Playfully printed on the cocktail napkins at The Frenchie, a fabulous luxe boutique hotel in Round Top, Texas, is their polite reminder! I actually have nothing but nice things to say about this hotel with its unexpected design twists and impeccable hospitality. Nestled behind a painted wooden fence on a sprawling piece of property, a group of white farmhouses and a little blue Fiat 500 await your arrival. The Frenchie is also conveniently located within walking distance of the oh-so-charming downtown area. Sauntering up the steps of the main house to check in, the Southern elegance of the expansive front porch, massive concrete urns and ornate Victorian turquoise blue door set the stage of laid-back ambiance. However, as you grab hold of the round crystal doorknob and enter…the visual dichotomy of vintage versus contemporary begins!
Ooh la la…the color pops! The interior decor has been carefully curated with an arrangement of dynamic elements. In the main house, there are conversation areas filled with art, buttery soft sofas, button tufted chairs and glass coffee tables. A pastel pink Smeg fridge loaded with honor system refreshments is paired with an unexpected touch of Texan…a small but elegant wet bar area. There are tasteful splashes of brightly painted walls and bold print wallpapers. Melinda Buie’s whimsical cow paintings and a variety of colorful crushed velvet macaron shaped pillows are strategically placed throughout the hotel…all touches of happy! The objects are important enough to stand alone, yet they’re layered and fashionably grouped. You’ll discover photo worthy vignettes at every turn. Even with all of this visual stimulation going on, there is a sense of tranquility…a welcoming kindness from the staff and an air of peace and relaxation.
Hotel entrepreneur, Katy Bader, brought innovative and longtime friend Kristin Light on board to meticulously gather and handpick the furnishings and design details. There are fourteen guest rooms and suites plus numerous gathering areas at the The Frenchie. No two rooms are alike and they are all so intriguing. Choosing was trés difficile! I arrived in a rare window of time midweek to be able to sneak peek inside each one before guests arrived. This hotel is pure eye candy! I was on inspiration overload after view-ing dozens of chandeliers, vintage mirrors, decorative tiles and all types of tubs and showers. After touring, I have a new affinity for mid- century glass dishes and vases! Katy wanted the tone to feel “unexpected” and Kristin pushed the envelope with a “rule-breaking” vibe. The atmosphere is a mix & mingling of eclectic excitement. Kristin has pulled this off like a successfully diverse dinner party. Imagine an enchanting conversation of stories amongst a cast of characters where there’s a wide variety of ages and distinct personal styles. This illustrates how the variety of design elements seem to richly flow together at The Frenchie.
The result is hip, fun, fresh, and interesting! The furnishings, like the buildings and guest rooms at the property, range from 1800’s farmhouse to mid-century modern to highly contemporary in style. Each piece seems to tease about a fascinating back story.
After much deliberation, I decided to stay in Room 11, one of the three bungalows. Love the ornate mirror! The over-sized round tub crowned by an antique coral crystal light fixture is also an alluring focal point. Simple canvas drapes, the width of the room, open to a calming view of the pool. The bed and linens are amazingly comfy and The Frenchie is so confident you’ll love their pil-lows, they’ve made them available for purchase along with their super soft cotton robes.
The outside areas are just as staged and impressive as the interior. Green leafy tropicals, swanky pool umbrellas, cacti, succulents, white lounge furniture and strings of party lights highlight the grassy areas around the ultra-glam pool and hot tub. Refreshingly crisp! The 150-year-old potting shed has recently been remodeled as the latest guest house. Grazing horses, the rose bordered herb garden, a manicured lawn and looming trees all add to a peaceful pastoral experience. The hotel property is layered with amazing photo ops and perfect for a special event.
You’ll want to pay attention to the handful of local restaurant schedules ahead of time. Most are only open during the latter part of the week. Possibly plan to utilize the community gourmet dream kitchen in the main house. It is gorgeous! There are large farm tables inside and out and a quiet breakfast nook to enjoy moments and meals. A private chef is on site over the weekends and will prepare a delicious brunch, charcuterie trays, or three to five course dinners with adult beverages. An informative list of where to go eat/what to do in Round Top is available at the “killer coffee bar” in each room. You’ll also find the hotel’s signature coffee, Moccamaster coffee makers, a variety of pitchers, crown emblem drinking cups (love The Frenchie’s logo!) and a cute mini fridge.
You may have already experienced the phenomenon of the bustling and internationally famous antique shows in Round Top and neighboring areas. People from all over the world gather to browse, buy or sell their wares. I’ve attended many times, but this visit was special. I thoroughly enjoyed the slower pace between shows to leisurely soak up the soulfulness of Round Top. The tiny Texas town that claims to only have a population of about 90 still has plenty to offer! In addition to The Frenchie, there are so many lovely accommodations, flourishing businesses, wineries, amazing shops and galleries, fantastic restaurants, bars and gathering venues. You’ll enjoy meeting great folks and seeing some spectacular creativity. Don’t miss the simple pleasures of country roads lined with wildflowers, beautiful homes, barns, livestock, and incredible sunsets.
With fourteen rooms (thefrenchieguesthouses.com) to choose from…which one best suits your getaway personality?