Doing some catching up on reviews from travel the past few years and a return to Jefferson last month made me realize a review of this hotel is long overdue. Jefferson is fortunate indeed that this hotel was saved and restored. As a note, this hotel is not for someone who has difficulty with stairs unless they stay in one of the rooms on the main level. The stairs are narrow and make a 45 degree turn midway up.
First, obviously, it is an old hotel and has a very interesting history that greets one at the door when you look down to see a curve worn into the threshold by countless feet over the years. Artifacts and historic documents are on display in the lobby. Guests are free to wander through the main areas and a small courtyard at the back of the hotel. There is also one to the side of the hotel which my husband and I found very pleasant on a warm autumn night. We sat, amazed, at how quiet the city was once night fell. A very relaxing moment indeed!
Overall, the age and even the age of the renovations/restorations show in this hotel. If you do not book one of the historic (downstairs rooms and one or two upstairs overlooking the courtyard) there is nothing that makes the rooms stand out. It just feels old. While the rooms are relatively clean we have found some dust and bug issues that should be caught during regular, professional cleaning. The amenities are modest. The beds are very comfortable. However, the bedding and curtains show their age and the general feel is worn and outdated. Yes, I say that knowing this is supposed to be historic and 'old' but mature guests would recognize the color schemes, fabric patterns and linen from thirty years past. There is definitely a difference.
Because the city is so quiet at night, staying in a room at the back of the hotel may find you waking up at various times through the night because of the noise from the trains and sudden banging and clattering from behind the hotel where the post office workers handle deliveries and toss containers around.
The main doors are locked at night. However, guests are given a key so they can come and go as they please. Whether we have visited during low occupancy times or have always been fortunate in having considerate neighbors, I could not say, but were rarely aware of them unless passing them in the lobby.
Breakfast has always been a real treat. If you visit this location you should try it at least once.
Customer service has always been a mixed bag during our visits. In the past their staff has been friendly and considerate and always seemed happy to answer any questions we might have. However, the past two trips have shown us a different side and we have been made to feel we are interrupting them or were a nuisance. Needless to say, questions or concerns were not welcomed. The message seemed to be "Don't bother me unless absolutely necessary". In fact, this last trip we simply packed and left early in the morning. The place left us feeling tired. When we went downstairs we couldn't find anyone to check us out (the staffer who had planted herself on the sofa in the reading/television area seemed to have disappeared) so we got tired of waiting, left our keys on the desk and hit the doors.
Do we recommend this hotel? Mmm... Yes, try it at least once with the knowledge that not everyone's expectations or tastes are the same. Enjoy the courtyards on a balmy evening and browse the case in the lobby. Have breakfast here if you are a guest. If the employee working that day is the one that gives the tour of the Atlanta Jay Gould Railroad Car, take the tour and then tell me about it. I never have found one who 'had the time'.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The oldest and most historic Hotel in the entire State of Texas. Currently owned by The Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club. 15 Historic rooms. Desk Manager on duty 24 hours a day ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Ebookers and Hotels.com so you can book your The Excelsior House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Excelsior House Hotel Jefferson