Since we have the time to get away, we decided to take a quick trip to Galveston this week. I used some United miles to pay for the room at the Hotel Galvez. Points well spent since I have yet to find a flight they will cover. It is a gorgeous hotel, but I will say, after you get past the grand lobby, it’s nothing special.
Yes, it was great to get away from the rain in Houston, and it was free, so you can never complain about that. But would I want to spend a special occasion at the Galvez? No. When I stay at a hotel, I don’t like to be reminded that someone just checked out a couple hours ago. That was taken away when I found someone else’s hair in the shower with me and a half-used roll of toilet paper on the dispenser. Everything else looked clean, but it didn’t feel clean.
The pool area is fantastic. Lots of chairs and a swim-up bar that stays open until 9 pm.
We relaxed by the pool for awhile, and then I went off to try out their spa. I was greeted immediately and whisked off to fill out paperwork. They offered a complimentary glass of lavender-infused champagne, and I accepted! After I had my champagne, I sat in the steam room for a few minutes (it’s not advised) and then took a shower in their rainfall shower. In the relaxation room, I was given another glass of champagne, and I relaxed in the room full of women.
I chose the Hawaiian Embrace treatment, and the scent really brought back memories of Kauai. When I booked the treatment, I had no idea what all it would entail. I was brought into a room with a massage table covered in plastic. I was asked to put on disposable undergarments, which confused me a little more. Then my therapist scrubbed my entire body with koke’e body polish. It was a bit uncomfortable because there were some granuals left on my back and I had to lay on the plastic while she scrubbed my front. She used a towel to wipe most of the scrub off, but it doesn’t fully come off until the shower. After the scrub, she put on a full body clay mask infused with Kauai clay, aloe, noni, and kava. Then she wrapped me in a cocoon and massaged my head. Next, she unwrapped the cocoon and turned on the full body length shower to wash everything away. And last but not least, was the wonderful massage that ended way too quickly. While my skin felt like butter after, I think I’d go for a massage next time and skip all the moving around.
During my treatment, I found my calling! Need someone to travel and try out spas and review them? I’m your girl!
E and I also checked out their fitness room, which was clean and well-equipped. We were the only two in there around 5 pm, but when I went the next morning around 9 am, it was pretty full. They offer complimentary headphones, water, fruit, and cold towels. There’s also a little museum in the basement, next to the gym. Then we took a walk on the beach, and I snapped a few photos so you could see how beautiful Galveston is!
That’s Pleasure Pier. It’s right across from the hotel.
Next we had dinner and drinks on Postoffice Street and walked the strand. Hotel Galvez offers a free shuttle, so we didn’t have to drive, which was awesome. The Saltwater Grill was recommended to us, and we both agreed it was good, but not great. We’re seriously spoiled with all the amazing food in Houston. Rudy and Paco was also highly recommended, and it’s just across the street from Saltwater Grill, but men have to wear pants. Who brings pants to Galveston?
We had a drink by the pool, then finished off our night at the hotel bar…where we found out the floor we were staying on (5th) is the haunted one. I did not sleep well (but perhaps it was the Café Galvez I consumed before bed).
In summary, you’re paying to see history. I’m really confused why the hotel has earned so many stars on TripAdvisor. My overall impression was that the employees act like the hotel is a lot fancier than it really is. Superficially, they’re cordial, but you don’t feel that genuine concern and kindness. I am glad that E finally got to see Galveston though, and he said he loves how creepy it is. Did you have a different experience at Hotel Galvez? Let me know!