Motor Court Comeback
Inspired by nostalgia for mid-century motor lodges, Valencia Hotel Group’s latest opening in its court-style line of boutique hotels debuted earlier this year in Irving, Texas’ Las Colinas neighborhood. The stucco-sided, red-roofed Texican Court is an ode to all things Tex-Mex. Just across the breezeway from the lobby, a leather- and neon-accented tequila and mezcal bar is stocked with a comprehensive selection of the spirits, including rare and hyper-regional bottles. Go for a mezcal flight—served in traditional clay copitas—and you just may find meaning to the adage “tequila is to wake the living, mezcal is to wake the dead.” Around the corner is onsite restaurant Two Mules Cantina, a nod to the Western Two Mules for Sister Sara, with San Antonio native Patrick Hildebrandt at the helm. The continental breakfast comes complimentary, but you’d be wise to order the el paso benedict off the menu: housemade biscuits topped with poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, and a chile-lime hollandaise. For dinner, it’s hard not to start with an appetizer or two (the Frito pie, elotes, and empanadas are good choices) but save room for the main attraction: the shareable cochinita pibil, an achiote-marinated smoked pork shoulder served with grilled vegetables and warm tortillas for stuffing. End with a plate of honey-drizzled sopaipillas.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: A former cow town, Irving is one of the fastest-growing suburbs of Dallas. It’s known as the “headquarters of headquarters” thanks to the seven Fortune 500 companies that call it home. As such, the atmosphere can skew corporate, but it’s all balanced out by the town’s rich diversity (read: can’t-miss food offerings from Argentine to Nepalese), a pastoral canal system, and the Toyota Music Factory, which this year has played host to acts from Paul McCartney to Vampire Weekend.
THE VIBE: Equal doses Tex-Mex and retro-cool with serape robes and orange Smeg refrigerators (loaded with regional refreshers like Lone Star Beer and fizzy water cult-favorite Topo Chico) in each of its rooms. But it’s not all an Instagram dream: Details like claw foot tubs, cozy in-room seating areas, and rocking chairs just outside ensure it’s a comfortable place to stay too.
THE DIGS: Around every corner of Texican Court one finds curated corners that encourage socializing. Most of its 152 rooms face an interior courtyard filled with cacti and palms, a pool, and seating area studded with fire pits—the ideal spot to post up with a nightcap after dinner.