Galveston’s Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel has graced the Texas beachfront since 1911. In preparation for its 100th anniversary celebration in 2011, Hotel Galvez announced it will release a commemorative book in December, entitled Hotel Galvez: Queen of the Gulf by Gary Cartwright, which will document and honor the historic Galveston landmark.
This 131-page, hardcover coffee-table book features both current and historic photos of the hotel and the town of Galveston, as well as a variety of historic postcards. Cartwright’s entertaining tale tells the story of Hotel Galvez and its significant role in Galveston’s eclectic history. The new book includes a foreword by Peter H. Brink, former executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation, and new color photography by nationally-known architectural photographer Carol Highsmith. In addition to Cartwright’s narrative, the commemorative book includes numerous personal stories and photos from former guests and residents as well as the sought-after recipe for the hotel’s award-winning gumbo.
To celebrate the book’s release, Hotel Galvez will host a book signing event with Cartwright on Sunday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in conjunction with the hotel’s Sunday Brunch. Hotel Galvez will begin taking advance orders for the book, priced at $39.95, beginning in November.
“Hotel Galvez is truly a treasure in Galveston and along the Texan Gulf Coast,” says Cartwright. “It’s been a pleasure to be associated with this project to commemorate this centennial and to pay homage to a piece of living history.”
Cartwright is also the author of Galveston – A History of the Island (1991) as well as seven other books. His writing has appeared in national publications such as Harper’s, Life, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and New York Times Magazine. Cartwright recently retired from Texas Monthly, where he had worked as a staff member since 1982.
The hotel encourages guests to post their photos and stories on Hotel Galvez’s Facebook Page at and to donate items to the Galveston County Historical Museum for the hotel’s Hall of History. The Hall of History, which will honor the hotel’s historic past and present, will become a permanent display in the lower level of the hotel. Items for the Hall of History can be sent in care of Hotel Galvez Marketing & Sales at 2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77550.
The Hotel Galvez was built as a symbol of Galveston’s resilience following the Great Storm of 1900. A group of businessmen pooled their resources and raised $1 million to open the hotel on June 10, 1911 at 6 p.m. The hotel has a colorful history, serving as a temporary White House for the staff of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and as a working facility for the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. In the 1920s through 1940s, Hotel Galvez was the social hub of Galveston, then known as the “Playground of the Southwest.”
The Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel and National Trust Historic Hotel of America, remains the only historic beachfront hotel in Galveston. The Hotel Galvez, rated four diamonds by AAA, is owned by Galveston preservationists Cynthia and George Mitchell and is part of Mitchell Historic Properties. For reservations, call (800) WYNDHAM -- (800) 996-3426 -- or visit
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