The 10 Best New and Improved Texas Hotels

When it opened, in 1956, the Statler Hilton became a magnet for celebrities and business travelers, but it later fell into disrepair and, starting in 2001, sat empty for more than a decade. It reopened in 2017 after a three-year, $255 million renovation. From its aqua facade to the terrazzo-floored lobby, the 159-room Statler exudes mid-century-modern cool, with a splash of Las Vegas–style hedonism. It felt like we were on Mad Men but with Wi-Fi. You’ll find a sort of wink-nod naughty vibe at play; there’s a basement speakeasy and a sexy rooftop pool bar. Even the toiletries have cheeky names (“Happy Ending” lotion, anyone?). It might be perfect for adult getaways, but that doesn’t mean a family with a twelve-year-old can’t have fun too, right? After check-in, my daughter and I went exploring. We couldn’t get enough of period details like repurposed phone booths and a forty-foot abstract mural, painted by artist Jack Lubin, that was discovered during the renovation and now hangs near reception. In our cozy room, I let my tech-savvy tween figure out the smart touchpad that controls the lights, HDTV, and AC while I indulged in the soaking tub. I was tempted to take a nap but needed to sort out dinner. A sold-out concert in the ballroom promised crowds, so we felt lucky to get a table at Scout, a hopping sports bar with a bowling alley. It was fun, but we would have been happier with something more low-key (Fine China, the hotel’s quieter option, was booked solid). Next time, we’ll order room service—that’s my kind of hedonism.

Olivia Bratcher