Beautiful surroundings, sumptuous food, gracious Texas hospitality–the Inn on Lake Granbury.
If you’re looking for lodging in North Texas where sophistication meets genuine Texas hospitality, you can’t do better than the Inn on Granbury Lake, in Granbury 45 minutes south of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. In seven short years, the Inn on Lake Granbury has earned such a stellar reputation as a romantic place to stay that guests often have to book months in advance.
For those unfamiliar with Granbury, it’s a quaint town of nearly 9,000 snuggled against the shores of Lake Granbury, a 30-mile long lake formed by dams along the Brazos River. This little town, whose motto is “Where history lives,” has one of the best original courthouse squares and a wonderfully-preserved downtown of largely native stone buildings built in the 1800s. It’s home to more than 20 bed and breakfasts, many of them housed in historic Victorian and Craftsmen homes, and, with attractions like their annual Granbury Wine Walk and live theatre at the Granbury Opera house, it’s become a popular destination for weekend getaways.
The Inn on Lake Granbury isn’t your typical B&B. To preserve its romantic, restful ambiance, the inn is reserved for adults only. (if you rent the entire place, you can bring children under 18 years.) The spacious luxury guest rooms in the converted 1883 home are decorated in the rich style of the Texas cattle barons—dark hardwood floors, thick, floor-to ceiling draperies, heavy wool carpets, wrought iron work, European antiques, and cowboy accents and artworks, all in dark greens, golds, rusts. The rooms are spacious and offer bathrooms with plenty of glass, marble, and travertine tile, and, many come with steam showers or oversized jetted tub s. My room, a king guest room, features a tall, iron king bed with lovely sheets, a pile of oversized pillows and super-thick, woven duvet, and flat screen TV and DVD and lots of movies to choose from.
Just outside my room is a public space with a soft leather couch, overstuffed chairs, and good reading lights grouped around a gas fireplace. There are also two small refrigerators with ice and complimentary sodas and bottled water. Coffee and peanut butter pretzel snacks are available anytime. It’s in this light-filled gathering space that wine and snacks, including meats and cheeses, vegetables and dips, are served in the early evening. In the morning before breakfast, as if by magic, juice, coffee, and a freshly baked sweet bread appears here too. The warm and lush surroundings make guests feel like they’ve made millions in Western cattle markets and they’ve come to the Inn for a little R&R.
Owners Reinvent Lives and Transform Old Farmhouse
The Inn’s sumptuous style reflects co-owner Cathy Casey’s creative touch. After the 9/11 tragedy, Cathy and husband Jim Leitch they decided they wanted to reinvent their lives. They gave up lucrative and successful careers in California’s Silicon Valley and moved to Texas. They were both interested in running a B&B and, in 2003, a dilapidated, 3-bedroom lakefront home came up for sale. Cathy had seen the home 20 years before and thought it would make a great bed and breakfast. It seemed meant to be so they jumped in with both feet.
The historic home was in such bad shape that they took it down to the studs, moving walls, replacing electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling, and building bathrooms for all the rooms. During the 18 month construction project, Cathy says, “You could literally see through the entire house to the lake.”
Jim adds, “The house and outbuildings were practically uninhabitable. The pool leaked. The real value was in the lakefront property and those gorgeous 200-year-old live oak trees.”
The Inn’s setting is spectacular. The nearly 3-acre property, which boasts 300 feet of lakefront, curves gently along Lake Granbury with several gnarly oak trees at the water’s edge providing shade from the area’s 300+ annual days of sunshine. They’ve placed a hot tub, a swing, and Adirondack chairs in the under the big trees and it’s an inviting spot to enjoy morning coffee or an afternoon glass of wine.
And that old leaky pool? It’s been replaced by a curvy salt pool with a waterfall that’s surrounded by native stone tiles, gardens, and tables with umbrellas.
They’ve transformed the old outbuildings into a series of suites, two that have spiral staircases leading to comfy living spaces, each with a gas fireplace and balcony with lake views. The suites are decorated in a cool, modern style that’s both beautiful and relaxing.
They also rent out the Lake House, a fully-equipped two bedroom house with modernistic decor that can accommodate four-to-six guests. The house has huge windows that offer terrific views of the lake and the massive live oaks surrounding the dwelling make upstairs bedrooms feel like you’re in some fantastical tree house.
Both the Brazos Suites and Lake House offer guests more privacy than the main guest house, but all guests are welcome to enjoy afternoon wine and appetizer offerings and a full gourmet breakfast served each morning in the dining room. And the breakfast is not a meal to miss.
Million Calorie Breakfasts
Guests are served buffet-style in a sunny dining room. There are dishes like scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, maple walnut stuffed French toast, hominy and cheese, shredded potatoes au gratin, berry bread pudding, and Pina Colada French toast with coconut rum sauce. For those who don’t want to indulge in the delicious, million-calorie offerings, granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit are available as well as a variety of coffees and teas. They cheerfully accommodate dietary restrictions like gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian.
The Inn also has space for weddings, retreats, reunions, and corporate meetings in an airy, light-filled room just off the breakfast room. They can handle weddings for two to 150, including full, sit-down meals. In fact, Cathy, who does the flowers, food, and wedding coordination, says they held 63 weddings last year at the Inn. This year’s roster is already looking busy.
A nice feature of the Inn on Lake Granbury is that it’s only a 2-3 minute walk to the town’s historic center. We parked our vehicle and walked to dinner, to galleries, to shops, and to Granbury Wine Walk events.
The service at the Inn matches its surroundings. Cathy and Jim and Cathy’s mother, Pat Davis, are genuinely hospitable. It’s apparent they enjoy inn keeping and they do it well. They not only make sure guests’ needs and requests are met promptly and courteously, they also take time to talk and laugh with people who stay with them.
Next time I’m in the North Texas area, you can be sure the Inn on Lake Granbury is where I’m going to stay. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor