I was pretty excited when . I spent a good number of years in the hotel industry and have the same affinity for hotels as I do airplanes. Each can be part of a memorable journey. I love shiny new hotels with the latest features. But, I also have a soft spot in my heart for older, majestic properties like The Driskill. Properties like The Driskill fight the fact that by definition they really can’t be new and modern. They fight this with words and by trying to add technology to older properties where the results can sometimes be sorely lacking. I was eager to see for myself how The Driskill would treat me.
The front desk staff were very attentive. They informed me I had been upgraded to a suite, the Governor’s suite. Since I hadn’t redeemed a Diamond suite upgrade I was pleased to be getting a much better room.
On the subject of technology, they were testing a new system where guests could select an amenity for their room using an iPad. Hyatt currently offers a printed card to Diamond guests to select an amenity for their stay. I thought this was a nice touch for something that’s usually a benign process, and the local flair of the amenities The Driskill was offering definitely showed. My wife loves pecans, so I was pleased that they had pre-selected some candied pecans and pecan cookies as my amenity. They would make it back to Virginia in one piece for my wife and kids to enjoy.
The hotel certainly has a historic feel. There are plenty of marble stars to represent the Texas flag throughout the property. The property also has more of a “mansion” feel than a hotel, with bookshelves and nooks throughout the guest hallways.
The Governor’s suite was surely impressive. There was a wet bar along with a table for 4 as well as plenty of soft seating and a new flat screen TV. Outside the seating area was a very large balcony that overlooked 6th Street. The thing that struck me as a bit of a surprise was that all the furnishings were in impeccable condition. Other than one small spot of wear on the couch, everything was in great shape. With the recent change to become part of the Hyatt system and the announcement of an upcoming renovation I was expecting to see some wear around the edges as is usually the case at historical properties that aren’t part of a national chain (see the Jefferson in Richmond, VA).