Legendary are the Texas hotels revered for their longevity, but time — and guests — can be hard on these beauties. We applaud those who work hard to keep them updated while remaining respectful of their pasts. Here are three properties — in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio — which have received welcome facelifts in the past year. The Upgrade 1 The Adolphus >>> Dallas Because modernizing a century-old icon doesn’t happen overnight, the multiphase updating at this downtown hotel proves that slowly but surely works well. The handsome 1912 castlelike hotel built by beer magnate Adolphus Busch to be his Texas home is now more than midway through a painstaking renovation begun in 2015. Less overbearingly baroque and more accessibly modern, the revamping rendered by Dallas design firm SWOON the Studio delivers public and private spaces with clean lines within the classic framework. Rooms feature smart new designs to replace the floral-laden interiors our grandmothers adored. The seventh floor’s new wellness wing reveals a sexy rooftop pool with cabanas, cocktail service and semi-submerged chaise lounges along with a fitness center and the chic Spa Adolphus — carrying New York’s Red Flower luxury beauty line. On the main floor, the elegant lobby bar mixes gleaming dark woods of the past with modern furniture, tapestry cushions and colorful rugs, all bathed in low lighting. City Hall Bistro is the sleek all-day dining spot that defies the definition of a hotel, and the vaunted, reinvented French Room could be open in the next few months. Watch also for the Rodeo Bar’s makeover this winter, with all restorations to be complete in early 2018. 1321 Commerce St., Dallas, 214-742-8200, adolphus.com. — June Naylor Photos by Steven Visneau 2 Austin Motel >>> Austin For years, the 1930s-era motor inn was beloved for its rough-around-the edges kitschiness, a contrast to the ultracool neighboring Hotel San José. When the Austin Motel went up for sale in 2016, it was fitting that Bunkhouse, the Austin-based group responsible for the capital city’s Hotel San José and Hotel Saint Cecilia, stepped up for the reboot. A year later, the 41-room hotel’s quirky appeal is equally met with the style and design touches that have established Liz Lambert, Bunkhouse founder, as one of the go-to gurus of the hospitality world. The Austin Motel long has been known for its reasonable room rates, and Lambert didn’t want the renovation to force a rise in prices. The look and feel is still casual but more playful with lots of funky — and colorful — details. New amenities include a lobby shop stocked with books, T-shirts and snacks; Fine Foods, a patio bar; and sustenance available from neighboring Jo’s Burger Box; and special events (poolside aerobics, DJ sets). 1220 S. Congress Ave., Austin, 512-441-1157, austinmotel.com. — Meda Kessler Photos by Nick Simonite 3 Hotel Valenica Riverwalk >>> San Antonio Opened in 2003, Hotel Valencia Riverwalk sits within the state’s most deeply historic district and prides itself as the citys’ fi rst boutique hotel. To keep pace with the legion of grande dame properties throughout the Alamo City and with stiff competition coming from the likes of the Pearl District’s renowned Hotel Emma, the Valencia completed a $10 million redo this year. The architecture/design team from Houston-based Rottet Studio has transitioned the formerly cool, modern hotel into one with Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean fl air. Look for rustic wood, classic ironwork and handmade tiles throughout, with an entrance framed by potted olive trees and a showy fountain just inside. A new restaurant called Dorrego’s draws on Argentine inspiration for decor and food, while another new cafe-bar called Naranja features a hammered metal ceiling and Mediterranean textiles and tiles. New common areas, the Library and Living Room, offer cozy settings for socializing. Guest-room renovations include curved iron headboards, stained woods and bronze details in the bathrooms. Terraces with Riverwalk views put you in the heart of San Antonio heritage. 150 Houston St., San Antonio, 855-596-3387, hotelvalencia-riverwalk.com. — June Naylor
Published by Scott Publishing. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.360westmagazine.com/article/The+Wander+List/2868926/434191/article.html.