We Love Lucy
By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler
This new Granbury getaway is small, but makes a bold statement.
Next time you’re looking for a nearby escape with a big wow factor, head to the Hotel Lucy in Granbury. Opening this month across from the city’s lakefront beach, the boutique hotel promises the sort of experience usually found in urban settings — think cheeky, larger-than-life style like that at the Virgin Hotel and Hotel ZaZa in Dallas.
The lodging and unexpectedly splashy interior design is from Granbury native Vicki Nivens, known for her big-and-bold style and hospitality at five Hard Eight BBQ locations, the Bluff Dale wedding venue called The N at Hardway Ranch and Granbury Flower & Gifts, next door to the hotel. With a passion for blending rustic woods, antique furnishings and contemporary textiles with glitzy chandeliers and lots of color, Nivens puts her self-described “all-in” personality on full display at Hotel Lucy. Nothing about the place — which spreads over much of a city block shaded by old pecan trees and new magnolia trees — is timid, and all of it feels surprising compared with the property’s somewhat quiet facade.
Renovating an existing home that was once a Victorianesque B&B called the Arbor House, Nivens also acquired adjacent property. Over a two-year period, she and a team of taskmasters — including young women she calls her Hotel Lucy tribe — created the opulent 10-room hotel in two houses, plus another two-bedroom dwelling called the Vivi House. Six rooms are in Big Lucy, the main house, and four rooms are in Little Lucy. In between is an expansive shaded lawn and a patio with a faux grass section, both prime spots for wedding ceremonies and other events. An inviting swimming pool with cabanas and lounges sits adjacent to an outdoor kitchen at the center of the property.
Hotel Lucy is big on themed suites (Big Lucy’s Belvedere is the most masculine choice) and huge bathrooms that include deep soaking tubs and spacious glassed-in showers. All rooms have access to beverage bars and share the community kitchen and cocktail bar in the main house, where happy hour takes place in the afternoons.
Little Lucy, which feels destined for bachelorette overnights and other gal-pal getaways, offers four bedrooms with a sitting room featuring a full-size pink fridge. You’ll want first dibs on the Havana, a roomy suite with an antique gramophone that now doubles as a speaker for playing tunes on your smartphone. A spacious porch is an inviting place for cocktails and conversation on a nice evening.
Next door is the two-bedroom Vivi House (booked only as a whole), entered by a covered patio with fireplace. The spacious great room also features a fireplace and massive sectional sofa that transitions into a bed. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen; Hotel Lucy guests are welcome to bring their own comestibles. The patio, which is shared with Little Lucy, offers another possible party venue for large groups booking both accommodations.
Throughout the hotel, baths are stocked with plush monogrammed bathrobes and soaps and lotions from the Zents product line, which are sold — along with other hotel trinkets — inside the next-door gift shop.
Nivens and staff are already booking elopement packages and small weddings. While the property offers amenities galore, if you do want to strike out, the hotel is just four blocks from the dining spots, wine-tasting rooms and shops on Granbury’s historic square.
Hotel Vin Pops the Cork
By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler
The Grapevine Main project has consumed the intersection of Dallas Road and Main Street for what seems like forever. But the dust is beginning to settle as Hotel Vin, Autograph Collection opens its doors Labor Day weekend.
The six-story building features 120 rooms, an expansive lobby that includes the Bacchus Kitchen + Bar, which overlooks the Main Street train station, and a cozy seating area with a fireplace.
Bacchus is led by executive chef William Salisbury, late of Buillion in Dallas. Dishes will feature seasonal harvests from local farms and ranches in classic dishes ranging from a fried oyster BLT at lunch to a more substantial grilled lamb porterhouse with marinated eggplant for dinner. As wine is a prime theme at the hotel, there’s also a tasting room with a glassed-in wine wall featuring hundreds of Old and New World vintages.
There’s a plaza just outside the five-story Rail Station, with its distinctive clock tower. Inside, the design and architecture recall the glory days of rail travel, with its 40-foot ceilings and a nod to the property’s adjacency to the nearby Trinity Metro station. A custom “past meets present” mural by Haylee Ryan stretches across one wall and pays homage to Grapevine.
Outdoor attractions include the 38,000-square-foot plaza landscaped with trees, a water feature and public art.
And it won’t open until October, but Harvest Hall inside the Rail Station hopes to draw locals and visitors with an intriguing lineup from seven local chefs.
Check out the website for opening-weekend festivities.