Where To Stay Now 2012: The Ten Best New (Or Improved!) Texas Hotels

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As a recent study of hotel booking trends pointed out, us Texans prefer to vacation in Texas. Since our last roundup of the state’s most notable lodgings was in 2004, I thought it was high time to revisit the subject. So I drafted a list of 44 hotels that have opened or undergone significant renovations in the last 8 years. I then winnowed that list down and booked rooms (anonymously) at 24 properties across the state to determine my favorites. Although my full reviews will be available next week (the November issue goes live on TexasMonthly.com on Wednesday and hits newsstands on Thursday), I wanted to go ahead and share my ten favorites (plus the five that nearly made the cut) . . . . 



Hotel Saint Cecilia

112 Academy Drive, 512-852-2400, hotelsaintcecilia.com


Travaasa Austin

13600 FM 2769, 512-258-7243, travaasa.com/austin



Riven Rock Ranch

390 Hermann Sons Road, 877-726-2490, rivenrockranch.com

<p>We’ve long looked forward to the opening of this high temple of Japanese cuisine—and it was worth the wait. Everything sparkled, from the uchiviche of salmon, striped bass, yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, and fiery Thai chile to the oak-grilled escolar accented with candied citrus and myoga (Japanese ginger). The Zero Sen roll was a delicious cylinder of yellowtail, avocado, shallot, cilantro, tobiko (fish roe), and yuzu marmalade. For dessert? Scoops of olive gelato, an acquired taste, with chocolate ganache mixed with crushed marcona almonds. (7/15)</p>



The Joule

1530 Main, 214-748-1300, thejouledallas.com



Hotel Galvez

2024 Seawall Boulevard, 409-765-7721, wyndhamhotelgalvez.com

<p>The contemporary decor belies a menu that is heavy on down-home favorites. But these tried and true dishes, served in generous portions, are a step above the average. We enjoyed the burger, its hand-shaped patty served on a toasted sweet bun alongside crispy onion rings. (7/15)</p>



Hotel ZaZa

5701 Main, 713-526-1991, hotelzaza.com/houston



El Cosmico

802 S. Highland Avenue, 432-729-1950, elcosmico.com



JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa

23808 Resort Parkway, 866-882-4420, jwsanantonio.com



Rancho Loma Restaurant + Rest

2969 CR 422, 325-636-4556, rancholoma.com



The Inn at Dos Brisas

10000 Champion Drive, 979-277-7750, dosbrisas.com

. . .


From left to right: The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas; Hotel Granduca, Houston; The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell, Round Top; La Posada Milagro, Terlingua; and Hotel Havana, San Antonio.

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