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Travel Tuesday: Queen Of The Gulf

Sometimes the only thing that makes us feel truly relaxed is an afternoon on the beach. In a spa. Napping in an air-conditioned room. Or having cocktails at a swim-up bar.

Fortunately, all of these things can be found in one spectacular place: The Grand Galvez on Galveston Island.

So get ready for relaxation on steroids.

We love having Galveston as a quick weekend road trip option when we’re craving the sound of the surf, the sun on our skin and sand between our toes. (OK, we never really enjoy sand between our toes, but some people think that sounds like paradise.)

Only a five-hour drive from Dallas (give or take depending on traffic down Interstate 45), the Grand Galvez (formerly the Galvez Hotel & Spa) is about halfway through the process of being restored to its original 1911 grandeur, once again deserving of its nickname, the Queen of the Gulf.

Since March 2021, the Grand Galvez has a new owner—hotelier Mark Wyant. His passion for history, attention to detail and willingness to spend whatever it takes to elevate the 219-room property into a true luxury resort make this one of the most exciting projects we’ve ever witnessed as it’s happening.

Artisans have been flown in from Italy, for crying out loud!

The renovations are almost complete and will be totally done by the time you’re headed there in the next week or so.

Plus, visiting The Grand Galvez means you can cross off four of the 100 Things To Do In Galveston Before You Die, so after your visit you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing the other 96.

Newly renovated rooms (pictured in the gallery above) perfectly blend a retro-tropical style with modern amenities, spectacular ocean views (on request) and much to our delight, plenty of monkeys. They’re renovating all the hotel rooms by May 1 and the suites by next year, so when you visit this year we recommend calling the hotel to make your reservation the old-fashioned way so you can specifically request one of the updated rooms.

The Grand Galvez property lies steps from the beach, so once you’ve unpacked you can stroll down Seawall Boulevard and find a spot to eat, grab a drink, or ride a rollercoaster. Chairs and umbrellas can be rented right on the beach, too, so feel free to pack a picnic and spend the day watching the waves roll in.

Make sure to set aside time for one day for a massage or other service at The Grand Galvez Spa, the most spectacular spa on the island. Oh, and at least a couple of hours in the pool at the swim-up bar. And if it’s not too hot outside, underneath the bubbly waters of the outdoor jacuzzi. The new look of the pool debuts this month. Check out the rendering below.

The new lobby bar is also a fantastic place to pull up a high-back chair and grab a drink in an opulent setting. Try the Ghost Bride, a refreshing vodka cocktail that gets its name from the hotel’s resident spirit. Then grab dinner at Galvez Bar & Grill (a light-and-airy dining room that gives us major Golden Girls vibes in the best possible way). Though the interiors don’t scream, “STEAKHOUSE!”, the crab cakes and grilled ribeye we had for dinner were some of the best we’ve had over our many trips to Galveston.

End your Grand Galvez weekend with a moonlit walk on the beach and you’ve got yourself a perfect island getaway that doesn’t require a time-zone change or an expensive flight to Hawaii.

After all, when you close your eyes to listen to the waves, they sound the same wherever you are.

We’re just lucky to have ocean right here in Texas.

The Grand Galvez
All-new rooms and pool now open