Texas

10 Unique Hotels in Texas, Including a Jail House

by Cindy Brzostowski
Updated November 28, 2021

Unique Hotels in Texas
Photo: Mengerhotel.com

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Why settle for your run-of-the-mill hotel chain when unique options are out there?

There are ah-maz-ing unique hotels in Texas.

While it can be fun (and maybe sometimes more budget-friendly) to go for a home vacation rental or campsite, sometimes you just want the perks and pampering of a hotel stay. There’s no tidying up to worry about and you won’t have to walk too far to take advantage of amenities and services.

But you don’t have to stay in a hotel that looks like it could be in Anywhere, USA. From quaint inns to luxurious resorts, there are also plenty of places that prove that hotels can have just as much charm and personality as a home rental or glampsite.

Need inspiration? Check out these 10 unique hotels in Texas, from Houston to Hill Country and more.

Related Read: 10 Romantic Getaways in Fredericksburg, Texas

1. Hotel Saint Cecilia

Hotel Saint Cecilia
Photo: Hotel Saint Cecilia

Why you should stay: Chic and historic boutique hotel near Austin’s best shopping.

  • Location: Austin
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $433/night

Named after the patron saint of music and poetry, Hotel Saint Cecilia fittingly channels artistic vibes throughout its space. Each room has a turntable and guests are encouraged to borrow vintage LPs from the hotel’s lending library.

The hotel was originally built in 1888 as a residence, but now, guests can sleep in suites, poolside bungalows, or studios. It’s no secret that the temperatures can be hot in the Texas capital, but as a guest of Hotel Saint Cecilia, you’ll have access to a 50-foot lap pool. Winter visitors will be happy to know the pool is heated.

Despite being just a block away from South Congress Drive, where quirky shops and food trucks abound, the unique Texas hotel is secluded and feels like a mini-oasis in the heart of the city.

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Follow ’em: @HotelSaintCecilia

2. Hall Arts Hotel

Hall Arts Hotel
Photo: hallartshotel.com

Why you should stay: Four-star hotel with lux amenities and an exquisite art collection.

  • Location: Dallas
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $240/night

Hall Arts Hotel ranked as one of the top 10 hotels in Texas in the 2021 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, so it’s posh, to say the least. Whether you go for a room or a suite, you can expect upscale accommodations decorated with stunning works from local photographers.

One of the highlights of Hall Arts Hotel is its rooftop pool where you can gaze out onto the city skyline. Other pluses include in-room spa treatments, dog-walking services, and Peloton bicycles in the fitness studio.

From the hotel, you’re within easy walking distance to local attractions like the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Meyerson Symphony Center (home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra), and Moody Performance Hall. But you won’t have to leave the premises to see good art considering the hotel is known for its wide assortment of thoughtfully curated collections from international artists.

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Follow ’em: @HallArtsHotel

3. The Kendall

The Kendall
Photo: thekendalltx.com

Why you should stay: Full of Southern charm, this quaint hotel happens to be a national historic landmark.

  • Location: Boerne
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $99/night

The Kendall’s history dates to 1859 when Texas locals John James and Sarah Reed built a section of the current structure as their home. Eventually, the couple began renting out extra rooms, starting the building’s tradition as a refuge for travelers in Hill Country (including President Dwight D. Eisenhower!). Nowadays, the inn is a national landmark.

There’s quite an assortment of accommodations to choose from at this unique Texas hotel, from courtyard rooms to elegant suites to a renovated chapel. Each offers a beautiful and comfortable place to rest your head. During your stay, make sure you have a meal at the hotel restaurant, Peggy’s on the Green, which serves “Southern-inspired American cuisine.”

Whenever you want a stroll, the Cibolo Creek Trail is within walking distance and reaches City park in just under two miles.

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Follow ’em: @thekendalltx

4. Sage Hill Inn & Spa

Sage Hill Inn & Spa
Photo: sagehill.com

Why you should stay: Adults-only Hill Country hotel with an amazing spa.

  • Location: Kyle
  • Sleeps: Up to 7
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $349/night

The four-star Sage Hill Inn & Spa is a haven open to adults only. Across the 88-acre property, you’ll find cottages, suites, queen and king rooms, and casitas.

Sage Hill Inn & Spa is focused on rest and relaxation. The country location gives guests access to wildlife viewing, miles of trails, and beautiful starry skies, but you can also treat yourself at the hotel’s Garden Spa, which offers massages, facials, and body treatments.

For more to do, go for a swim in the pool, chill in the hot tub, play pickleball or yard games, or relax by the large fire pit. With Hill Country attractions like wineries, Dripping Springs, and Wimberley nearby, you’ll never be bored.

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Follow ’em: @SageHillInn

5. Lancaster Hotel

Lancaster Hotel
Photo: thelancaster.com

Why you should stay: Art-filled classy spot in Houston’s Theater District.

  • Location: Houston
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $213/night

Built in 1926, the historic, four-star Lancaster Hotel has rooms that exude elegant simplicity, ranging from the petite king guestroom to the 1,100-square-foot penthouse suite. Also inside is the restaurant Cultivated F+B, an excellent spot for a gourmet meal. But since this unique hotel in Texas is the only one in Houston’s Theater District, the restaurant gets busy. Make a reservation in advance.

Adding to the guest experience are the in-room snacks and drinks and breakfast buffet, all of which are included in the rate. If you like to work out while you travel, you’ll appreciate the Peloton bikes in the hotel’s fitness room. If you’re an art lover, browse the contemporary art pieces of the hotel’s collection; there are more than 200.

From the Lancaster Hotel, you can walk to popular local attractions like the aquarium, Alley Theatre, and Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. If you’ve come to Houston for arts and culture, this hotel is your best home base.

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Follow ’em: @LancasterHotel

6. Cavalry Court

Cavalry Court
Photo: cavalrycourt.com

Why you should stay: Modern hotel with live music events every week near Texas A&M.

  • Location: College Station
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $127/night

If you’re in the Bryan-College Station area, perhaps visiting someone who attends Texas A&M University, then Cavalry Court is a great choice. The hotel offers special rates for Aggie parents and visitors.

During your time here, you can take out one of the complimentary bikes for a ride, go for a swim in the outdoor pool, or challenge your friends on the lawn games. In the evenings, the fire pits are the place to be. Staying on a Friday or Saturday? Make sure to catch the live shows at The Canteen Bar & Grill, the hotel’s casual restaurant.

Cavalry Court is also part of Century Square, a bustling complex with shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques, outdoor fitness classes, and more. It’s an excellent place to stretch your legs or go for a morning jog.

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Follow ’em: @Calvary.court

7. Hotel ZaZa

Hotel ZaZa
Photo: hotelzaza.com

Why you should stay: Over-the-top European themed rooms at a gorgeous four-star hotel.

  • Location: Dallas
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $379/night

Hotel ZaZa may be in Dallas but it takes inspiration from the Mediterranean. Even the pool area looks like it belongs in the courtyard of a Italian villa. Oh, and it’s usable year-round as the hotel adds a heated cover in the winter.

Don’t expect everything to look like the Mediterranean, though. Along with its more traditional guest rooms, Hotel ZaZa has a selection of unique suites, each designed around a specific theme. There’s the romantic and opulent Venetian-style suite, a Hitchcock-inspired suite, a lavish rock star suite, and an ornate baroque suite, to name just a few. Chances are you’ll find something that matches your dream haven. It’s one of the most unique hotels in Texas and certainly very unlikely anything else in Dallas.

For more indulgence, visit the hotel spa (Zaspa) or book a meal at the swanky hotel restaurant (Dragonfly Kitchen).

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Follow ’em: @ZaZaDallas

8. The Tremont House

The Tremont House
Photo: thetremonthouse.com

Why you should stay: Unique island getaway with a storied history.

  • Location: Galveston
  • Sleeps: Up to 8
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $169/night

In Galveston’s historic district, The Tremont House comes with a good bit of history. The original hotel was built in 1839, destroyed in a fire in 1865, rebuilt and reopened in 1872, and destroyed once more in the infamous 1900 Galveston hurricane. At last, in 1981, the third and current iteration of the hotel was opened, this time in a building from 1879.

Each room in the hotel blends a homey feel with a sophisticated touch, from the standard queen rooms to the modern suites to the fully equipped penthouses. The unique Texas hotel offers entertainment on the rooftop bar, where you can sip on a creative cocktail while taking in views of downtown and the harbor. Alternatively, you can settle in at the bar in the atrium, where you’ll sometimes find musically-inclined guests playing some tunes on the grand piano.

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Follow ’em: @TreemontHouse

9. Menger Hotel

Menger Hotel
Photo: mengerhotel.com

Why you should stay: It’s “the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi” and full of glam touches.

  • Location: San Antonio
  • Sleeps: 2+
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $96/night

Over the years, the historic Menger Hotel has provided shelter to a number of notable guests, including President Theodore Roosevelt. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another time when wandering around the hotel’s glitzy spaces like the Victorian lobby, neoclassical reception room, and the historic bar designed after a London pub.

When picking your room, you can even request one that has views of the Alamo, San Antonio’s top attraction. And speaking of the Alamo: another reason to book this unique Texas hotel is that it’s steps from the historic site and the River Walk. The ground level of the hotel also has some cute shops selling toys, jewelry, Texas souvenirs, and more.

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Follow ’em: @MengerHotel

10. The Cell Block

The Cell Block
Photo: stayatthecellblock.com

Why you should stay: Lux boutique hotel in a converted jailhouse.

  • Location: Clifton
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $225/night

When it comes to unique hotels in Texas, there’s “unique,” and then there’s “wait, what?” This hotel falls in the second category. After all, it’s probably safe to assume that you don’t want to spend the night in a jailhouse — but what about a renovated jailhouse from the 1930s? Before becoming a hotel, The Cell Block was a city jail for 40 years. To ease you into your booking, you’ll receive two complimentary alcoholic beverages.

As its name might suggest, The Cell Block is a solitary, standalone block with just room for two people. Thankfully, its design isn’t as sparse or dire as its namesake. The interior is minimalist but in a comfortable, modern sort of way, and it includes a full bathroom. Outside, you can chill on the rooftop deck, which has a fire pit — unlike guests of yore, you won’t be locked inside.

While in Clifton, walk across the street from the hotel to Clifton Art Alley, an outdoor venue for street art.

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Follow ’em: @the_cell_block

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