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It’s not just 10-gallon hats that are big in Texas; the state is big. It’s the size of the UK plus a fair slice of northern Europe. So you can expect the landscapes to vary hugely, too; from mountain ranges (some over 7000 feet) to windswept dunes and white-sand beaches, and from pine forests to tumbleweed plains. Urban life, also, ranges from the big-city lights of Dallas and Houston to slow-paced towns with cafes and antique stores. Our selection of the best places to stay in Texas is equally wide-ranging.

You can choose to laze around on the 367 miles of coastline, hike in Big Bend National Park - and it is big; the same size as Rhode Island - or kayak in the cypress-lined bayous in the north-east of the state. Or stare at the stars at the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis; western Texas has some of the clearest skies in North America.

Prefer an urban scene? Dallas, as America’s ninth-largest city, combines a glittering, glassy, skyscraper architecture - best seen from the Reunion Tower’s GeO-Deck observation platform - with less showy places such as the ultra-hip Deep Ellum neighbourhood known for its rootsy live music, craft beers and Latin-American food scene. The city has plenty of galleries and museums, too, including the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which focuses on President John F Kennedy.

In Houston, obviously you need to visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center - complete with the historic Mission Control room - then maybe stroll around the 19th-century Old Town, or take in some art at the Museum of Fine Arts with its nationally acclaimed collection of French Impressionists and post-1945 European and American art.

San Antonio has a fascinating Riverwalk in its downtown area; every evening seems to be fiesta time. And if music is your thing, head to Austin with its year-round programme of live-music concerts, including the South by Southwest Festival in March.

Of course, if you want a taste of cowboy life, you’re in the right place. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is just one of the highlights, along with saloons, steakhouses and Western-gear shops, at Stockyards in Fort Worth. And for live rodeo action, visit Houston and San Antonio in February and March; livestock shows and concerts, too.

If you want to taste a bit of everything, use our guide to the best places to stay in Texas to plan your trip.

Best places to stay in Texas

For a ranch-style hotel

  • Bird-watching, fishing, riding and hunting are just some of the activities available at Cibolo Creek Ranch in the Chinati Mountains. Rooms have a rustic Spanish-style, while Mexican food is on offer in the restaurant or al fresco by the pool.
  • Set on 1500 acres of working land, Wildcatter Ranch Resort offers both a relaxing hideaway as well as heaps of activities for the outdoors enthusiast. Rooms are modern-rustic and there’s an all-American style steakhouse with excellent wines.
  • There’s no shortage of action at Travaasa Austin, with its stunning views over the Balcones Canyonlands: horse-riding, mountain-biking, zip-rides, yoga, hiking, archery … And after all that, relax in the spa or float in the infinity pool. Rooms are big, modern and airy; most with glorious horizon-stretching views.

For a classic historic hotel

  • Rosewood Mansion at Turtle Creek, Dallas, is a grand-tour, 1920s, European style hotel with marble floors and ornate fireplaces. There’s an elegant, courtyard pool as well as in-room spa treatments.
  • Also in Dallas, Hotel St Germain, oozes French fin-de-siècle elegance with dramatic silk-draped four-poster beds and a scattering of antiques.
  • The lavish, glass-domed, marble-pillared lobby of The Driskill in Austin sets the tone for equally grand rooms while the Driskill Grill is the place in town for cocktails.
  • The classic columns and balconies of Hotel Ella in downtown Austin hide a very chic, modern interior with sleek, contemporary bedrooms and marble bathrooms and refreshing outdoor pool.

For a designer pad

  • Ultra-chic Kimber Modern, in Austin, combines a colourful retro vibe with a Zen laidback feel. As it’s adults-only, it makes a peaceful retreat after a day’s exploring.
  • Expect hot colours, neon signs and a bold mix of designer and antique furnishings in the suites and private villas of Austin’s Hotel Saint Cecilia. Very boho; very rock ‘n roll.

For foodies

  • The large luxury Rosewood Crescent in uptown Dallas has a choice of Japanese food at Nobu, with stunning views across the city, or a more relaxed, all-American choice at The Conservatory. Generous, contemporary-style rooms plus pool and spa, too.
  • Try one of the expertly mixed cocktails in Hotel Valencia Riverwalk’s Vbar, before dining in Citrus Restaurant, whose menus focus on local sourcing. The prime position on San Antonio’s vibrant Riverwalk means you’ll never be short of entertainment.

Best B&Bs in Texas

  • In downtown San Antonio, the Riverwalk Vista has a peach-perfect position for enjoying the city’s buzzy nightlife. Rooms mix original features of exposed brickwork and polished floorboards with contemporary comforts.
  • Hotel San Jose, in Austin, is a former motel-turned-boutique-hotel with funky rooms and a relaxed vibe. Great value for its downtown location, plus occasional open-air film and music shows.

For more ideas, browse our list of the best places to stay in Texas, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.

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The best hotels in Texas

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  • Wildcatter Ranch Resort

    Graham, Texas

    Western-style ranch resting on 1,500 acres of working land offers stunning views and activities galore. Rustic meets modern in the luxurious rooms. Dine at Dinner Bell, an All American steak house with an extensive wine list. Ride out in the morning, relax by the pool and enjoy the spa treatments.

    34 rooms from $149
    Great walks  -  Take a picnic and explore the ranch by foot.
    Hideaway  -  A great hideaway to relax and rejuvenate.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
  • Hotel San Jose

    Austin (Texas)

    1930s motel turned minimalist modern boutique with a courtyard and pool. The light rooms are comfortable with all mod-cons and breakfast. No restaurant but a stone's throw from Downtown Austin with live music and film themed evenings in the courtyard. Cheaper than most, offers great location.

    40 rooms from $185
    Sights nearby  -  The Paramount Theatre for showsing of old films and live music.
    Fishing  -  Lake Austin for fishing.
    Great walks  -  Lady Bird Lake.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • The Riverwalk Vista

    San Antonio

    Historic elegance meets bustling San Antonio in this stylish redbrick 19th century building. Each room has a view looking out over the city, and a mix of antiques, exposed brickwork, original floorboards and floor-to-ceiling windows give this hotel a comfortable yet classy feel.

    16 rooms from $187
    Local exploring  -  An ideal location for getting to know San Antonio whether you're here for culture, nightlife or both.
    Sights nearby  -  The Alamo, Tower of the Americas, Paseo del Rio
    Swimming Pool  -  At sister hotel next door
  • Hotel Havana

    San Antonio (Texas)

    This Cuban chic Riverwalk hotel offers contemporary decor with classic Latin elements. The comfortable rooms’ range is size, all light with mod-cons and private bathroom. Ocho pan-Latin restaurant is a greenhouse setting overlooking the Riverwalk. The Bar is notorious across town.

    27 rooms from $200
    Sights nearby  -  Cathedral of San Fernando.
    Full of character
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • The Driskill

    Austin (Texas)

    Old world charm oozes from the marble lobby, stained glass dome and magnificent staircase of this hot spot boutique, which has undergone a significant renovation. The large, classic rooms are comfortable with designer bathrooms. Award-winning Driskill Grill is popular, a legendary drinking hole.

    189 rooms from $261
    Sights nearby  -  Texas State Capitol is within walking distance.
    Kayaking  -  Spend the day kayaking on Barton Creek
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

    San Antonio (Texas)

    This contemporary and stylish hotel offers prime location on the Riverwalk. Vibrant rooms are modern and spacious and with San Antonio views. Citrus Restaurant works with locally sourced produce and Vbar mixes up some delicious cocktails. Great place to stay for the local haunts, or relax at the spa

    213 rooms from $240
    Local markets  -  Check our Market Square and El Mercado,the largest Mexican style market place outside of Mexico.
    Sights nearby  -  Rio San Antonio Cruises-riverboat water taxi tours departing from river side of the hotel.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • The Joule

    Dallas (TX)

    Neo-gothic architecture dating back to the 1920's. Lavish rooms mix art-deco and contemporary style. Great on-site restaurant, bar and coffee shop. Top floor offers penthouses and a pool with city views. Ultra-modern vibe, cutting-edge design - it's 5* star luxury.

    160 rooms from $260
    City Style  -  Unique art on the lobby walls and in rooms. State-of-the-art amenities provided in rooms
    Foodies  -  A fine dining restaurant that serves world-class cuisine
    Spa breaks  -  Voted one of the best new spas in 2016
    Local markets  -  Close to the main street district, convenient to go on city tours
  • Kimber Modern

    Austin (Texas)

    Chic with a huge dollop of zen makes up this boutique on South Congress Avenue. Modern, light with splashes of colour found in the upholstery and the luxurious bathrooms. Head to the kitchen for a fine spread for breakfast, and relax on the deck with a book or around a firepit. Prime city location.

    7 rooms from $265
    Fishing  -  Lake Austin offers a great day fishing.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 15 years old.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Hotel Saint Cecilia

    Austin (Texas)

    A trendy, luxury guest house with private villas and suites. Bright bold colours, quirky furniture and antique features are scattered throughout. Relax at the outdoor pool with it's unique hot-pink neon sign or in the 70s inspired bar. A swanky spot that is classically Austin.

    14 rooms from $285
    Great walks  -  Zilker Park
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Full of character
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Mr & Mrs Smith
  • Rosewood Crescent

    Dallas (Texas)

    Uptown Dallas luxury hotel ideal for business or leisure travel. Large, contemporary rooms with city views, seating area and all the mod-cons. Japanese cuisine at Nobu, or head to the The Conservatory for an all-American affair. Relax at the spa & pool or explore the arts & cultural scene close by.

    220 rooms from $285
    Spa  -  The Spa at the Crescent is an award winning destination with a wide range of treatments on offer.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out what is on at the Undermain Theatre during your stay.
    Great walks  -  Head to Klyde Warren Park for urbarn deer park.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor rooftop pool
  • Hotel St Germain

    Dallas (Texas)

    1900 French style residence turned boutique landmark with fireplaces, 200 year old tapestry & contemporary amenities. Large, classic rooms home to four-poster beds, antique furnishings and complimentary breakfast. A popular gourmet restaurant with a seasonal menu is for all. Great exploring base!

    7 rooms from $290
    Great walks  -  White Rock Lake is a stunning backdrop for a stroll.
    Sights nearby  -  African American Museum focusing on art and history.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
  • Rosewood Mansion at Turtle Creek

    Dallas (USA)

    1921 European-style mansion turned unique, elegant hotel with restored marble floors, ornate fireplaces and stained glass windows. Large, comfortable rooms with all mod-cons, access to a courtyard pool and in-room spa treatments. Restaurant is a contemporary fusion of classic French and American.

    143 rooms from $315
    Great walks  -  Klyde Warren Park is an urban deer park great for all the family. Take a picnic.
    Sights nearby  -  Check what is on at the The Texas Theatre during your stay.
    Cooking classes  -  Food Festivals throughout the year.
    Full of character
  • Heywood Hotel

    Austin (Texas)

    Texas vibes can be seen in the art, the architecture, and the music, even down to the complimentary coffee. Modern and light rooms have white cool tiled bathrooms. Free bicycles available so exploring Austin is easy. This Adult only hotel has restaurants within walking distance. Great spot!

    7 rooms from $330
    Great walks  -  Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool.
    Sights nearby  -  Texas State Capitol 2 miles away.
    Full of character
    Restrictions on children
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Hotel Sorella

    Houston (Texas)

    This lively Westside Houston hotel has a pool and spa. Vast rooms with ceiling-to-floor windows, all the mod-cons and modern bathrooms. Radio Milano offers Italian dishes and crafted cocktails. By night a hotspot with in-house Monnalisa by the pool, and by day relax with a spa day or exploring.

    244 rooms from $350
    Sights nearby  -  Moody Gardens.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Cibolo Creek Ranch

    Shafter, Texas

    This 1857 Texan ranch nestles in 30,000 pristine acres on the Chinati Mountains. A secluded spot offering breathtaking views. Spanish antiques and fireplaces give an authentic vibe to the modern rooms. Gourmet and ancient Mexican dishes are served al fresco by the pool or in the restaurant.

    21 rooms from $395
    Birdwatching  -  500 species of birds, from golden eagles and peregrine falcons to roadrunners and turkeys, as well as 18 known species of bats.
    Fishing  -  Catch-and-release fishing in the lake stocked with largemouth bass, catfish and perch
    Sights nearby  -  Hunting and shooting are also popular past times in Texas.
    Back to Nature  -  Stunning mountain surroundings and lakes to explore.
  • Travaasa Austin

    Austin (Texas)

    This bright and airy hotel sits in 210 acres of Balcones Canyon lands with infinity pool and spa treatments. Rooms offer big beds, modern bathrooms and views. Organic restaurant offers locally sourced produce. Hiking, riding, biking, zipping are available for a fun-filled weekend or family holiday.

    70 rooms from $525
    Cooking classes  -  Basic Culinary Skills from the culinary team at the hotel.
    Great walks  -  Sunrise Hike and Hill Country Hike are both great walks.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Hotel Ella

    Austin (Texas)

    Elegant boutique in the hot spot that is Austin city centre. Guests are welcomed by classical columns, wrap around porch and pool. Contemporary rooms are the epitome of comfort with marble bathrooms and private balconies. Dine at Goodall's Kitchen and Bar with mouth watering innovative dishes.

    47 rooms from $559
    Fishing  -  Head to Barton Creek for some 'back to nature' activities such as fishing and leisurely walks.
    Sights nearby  -  The 307 ft clock tower at the University of Texas.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
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