We spent the 7th night of our road trip at this historic hotel in Alpine. The night before we were in Alpine also, staying at a southwestern adobe motel, The Maverick.
It was fun to go from a 1930's motor court to a hotel that probably got a lot of railroad travelers when it opened in 1928. Both places were bought and renovated nicely by the same owners a few years back. So our stays at the Maverick the Holland were our most upscale nights on our 10-day adventure exploring curious accommodations.
A Trost and Trost Building
If you've spent any time in West Texas you've probably seen a hotel, school. post office or even a home designed by Henry Trost. At a glance The Holland is not overly impressive, but there are a few details that show off the Spanish Revival design Trost was fond of. In this photo you can see the wrought iron work and the concrete ornaments on the flat façade. I'm not sure about the ball and eagle on the roof...but it captured the light nicely!
Once inside, it's easy to imagine this old hotel 85 years ago. The decorated beams, smooth tile, round archways and chandeliers hint at a grander time, when folks dressed up to walk through hotel lobbies.
Well, maybe not so dressed up. There were a lot of old framed photos on display so I was able to peek at the past a bit more. This photo shows a man with a tie, but no jacket behind the counter. Even the sofa looks less formal than the lobby furniture today. Never mind what I said.
The staff greeted warmly at the front desk, but I especially liked being welcomed in a side room off the lobby... by a few stuffed beasts on the wall and some inviting coolers of iced tea and lemonade. This was also the area where continental breakfast was served in the morning. There was a huge selection of bakery goods, homemade granola, fruits and fresh juices.
Don and I took our cold drinks and some books out to the courtyard for a little relaxing. It wasn't chilly, so the outdoor fireplace wasn't needed. But the chairs were comfy and the café tables and fountain looked inviting.
In the evening, we took a couple seats at the hotel bar where our bartender, Zora was chatty and helpful with our questions about Alpine. I did have a bit of a fright at one point when she disappeared, right before our eyes. (We had been hearing a lot about haunted hotels on our trip) As it turns out there was a trap door in the floor behind the bar, and she had simply headed down some stairs to a storage area!
We didn't have dinner at the hotel, but the restaurant menu looked wonderful. The dining area had a great mix of old woodwork and modern mixtures, painted ceilings and artwork.
We would have stayed in to dine, if we hadn't been so excited about how all a variety of clubs and restaurants with in walking distance. For being a small city/town, Alpine does have a few fun places and location of The Holland is a real plus.
The hotel does have a new elevator, but we chose the stairs since we were just 2 flights up. The first time I arrived at the 3rd floor I had to laugh that I noticed I was breathing heavily. Then I remembered that Alpine has an elevation of 4,475 feet. So... that's high for me.
Our suite had all the luxuries of a nice hotel, along with some charming reminders of the original hotel room. I think the bathroom tile was old and the windowsills. But I must admit, I was happy to have new carpet and comfy linens and no musty odors.
There was a stylish opening to the sitting room. It was nice having that extra space since old hotel rooms can often be kind of claustrophobic.
There was even stuff to read in the sitting area. (The courtyard chairs were much more comfortable) On the small table I found bound collections of old LIFE magazines. That was fun. And the bathroom was nicely updated with at least a little counter space around the sink. I'm going to start carrying a port-a-table for all the historic places we've stayed, that haven't had enough space to lay down your tube of toothpaste!
Charm and location should be noted. But I must say, the thing I will most remember about our stay was that we ended up moving our luxury mattress at 2:00 am to the floor of the sitting room. An odd whirring, clunkity sound came and went all night. Our complimentary earplugs (For train noise) did not help, so we pulled the mattress close to the bathroom door where the fan could drown it out. We were both wide awake after that task, but luckily the predicament made us both laugh and we soon fell asleep.
So our middle-o-night-campout will never be forgotten. But what's most noteworthy is how the manager, Mark handled our complaint in the morning. He was so sincerely apologetic that I'm sure the broken "thing" on the roof was fixed immediately. And when he handed us a certificate for a 2-night stay in the future we were pretty thrilled. We'll be back for sure! Thanks, Mark!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!