Hotel Galvez & Spa a Wyndham Grand Hotel, Galveston, Texas
They say everything in Texas is bigger and the gulf island of Galveston proves no exception, despite its diminutive size, with its quirky, larger than life personality and its huge role in American history. Commonly described as “part Southern, part Texan, abloom with towering oleanders of every color, Galveston has more history and stories than most cities 20 times its size.”
This coastal island offers an intriguing history, an easy-living island demeanor, miles of terrain to explore and an enviable bucket list of things to do and see from historical landmarks to parks, museums and water tours. Popular sites include the historic Pleasure Pier and Strand Historic District, Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Bishops Palace and my favorite, the Bryan Museum featuring an extensive collection of Texas/Spanish artifacts housed in the onetime Galveston Orphan’s Home. Galveston is relatively small in size at around 32 miles long and 2 miles wide, yet has a huge personality and spirit – a fitting destination for your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
Whether your dream nuptials involve the sun, sand and surf or a grand southern ballroom affair, the Hotel Galvez & Spa and The Tremont House both Wyndham Grand Hotels, offer a unique range of features; they share amenities and transportation so the bridal party and guests can easily enjoy the best of both beach and urban venues. The sister properties were lovingly restored by the late philanthropists George and Cynthia Mitchell who led the revitalization of downtown Galveston and its Mardi Gras celebration, which now attracts more than half a million visitors annually.
Built in the early 1900’s and designated the Queen of the Gulf, a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, the historic Hotel Galvez & Spa strikes a commanding presence with its romantic blend of Mission and Spanish Revival architecture and surrounding manicured lawn and lush gardens along the picturesque Seawall Boulevard. The AAA Four Diamond property amenities include gracious and attentive service, 224 quaint guestrooms and five suites all boasting sweeping gulf views, an inviting saline pool and swim-up bar with a comfortable pool surround and private cabanas, convivial restaurant and lobby bar featuring occasional live jazz, a full-service restorative spa with signature treatments, a well-equipped fitness center, complimentary bikes to further explore the island and a courtesy shuttle service to the popular Strand Historic District and sister property, The Tremont House.
Hotel Galvez & Spa was also once referred to as the Playground of the Southwest, hosting three presidents plus a notable list of A-list celebrities, socialites and dignitaries. Many of the seventh and eighth floors are named after the famous and infamous personalities who have frequented the hotel.
Occupying an entire city block, The Tremont House strikes an impressive European profile with architecture that reflects Italian and French influences, the latter in the mansard roof widely seen throughout the streets of Paris. The interior lobby reveals urban chic décor with creamy marble floors and punctuation of exposed brick walls. A four-story airy and palm filled atrium distributes an abundance of natural light, highlighting an inviting bar and lounge area. Complimentary fruit-infused water welcomes guests while an adjacent café offers light and hearty fare and the requisite java. Guestrooms showcase high ceilings and contemporary furnishings in verdant green and black tones and antique period pieces. A roof top bar affords an extra jazzy locale to gather with friends and sip spirits. As Galveston’s only downtown hotel, The Tremont House offers a prime location in the Strand Historic District for walking to numerous restaurants (Rudy and Paco’s a must) retail stores, as well as the harbor area featuring the illustrious 1877 sailing tall ship, Elissa.
Big Day Details – Hotel Galvez & Spa
Indoor options include the: Music Hall, Terrace Ballroom and East & West Parlors all featuring old-world charm with modern amenities.
Outdoor options include:
Center Lawn, Oleander Garden, Centennial Green and Veranda – dramatic settings for ceremonies and intimate receptions with options for majestic gulf views or the serenity of a lush garden and water fountain near the Hotel Galvez’s stunning architecture.
Big Day Details – Tremont House
Choose from eight venues ranging from an intimate suite affair to the mid-size Sam Houston Room with loads of natural light and charming architectural additions of exposed brick and plantation shutters, to an elaborate 800 guest fete’ in the Tremont Ballroom with 14-foot soaring ceilings. The Tremont additionally provides special seasonal wedding packages with complimentary upgrades.
What to Know
- Galveston is roughly 45 miles from Houston and the closest airport, William P. Hobby.
- As the fourth-busiest cruise ship home port in North America, the Port of Galveston offers myriad honeymoon options.
- After Ellis Island, Galveston was once the second busiest U.S. immigration center and benefits today from its diverse influx of ethnicities.
- The 1900 Hurricane, the deadliest storm in the U.S, claimed more than 6,000 Galveston lives – making the island city ‘the most haunted city in America.’ Not to worry, exceptional engineering now buffers the city from future storm damage and as far as any paranormal activity, a bounty of stories and accounts of hauntings are widely shared by the locals and visitors. But the ghosts are assuredly “all very friendly.”
Once upon a time, Galveston was the epicenter of culture, entertainment and finance and held such monikers as the sin city of the gulf coast and the The Wall Street of the Southwest. Its history has been shaped by the ebb and flow of the gulf waters that surround the island and the swell of visitors who can look much like low or high tide. Fortunately, with a calendar full of festivals and a deeply committed community (for a real treat and historical perspective, find and talk to a native, or BOI – Born on the Island), this coastal island is continually making improvements and the tide/tourism is rising again. A great time to gather your wedding dress and pack your bikini and boots and gather your bevy of friends and family to have one island of a wedding and honeymoon time!