Culture / Travel

The Best Hotels in Texas — Travel Bible’s New Rankings Put Three Lone Star State Retreats in Elite Class: Luxury Staycations Suddenly Beckon

BY // 10.19.18

When it comes to major hotel accolades, good news travels fast. This year’s Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards heaped praise on Texas in two major lists — The Best Hotels in the U.S. and the 2018 Top Leading Hotels. And it rounded up the greatest hotels in the Lone Star State itself in the Top Hotels in Texas.

The first category rounded up la crème de la crème in hotel greatness with the Top 10 Hotels in America. The second listed the stunners of the The Leading Hotels of the World, a carefully curated collection of more than 400 independent luxury hotels. Discerning travelers submitted a jaw-dropping 429,000 surveys to rank the superlative spots.

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt in Austin earned the No. 9 spot in Best Hotels in the U.S. Condé Nast Traveler gives the unique, country music-charged hotel kudos for its chandeliers made from French horns, flying bird art made of vinyl, framed replicas of vintage posters and the lobby bar record player piping songs into the elevators.

It’s named for country music legend Townes Van Zandt, and you could say Condé Nast Traveler considers it legendary on its own, from the music details in the Live Music Capital of the World and its crazy-good views of the city and Lady Bird Lake.

On the next list, Hotel Granduca made an impressing showing in Condé Nast Traveler‘s 125 Leading Hotels, the best-of-the-best in luxury accommodations. The magazine bemoans the qualities that make so many hotels forgettable, from ho-hum locations to only passable food to standard sheets.

In sharp contrast, the hotels on this list truly shine. Texas’ boutique, Italian-inspired getaway Hotel Granduca landed a coveted spot. Make that two spots.


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Out of just 28 hotels in North America that made the list, both the Houston and Austin Hotel Granduca made the cut. It’s an impressive feat, with other slots taken by the Viceroy in Chicago, the Dunton Town House in Telluride, Colorado and the Chatwal in New York City.

Talk about keeping good company.

“We are delighted to be included in the 2018 Condé Nast list as one of the best Leading Hotels in the country. Both Hotel Granduca Houston and Hotel Granduca Austin have been recognized and celebrated by our guests, representing an amazing achievement for the Granduca brand in Texas,” Hotel Granduca founder Giorgio Borlenghi says in a statement.

“Service, luxury, even quality can be improvised, but true elegance, style and sophistication cannot. They are timeless. And they are the timeless essence of the Granduca experience.”

Hotel Granduca Houston, reminiscent of a refined villa in the Italian countryside, is nestled in Uptown Park and known for its award-winning restaurant, Ristorante Cavour. Its Austin counterpart sits in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.

Condé Nast Traveler also ranked 20 standouts in its separate Top Hotels in Texas list. Some were even in the same family — here’s looking at you, Hotel ZaZa and Hotel Granduca. Seven were in Austin, seven were in H-Town, two were in Dallas, three were in San Antonio and there was even one in unexpected Marathon.

The rankings are below:

1). Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt (Austin)

2). The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa (Houston)

3). JW Marriott Houston (Houston)

4). Archer Hotel Austin (Austin)

5. Hotel Emma (San Antonio)

6). The St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio (San Antonio)

7). Hotel Valencia Riverwalk (San Antonio)

8). Hotel ZaZa Houston Memorial City (Houston)

9). The Westin Austin Downtown (Austin)

10.) Hotel Granduca Austin (Austin)

11). Hotel Granduca Houston (Houston)

12). The Driskill (Austin)

13). Gage Hotels (Marathon)

14). Hotel Sorella CityCentre (Houston)

15). Hotel ZaZa Dallas Uptown (Dallas)

16). Hotel ZaZa Houston Museum District (Houston)

17). Hotel Eleven (Austin)

18). Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas)

19). Fairmont Austin (Austin)

20). Four Seasons Hotel Houston (Houston)


It sure looks like there are some good trips beckoning  — and you will not even have to go very far.

De Beers


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