Stunning new Hotel Lucy brings uptown panache to small-town Granbury
By Stephanie Allmon Merry
“Granbury has long been a delightful destination for a quick getaway from Fort Worth. But an exquisite new boutique hotel just might make visitors rethink the “quick” part. There’s so much to love at Hotel Lucy, guests may want to stay and play for days.
With a dozen plush suites, well-appointed common areas, full kitchen, cocktail lounge, coffee bars, resort-style pool, sunny courtyard, and party-ready event spaces, North Texas’ most stylish new hotel beckons for romantic escapes, bachelorette excursions, and destination wedding weekends.
Owner Vicki Nivens and a small team she calls her “tribe” have been working on every painstaking detail of the hotel for two years. It’s finally opening Labor Day weekend.
“It’s kind of been a long journey,” Nivens says. “I have wanted to do a boutique hotel for some time, and I was waiting on the right property and the right time for me.”
This one couldn’t have been more right. Formerly a bed-and-breakfast called Arbor House, the property is next door to Granbury Flower and Gifts, a shop her mother opened five decades ago, which Nivens now owns.
Nestled on the busy main road into town (it’s easy to zoom right by), the hotel sits across from Lake Granbury City Beach Park and blocks from the historic town square.
From the approach, Hotel Lucy looks lovely. Step inside, and it’s a kaleidoscope of whimsical surprises behind each door. (Ever seen a powder-pink microwave or a bathtub that fills from the ceiling?)
The sophisticated hotel feels more uptown than “best historic small town in the country.” More ZaZa than Mayberry.
The hotel complex is made up of three houses with 12 suites — all with distinct names, themes, and design schemes. Open this door, and you’re in farmhouse-sweet “Bitsy.” Open that door, and you’ve entered subtly seductive “Shades of Grey” (wink, wink). No two doors, light fixtures, beds, drapes, or bathroom tile styles are the same in each. Even the hair dryers match the rooms.
Nivens is not an interior designer, but she has the eye of one. She has spent years sourcing furnishings and decor — including all of the hotel’s unique doors and chandeliers — at favorite places like Round Top. To bring each room to life, she’d pull out favorite pieces from storage and call on her tribe to help put them all together, finish the details, and brainstorm the room names.
Rooms range from about 130 to 200 square feet, have queen or king-sized beds, and either a view of the lake or of the courtyard — some, with private patios. Plush robes and wraps hang in each bathroom, and luxe Zents spa products are stocked in showers and tubs.
Big and Little Lucy
In the main house, dubbed “Big Lucy,” seven suites span two floors. The colorful, Stevie Nicks-inspired “Vinyl” room (complete with a record player) contrasts with the indulgent “Frenchy” room suited for a slumber party with Marie Antoinette. The bubblegum-pink “Hey Sugar” suite is feminine, bridal-suite perfection, while the groom and his dudes might prefer to chill in the Ralph Lauren-inspired “Belvedere” suite.
The most personal room of all to Nivens is the “Vera Parker” suite, a cheerful room named for a woman who owned a fruit stand on the very property where the hotel sits now.
“We lived in the country, and we stopped there every day to pick up something, so that’s why I named that the Vera Parker,” the Granbury native says. “I have a lot of memories of that area.”
Just inside “Big Lucy’s” front entrance is a contemporary cocktail bar, where a bartender will serve complimentary happy hour. Next to it, a large, fully-stocked kitchen. While Hotel Lucy does not have onsite dining and it’s not a bed-and-breakfast, guests can bring their own food to cook or order catering from Hard Eight BBQ. Nivens owns all five Hard Eight locations, the nearest one being in Stephenville.
Across the courtyard, the “Little Lucy” house is home to three suites, including another of Nivens’ favorites, the “Havana.” A mirror that looks like it’s made of twiggy driftwood had been sitting in storage for four years and became a showpiece of the tropical-chic suite.
“I always think a little architectural piece can just make a total difference in a room,” she says.
Doors with floral-design inlays were also the perfect pull out of storage, and a Cuban cigar box that holds the hand towels is the detail that puts the mint sprig on the mojito.
The third building, the “Vivi” house sleeps six, has its own kitchen and living room, and is intended to be a whole-house rental for group gatherings. It’s just steps behind the resort-style pool, surrounded by black and white loungers and umbrellas. Outside the pool gate, a grassy courtyard area is the perfect spot for lawn games or passing the time reading in an Adirondack chair.
It’s here, in the courtyard, where Nivens hopes many a bride and groom will say their I Do’s — either under the big Texas sky, or under a tent that can shield 75 dearly beloved. An onsite event planner can help take care of all the details, but Nivens has practically created a one-stop-shop for couples: Her barbecue restaurant is the official caterer, and her flower shop is the official floral designer, of course. She also owns nearby N at Hardway Ranch, for which Hotel Lucy will be the official lodging partner.
Most of the Granbury tourist action is within walking distance of Hotel Lucy. Take a dip in City Beach across the street. Or head down to the Historic Granbury Square, home to with restaurants and boutiques filled with history and folklore.
Zip in for a quick soup-and-sandwich lunch at the Nutshell, where Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth is said to have worked when it was a saloon. Get your oompah on with beer and schnitzel at Ketzler’s Schnitzel House and Biergarten. Or savor brunch like the locals, at Christina’s Bistro.
Fredericksburg winery Barons Creek opened a tasting room on the square in March, in time to shut back down for the pandemic. It’s open now, and conducting socially distanced tastings. Cool off with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc, then take a Tempranillo to-go for a pizza dinner at home later.
Shop for unique home furnishings, like authentic church pews and pub tables, at the Wagon Yard; then grab gourmet kitchen goodies at The Pan Handle, and restock your library with good reads from the Arts & Letters Bookstore.
The town rarely goes a weekend without some kind of event or festival, from wine strolls to “mask”-erade shopping crawls, but in these days of limited gatherings, be sure to check the tourist bureau site often if you want to plan a visit around an event.
Hotel Lucy is about 45 minutes from Fort Worth, at 530 Pearl St., Granbury.
Suites in the “Big Lucy” and “Little Lucy” can accommodate up to two guests and range from about $200-$320 per night; each room can be booked for one night. “Little Lucy” also can be booked as a group rental. The “Vivi” is a whole-house rental, for $550-$600 per night, and a two-night minimum is required. The entire property can be booked for special events. Hotel Lucy is adults-only, but if the entire property is booked, children may stay in the “Vivi.”