While not exactly a tourist destination, Sterling City does boast a historic little hotel and that was enough to get it on my radar screen as a half-way stop on our drive from Big Bend National Park back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I was looking for a hotel with character and–as nice as Hotel Settles was on the drive down–I wanted to take a different route home just to vary things up a little. When I found a list of historic Texas hotels online, I pulled up Google Maps and eyed the location of those I wasn’t familiar with. 1910 State Hotel in Sterling City seemed exactly what I was looking for.
While not as posh nor near so big as Hotel Settles, 1910 State Hotel was nonetheless intriguing. When I called for help booking (the hotel website couldn’t book as far in advance as I was looking), I found the lady, Nikki, on the other end to be super friendly and helpful. She promised to make note and book me as soon as their system would allow. I wasn’t really all that worried about it booking up, but as long as I was making plans, I didn’t want to let the final night of our trip slip my mind…and us end up in some boring chain hotel in nowhere Texas.
Nikki was good as her word and we booked a room for the end of our trip. When we arrived, we found Nikki as nice in person as she was on the phone and in email. She showed me all around the former bank/restaurant/doctor’s office. There’s a big commercial kitchen, a game-room area with fireplace, bar (not in use at the time), and game tables. Nikki showed me where to get free coffee in the morning, invited me to help myself to snacks and drinks in the kitchen (just leave payment for things in the fridge). She showed me how we could get in a keypad-equipped back door if she had to step away and lock the front door.
Our room turned out to be downright huge with one large bed and two twin beds. The bathroom was large as well. I was a little worried that street noise might be a problem, but it wasn’t as traffic slowed to almost nothing at night and we slept well. The hotel is popular with people working in the surrounding oilfields and solar- and wind-farms. There’s not a whole lot in the way of restaurants, though, and we drove back to Big Spring for dinner at favorite Lumbre (a trip necessary anyway as I’d left my credit card there on the way down to Big Bend).
Everything at the 1910 State Hotel was friendly, informal and thoughtful. Nikki was a wealth of information about the area, telling me her family had ranched there for 150 years. Her 80+ year old mother still ranched and was the one who decided to buy and renovate the hotel. She gave us a final tip as we left, sending us a few minutes out of town to check out an old bridge over a low water crossing.
Wrapping up our Big Bend road trip at the State 1910 Hotel provided just the right touch of genuine, small town Texas. And a few days after we returned, I got a nice note from Nikki, thanking me for our stay. Now that’s Texan hospitality!