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“Friendly and nice hotel built in 1850! 159 years old! That's OLD!”

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The Excelsior House
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Jefferson
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 2, 2009

We stayed in the Diamond Bessie room and it was fine. It was extremely spacious compared to other hotels we have stayed in at that same rate. The bathroom is large and clean and the sunroom was awesome to hang out in and just pass a leisurely morning reading while my husband watched TV in the other room. There is a little guest book by the bed where people can write their thoughts and many people spoke of ghosts, although the very friendly and cordial desk lady said she had never seen one in 17 years.
The sunroom opened up to the courtyard and was great to relax at as well.
The location is unbeatbable! Not 20 yards away is a magnolia tree that was planted by Lady Bird Johnson from a White House tree planted by Andrew Jackson. That kind of history and interest is what draws people to this 159 year old hotel, not sparkling new accomodations!
I prefer for them to keep their prices down than to remodel, overhaul and charge an arm and a leg to stay there.
GREAT HOTEL! YOU MUST MUST MUST HAVE THE Plantation BREAKFAST! Don't leave without having it! It is unbelievable! The orange blossom muffins and the ballroom are fantastic. Music playing softly from across the street seals the deal on a great getaway.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mrsbrowning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 170 of 176 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2009

I can't speak for all the rooms, but the "Diamond Bessie" is literally falling apart. from moment we walked in, we've felt like the "Week night special" was a rip off. This room has a built in porch as a second room... NOT historic, just built on probably in the last 15 years or so. The window A/C is on a porch window, so the option is either A/C or moderate dark (the porch has shutters, but most of them are broken and won't stay shut). The room has a terribly strong smell of mildew, the carpet has that stiff "I got wet and let dry without cleaning" feeling on your feet... i'm wearing socks, I find it discusting. The wall paper is coming off (yes, wall paper... very historic, right?) there is mold on the ceiling tiles, bed is uncomfortable and old enough that when you move, it squeeks and wakes your partner.
Now, I understand that staying in a historic hotel means accepting some things... but this room stinks, it's loud as all get out, the closet has huge holes cut into the wall for plumbing repair (I think) making it unusable, I honestly feel like I'm staying in my great grandmother's house after years of her not knowing how to take care of it... that or I'm the grand son she hates and she put me in the worst room (The room was recommended by the desk clerk on the phone as the "Honeymoon suite"). If my wife and I were on our honeymoon versus just vacation... I think this poorly cared for room would have ruined a very special time.
I'll say again, the other reviews for this hotel are sparkling... I'm seriously wondering if we got the absolute worst room in the place... but having only spoken to them on the phone, why would they recommend the worst room?
Based on this experience, We'll be in real B&B next time... this place is a nightmare.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MRedRaider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2009

We stayed at Excelsior House for two nights for a quick Spring Break getaway. We stayed in the Lady Bird Johnson room (room 214). We stayed in the Sleigh Bed room years ago (at least ten years ago). This place is just wonderful if you like creaky ol' floors, elegant antiques and just the feel of a place full of history. It's just great! The hotel is owned by the local garden club and is maintained and run as a labor of love. The ladies are wonderful - friendly, helpful. Reservations are still kept in a big ol' paper register! You keys to your room are REAL keys! You get one key to your room and one to the front door if you're out after 9:30 at night. Don't pass up the breakfast!

However; in all honesty remember the place is very old and was renovated in the 1960's or 70's! So the "upgrades" are a little worn today. The bathroom in the Lady Bird Johnson room is small! My husband and I are of average size but we barely fit in the shower! The stall where the toilet sits is a pretty close fit, too. There is an air conditioner/heating unit in the window. We knew from our past visit to Jefferson to turn on the fan at night to drown out the sound of the train whistle blowing through town several times during the night.

There is a wrap around back porch that opens onto an enclosed courtyard - great for sitting in the evening with a glass of wine or in the morning with a cup of coffee.

Don't expect modern! Expect historic!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ls1202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2009

Spent our wedding anniversary here and loved it! Nice quiet rooms, friendly people, cute little shops and lots of history in this area. Probably would be best seen in early Spring or Summer, the trees were a bit sparse this time of year.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank easyasdirt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2008

My husband and I celebrated my birthday by spending the weekend in Jefferson, TX, at the Excelsior House Hotel. We stayed in the supposedly "haunted" Jay Gould Room. The room was so warm and inviting, that I have a hard time believing all of the folklore! Do take the tour of the hotel, because it has a very interesting history. Also, it let's you see all of the beautiful rooms you have to choose from on a return visit! The breakfast is wonderful, but I do wish they would let you choose if you want to sit on the patio or at the table with other guests. Overall, we had a very enjoyable time, and can't wait until our next visit to the Excelsior House Hotel!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank frankandfeebi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2007

I loved this hotel, with its antique furniture and guest books dating back to Ulysses S. Grant. The breakfast was also wonderful. Make sure you allow time for a tour of the hotel and the town.

  • Stayed: June 2003, traveled on business
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Thank poodlecheer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2007

After hearing the ghost stories we decided to stay at the Excelsior.
Nothing "supernatural" happened but we enjoyed the stay. The staff are friendly but not obtrusive. I had read a negative review and was really suprised by the comments once I actually stayed at the hotel. This is an historic hotel, so it is old. If you want the most modern conveniences, this is not the place (In room Coffee makers, high tech electronics...) Just walking into the lobby was a trip back in time. You can feel the history and see it. The lobby is like a museum. Our room was furnished in period furniture, clean and comfortable. I will definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank lozee62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Excelsior House

Address: 211 W Austin Street, Jefferson, TX 75657-2253
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Jefferson
Amenities:
Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Jefferson
Price Range: $65 - $125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Excelsior House 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The oldest and most historic Hotel in the entire State of Texas. Currently owned by The Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club. 15 Historic rooms. Desk Manager on duty 24 hours a day ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Excelsior House Hotel Jefferson

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