Though my list of the best new (or newly renovated) Texas hotels is deliberately not ranked, I did rely on score sheets to help me compare the properties, which varied greatly in size, scope, and setting, to say nothing of helping me pick just ten. Each of the finalists rose to the top of a category or two and, since no two travelers have quite the same criteria in mind when it comes to picking a place to stay (i.e., you may want a see-and-be-seen pool above all else, while I’d rather dive into a great cocktail menu), I’m sharing the results so you’ll have fewer reservations when making your next reservation.


Best pool: High Hill Farm // near Overton
runners-up: St. Anthony Hotel (San Antonio), South Congress Hotel (Austin)


A photo posted by Jordan Breal (@jordanbreal) on


Best nooks + front-porch sittin’: The Gage Hotel // Marathon
runner-up: the recently revamped Sage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek, which just barely missed the final cut (Kyle)


Best lobby + public spaces (tie): Hotel Emma // San Antonio + South Congress Hotel // Austin


Best room with a view: Hotel Saint George // Marfa
runner-up: the two standalone cabins at Camp Comfort, which face Cypress Creek (Comfort)


Best natural assets: Camp Comfort // Comfort
runners-up: High Hill Farm (near Overton), the Gage Hotel (Marathon), Sage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek (Kyle)

#cypresscreek #campcomforttx #getwet

A photo posted by Lisa @ Camp Comfort B&B (@campcomforttx) on


Best diversions: The Cell Block // Clifton
runner-up: the Gage Hotel (Marathon)


Best gift shop: South Congress Hotel // Austin
runner-up: the Marfa Book Company at Hotel Saint George (Marfa)


Best food: Hotel Saint George // Marfa
runners-up: Larder at the Hotel Emma (San Antonio), 12 Gage at the Gage Hotel (Marathon)


Best decor: Sayles Landmark // Abilene
runners-up: Hotel Emma (San Antonio), the St. Anthony Hotel (San Antonio)


Best bar (tie): Hotel Van Zandt // Austin + Hotel Emma // San Antonio
runner-up: the storied St. Anthony Club at the St. Anthony Hotel (San Antonio)

Who's thirsty? Join us for a Willie's Cup tonight.

A photo posted by Geraldine's Austin (@geraldinesaustn) on


Plus, a few of the little touches that made a big impression:

  • the boot jack in my closet at Hotel Van Zandt
  • the homemade energy bars at Sage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek
  • the plush slippers + the stealable swizzle sticks at the Saint Anthony Hotel
  • the “welcome” marg + the turndown service (with macarons from Bakery Lorraine!) at Hotel Emma
  • the ATV tour of the gorgeous property at High Hill Farm
  • the Pendleton blankets and s’mores kits ($5, with proceeds going to the local library) at Camp Comfort
  • the free in-room Drafthouse flicks + the intoxicating custom scent at the South Congress Hotel
  • the cheeky and thoughtful map of Clifton pointing out local sights, shops, and restaurants near the Cell Block
  • the homemade “welcome” pound cake + the bedside book of Abilene history at the Sayles Landmark
  • the peephole (with a cover!) at the Hotel Saint George (side note: why so many hotel rooms these days don’t have peepholes, I don’t know!)