The Galvez Experience
The Queen of the Gulf (1911)
A group of businessmen pooled their resources after the 1900 hurricane and opened the Hotel Galvez in 1911 as a symbol that Galveston Island had not only withstood the devastation of the Great 1900 Storm, but had returned to its pre-hurricane glory. This elegant beachfront hotel was immediately proclaimed “Queen of the Gulf” and deemed the “best arranged and most richly furnished seaside hotel in America” by Hotel Monthly. The hotel has undergone several restorations including a $900,000 renovation to its lobby, bar and restaurant completed in May 2013 and $11 million makeover for the hotel’s centennial celebration in 2011. It remains the only historic beachfront hotel on the Texas Gulf Coast and is rated four diamonds by AAA. Hotel Galvez & Spa®, a Wyndham Grand® Hotel and National Trust Historic Hotel of America, is owned by the Cynthia and George Mitchell family and part of Mitchell Historic Properties.
The 224-room historic hotel includes six suites. All suites and sleeping rooms flaunt views of the Gulf of Mexico or the historic city. Guest rooms offer a modern feel while the lobby maintains the classic feel of historic hotel. The hotel’s tranquil pool features a saline conditioning system and offers a swim-up bar and hot tub providing the perfect escape for relaxing, sunbathing or enjoying cocktails. The Spa at Hotel Galvez is a nearly 10,000 square foot, multi-million dollar luxury spa with accompanying salon and fitness center that offers a number of luxurious services.
In celebration of its centennial, the hotel added a permanent Hall of History display on the lower level of the hotel. The exhibit features informative panels as well as unique items such as dishes and collectibles displayed in three cases. The Hall of History is open to the public. The hotel also offers a history and ghost audio tour which is available through an iPhone and Android App.
For nearly a century, this elegant hotel has been the choice of notable guests including Howard Hughes, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. It served as a temporary White House for the staff of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his 10-day fishing trip to the island, and was the site for his first meeting with newly elected Congressman and future president, Lyndon B. Johnson. President Dwight D. Eisenhower also attended a reception at the hotel. The hotel functioned as a working facility for the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, and in 1944 the hotel was awarded an “honorable discharge” from its duties.
In the early 1920s, families across the country began flocking to Galveston’s original beachfront hotel. “Moving in” to Hotel Galvez for the summer was a common trend among wealthy families, many of whom spent from six weeks to six months in the hotel, paying two dollars a day for luxurious accommodations.
The hotel provided such amenities as a barbershop, laundry, writing room, and tailor, as well as easy access to the bathhouses and entertainment along the beachfront.
Between 1920 and 1932 Hotel Galvez served as headquarters for the Pageants of Pulchritude, the beauty pageants that were predecessors to the Miss Universe Pageant. This tradition now continues through the Galveston Island Beach Revue held annually in May and now sponsored by Hotel Galvez & Spa®.
The hotel was also the venue for many debutante balls, as well as social activities for the University of Texas Medical Branch fraternities throughout the 20s, 30s and 40s. Through the years, various entertainers who performed at the famed Balinese Room were frequent guests of the hotel.
Ghost of Hotel Galvez
The colorful and sometimes tragic history of Galveston Island makes it the permanent home of many ghosts and Hotel Galvez has its own ghost stories to add to the mystic. Several hotel guests have personal stories of encounters of the ghostly kind. Legend has it that the fiancé of a seaman checked in to Room 501 while her love was away at sea. While awaiting his return to marry her, she discovered that his ship had sunk. Legend has it she was so grief-stricken, she took her own life in desperation and her spirit haunts Hotel Galvez to this day. It is believed that her ghost and others roams the halls at night. The hotel concierge conducts ghost tours by appointment. The hotel also offers public ghost tour dinners during the month of October.
224 Rooms, Including Six Suites
The 224 rooms, including six suites, serve guests with a combination of modern day luxuries and the grace and charm of yesteryear. As part of its centennial in 2011, all of the guest rooms were updated with a more modern feel while the public areas continue to reflect a historic ambiance.
Suites on the seventh and eighth floors feature two 46–inch, high definition, flat-screen televisions, Italian bedding, Simmons® HealthSmart™ mattresses, and soothing colors. The hotel’s private party entertainment area on the seventh floor, available exclusively to suite guests, features travertine floors, wet bar, pool table and lounge with a 46-inch, flat-screen television, small library and sound system. Rooms are stocked with spa robes and iHome radios compatible with iPodTM players.
Spa Inspired Suites on Sixth Floor
Hotel Galvez unveiled spa-inspired sleeping rooms on the sixth floor in February 2010. These rooms are Wyndham ClearAir™ allergy friendly rooms. Following a system designed by New York-based PURE Solutions NA, the rooms undergo a multistep cleaning process designed to remove up to 98 percent of allergens. These spa inspired rooms feature a rain shower, Simmons® HealthSmart™ mattresses, Italian bedding, 46-inch, high-definition, flat-screen television, and a personal refrigerator. Rooms are stocked with spa robes and iHome radios compatible with iPodTM players.
Standard Guest Rooms
In conjunction with the hotel’s centennial in 2011, hotel owners George Mitchell and the Mitchell family completed an $11 million renovation updating all the guest rooms with a new décor. Standard guest rooms feature a soothing neutral palette, plush carpeting, Simmons® HealthSmart™ mattresses, 40” high definition, flat screen televisions, custom headboards and contemporary lighting. All rooms feature nature inspired aluminum prints by Kayla Mitchell, granddaughter of the late George Mitchell. The hotel also replaced its Gulf facing windows with new divided light windows reminiscent of the hotel’s original design. All rooms are stocked with Wolfgang Puck® Coffee and Teas and Gilchrist & Soames® Bath Products.
Hotel Galvez & Spa offers several complimentary added amenities for guests. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi in their rooms and in the lobby area and complimentary bicycles with helmets for cruising on the island. The hotel also has a courtesy shuttle that is available to transport guests to The Tremont House located in the historic Strand District and to Harbor House located at Pier 21. Hotel Galvez also offers a free multimedia tour app for iPhone® and Android® smartphones. The free Hotel Galvez app provides a 25-minute history tour and a 20-minute ghost tour with scrollable images, numeric keypad entry and a keyword search function.
Gulf Coast Cuisine
Galvez Bar & Grill offers casual dining with regional Texas fare for lunch and dinner, featuring local Gulf seafood, steaks, burgers, salads and a children’s menu with complimentary selections for children 12 and younger. Appetizers and bar food items include gourmet tenderloin sliders, shrimp sliders and buffalo chicken sliders as well as flatbread pizzas and Campechana (Mexican seafood cocktail). The grill section of the menu offers Angus steaks, fresh seafood, and grilled vegetables. The restaurant features daily Galveston Fresh Fish Special bought locally from Pier 19 fish markets.
13,231 Sq. Ft. of Function Space
A multitude of services make the hotel the optimum site for holding meetings and gatherings. State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, catering capabilities and full-service meeting and catering staff allow for successful events in a historic setting.
* Music Hall (4,550 sq. ft.)
With welcoming grand arches and high ceilings, this open space can host receptions for up to 500 guests.
* Terrace Ballroom (2,501 sq. ft.)/Veranda (2,500 sq. ft.)
The Terrace Ballroom opens up through French doors to a beautiful Veranda overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and the hotel’s Oleander Garden and pool. This combined space can host receptions of up to 500 guests.
* East & West Parlors (2,624 sq. ft. total)
Ornate moldings make these rooms the perfect space for accommodating more intimate gatherings, each seating 60 guests.
The hotel offers a total of nine meeting rooms ranging from 300 to 4,550 square feet for hosting various sized events, the. Each of the meeting rooms is wired for high-speed Internet access.
Hotel Galvez has a long-standing reputation as the premier wedding hotel in Galveston. Brides and grooms from the finest Texas families have celebrated their special days at the Galvez’s fine facilities. The “Queen of the Gulf” invites couples to say “I do” on the beach or standing on the Veranda overlooking the Gulf, exotic pool and gardens. Guests can also select a specially created outdoor wedding in the Oleander Garden, complete with water wall, lush flowers and vegetations to complement any wedding décor. The hotel’s Centennial Green is 9,328 sq. ft. venue that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. The space has a classic pergola on the far end and is bordered by four small fountains. When it’s not in use for special events, the park’s Adirondack chairs give guests a beautiful spot for morning coffee or wine during sunset. Receptions for 50 or 500 guests come to life in the hotel’s charming outdoor venues. Catering, including staff, is available on site.
Hotel Galvez offers a convenient choice for cruise ship passengers. The hotel’s Park and Cruise Package offers free valet parking and round-trip transportation to the cruise ship terminal. Guests booking through a third-party website, such as Expedia or Travelocity, can pay a one-time $15 valet fee and receive courtesy round-trip transportation.
Galveston Island, Texas
Tucked away off the southeast corner of Texas, this island city is named after Bernardo de Galvez, the Spanish Colonial governor who ordered the first survey of the Texas Gulf Coast in 1786.
Galveston Island is the No. 2 tourism attraction in Texas for in-state and out-of-state travelers. Galveston is a historic beach town located just 50 miles south from Houston, Texas – the fourth largest city in the U.S.
A diverse cultural town, Galveston Island is a unique destination offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions and resorts, one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country and Texas’ premiere cruise port.
The Port of Galveston and cotton brought the city its early prominence and wealth. In September 1900, a hurricane that still reigns as the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, struck the island, killing more than 6,000 people in Galveston alone and destroying many of the buildings in town. Following the tragedy, citizens showed courage, determination and an indomitable spirit of survival as they set about to rebuild their island. Nearly every structure left standing in the city was raised and sand filled in beneath them raising the grade of the entire city. In addition, a 17-foot seawall was built to protect the island from future tidal surges.
32 miles of sparkling Gulf Coast beaches, public beach is across the street
The Historic Downtown Strand District for shopping and dining, 1.3 miles from hotel
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, 4 blocks from hotel
Schlitterbahn Water Park, 5.5 miles from hotel
Pier 21, 1.4 miles from hotel
Texas Seaport Museum, home to the famous 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, 1.4 miles from hotel
Galveston Harbor Tours aboard the Seagull II, 1.4 miles from hotel
Postoffice Street Arts and Entertainment District, 1.1 miles from hotel
Four Historic House Museums
Lone Star Flight Museum, 5.5 miles from hotel
The Grand 1894 Opera House, the Official Opera House of Texas, 1.1 miles from hotel
Galveston Railroad Museum, 1.7 miles from hotel
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, 1.4 miles from hotel
Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast and Haunted Mayfield Manor, 1.4 miles from hotel
Moody Gardens, 5.5 miles from hotel
Tanger Outlets, 21.7 miles from hotel
Year-round birding sites
Average annual high 80-89˚F (summer averages)
Average annual low 50-58˚F (winter averages)
William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), 45 Minutes Away
Daily service via AirTran, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Branson AirExpress and Southwest. Private airport shuttle service begins at $35 per person.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), 75 Minutes Away
Daily service via AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Frontier, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, TACA Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and VivaAerobus
Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77550
(409) 765-7721/(800) WYNDHAM