This Hotel Brand Wants Guests to Experience Everything Texas Has to Offer — From Cowboy Boots to Million-dollar Art Collections

Come for the stylishly decorated and comfortable hotel rooms, but stay for the thoughtful touches and expertly curated experiences.

Thompson Hotel Austin pool deck

Chase Daniels

They say everything is bigger in Texas — and that includes the growing footprint of Thompson Hotels, a hospitality brand known for marrying the consistent quality of a hotel group with the delight and unexpectedness of a boutique property.

With a roadmap that Jim Chu, Hyatt's EVP, chief growth officer, says, includes opening properties in "key leisure markets across the U.S. and Mexico," Thompson has a particular eye on the Lone Star State. Texas's biggest cities — Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio — are now home to the luxury hotel brand, with Thompson Houston slated to open to the public in 2023.  

In November 2020, Thompson Dallas opened inside The National, an upscale mixed-use building once known as the First National Bank Tower. The 51-story building is now protected by its place on the National Register of Historic Places. A few months later, in February 2021, Thompson San Antonio - Riverwalk welcomed guests along the famed walkway. In January 2022, Thompson Austin opened its doors, joining the Thompson portfolio and quickly making a name for itself as one of the best new hotels in the city. 

While the hotel openings are relatively close together, visitors shouldn't expect cookie-cutter guest rooms or run-of-the-mill offerings. Quite the opposite, in fact. 

"Our Thompson Hotels in Texas offer new, unique, and elevated food and beverage, design, and authentic cultural experiences beyond what guests may initially expect from Texas," Crystal Vinisse Thomas, vice president and global brand leader, lifestyle and luxury brands, Hyatt, tells Travel + Leisure. In an increasingly competitive industry, this is what sets Thompson apart from other properties in the state.

The Moon's Daughter food and junior suite at Thompson Hotel San Antonio

Mariah Tyler

Each Texas property is entirely different in decor, atmosphere, on-site cuisine, and retail offerings. Take, for example, Thompson Austin, where Chef Mashama Bailey brings her James Beard Award-winning touch to the downtown corner. 

"We wanted to bring our brand and style of food and hospitality to Austin and chose to collaborate with the Thompson team because they were partners in letting us create distinct restaurants that felt true to us," Bailey says. 

Through the sit-down and takeaway options provided at The Grey Market Austin — think biscuits, fish & grits, pasta salad, and pimento cheese — Bailey and her team bring their distinct "Port City Southern flavor" to both hotel guests and the local community. 

The partnership between Bailey and the Thompson Austin is just one of the ways the hotel brand works with "top culinary names" and "emerging artists and creatives" to fully commit to "curating the best of each destination's culture within [its] walls," explains Vinisse Thomas. 

Thompson Hotel San Antonio Landrace Ceviche

Kathy Tran

In Dallas, that curation takes the form of a multi-million-dollar art collection that guests can experience as they explore the property. Photographs by internationally acclaimed photographer David Yarrow — including his iconic Texan images, The Dallas Cowboys and True Grit — can be viewed in the Thompson lobby. Other large-scale works and one-of-a-kind pieces made of bronze, oil, acrylics, and embroidery deck the other public-facing walls of The National. Guests with a keen eye for art need only walk a few feet from the hotel lobby to Samuel Lynne Galleries, where they can appreciate additional pieces and rotating art exhibitions.

In San Antonio, Chef Steve McHugh leads the team at Landrace, a warm, distinctly Texan restaurant with a rotating menu of elevated delicacies. Twenty floors above Landrace and the Thompson San Antonio, Riverwalk's front desk is The Moon's Daughters, a rooftop restaurant with sweeping views of the historic city, Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and photogenic cocktails. The Cenote Pool Deck — where a poolside massage within the privacy of a cabana can be enjoyed — is a few levels below.

Thompson San Antonio isn't the only Thompson in Texas with multiple roof decks; in fact, it's a notable feature at each property. Austin's fourth-floor rooftop houses Wax Myrtle's Club and Pool, an indoor-outdoor space designed with both visitors and locals in mind. The poolside cabanas, with food service from the restaurant, are the ideal place to camp out before the Texas heat sets in (or as a means of escaping it).

Dallas, similarly to San Antonio, has multiple roof decks (one featuring a pool) and several different restaurants with their own allure. On the 10th floor sits Catbird, a "jewel box" cocktail lounge with a rooftop terrace. Here, patrons can continue their art tour — another Yarrow photograph, along with contemporary pieces by Tyler Shields and Hunt Slonem, among others, don the restaurant's walls — while ordering traditional cocktails (or Catbird's version of the classics) and indulging in shareable plates. 

Thompson Hotel Dallas art collection

Gus Schmiege

Another can't-miss meal experience in Dallas resides at the top of The National. After a brief, ear-popping elevator ride to the 51st floor, guests enter the modern Italian restaurant Monarch, brought to life by two Michelin-starred Chef Danny Grant. The elevated menu and a distinctly Dallas elegance make this penthouse restaurant the perfect option for any occasion that calls for Champagne. 

While shopping might not be the first thing on visitors' minds upon checking into a Thompson property, it's a good idea to leave some extra room in your suitcase. Lucchese, an iconic Texas bootmaker, has a boutique inside Thompson Dallas, where visitors can shop for hand-crafted cowboy boots and other leather pieces. Thompson Austin, on the other hand, has a special relationship with Tecovas; upon request, the hotel can set up a VIP in-store shopping experience at the boot brand's South Congress store, along with a $250 gift card and a leather swag bag filled with Texan goodies, including co-branded whiskey and shot glasses. 

Travelers who frequent upscale and luxury hotels know there's always a difficult balance to achieve between enjoying the hotel and its amenities while also taking in the city itself. It's clear, though, that the Thompson brand has managed to solve this complex equation. By combining mouthwatering culinary partnerships and city-specific experiences, the hospitality brand has created hotels that are equally as robust as they are curated and as cross-cultural as they are Texan. 

And, according to parent company Hyatt, it's not slowing down anytime soon.

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