It’s been a tough year for the Texas Hospitality industry, to say the least. Our city and state’s hotels, big and small, have seen their share of hard times—dwindling occupancy and business travel, along with canceled conventions, have crushed the already hard-hit industry. But let’s focus on some good news.
While the thought of opening a new hotel during such a year seems almost unimaginable, we did have some significant newcomers land in the Lone Star State with more are on the way in early 2021. Though we don’t know entirely what the future holds for the hotel industry, we do know that Covid-19 vaccinations are rolling out across America. It’s only a matter of time before we Houstonians return to our weekend getaways, road trips, and staycations, as we’re wont to do.
Here now, the new Texas hotels you’ll want to keep track of as your own travel plans get back underway.
Opening April 2021
When the Texas Medical Center gets its first four-diamond hotel with international flair (at 7118 Bertner Ave) this spring, in the form of this 16-story newcomer from China-based Blossom Holding Group, guests can expect three chef-focused restaurants (including a new sushi spot), decor that’s described as having “lunar” color schemes, and an outdoor pool bar and a karaoke room, along with luxury amenities and experiences.
Opened September 2020
The largest hotel from acclaimed hospitality group Bunkhouse (masterminds of Marfa’s El Cosmico), Hotel Magdalena is its fourth property in Austin and the first mass timber hotel in North America. Four treehouse-like buildings, connected by walkways and courtyards, house 89 rooms with vibes that speak to 1970s lake life in Austin—in the center of it all is a swimming pool and landscaping reminiscent of Barton Springs, and the in-house eatery, Summer House on Music Lane, features an open-fire grill, rotisserie, and loads of outdoor space. The property was originally home to the Terrace Motor Hotel, purchased in the late ’70s by Willie Nelson, who made it the home of the Austin Opry House—you’ll find images from some of its most iconic shows (Muddy Waters, Lou Reed, and Nelson himself), snapped by Austin local Scott Newton, throughout the hotel.
Opened July 2020
Located on Austin’s West 6th Street entertainment district, the 140-room property offers a terrace-level pool deck, open-air courtyard, pet-friendly rooms, and a designated dog walk area, as part of its many amenities. The Especially appealing is the outdoor seating and lounging area at in-house restaurant and bar Verbena, operated by local Chef Nic Yanes of Juniper and Uncle Nicky’s.
Opened August 2020
Housed in one of Dallas’s most historic buildings, the Knights of Pythias Temple in Deep Ellum—designed 1916 by prominent African American architect, and son-in-law of Booker T. Washington, William S. Pittman (thus, the hotel name)—the Kimpton Pittman Hotel offers 164 contemporary rooms featuring curated pieces by Dallas artists, modern tavern Elm & Good, over 8,000-square-feet of event space, and a forthcoming outdoor bar and pool deck. Guests can also find Pelotons and TRX in the 24-hour fitness room, or take out a bicycle (for free) to explore the neighborhood. Local shop Good Records has also curated the “Kimpton Pittman Collection” vinyl set, which guests can enjoy in their rooms or purchase to take home.
Opening February 2021
Western charm and modern amenities are the name of the game at the Autograph Collection’s latest addition, a chic 200-room newcomer heading to the new Mule Alley district in Fort Worth (in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District). Guests will find a two-story library of Texas-themed books in the lobby, and cozy luxuries ranging from bunk rooms for families (with king size beds for parents, of course) to Los Poblanos artisan lavender products and King Ranch items. The 200-seat 97 West Kitchen & Bar will serve contemporary Texas fare (à la NY strip chicken fried steak) and family-style dishes. The Backyard, complete with a pool, a hot tub, cabanas, fire pits, a stage, and yard games, is basically everything you need for an epic evening. Unless, of course, you’re getting married. You’ll want to book one of two event spaces for that—Legacy Hall or the property’s barn, made of 150-year-old reclaimed timber.
Reopened November 2020
It’s not brand new, but the Frisco resort and golfing destination just underwent a full-scale, $30-million revitalization, reopening this winter with 302 updated guest rooms (some with Pelotons), over 26,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, and loads of new amenities: A pro shop, a TopGolf “Swing Suite,” a state-of-the-art fitness studio, coffee and cocktail lounge Beans & Barrel, and Southern eatery Herd & Hearth. Still to come is a revived outdoor pool and bar area, a luxurious on-site spa, guided outdoor fitness activities, and the Westin Family Kids Club (opening in 2021). And to come next year: a new yoga lawn, running trails, and Ranch Water, a poolside cocktail lounge named after the beloved Texas drink.
Opening early 2021
The contemporary, boutique hotel will bring 162 chic guest rooms and 33 suites to the River Walk, with floor-to-ceiling views of the San Antonio skyline and Texas Hill Country, four dining and bar destinations (including a rooftop bar inspired by the Greek goddess of the moon), a pool deck with bar and cabanas, a full-service spa and sanctuary, and 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Opened September 2020
Houston-based Valencia Hotel Group’s newest urban retreat boasts 165 rooms and laid back amenities—guest room porches with Acapulco rocking chairs, a relaxing courtyard, pool, fire pits, and, of course, its bar and restaurant, Midnight Shift, which serves up locally sourced craft brews, cocktails, and Texas-inspired dishes. The property’s design is inspired by the local history of cotton warehouses, cotton gins, and agriculture, and it’s as stylish as you’d expect from the brand behind Hotel Alessandra and Lone Star Court.
Opening April 2021
Amarillo’s first boutique hotel, courtesy of the Autograph Collection, is set inside the historic Barfield building in the heart of the city’s downtown, with “New West” details in its 112 guest rooms; two restaurants, including an Italian eatery and speakeasy called Toscana; and a close proximity to the bucket list-worthy Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Pets will also be welcome.