The Austin Chronicle

Holiday in Town

By Virginia B. Wood, May 26, 2000, Features

Out-of-Town Bed & Breakfasts

Tourism is booming in Central Texas, which means that every quaint cottage, old railroad hotel, and former stagecoach stop is likely to see a 21st-century rebirth as a charming bed & breakfast or boutique hotel. For expanded reviews of many of these destinations, check out our Hill Country Guide ( For more information about Texas' finest B&B's, country inns, historic hotels, and guest houses, contact Historic & Hospitality Accommodations of Texas (HAT) at or 800/HAT-0368.


The Verandas Guest House

108 E. League Street, Burnet 78611, 512/715-0190

This former stagecoach stop, hotel, and brothel has been lovingly restored to create a Hill Country hideaway. With three suites decorated with period antiques, it has already become a favorite for bridesmaids luncheons, showers, weddings, and receptions.


The Antlers Lodge

off Hwy. 1431 at the railroad crossing in Kingsland


Built as a turn-of-the-century railroad resort by the Austin & Northwestern Railroad in 1901, the Antlers has been restored to life as a hotel within the past few years. The main building has six guest suites with wide front and back porches. Rooms in the former train crew bunk house and suites in the refurbished cabooses are very popular.


Badu House Bed & Breakfast

601 Bessemer, Llano 78643, 915/247-1207

This imposing stone building has seen history as both bank and private mansion and now houses six guest rooms and one suite decorated with Victorian antiques. The comfortable downstairs restaurant is known for its homestyle cooking.

The Dabbs Hotel

112 E. Burnet St., Llano 78643, 915/247-7905

The Dabbs is one of three former railroad hotels along the old Austin & Northwestern line. Rumor has it Bonnie & Clyde once found lodgings here. Famous for owner Gary Smith's chuckwagon chow and great biscuits, the Dabbs is funky but has a large, loyal following.


The Austin Street Retreats

408 W. Austin Street, Fredericksburg 78624


Each of the five luxury suites in this classy property in the downtown historic district has a definite personality and charm. All boast whirlpool baths, wood-burning fireplaces, and secluded private terraces.

The Herb Haus B & B at Fredericksburg Herb Farm

407 Whitney, Fredericksburg 78624

830/997-8615, 800/259-4372

Comfortable and totally private, this restored 1940s frame home is surrounded by its own soothing herb garden. Guests at the day spa are known to add overnight stays to their visit. It's also the perfect vacation spot for gardeners or gardener-wannabes.


Homestead Bed & Breakfast at Becker Vineyards

Jenschke Lane, off Hwy. 290 W. near Stonewall (for reservations) 231 W. Main, Fredericksberg 78624, 830/997-5612

Guests who stay in this charming little cottage across the yard from the Becker winery can stroll the vineyards or lavender fields, picnic under the trees, or enjoy tastings of Becker's award-winning wines as part of their stay. Two bedrooms make this a good small family getaway.

Rose Hill Manor

2614 Upper Albert Road, Stonewall

830/644-5541, 877-ROSEHIL

This elegant Charleston-style plantation house sits on a gentle rise overlooking the Pedernales River Valley. Guests can enjoy the breathtaking views from the private verandas in one of the four lovely guest suites, relax downstairs in the Snug Harbor bookstore, or sample fine dining menu on Saturday nights or one of the frequent Sunday afternoon wine tastings.


Blair House, A Fine Country Inn

100 Spoke Hill Road, Wimberley 78676

512/847-1111, 877/549-5450

Named to the "Top 25 in the USA" by Condé Nast Traveler and to the "Texas Top 10" by Southern Living for its congenial accommodations and gracious hospitality as well as for chef/innkeeper Jonnie Stansbury's outstanding cuisine, this retreat boasts eight tastefully decorated guest rooms, spa facilities, and 85 Hill Country acres to roam.

The Lodge at Creekside

310 Mill Race Lane, Wimberley 78676

512-847-8922, 800/267-3925

Mother and daughters team Sally, Merry, and Ashley Gibson are the innkeepers of this lovely guest house containing two suites and six individual guest cabins nestled beside Cypress Creek. Accommodations include private entrances and porches, fireplaces, and private baths with tiled showers and some with whirlpool tubs. Each room is decorated in a different fabric motif with antiques and unique beds.


The Inn Above Onion Creek

4444 Hwy 150 West, Kyle 78640

512/268-1617, 800/579-7686

Only 30 minutes from downtown Austin but an entire world away, this comfortable, contemporary inn sits on a bluff overlooking the creek for which it's named. Each of the nine guest suites features a unique view of the surrounding 500 Hill Country acres, with each room decorated to tell the story of its local historical namesake. Guests can swim, walk nature trails, or relax in rocking chairs on the deep front porch.

New Braunfels

Gruene Mansion Inn

1275 Gruene Road, New Braunfels 78130


The 28-room Gruene Mansion surrounds guests with authentic Texas history in luxurious accommodations. The Inn's restaurant offers a view of the Guadalupe plus fine wines and continental cuisine. What better place to stay after a day of rafting or tubing on the river and an evening spent dancing at nearby Gruene Hall?

Prince Solms Inn

295 E. San Antonio Street, New Braunfels 78130

830/625-9169, 800/625-9169

Located just one block from the Comal River and the town square, the Prince Solms is the oldest continually operated inn in Texas. The eight guest rooms, two suites, and one cottage all have antique decor and private baths. Amenities include horse and carriage rides and bicycles to ride around town.

San Marcos

Crystal River Inn

326 West Hopkins, San Marcos 78666

512/396-3739, 888/396-3739

Well-known for its entertaining "mystery weekends," Crystal River offers 14 designer-decorated guest rooms and a charming garden. They'll gladly pack you a picnic to enjoy on the banks of the nearby crystal-clear San Marcos River or fortify you with a gourmet breakfast before a day of shopping at the local outlet malls.


The Villa at Messina Hof

4545 Old Reliance Road, Bryan 77808

409/778-9463 #34

Each of the 10 romantic guest rooms at the Villa has a private bath and patio that overlooks the Messina Hof winery estate. The rooms are named for different historical and literary figures (Napoleon & Josephine, Romeo & Juliet, Lancelot & Guinevere) and decorated accordingly. The restaurant on the estate is open Thursday-Sunday, and winery tours and tastings are available.

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