If you have wings of your own, or can find a friend who's hankering to take you along for the ride, Fredericksburg, Texas is the perfect pilot's getaway weekend. Not only is the town (two miles away) geared to amuse tourists with lots of shopping and great dining, but there's an excellent hotel just yards from the runway of Gillespie County's fine little airport.
The people who run the Fredericksburg airport, and the management of the Hangar Hotel and Airport Diner specialize in Texas-sized hospitality
To a pilot, the luxury of taxiing up almost to your hotel room door can hardly be overstated. Then, just to make things even better, arriving golfers can be met by a lineman with a golf cart. He'll make sure your bags are taken to your room, if you want to commandeer the golf cart for a trip straight to the municipal links, pool, and tennis courts in the park on the other side of the field.
Not a golfer? Join fellow aviators in the Officer's Club bar, or upstairs on the deck overlooking the runway, for a little landing critique session, as arrivals do battle with the gusty hill country wind. Rent a car from The Motor Pool, and explore spectacular wild scenery surrounding the town. In wildflower season, the Texas hill country roadsides are magnificent.
The hotel's oversized Quonset hut architecture captures the romance of the 1940s, with period furnishings, and 1940s hit parade music in the lobby. Rooms are large, quiet, and comfortable, and despite those black war-era looking telephones in the rooms, there's high speed internet available.
I suppose non-fliers would like this hotel because of its top-notch comfort and attention to historical detail, but for a pilot, it was even more fun, to see the variety of aircraft parked out front, from the usual Cessna and Pipers, to a P-40 painted with shark face, a shiny bugs masher bomber trainer, and a Black hawk helicopter and active-duty crew, having just dropped in for lunch at the diner next door.
This pilot is eager to return. So is her non-pilot spouse!
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX...
This was our second time to stay at the Hangar Hotel (the first was Feb. '04), and it was just as wonderful as we remembered. It was spotlessly clean, the decor was very relaxing, and the beds were phenomenal. I could just go there and sleep the whole time! It's an all-around classy place. Ladies, don't worry -- even if the theme seems "masculine," you'll be well pampered. It's almost like staying at a B&B, and it's easy to strike up a conversation with other guests you see out on the observation deck. I highly recommend this hotel.
RICHARDSON, TX . . .
This hotel is a pilot's dream come true. As previously reviewed, we just flew in and taxied right up to the hotel, walked in, and were greeted by friendly folks at the front desk. The lobby is very stylishly decorated in neo-1940's decor, and is spotlessly clean. I especially loved the paint colors throughout the hotel, asked if they could tell me the paint colors, to which the clerk printed out a copy of each paint color in the hotel! You can buy T-shirts, blankets and coffee mugs with the hotel name and 40's theme, which are fun. The rooms were very spacious and nicely decorated. The pillows were very fluffy and full, and the bedding was first class. There are nice toiletries in the bath, as well as a hairdryer. There's a great 1940's diner next door that serves good food, too. The observation deck is a great addition, with chairs and 1940's style music playing. The only drawbacks that I would point out were that I wish there was a coffee maker in the room. They do give you two bottles of water though. The staff was quick to point out that it is a no-smoking facility.