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“nice room, no amenities” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Harbor House

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Harbor House
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Pier 21, Galveston, Galveston Island, TX 77550   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 49 Hotels in Galveston
cookeville, tn
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“nice room, no amenities”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

I booked a room on a discount site, paying about $90. When I checked in, I did as I always do and try to be charming to the staff, hoping for a better room (hotels always have "good" rooms and "bad" rooms within the same grade). Since this hotel looks over the harbor, I asked if, it wasn't any trouble, could she give me a room with a nice view. She didn't look up, and said "I'll see what I can do". When I got to my room, I realized that it had the worst view of any in the hotel; farthest from the water, overlooking the restaurant next door. If they didn't have better, that is fine, I didn't come to look out the window anyway. But a maid told me they weren't sold out so I don't know why I got that room. Also note that almost never is there anyone at the desk when you come in. You have to call out to someone in the back.

The room itself is very nice. The bedding is excellent. My room is very clean and appears freshly painted. The sitting area is nice as well. The room layout could be better. The bed is between the tv and the sitting area, so if one wants to sleep while another watches tv, the tv will be a distraction to the sleeper. Adding to that is the chair is right next to the air conditioner, requiring a higher volume. It is bigger than your average hotel room as well.

Outside of the room, you get nothing else other than the usual toiletries and coffee. There isn't even a notepad, or a magazine of local attractions. They shouldn't claim to offer breakfast. There were some danishes, and other bread items. there were a few yogurt cups in the tray of ice water, along with some small juice bottles, which had been placed in there warm as the top part was warm and the bottom slightly chilled. There are no tables, but a couple of sofas and chairs are there. most people took stuff back to their rooms. no cereal, no steam table, nothing. i tried to eat a danish but it wasn't good, so I went to McDonalds. There was only one "regular" coffee carafe, which apparantly had been taken to be refilled just prior to my arrival.

The location is great if you plan to stay on the Strand. If you are going for the beach I'd stay elsewhere.

Another thing: they have such low wattage bulbs that it is impossible to read a book at night. Also the A.C. shuts itself off somehow, so when you come in after a day in the hot sun, you come in to a cold room (lights shut off automatically too).

At the price I paid, I'm happy. But if I'd paid $150 or so I'd feel like I didn't get my money's worth. There is nothing "boutique" about the hotel. It is just a nice room without any other amenities. Oh, and when management reads this, know that the faux wood floor in the sink area of room 228 has a loose tile. it sticks to my foot and pulls up then flops back in place. Are they rubber?

One other thing to offer: Room numbers that are even face west, odd to the east. 28 is the highest ending number on second floor, its farthest from the water. So obviously 200 would be the closest.

Room Tip: Call and confirm a low #.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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353 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
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English first
White Plains,NY
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2011

Galveston really has only a very limited area that is worthy of tourism and the Harbor House is square in the center of the action. Built to look like an old harbor-side loft, the building is unique and placed right between the cruise ship pier and the oil rig museum. Its also just a block from the main drag, The Strand.

We were fortunate enough to be assigned the corner room on the third floor directly facing the harbor! You can't get a better view and the room was spacious and comfortable. Only complaint, and this seems to spreading to many hotels, is that the introduction of flat screen TVS is doing nothing for the reception. ABC was fuzzy and worse then an antenna.

The room included a free continental breakfast, but, as others have suggested, best get there early because no sure what happens when they run out.

Staff was very pleasant the front desk manager, Linda, was more than accommodating.

Room Tip: Ride the Baywatch 1, a delightful 45 minutes.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwick, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

The Harbor House is a unique property convered from an old shipping warehouse and the room was full of character and spacious. There was also plenty of space around the vanity unit and separate mirror in the room which led to the shower and toilet. With a lovely big sofa, easy chair and table as well as a small dining table there was plenty of room to relax, and the bed was firm but comfy. There is also a big fridge and huge TV. The hotel is quiet despite its quayside location - although you can get very distracted by the cruise ships arriving and leaving if you are interested in shipping and you have a room with a good view like we did! There's a light, but perfectly adequate continental breakfast which you can eat in a nice lounge or in your room,
The hotel does not have many facilities in itself, but there is free wi fi in the rooms, and it is five minutes walk from the attractons in the Strand area. We were told we could use the pool etc at the Galvez, but did not bother. There are a couple of very nice restaurants immediately adjacent to the Harbor House. We would hugely recommend it as somewhere to stay in Galveston.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the Harbor with bay windows
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Harbor House Dec. 17-19 for a weekend getaway in Galveston. I picked the hotel because of the location and price - right off the Strand, close to restaurants and attractions and only $119/night. My husband got off work later than expected so we arrived late. I had called the hotel and was told to go to the parking lot gate when we arrived and push the intercom button. Someone from the front desk was supposed to let us in. We tried that but no one ever answered. I ended up parking in the "NO PARKING" zone in front of the hotel while my husband went inside to find someone to let us in. He found someone so we were able to get into the parking lot and get checked in.

We were given a room on the 3rd floor that was spacious with a king-sized bed. We had a view overlooking the Willie-G's restaurant next door but could see the ship channel if we looked to the side. The toilet and tub/shower were in a separate room with the sink right outside. It was workable as long as someone didn't try to exit the bathroom while the other person was using the sink. The room had a fridge and microwave, which was nice. There was a desk with a couple chairs and a sitting area with a love seat and chair near the window.

The location was great. We were able to walk to the Strand and to several restaurants. The hotel is right next to the Elissa and a place that offers harbor tours.

I was never able to get the wifi service to work while we were there. The staff said it was working and my laptop showed it had a signal, but I kept getting a "no connectivity" error. It wasn't really a problem since I was only trying to use the internet to look up some information on Galveston. The staff was able to provide some recommendations and directions.

There were a few downsides. First (and mainly) was the bed. It was the hardest mattress I have ever slept on. The first night I kept waking up because whatever side I was sleeping on went numb. My husband had the same problem. I didn't sleep for more than an hour at a time without having to wake up and roll over. I have a memory foam mattress at home and many nights wake up in the same position that I fell asleep in. I woke up on Saturday morning with an aching back. Fortunately, after 45 minutes, 2 Alieve, and a very hot shower, I was feeling more normal. The second night I took 2 Alieve before bed, hoping that would help. I woke up aching after a couple of hours so I tried sleeping on the love seat but it was too short. I ended up with a crick in my neck so moved back to the bed.

The other issues were relatively minor. The room only had 2 towels. I like to have a towel for my hair and one to dry off. I left a note requesting the maid leave one extra towel, which didn't happen. Many hotels are cutting back on supplying linens so I figured Harbor House probably has a 1 towel per person policy. I've run into that from other hotels on previous trips. The other problem is the hotel is loud, but I blame that on the other guests. The floors are hardwood with very thin carpeting in places, which causes noises to echo. The first morning we were woken up by what sounded like someone stomping down the hall then slamming their door. I've never understood why some people feel like they have to slam their hotel doors. Judging from the parking lot, there weren't many people at the hotel the first night so the noise wasn't too bad. We were able to go back to sleep. The second night, the parking lot was full. I believe many people use this hotel for a night pre-cruise because it is very close to the cruise terminal. We were woken up repeatedly starting shortly after 6 AM by people stomping around and slamming doors. Between the uncomfortable bed and the slamming doors, I didn't get much sleep on the second night.

When we checked out, the woman at the desk asked about our stay. I told her that the bed and noise were awful. She kind of laughed and said she hears those complaints all the time. She said when they refurbished the hotel, the manager picked the firmest beds possible because they are supposed to last longer. If I were staying any longer, I would have bought a pillowtop pad from Walmart or Target to put on the bed so I could sleep comfortably.

I really loved the location but I doubt I would stay at this hotel again because of the bed and the noise. I had originally booked the Tremont House for our stay but I saw the Harbor House had special pricing for the weekend. The price was about half what Tremont House was charging and the location was close so I switched. Next time we want a weekend in Galveston, I'll try Tremont House.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2010

This was a really nice hotel. First, the issue... we had a reservation, but when we checked in, we were given a handicap room because no others were available. I did not like the handicap bathroom. I would have preferred a regular room. Second, I hate it when hotels charge extra for parking. That should be included in the cost. Other than that, it was great. The rooms were really nice. The room were huge and the beds were extremely comfortable. That is one thing that you should expect from a hotel when traveling. The beds were comfortable. You could not ask for a better location. Right there on the strand! The hotel itself is very unique and nice. Try it, you'll like it. By they way, they provide a great continental breakfast, included in your room fee. Best of all its on your floor! You don't have to go downstairs. Just walk down the hall, pick something up and return to your room. They also provide free Internet in your room without nickle and diming you. Other hotels... take note! If I had the opportunity, I would stay here again. I really enjoyed it..

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flower Mound, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2010

My family and I stayed at the Harbor Hotel this past weekend. Our first two choices were the Tremont and Hotel Galvez but they were both booked. The Harbor House is very close to the strand, restaurants and the dolphin tour. The person at the front desk was named Linda and she is a very sweet lady and the only one of the front desk employes who is good at their job.

Our room, 312 had a nice few of the harbor (if you don't mind some oil rigs) and had plenty of space,a flat screen tv, microwave and mini fridge. The beds themselves are comfortable the linens and comforter however are not. Grandpa described the comforter as having a burlap sack feel...The free wifi is pretty much none existant. It was not working the first day we arrived and when we asked about it the next day the lady at guest services said that it hadn't been working for a few days and probably wouldn't be fixed that day either. Later that afternoon when we were going out she said that it had been fixed. Fixed apparently meant that it would take 2 minutes to load a web page if it loaded at all. The bathroom could stand to be updated as well. Our shower curtain had mildew on it.

Also, when we went out on Saturday we put the clean service door hanger on our door and when we got back it was still hanging there and our room hadn't been cleaned. We called the front desk and when the cleaning ladies got there they said they hadn't cleaned it because we had a do not disturb door hanger on the door. Which wasn't true since we double checked.

The Hotel is a nice place on the surface and all in all it isn't so bad but we paid a little over $500 for two nights, $199 a night plus taxes and $10 dollars a night for parking (seriously) I'd probably stay here again if my other choices were booked though.

Also, if you're looking for a great place to eat i recommend Luigi's Italian Restaurant it's amazing!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2010

I booked the property by calling Tremont House. They were full, but booked me here, another Windham property. I arrived early (noon) and they had a room ready at 1 PM. The parking was free in an adjacent lot. Easy check-in and out. The room I had, 204, It had a view of the harbor, Elisa, museum, and cruise terminal. It had two queen beds, lots of space, wood and nautical motif. Good quality bed linnens and comforters. Nice flat screen TV. Free wireless internet, it worked fine in the afternoon, but went out during the night and did not recover before check out inspite of a call to the front desk. The room was clean, except in the bath room the tub/shower could have used some new non-skid and hand rail as well as some tilex treatment, some black grout in the corners was evident. Nice towels and well equiped otherwise. The free breakfastt needs an upgrade. It had juice, danish, croissants, but no toast, bagles, or english muffins, but there was a toaster. Good coffee, and oatmeal for microwave but no dry cereal or milk. It is a reasonable lodging alternative if you want a place on the Strand, or near the cruise terminal or port area. But the economic downturn of the island after hurricane Ike is still evident here.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Harbor House

Address: Pier 21, Galveston, Galveston Island, TX 77550
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Galveston Island > Galveston
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Galveston
#10 Family Hotel in Galveston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Harbor House 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Harbor House Hotel resides in Galveston Wharf overlooking Galveston Bay. The Harbor House amenities feature spacious guest rooms with scenic harbor views, free Wi-Fi Internet access as well as complimentary breakfast. All Guest rooms are designed to reflect a relaxed ambiance, embellished with nautical-style furnishings and wooden floors. Enjoy nearby attractions, such as the Texas Seaport Museum, The Tall Ship Elissa, and The Great Storm Theater. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harbor House Hotel Galveston
Harbor Hotel Galveston

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