Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel Review

2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston TX

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81%
Families Recommend
798 Reviews
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Editor’s Review of Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel

Andrea Guthmann Editor’s Rating 3/5 For over a century, the stately Hotel Galvez has reigned Queen of the Gulf, located in the Texas port town of Galveston. Named after Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish colonial governor who explored the coast of Texas and for whom the city was named, this grand dame has maintained a position of dignity and a reputation for old-world elegance, even as her surrounding neighborhood has fallen on hard times.

Sitting in the Adirondack chairs on the hotel's majestic front lawn overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, it's hard not to daydream about the glory days when Galveston was the grandest city in Texas. Today, it's the summer beach playground for many residents of the ultra-modern Houston, just over an hour away. From the ornate
... more lobby with its crown moldings and detailed stenciling, to the elegant mahogany bar and the graceful baby grand greeting visitors as they enter, Hotel Galvez pays tribute to Galveston's important place in Texas history.

Galveston, in fact, has a stormy history. It was the site of one of the United States' worst natural disasters, the hurricane of 1900 that killed over 6,000 people and destroyed just about every building along the coast. After the devastating hurricane, a consortium of local businessmen came together to build Hotel Galvez as a way to bring tourists back to Galveston Island. "Build it and they will come," thought the investors... and they did.

Over the decades, numerous presidents and A-list celebrities have overnighted at Hotel Galvez. Their stories and many more are brought to life by the hotel's gracious guest ambassador, Bobby Hilton. He'll take you on a lively historical tour, pointing out what parts of the hotel are original, along with plenty of fun stories about the days when celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart and Sammy Davis Jr. stayed here. He'll also share tales of presidential visits from Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. If you can't arrange a tour with Bobby, step down into the hotel's Hall of History and check out the exhibit and archival photos.

Hotel Galvez isn't just living in the past though. This iconic oceanfront property has undergone numerous facelifts over the years, adding luxury suites with ultra-modern bathrooms and refurbishing the restaurant, bar and lobby. The hotel pool is a tropical oasis with a poolside grill and swim-up bar in the warmer months. A luxurious spa built in 2008 houses modern treatment rooms, and a garden courtyard serves as a peaceful relaxation retreat. Hotel Galvez has done an impressive job of modernizing its amenities, while honoring its important place in history.

Hotel Galvez sits directly across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, and although Galveston doesn't have the most picturesque beaches, strolling along the city's famed seawall, built after the hurricane of 1900, makes for a fun walk. Just two blocks away is Galveston's fun-filled Pleasure Pier. Reminiscent of Coney Island, this old-fashioned boardwalk is filled with amusement park games and rides, including a Ferris wheel and roller coaster.

Galveston's charming historic district, known as The Strand, is only a five-minute drive away. The pedestrian-friendly Strand makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll with its unique boutiques, candy shops and brightly colored Victorian-era buildings. To help you make the most of your stay, a complimentary hotel town car will whisk you in style to the local destination of your choice. less


Our Editors Love
  • Historic hotel
  • Beach across the street
  • Elegant, tropically landscaped pool
Family Interests
  • Beach
  • Golf
  • Museum/Cultural
Family Amenities
  • Onsite Dining
  • Pool
Editor’s Planning & Tips
There's a fitness center with plenty of equipment (but no fitness classes) in the lower level of the hotel, adjacent to the spa.

A charming gift ... Get more Planning and Tips
 

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There's a push-pull between tradition and modernity felt throughout the hotel. There are unique, original, turn-of-the-century elements like the ornate mailbox in the lobby, but there are also flat screen TV's in all the rooms. Over the last century, the rooms have been updated repeatedly, most recently in 2011, when they were given new bedding and windows were replaced. Still, much of the guestroom furniture seems a bit worn. Our room's pullout sofa was torn in certain areas and was missing the actual mattress. We had to call room service to have them deliver two rollaway beds instead. Also, being a historic hotel, the rooms are a bit smaller.

Standard rooms come with two double beds or one king and fit four people, but ... more you can request a rollaway bed for a one-time fee. Tip: The hotel won't typically let you put a fifth person in the room if you book online. Instead, you'll have to call the hotel directly. Cribs are available free of charge.

The hotel's Parlor Suites are also designed for four people, but have a separate bedroom with a king bed and a flat-screen TV. The parlor (or living room) has a pullout double sofa and a flat-screen TV as well. Families larger than five would need to request adjoining rooms. Tip: Rooms in the center of the building, towards the elevator, are slightly bigger.

If you're looking for a luxurious modern bathroom (and who isn't?), choose a room on the 6th floor. All of the 6th floor rooms have modern spa-like rain showers, but no bathtubs. Gilchrist & Soames bath products complete the luxury bath experience.

Every room contains a flat-screen TV, coffee maker, ice bucket, mini-fridge, blow dryer, shampoo, conditioner and soap. The hotel will provide a complimentary razor, toothbrush, toothpaste or hairbrush upon request.
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Family Dining Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel Dining Photo Courtesy of Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel Find out which kid-friendly restaurants are offered at the hotel.

Family Activities Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel Activities Photo Courtesy of Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel See what kind of perks and programs are offered for families.