Life in 1915 was far different from what we see today. Automobile travel was not as widespread, so many journeys involved train travel. In Palestine, Texas, those arriving by rail would find comfort in knowing the Redlands Hotel was awaiting their arrival. 108 years later, the hotel was again being called upon to house weary travelers. While times have changed from those early days, this historic inn still offers hospitality and comfort.
Stepping through the doorway, we felt like time travelers. The inn has all of the elegance that one would expect from those early days but with modern conveniences. It was interesting to find out that in 1915 they had an ice machine. Nothing lasts forever and by 1956 the building sat empty. Fortunately, in 1976 a group of investors saw the potential of breathing new life into the Redlands Hotel. After many years of back-breaking work the hotel sits on the National Register of Historic Places.
After our full day of driving, we were anxious to explore our home away from home. The Redlands Hotel has 17 suites for travelers to choose from. Each offers its own unique touches. We were in Suite 303, which is filled with cheerful pops of color. The living space provided plenty of room for the two of us to stretch out and plan our explorations. The large windows continue into the sleeping quarters and offer views of downtown Palestine. After unpacking our gear, it was time to head downstairs for dinner.
Queen St. Grille
The Redlands Hotel is also home to the Queen St Grille. This casual fine dining establishment is the perfect spot to catch up with friends or make new ones. The staff knew we were coming and greeted us like family. We joined the evening crowd and set about reviewing the menu. It was filled with a variety of American food dishes so we had no problem finding our favorites. After placing our orders, we took in the quiet elegance of the room. While it has a noticeable upscale appearance, we didn’t feel like it was stuffy or too formal. It was the perfect spot for a couple to soak in some relaxed pampering.
After 9 hours on the road, we were ready for something besides burgers and fries. Crystal chose the Chicken Piccata, which is served with a creamy caper lemon sauce. The salty tang of the dish excited the taste buds without overpowering them. I couldn’t pass up trying the Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin. Served with a blueberry glaze, this dish had me coming back over and over until it was gone. Our dinner conversation focused on how cute our room was, before turning to upcoming explorations.
Redlands Hotel For the Win
After dinner, we took a short stroll through downtown Palestine. This Texas city has a long history that seems to intertwine with the railroad. As we walked, we could hear the sounds of a train in the distance. This made us feel at home, seeing that Kansas City is also a major rail hub. Before long, we found ourselves back at the hotel and a short elevator ride from our room. A good night’s sleep recharged us and in the morning we were ready to check out the city. Our suite at the Redlands Hotel served us well as a home base. We are so glad that those investors saw the potential and brought this inn back to life.