The Fort Worth Stockyards Hotel has more than a ‘certain’ charm about it – staying in this establishment makes you feel like you’re taking a step into a Western film. And in the good way. First opened in 1907, the history of the hotel is ever present; from some elements of the decor, to the ‘celebrity guest suites’ available to stay in. Situated right in the middle of the bustling Fort Worth Stockyards district too, the hotel is a perfect mix of contemporary and old school furnishings ideal for any traveller coming through this part of Texas.
When you walk out the front doors of the hotel, you’re beneath the grand entry sign to the Stockyards district, and it’s rather easy to find your way around the main street area from this point. To the left, you’ve got the famous rodeo coliseum, Billy Bob’s Texas and more; to the right, the White Elephant Saloon and the tourist centre of the district awaits your patronage. If you’re out on the street at the right time of the afternoon, you can get a sweet spot of the daily longhorn parade, a real treat and hook for people to visit the area.
Inside the hotel lobby, there’s an instant homely feel. You get an actual key to your room – none of this swipe card business – and the staff and hotel managers exude that southern hospitality you always hear about when you’re told ‘Texas’. I talked to many people during my stay in Fort Worth about the rivalry existing between people in FW and those over in Dallas and it’s clear to see two different types of attitudes. Dallas is cool and it’s very much a city on the up, but there’s something so classic American about Fort Worth that is rather endearing to an outsider. You come to Fort Worth for the cowboy culture over the football team, if you get my drift.
I’m asked what type of room I would like; the themes the 52 rooms of the Stockyards fall under include ‘Mountain Man’ (room featuring prairie style desks and more rustic furniture), ‘The Western’ (decor includes paintings depicting Western scenes, spurs, horseshoes etc), ‘The Native American’ (room depicting Native American life) or ‘The Victorian’ (featuring more period furnishings). I wound up staying in ‘The Western’ and was welcomed by an immaculate king size bed and a view overlooking the main street.
Wooden shutters on the windows offered old-school privacy, while the noise levels from the bars below weren’t too much of a drama to sleep through. All the furnishings were gorgeous; from the wooden desk to the huge cupboard that acts as both wardrobe and TV storage, the room doesn’t feel cramped or bulky. The bathroom is basic (bath/shower), but again, we’re talking about a heritage building – don’t expect a modern makeover overhaul. There’s enough room for two people in a room like this, easy.
If you’re wanting to take things to the next level at The Stockyards, the aforementioned deluxe suites with some celebrity names attached are the way to go. Literally two doors down from my room, a gold plaque with the names ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ is on the door. As in, the Bonnie & Clyde. The duo stayed at the hotel back in the 30s and if you stay in the deluxe suite today, not only do you get more than you would in your standard hotel room, but it features a number of historical artifacts, including Bonnie’s .38 revolver. Pretty cool, huh?
As far as amenities go, the Stockyards had great service; the wi-fi was free for guests, there is a great restaurant and bar district right next door and up the road and you can be guaranteed a safe stay. Only a 35 minute drive from Dallas/FW International, the Stockyards Hotel isn’t far from your main airports and valet parking is also available for $15. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and the hospitality extended by the staff lasted even as I waited for a cab to the next destination, their valets ensuring I knew directions and places to go. Be sure to check the place out during your stay in Fort Worth.
The hotel is located on 109 E. Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth. For more details on the hotel, visit www.stockyardshotel.com.
The writer’s one night stay was kindly supported by the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, Texas Tourism and the Fort Worth Stockyards Hotel.