Courtesy Fort Worth CVB
Fort Worth, Texas
For those who want to see all the best of Fort Worth and barely put a wrinkle in their new cowboy boots, the Stockyards Hotel is the place to meet.
The 52-room hotel is in the Stockyards National Historic District, home to Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky-tonk; the Stockyards Championship Rodeo; the Cowtown Coliseum; the Stockyards Museum; Stockyards Station, with more than 25 shops; and the Fort Worth Herd, longhorn cattle herded down the street twice a day.
“One of our best features is our location because there are a variety of things to do,” said Leah Roberts, sales manager.
Built in 1907, the hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its most notorious guests were Bonnie and Clyde. The bank-robbing couple stayed in suite 305, now named for them.
These days, with regard to celebrities, the Stockyards seems favored by country music stars. Tanya Tucker, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and Jerry Jeff Walker are among its former guests.
“There is that uniqueness of the hotel,” said Roberts. “It is over 100 years old, and it’s not like any chain hotel. Each guest room is different and is decorated in one of four different styles: Native American, Mountain Man, Victorian or Western.”
Of the three meeting rooms located on the first floor, the Longhorn Room is the largest, at 710 square feet.
“We also have an indoor patio called the Marine Creek Terrace, which is used for evening functions,” said Roberts.
Hotel Galvez and Spa
Hotel Galvez, the “Queen of the Gulf,” celebrated its 100th anniversary last year with great fanfare.
“In preparation for the anniversary celebration, the hotel underwent a multimillion-dollar restoration of all guest rooms and public venues,” said Patty Rouse, Hotel Galvez director of sales and marketing. “It has a great location overlooking the water. And it has such historic significance within the state. The Galvez has character and ambiance. It is historic, but has the modern amenities that today’s travelers expect.”
The Galvez was part of the rebuilding of Galveston after the hurricane of 1900 killed some 8,000 people and left the city in splinters.
Determined Galveston leaders built a massive seawall and the Galvez, a Spanish-style castle resort-hotel overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. It was completed in 1911.
Three years later, Galveston, Texas’ busiest port, became less so after a shipping channel to Houston was deepened. The city declined, and the Galvez went through many evolutions, but thankfully, it and many other architectural treasures were saved. The hotel’s biggest turnaround came in 1993 when George and Cynthia Mitchell bought it.
Today, the 224-room Galvez is once again the Queen of the Gulf.
Most of its more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space is on the first floor of the U-shaped hotel.
Leading each direction from the lobby are twin loggias or promenades that lead to the west wing and its richly appointed 4,500 square-foot Music Hall and the east wing’s 2,000 square-foot Terrace Ballroom. Lined with large arched windows, the loggias are furnished with wicker as they were 100 years ago. Two former parlors off the west loggia are now meeting rooms with high windows and columns.
The east loggia connects a corridor called Peacock Alley, which gets its name from another area in the hotel where visitors in the 1920s strutted their finery. Today’s relocated Peacock Alley can serve as a prefunction area to the connecting Terrace Ballroom and a dining area called the Veranda. The Veranda curves around the hotel’s garden and tropical swimming pool. In addition to several boardrooms, the hotel’s lower level includes a small museum.
“Guests have the opportunity to learn this history of the island right here on the property,” said Rouse.
The Arizona Inn, a boutique resort spread over 14 acres of gardens in midtown Tucson, is another family business with an interesting past.
Isabella Greenway, Arizona’s first congresswoman and lifelong friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, founded the hotel in 1930 to create work for her furniture shop, the Arizona Hut, which was hard hit by the Depression. The shop was one of Greenway’s philanthropic projects; it provided jobs for disabled World War I veterans. To remind of those times, a cabinet shop remains in operation today, restoring original Hut furniture and building new custom furniture for the inn.
“We pride ourselves on excellent service and a lot of history,” said Reber O’Reilly, director of sales.
Both the inn and its dining room have earned AAA Four Diamond status and have made Condé Nast’s Traveler Gold List, among other honors. Its luxury leanings make it popular with leisure travelers, but its 95 casita-style rooms and 5,000 square feet of meeting space are also a good fit for small meetings.
“The average size meeting for the inn takes from 10 to 20 of the guest rooms,” said O’Reilly. “Our niche is that we are a small property, so people don’t get lost in the shuffle.”
Rooms have been restored and equipped with modern amenities. Antiques decorate meeting rooms, with their beamed ceilings, many windows and french doors that open to patios and gardens. The largest of its four meeting rooms accommodates 200.
A stand-alone residence with three rooms, suitable for about 25 people, is also available. “It is a nice space for all-day meetings,” said O’Reilly.