(NEXSTAR) — The old adage about everything being bigger in Texas doesn’t stop when it comes to hotel luxury. While the Lone Star State may not be top of everyone’s mind for potential vacation spots, there’s no shortage of “best” hotels to try out. It just depends who you ask.
Filtering Texas luxury hotels by TripAdvisor‘s “5-bubble” rankings — indicating highest user ratings — show some serious amenities and happening hot spots. TripAdvisor bubble ratings are based on “quality, quantity, and age of individual travelers’ ratings and reviews.” The company explains bubble ratings differ from popularity indexes because they are based on “an absolute measure of quality,” with five bubbles being “excellent.”
While major metros like Austin, Houston and San Antonio dominate the list, there are many unexpected cities with hotels in the top 15 — including Granbury, Graford and Ennis.
Here are TripAdvisor’s current Best Hotels in Texas:
|1.||Hotel ZaZa Austin||Austin|
|2.||Hotel Emma at Pearl||San Antonio|
|3.||Hotel ZaZa Memorial City||Houston|
|4.||Thompson San Antonio-Riverwalk||San Antonio|
|6.||JW Marriott Houston by the Galleria||Houston|
|7.||Inn on Lake Granbury||Granbury|
|8.||The Bird & Butterfly Inn||Jasper|
|9.||Kimber Modern Hotel||Austin|
|11.||Sage Hill Inn & Spa||Kyle|
|12.||Lush Resort Possum Kingdom Lake||Graford|
|13.||High Hill Farm||Arp|
|14.||Winding Ridge Bed and Breakfast||Ennis|
|15.||CW Hill Country Ranch Bed and Breakfast||Boerne|
The Texas-based Hotel ZaZa told Nexstar that its Austin hotel operates as “a boutique-style property of just 159 guest rooms and suites,” which the company says allows it to focus on individual guest attention. Hotel ZaZa Austin says it’s expecting to have 100,000 adults and children stay overnight in 2023.
As you may notice, a different ZaZa property ranks in third, this time in Houston. The company currently has two Houston locations, as well as the downtown Austin property and its hotel in Dallas.
Meanwhile, when it comes to national rankings, Texas’ No. 2 highest-rated hotel, San Antonio’s Hotel Emma at Pearl, also ranks second-highest. The property was named a 2023 Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best Hotels (U.S.) by TripAdvisor in May (which uses a similar set of criteria as the above list, though it’s only based on data for the past 12 months).
Coming at No. 7 is the Inn at Lake Granbury, a “lakefront bed and breakfast and retreat,” located about 45 minutes from Fort Worth. The inn contains a total of just 15 guest rooms/suites, in addition to two guest houses.
While much of central Texas takes up space in the rankings, High Hill Farm out in east Texas comes in 13th. The 175-acre “resort community” is located in Arp, about 30 minutes southeast of Tyler. In addition to its guest bungalows, High Hill Farm also features accommodations for larger groups, including a four-bedroom house and a 10-guest barn.
Among TripAdvisor’s top Texas hotels, several have appeared on other “best” lists and earned countless industry awards. And the ranking is far from an exhaustive list of Texas’ best. In fact, only one of TripAdvisor’s bests made Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 10 Hotels in Texas 2022 Reader’s Choice Awards and only two made the U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels in Texas top 10.