Texas Hotels, the best hotels in Texas

The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas

A cattle baron built this hotel!
A cattle baron built this hotel! | Source

The Legendary Driskill Hotel

No other hotel in Texas is as beautiful or legendary as the Driskill in Austin. It is, by far, my favorite hotel in the state and perhaps in the country. This is a serious luxury hotel with a story in every room. It's even reputed to be haunted, but that's one of its charms.

A Texas cattle baron built this hotel in 1886. Restored to its original elegance, The Driskill has a magnificent columned lobby, marble floors and a stained-glass dome over the classic décor of the 189 guestrooms and suites.

Located right in the middle of Austin, and 6th street, this gorgeous hotel is within walking distance of many live music venues. It's also close to the state capitol building and the home of some of the best tours of the city, including the ghost tour and horse and carriage rides.

Great Wolf Lodge

A hotel with an indoor water park! Amazing.
A hotel with an indoor water park! Amazing. | Source

Great Wolf Lodge - Dallas, Grapevine Texas

The fun Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Tx has to be a great hotel simply because it houses an indoor water park! Me and my fair skin love this place. I really like the outdoors, but have never been able to stay in the sun, so why not bring the outdoors inside?

All of the rooms are suites with mini refrigerators which is a real boon to travelers! Need to keep medicine cool? How about some wine or champagne? No problem. Enjoy a cool beverage when you retire for the evening to watch a bit of TV and catch up on some Zzzz's.

If you're traveling with children, this is the only type of hotel I would consider. An automatic babysitter for 8 year old and up come in the form of lifeguards. The kids can play safely, and you can enjoy a leisurely lunch nearby. Guest passes are available for whoever you are visiting so they can enjoy the fun too.

The Gage Hotel

An outside wall of the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas
An outside wall of the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas | Source

Marfa, Alpine, WestTexas and the Gage Hotel

If you are going to visit West Texas and the stunning Big Bend country, there is only one hotel to spend your time at. The Gage Hotel makes you feel like you're living next door to every Texas legend that ever lived.

It's the center point for all that is holy in the West:

  • Big Bend National Park
  • Far Flung Adventures, River rafting
  • The Marfa Ghost Lights
  • Horseback riding
  • McDonald Observatory and Star parties
  • A 3.5-million gallon spring-fed pool (yes, million!) at Balmorhea, Tx
  • Terlingua Ghost Town and the giant Texas Chili Cook-off
  • The Chihuahua Desert and a moon that follows you wherever you go

The original hotel was built in 1927 and I think the furniture is still original. It's well maintained, of course, but it feels like you have gone back in time. If you liked Bonanza and the Cartwright Ranch, then you'll swear you just might bump into the ghosts of Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts, Michael Landon or even Lorne Greene himself welcoming you to the modern pool and gardens.

Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth hotels

There are some nice hotels in Houston and Dallas, but they don't have the personality I desire in a great Texas hotel. I always look for the best hotels that have a real past. You know like that big hotel in Colorado that Stephen King got so famous for in the Shining. I've yet to see a ghost, but I always look for them.

If I were to book a hotel in Houston or Dallas today, I would probably go with the ZaZa hotels. They're a bit upscale and foo foo for me, but they are geared toward tourists and making a guest comfortable. For less foo foo, pick a chain hotel that is close to whatever part of the city you're visiting. Actually, I don't recommend either city. Houston and Dallas are both too crowded and busy. Neither city has anything at all resembling the heart and soul of Texas.

Fort Worth is a different story. Ft. Worth has history to spare. It's where the Chisolm trail met the East/West route of the cattle barons, cotton kings, trains and the settlers from all over. The nickname for Ft. Worth is Cow Town and there is no doubt it still has roots in the cattle and ranching industry today.

The Stockyards Hotel is the place to stay in Forth Worth. Cattle and Cotton are King here and the best steak house in the state is right next door at the Hunter Brother's H3 Ranch Restaurant. Visit Billy Bob's and other eccentric saloons nearby. Built in 1907, the hotel has been the temporary home of cattle barons, country music stars, and real outlaws of the west.

Texas hotels that deserve an honorable mention

The Menger hotel in San Antonio is past its prime, but still reputed to be haunted and it is conveniently located in the Alamo City. I stayed there many years ago and hopefully, they have refurbished the place since then. Theodore Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Mae West, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Sarah Bernhardt have stayed here so there is history. Much of the furnishings are museum quality so it is worth looking into.

If you're going to stay in New Braunfels, I would recommend the Schlitterbahn Resorts. Stay where you play is my motto here! Nothing is more fun in Texas than a water park and Schlitterbahn is the best water park in the world.

Where are the best hotels in Texas?

show route and directions
A marker604 Brazos St Austin, TX 78701 -
604 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701, USA
[get directions]

The Driskill Hotel in Austin

B marker100 Great Wolf Dr Grapevine, TX 76051 -
100 Great Wolf Drive, Grapevine, TX 76051, USA
[get directions]

The Great Wolf Lodge and Waterpark, Grapevine, Tx

C marker102 NW 1st St Hwy 90W Marathon, TX 79842 -
Marathon, TX, USA
[get directions]

The Gage Hotel in Marathon/Alpine/Marfa Texas

D marker204 Alamo Plaza San Antonio, TX 78205 -
204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA
[get directions]

The Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Tx

E marker220 Main St Houston, TX 77002 -
220 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002, USA
[get directions]

I didn't want to leave Houston out, but I have no knowledge of this hotel.

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© 2010 Austinstar

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Comments - Have you stayed in any Texas Hotels? 7 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

You are bringing Texas closer to me all the time! I actually do all of my transcription work for a company out of Mass - and I do all Texas! As I'm sitting here hour after hour going through reports and hearing of towns like Grapevine, Weatherford, Cleburne, etc., I often wonder what they are all like and want to visit them! Thanks for showing me a little bit of Texas!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Audrey, Grapevine is a suburb of Dallas and you can hardly tell the difference between the two. Weatherford is an old cattle town and quite small. Cleburne? Is that place still around? I might could find it on a map, but I sure wouldn't want to live there.

Do you work from home? Don't you live in Oregon somewhere?


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Thanks for turning me on to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine with its indoor pool. I'll make it my business to visit the next time I go to Dallas. Will you be there, too?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

I usually head up to Ft. Worth in the fall to visit family and the horse shows (which are free btw). So if you are there in October, give me a holler.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I love Texas great food, great people, awesome sites and I like it hot so it's a win win, thanks for your great review and reminder of Texas Hotels.


sailove profile image

sailove 4 years ago from Los Angels, Canada

I Love West Texas and the Gage Hotel great food,great people,awesome sites and like it.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

The Gage hotel is famous, but it is out in the middle of West Texas which is not a populous place. That's a good thing!

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    Austinstar profile image

    Austinstar1,075 Followers
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    Lela earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Sam Houston University in Huntsville, TX. She has been writing for the online world for years.



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