Hangar Hotel in Texas Hill
Offers a Unique Meeting Venue
Photos by Glenn Pribus
“That’s got to be the Andrews Sisters,” I murmured to Glenn when we heard the lobby music at the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas, about 70 miles from Austin or San Antonio. It’s a delightful place whether you fly in or drive.
Indeed, we’d taken a magical step back into the 1940s, but with today’s luxuries in every detail. Owner Dick Estenson researched carefully before building the hangar-shaped, 50-room hotel at the Gillespie County airfield. The bomber-jacket-leather covered furniture and true attention to historical detail lend charm, while up-to-the minute features such as high-speed Internet garnered a designation as a “Top Ten Texas Hotel” in Texas Monthly magazine.
Sleep Like a Baby at the Hangar Hotel
The rooms are comfortable and spacious and the pleasant lounge—a.k.a. the Officers’ Club—often has live entertainment. Right next door, the Airport Diner recreates a classic railcar diner with a period soda fountain and booths and serves everything from tasty breakfasts to blue-plate specials, a kids’ menu and ice-cream sodas. A woven wall-hanging of the Hotel is a whimsical touch.
Next to the hotel, a second hangar is designed as the
Airport Conference Center and a tour with owner Estenson
shows what a memorable meeting place this is.
The largest conference venue in the Hill Country of Texas, it offers 10,000 feet of air-conditioned facilities. “We can hold conferences for up to 1200,” says Estenson. “We host reunions, weddings, flight club meetings, hanger dances, and corporate groups.
One particularly memorable feature is a theatre-style
marquee which carries a custom message for each meeting. “Quonset
A” and “Quonset B” are specially designed “briefing
rooms” in the style of the famed Q-huts and serve
as break-out rooms.
In good weather, a large “hydroswing” door—basically one side of the hangar—opens to provide a canopy for inside/outside functions, further increasing occupancy. “The Pacific Showroom will be an 8,000 square foot addition that will offer a large permanent stage and a venue for dancing in the Hill Country,” Estenson says. “It should be open by summer 2006.”
He recommends several catering companies in the area. We peeked in on a large wedding reception in full swing. The marquee, of course, was lit up with the names of the newlyweds.
For a closer look at the conference possibilities or information about a romantic getaway. www.hangarhotel.com.