By Meda Kessler
The Hotel Drover dazzles inside and out
Easily the crown jewel of the Stockyards’ renovated Mule Alley, the Hotel Drover is now open for business. A boutique property that’s part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, it embraces Fort Worth’s Western heritage with its name — drovers moved livestock to market — and myriad design details inside and out.
The low-slung building resembles a swanky hacienda with its clay tile roof and stone facade studded with metal sconces and copper longhorns. At night, it glows with large neon “Drover” signs and a rope-throwing neon cowboy standing tall in the front courtyard of 97 West Kitchen & Bar, accessible from the hotel or the street. With water features, trees and lanterns strung overhead, the space is an inviting one with comfortable seating and tables.
Inside, the spacious two-story lobby includes lots of leather sofas, a library filled with Texas-themed books and a bar with comfy lounge seating. And while there are plenty of shopping options in the Stockyards, you’ll find two inside the hotel. The Lucchese Custom Collection offers accessories, plus custom and made-to-fit boots exclusive to this store. Little White Lies is a boutique featuring apparel, gifts, jewelry and more, all in pale colors befitting the name.
97 West offers another Northside dining option for breakfast, lunch and dinner (hours and days are limited; check the website for updates). Executive chef Grant Morgan’s menu offers his take on ranch fare and Southern classics. It has its own bar with an imaginative cocktail program. Seating ranges from comfortable banquettes to private dining rooms with lots of windows. We like the tables with views of The Backyard, which also features an inviting pool and lounge area with cabanas, fire pits, yard games and a live-entertainment stage.
Families will like not only the pool but also the accommodations, including bunk rooms with flexible sleeping options. All the rooms, especially the suites with luxe touches such as fireplaces and private patios, make you feel as if you are staying at a swanky ranch with modern conveniences. Rates start at $189 a night.