Culture / Travel

Historic Galveston Hotel to be Transformed by Dallas Hotel Wiz — Hotel Galvez Gets an Infusion of Cool

Mark Wyant Brings an Impressive Track Record of Redos

BY // 04.16.21

Dallas hotelier Mark Wyant has a knack for transforming historic buildings into contemporary showplaces with an homage to the past. So it is with a certain excitement that fans of Galveston’s Hotel Galvez and Spa applaud Wyant’s purchase of the grand property built in 1911.

Under The Saint Hotel brand, Wyant transformed New Orleans’ 112 year-old Audubon Building into a sassy property, which opened in 2010 with the signature “Play Naughty. Sleep Saintly” theme. (He recently sold the award-winning New Orleans property.)

In Key West, Wyant assembled a collection of late 1800s and 1920s structures, pumped in $22 million in renovations and opened The Saint Hotel  there in 2014. The London Telegraph describes the revamped hotel as “like nothing else in Key West’s Old Town, a marriage of old-world charm and ultra-modern glamour.”

In Charleston, South Carolina, Wyant is completing construction of a new building designed to echo the historic silhouette of many of that Southern city’s structures but with his bent for the scintillating.

“We designed The Saint to compliment the history and culture of Charleston while at the same time, adding a modern, sophisticated look via a clean white and natural palate, along with our signature indigo blue accents,” Wyant told  The Holy City Sinner last year.

On The Saint Hotel website, Wyant notes that a hotel is theater. “Like a Broadway play, all of the pieces have to be in place: music, sound, smell, sight. This is about having an experience,” he says.

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Rendering of a room in The Saint Hotel Charleston, which is in the final stages of completion.
Rendering of a beautifully serene guest room in The Saint Hotel Charleston, which is in the final stages of construction.

Wyant has yet to reveal his take on the Galvez transformation. But we might anticipate the signature indigo blue accents in guest rooms and we would bet that there will be a generous amount of red in the decor of the public spaces as is the design in his other properties. The Spanish mission-style hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but that designation places no restrictions on the owner.

“I recognize and will respect the hotel’s beautiful architecture design while at the same time bring a renewed energy to Hotel Galvez,” Wyant says in a statement. “I have a deep admiration for Galveston and its reputation for outstanding hospitality. My primary goal is to embody the legacy of Hotel Galvez and Spa, while also adding a renewed energy to the property.”

We love the implications of that quote as the hotel penthouse in the central tower was home to notorious power broker and racketeer Sam Maceo in the 1930s and ’40s. This could be fun. After all, Wyant’s New Orleans Saint Hotel boasts the burning red Archangel Lucifer Suite, the amenities of which include a pole for a bit of burlesque entertainment.

Specific plans for the renovations and additions at Hotel Galvez & Spa are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

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