You might think that an attraction like the Fort Worth Stockyards wouldn’t need a luxury hotel, but it fact it’s got a great one — the aptly-named Stockyards Hotel, which has been there since long before the Stockyards was a Historic District. It’s located less than half a block off North Main Street on East Exchange, which is the cobbled thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of the Stockyards. Even though cattle barons are no longer passing through on a daily basis, a nice hotel at this location is still a great idea — after all, there are all those great restaurants, bars, and other points of interest nearby. It’s ideal for a getaway vacation for the weekend.
The Stockyards isn’t a huge hotel — it occupies a building no more than three stories high — but it’s grand in a way that, say, the other hotel in the Stockyards (a serviceable Hyatt Place) is not. This is no chain motel in any shape or form. The Stockyards Hotel, which just celebrated its century mark, perfectly reflects its surroundings. The lobby is decorated in soothing, dark-red Western stucco with hardwood floors and accents and Mexican sconce lighting, and is furnished throughout with western-themed objets d’art and furniture. Some of the furniture is antique, and wouldn’t look out of place in a Highland Park mansion.
Sadly, I can’t say that I’ve ever stayed at the Stockyards Hotel, though it would certainly be a treat to do so one of these days. The prices aren’t bad; they’re on par with a good local bed and breakfast, and I know that because I’ve stayed in one before, on a previous visit to the Stockyards several years back. Your basic king-size and double rooms go for rates starting at about $159 a night plus tax, though you can expect to pay a little less if you book for more than one night. They come in four basic styles: Victorian, Western, Native American, and Mountain Man. If a single room isn’t your style, you can always get a suite: there’s the Celebrity, which has housed country music luminaries like Willie Nelson and Tanya Tucker; the Texas; the Cattle Baron; the Butch Cassidy; the Davy Crockett; the Geronimo; the Bonnie and Clyde; and the Cowboy Corner. All the suites and rooms are decorated as you might expect from their names. They also have just about every amenity you can imagine, from full bellman and valet service to wireless Internet access; this is, after all, a full service hotel.
In addition to the rooms, they’ve got over 1,000 square feet of attractive meeting and banquet rooms, valet parking (just $8 per car) and, of course, access to more shopping, dining, and drinking than you could accomplish in a month. And that doesn’t even touch on the ease of access to local museums, the Botanical Gardens, and of course the famous Fort Worth Zoo. And when the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo rolls around again, this would be a great place to stay while you attend. Whenever you come, better be prepared to have a good time!
To be honest, I find just visiting a place like this something of a treat, even when I’m not a guest. My day-to-day existence is a little more mundane, as I suspect almost everyone’s is, and the Stockyards Hotel has a kind of quiet ambiance that’s just begging to be enjoyed. If you ask me, those chairs are perfect for the long, quiet contemplation of a good book. And of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t pay some attention to the architectural details. For example, I love the windows — they’re wide and well-placed, ideal for letting in the morning sun — as you can see, probably too well, in the pictures above. Then there’s this cool staircase:
Now, it’s not as opulent as the marble staircase I pointed out in my review of the Bass Performance Hall, but I think it has its own quiet elegance. I also liked the registration area, which I feel has an old-timey Western post office/bank feel going:
No luxury hotel would be complete without a decent bar, and the Stockyards Hotel has a bar that’s perfectly reflective of its western style. Check this out:
I love all the rich wood everywhere, and the decorations are a hoot. How about that horse’s rear end, eh? I’m talking about the one sticking out of the mirror, by the way. Also, notice that about half the barstools are saddles that you have to climb up into, stirrups and all. Well, I suppose that’s a good idea — you’re less likely to slide off after a few brewskis. I was sorely tempted to test out that Buffalo Butt Beer advertised on the mirror there, but alas, the sun was not yet over the yardarm. I’ll have to try one next time I’m there.
If the hotel bar isn’t enough for you, you can always go to Booger Red’s Saloon or Billy Bob’s Texas, which are literally only a few hundred feet away. And if the urge to eat comes upon you, there’s the adjoining H3 Ranch Steakhouse, Riscky’s Steakhouse, and I don’t know, about a hundred other top-notch places to eat within walking distance. Add to that all the other attractions in the Stockyards, from the daily Cattle Drive to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and you’ve got the makings of a great vacation experience. So you’ll not go wanting at the Stockyards Hotel, which combines Texas-style comfort with the best location in town.
The historic Stockyards Hotel is located at 109 E. Exchange Street, within the boundaries of the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District. For more information, check out their website at http://www.stockyardshotel.com.