Hôtel St. Germain (Dallas; tel. 214/871-2516): Ever wanted to stay with your spouse at a plush bordello? This intimate boutique hotel and elegant, prix-fixe restaurant is about as close as you'll come to that fantasy. A gorgeous mix of early-20th-century France and New Orleans, the seven suites are so swank, with such pampering features as wood-burning fireplaces, draped Napoleón sleigh beds, bidets, and soaking tubs, that you may not want to leave.
Belmont Hotel (Dallas; tel. 866/870-8010 or 214/393-2000): Dallas usually goes gaga over mirrored glass and brand-spanking-new buildings, so it's a refreshing change to find this vintage 1940s motor lodge in Oak Cliff transformed into a stylish, retro-styled boutique hotel. With its cool lounge bar and midcentury-modern decor, it's a dollop of Palm Springs with the attitude of Austin and views of the Dallas skyline.
The Ashton Hotel (Fort Worth; tel. 866/327-4866 or 817/332-0100): Just off Sundance Square, this boutique hotel -- Fort Worth's only small luxury hotel -- offers plush rooms and smooth service, as well as, in 610 Grille, one of the best restaurants in North Texas.
Etta's Place (Fort Worth; tel. 866/355-5760 or 817/255-5760): A cozy and relaxing small hotel that feels like a B&B is just a heartbeat from Fort Worth's charming nightlife, shops, and restaurants of Sundance Square. It bears the name of Etta Place, the handsome girlfriend of the Sundance Kid, who no doubt would approve of the spacious, modern rooms with lots of light and Texas touches. Kick back in the clubby library and music rooms.
La Colombe d'Or (Houston; tel. 713/524-7999): Have a four-course French dinner served in your suite's separate dining room. With such personal service and with only five suites, there's no way you'll get lost in the shuffle. Occupying a mansion built for an oil tycoon in the 1920s, the hotel has uncommon architectural features, and is furnished with antiques. Its location in Houston's Montrose District puts it squarely in the middle of the hippest part of town.
George Blucher House Bed & Breakfast Inn (Corpus Christi; tel. 866/884-4884 or 361/884-4884): This wonderful B&B combines the ambience of an elegant historic home -- it was built in 1904 -- with modern amenities. Breakfasts are served by candlelight, and you're just across the street from a prime bird-watching area.
Ogé House Inn on the River Walk (San Antonio; tel. 800/242-2770 or 210/223-2353): The King William area abounds with B&Bs, but the Ogé House stands out as much for its professional service as for its gorgeous mansion and lovely rooms.
Mansion at Judges Hill (Austin; tel. 800/311-1619 or 512/495-1800): A room in the original mansion evokes the feel of a more relaxed and gracious era, especially the second-floor rooms which have a large and inviting porch, tempting one to linger and enjoy the view. The friendly and helpful service reinforces the feeling.
Hotel Saint Cecilia (Austin; tel. 512/852-2400): This new hotel captures the feel for what's fun about the Austin scene. It also takes comfort to an entirely new level: Sleep deeply on a handmade Swedish mattress; greet the morning with whatever your favorite crepe is; lounge on the private deck or patio of your room; or spin some vinyl on your in-room turntable.
Villa del Rio Bed & Breakfast (Del Rio; tel. 800/995-1887 or 830/768-1100): A luxurious Mediterranean-style villa -- actually a mix of Italian and Mexican styles -- built in 1887, the Villa del Rio gets our vote for the best place to stay in this area for anyone who appreciates old-world ambience and pampering and an exciting breakfast.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.