Story By Caleb Vierkant
Photos Courtesy of Cavalry Court
Jack the Australian Shepherd, mascot of the Cavalry Court Hotel, happily greets customers. He sits in the check-in lounge, AKA The Guardhouse. When Marcus Latner walks by, Jack quickly jumps up to follow him everywhere. The dog is far from the only attraction the new hotel has to offer.
Latner is Cavalry Court’s general manager; he has been in the hotel business for 14 years. He started off in San Antonio with the Valencia Group as part of the group that got the city’s Hotel Valencia off the ground. He came to College Station for Cavalry Court, which opened in November, and The George,™ which will open in the spring.
Credit for the original design of a “retro-styled court brand” goes to the current Valencia president Doyle Graham, Jr., Latner explains. Graham’s vision was a timeless retro military-style design featuring modern, luxury amenities. Like the motor courts of yesteryear, the goal is to capture a throwback to a time when travel was an adventure and to embrace a bit of Americana.
Cavalry Court is spread out over four acres, and was built as two- and three-story buildings surrounding a large courtyard, which features a swimming pool, grills and tables, a fire pit, and several places for hotel guests to meet and relax.
The hotel has a unique style. Owned and developed by Midway and the Valencia Group, Cavalry Court was built with the history and flavor of the local community in mind. Cavalry Court was designed to create a sense of place that inspires tradition and camaraderie and resembles an old military training camp. The hotel’s carefully curated blend of colors, fabrics, textures, and materials were developed by designers Rottet Studio. Cavalry Court’s retro military design from the ‘50s and ‘60s is in homage to Texas A&M University’s history as a military school.
Cavalry Court ends the military metaphor at comfort. The hotel comes with the very best amenities, and is designed to have something for everyone.
The rooms at Cavalry Court are not much bigger than the standard hotel room size, but several features make it feel big and luxurious. For one, unlike most chain hotels with the restroom near the front door, the bathroom is set at the far end of the room. The walk-in shower also feels much larger than the cramped conditions of a chain hotel. The bathroom is accessed via sliding barn doors, and large windows on both sides of the room let in lots of natural light. The main room also comes with a fully stocked 1950’s style refrigerator and snack bar served out of a “refurbished” ammunition crate. The prices of this mini bar are also lower than at other hotel chains, Latner says. They keep prices closer to what one would find in a grocery store or at a bar. The room also comes with free wifi, a sturdy writing desk, and a TV where Netflix, Hulu, and other forms of entertainment can be accessed.
“It’s great for the parents to come and visit the kids because now they’ve got somewhere fun to stay,” says Latner. “Once again, especially during the week, groups and business travelers are our biggest clientele, so we made sure to appeal to them as well.”
For those staying for business purposes, Cavalry Court offers large conference rooms and meeting places. Latner says they are perfect for almost any event, from meetings to weddings. These are designed to feel like repurposed barns, where horses may have once been kept. The ceilings are vaulted with lots of natural light. The wooden interior also fits in well with the retro, country feeling of the hotel.
The hotel offers a free continental breakfast every day at the canteen, a building that looks like a mix between an army mess hall and a modern coffee house. All this, plus the attractions in the central courtyard, are meant to make the hotel a fun and memorable part of customers’ trips.
“We really believe there is a demand for a unique, fun luxury hotel,” says Latner. “That’s what we’re providing. There’s a demand, but no one’s been able to capture the ambiance until now.”
While prices will vary depending on time, party size, and even the football season, Latner says he wants to keep room rates from $169 a night.
It’s located at the new regional destination, Century Square, under development by Midway in conjunction with Texas A&M University. Set on University Drive, Texas A&M is right across the street from the hotel.
Northgate is also only a few blocks away, though as more and more businesses move into the new area, restaurants and entertainment will be even closer.
Latner says many of the people involved with Cavalry Court are Texas A&M alumni. He sees it as a way of keeping business local, as well as a way to give back to the community.
Find Cavalry Court online at www.cavalrycourt.com.