Where to Stay in 2024
Casa de Palmas
While staying at Casa de Palmas in downtown McAllen, you may catch sight of a young woman in a princess gown celebrating her quinceañera; a groomsman taking a break by the bougainvillea during an extravagant wedding; or perhaps a bride in a swirl of white posing for photographers. Since it first opened its doors in 1918, Las Palmas has been the festive heart of a city that loves a celebration.
Texas architect M.L. Waller designed the hotel more than a century ago, reportedly because no hotel chains would build in McAllen due to its remote location. Waller paid homage to the community’s Spanish history by building Las Palmas in classic Mission Revival style, with curved stucco parapets and arched exterior walkways. “This hotel is very important to McAllen,” says Elva Cerda, director and founder of the McAllen Heritage Center. “Since 1918, it has seen fires, many changes, and repairs, and it’s kept its character throughout.”
Over the years, the hotel has adopted a host of modern amenities, including a bar and restaurant in the red-tiled lobby with its grand spiral staircase, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. Its allure is not in its 21st century upgrades but in its timeless style, both architectural and botanical. Its traditional Spanish courtyard features a pool encircled in blue umbrellas and wrought-iron balconies. A massive Kigelia africana tree with dangling gourds towers near the front entry.
The stars of all this beauty are the sinewy palm trees that inspired the hotel’s name. They stretch skyward over the roof, as tall as the two mission bell towers Waller built to flank the property. No matter where you are in the building, those skinny trees are within view as reminders of where you are—the City of Palms.
Rooms start at $92/night.
101 N. Main St., McAllen.
Numerous Texas hotels along the Mexican border and beyond celebrate Spanish architecture and Hispanic culture.
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With a red clay tile roof and arched facade lit by lanterns at night, La Posada brings a romantic glow to downtown Laredo. The iconic hotel’s symbol is a Spanish doubloon—you might spot it inlaid in Italian marble on the lobby floor. There are Spanish touches throughout, from wood beams to a poolside fountain. —Cynthia J. Drake
Rooms start at $121.
1000 Zaragoza St., Laredo.
Alamo Inn B&B
This homey B&B offers respite for Rio Grande Valley birdwatchers and was featured in the 2019 Netflix documentary Birders. Located above a gift shop—filled with bird-related items, naturally—each no-frills apartment-style room has vintage furnishings and artwork. —Cynthia J. Drake
Rooms start at $65.
801 Main St., Alamo.