you come here because of the traditional luxury it provides. It has a variety of restaurants to suit different occasions, an expansive fitness class schedule, but most notably, a 17,000-square-foot (1,579.3-square-meter) spa with 20 treatment rooms and a relaxation pool.
Built in the 1900s, Hotel Ella is a historic mansion-turned-hotel in what is now downtown Austin. The wrap-around porch is the perfect place to sip a Lavender Bee’s Knees from the gorgeous black marble Parlor Bar, which also offers a variety of heavy hors d’oeuvres such as baked ricotta and broccoli beignets, or you can grab a full meal or room service from the in-house Goodall’s Kitchen. Hotel Ella makes you feel like you’ve stepped back into the days of fancy old Southern hospitality, and this enduring quality is featured in every detail, from the vintage curated rooms to the complimentary house car and 24-hour guest services.
The St. Anthony Hotel is located in the heart of San Antonio and attracts high-profile visitors, including royalty and A-list celebrities. It offers classy, elegant décor, a rooftop heated pool with private cabanas, full-service concierge, six dining venues, and enormous crystal chandeliers throughout the space. It’s an especially impressive choice for weddings or other important events, complete with city views from the Sky Terrace open-air venue.
The Joule Hotel is a neo-Gothic, art-filled hotel in downtown Dallas, complete with 161 rooms and suites designed with both comfort and style in mind. You can also check out one of the four penthouses to take your experience to the next level. There is a variety of food and drink offerings inside, such as the subterranean Midnight Rambler craft cocktail bar or Americano, a colorful Italian bistro influenced by mid-century Italian films. You really don’t need to leave at all while you’re here – there are even three unique boutiques inside, and the bookshop will ship your purchases home for you.