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The Shady Villa Hotel

The Shady Villa Hotel

Since 2019, The Shady Villa Hotel has been under the management of Bunkhouse, an Austin-based hospitality company that owns other businesses. Visitors are given the option to stay in one of 48 units that are provided at The Shady Villa Hotel, four of which are separate suites. Several activities are available at the hotel, which guests can engage in on-site; these activities include darts, corn hole, "giant" connect four, and bikes that can be rented. Patrons can also swim at the property's pool or in Salado Creek, adjacent to the hotel. One of the biggest tourism draws is the events that are hosted both at the property and in the local area. A considerable number of venues are featured on the grounds of The Shady Villa Hotel, such as holiday-themed celebrations and Salado.


Situated in the central region of Texas, The Shady Villa Hotel offers a total of 48 rooms for guests to reserve. With the exception of four separate suites, all of the units are spread throughout three buildings on the premises which are Building One, Building Two, and the Heritage Oak Building. The three structures occupy land relatively close to one another as each of them are within walking distance. Located near the front of the property is the main lobby area where visitors check-in. Other buildings on the premises are the on-site restaurant known as the Stagecoach Restaurant and a store. 

In the words of one of the hotel's managers, the establishment is described as "mid-century modern" or "contemporary." To support this description, she further explains that all of the rooms have "the same look to them." The four suites that people can rent each contain a living room area, a kitchenette, and "one and a half baths," according to the manager. As for the units inside the 3 buildings, approximately 17 rooms are equipped with mini-fridges, which are the guestrooms on the first floors of Buildings One and Two. The first-floor rooms have their own private access, while the second-floor rooms have their own balconies. Moreover, a coffee maker and linens are supplied in each of the units. Other amenities that are provided throughout the duration of patrons' stays may entail branded robes, which are available for purchase; room service during restaurant hours; complimentary Wi-Fi; and concierge service. 

In addition to the guestrooms, the property also has a heated pool in a pavilion area, which contains a fair amount of seating for visitors. Activities can be rented in this area, including darts, ping pong, "giant" connect four, corn hole, and bikes. Patrons can utilize the bikes that they rent from The Shady Villa Hotel to explore the town that encompasses the establishment. Furthermore, the on-site store sells "all kinds of things," as one of the managers puts it, such as drinks, snacks, beer, wine, branded T-shirts, hats, totes, and vintage puzzles, to name a few. 

The restaurant on the property, called Stagecoach Restaurant, serves lunch and dinner daily. Brunch is also available on Saturdays and Sundays. Some of the options that one can expect to be served include salmon, roasted corn, asparagus, steak, pasta, roasted chicken breast, and one of the most popular dishes, the chicken fried steak. One of the managers of the hotel says that the restaurant offers "a lot of southern food and a lot of fine dining." Breakfast can also be ordered at the front desk; however, it is required for guests to request breakfast before 10:00 PM the night prior to the morning they expect it. The morning meal typically consists of breakfast tacos.

Outside the confines of the buildings, an abundance of greenery and plant life characterize the yard space. A number of banana trees can also be found throughout the grounds. The manager describes the premises as having somewhat of a "tropical feeling." Walking trails are also featured on the grounds, which patrons have access to during their stay. Neighboring The Shady Villa Hotel is the Salado Creek, a natural land feature that people can swim in at their leisure. 

The staff of The Shady Villa Hotel recommends several attractions within the hotel's vicinity. One such attraction is the Barrow Brewery which frequently holds events and farmers' markets. These events tend to draw "people from out of town," according to a staff member of The Shady Villa Hotel. Another attraction is Salado Glassworks, where guests can create hand-blown glass art to take home with them. Salado Olive Oil, Salado Winery, and Ro Shaw Clay Studio are other places that the manager recommends to visitors. A considerable number of art galleries are also located in proximity to the hotel as well as shopping districts. Concerning places to eat, the manager generally directs patrons to The Shed, Alexander's Craft Cocktails & Kitchen, Barton House, and Rio Salado, the majority of which are within walking distance.


The Shady Villa Hotel frequently hosts events during major North American holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. During the first weekend of October, an event called the Serena Fest is held, featuring a sizable parade. According to one of the managers, this particular event derives from Salado lore, which tells about a mermaid named Serena who lived in Salado Creek and told the Native Americans that there was gold in the creek. Every Monday, The Shady Villa Hotel also hosts an event in the Stagecoach Restaurant, where a musician comes to play live music for everyone who attends. This restaurant event is open to the general public. As previously mentioned, at the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the establishment offers a buffet to guests. For these festive events, the property typically opens up the ballroom with the intent to allow more people to come to the event. Moreover, during the Christmas celebration, Santa comes to greet visitors. Most of the aforementioned events are held in many of the hotel's venues, which are as follows: Sam Houston, approximately 1,364 square feet; Grace Jones Ballroom, over 2,500 square feet and containing a separate saloon; the Ruth Room; the Dion Room; and the Chisholm Trail venue. The pavilion pool area can also be rented out for private events. Furthermore, it should be noted that weddings can be hosted out on the field in front of the Heritage Oak Building.

A few notable policies are implemented at The Shady Villa Hotel, and visitors are expected to conform to these guidelines. The manager says that there is "no outside food or beverage" allowed at the hotel, especially near the pool. One of the most important policies is that glass bottles are prohibited from being on the premises. With regard to pets, patrons are welcome to bring their pets for an additional fee. Those who desire to smoke may do so on the balconies or patios but not inside the guestrooms.

According to one of the managers, the staff of The Shady Villa Hotel interacts with their guests quite regularly. A manager mentions that the staff can take people on a golf cart to pick things up at the nearby stores or to give them a tour of the property. Generally speaking, the manager wants her guests to feel "relaxed and ready to have fun." In an effort to provide this experience, upon arrival, the front desk staff tries to make it apparent where patrons' rooms are, where the restaurant is, and other information that guests may need during their stay. One of the manager's favorite parts of the job is hearing about people's previous experiences at the property. The manager has heard visitors tell her, "I came here as a little girl," and others have told her, "We got married here fifty years ago." She enjoys "the history of it" as she meets these people and their families.

In guest reviews, comments are often made about "the mattresses," and the manager reports that "some [people] have even called the property to get the brand name of the mattress." One review made remarks on this aspect, saying, "The beds were fabulous... soft, cool, and so comfortable. It was a very relaxing place. The landscaping was so comforting.. sweet jasmines, flowers, trees, banana trees, and so much more." Another former patron commented on the atmosphere of the property as they stated "This place feels like a step back in time. The pool is amazing, the rooms are adorable, and the pool bar lounge area is brand new."

Open year-round, The Shady Villa Hotel's busiest season of operation tends to be during the months of September, October, April, and May. The manager believes that this is due to the number of events that are held at these times as well as weather conditions. Regarding the demographics of those who stay at the hotel, the manager remarks, "We receive a mix of everybody." People who are fans of Bunkhouse—the company that owns the property—and "want to see the new Bunkhouse property" constitute the majority of visitors, as reported by the manager. Repeat guests also make up a considerable percentage of those who come to The Shady Villa Hotel.


Built in the 1950s, The Shady Villa Hotel was originally designed for the purpose of functioning as a place of lodging. However, the on-site restaurant dates back to 1861. The current owners of the hotel, the Bunkhouse roup, first acquired the establishment in 2019 after it had been shut down for nearly six years. Several renovations took place on the property, and new furniture, mattresses, and linen were added as well. Bunkhouse "tried to keep with the mid-century modern look," according to one of the managers. The name of the establishment has been changed a number of times as it used to be known as Buckles Hotel, Salado Hotel, and now currently The Shady Villa Hotel. Shady Villa was the original name, though, in 1943, it was restored by Dion and Ruth Van Bibber who were the owners at the time and they called it the Stagecoach Inn. 

The manager notes that Dion and Ruth Van Bibber are relatively favored by the owners considering that the Bibbers were the ones who created one of the Stagecoach Restaurant's most popular dishes known as the chicken fried steak. To honor them, the restaurant's name has remained the same since the time of Dion and Ruth's ownership. In terms of future plans, The Shady Villa Hotel owners are hoping to reopen the country club that is on the premises. They also want to open a members-only bar for patrons. Lastly, the Bunkhouse group plans on opening a fourth building to add more guestrooms that can be reserved. 

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416 South Main Street
Salado, Texas 76571
United States


Bed and Breakfast


Bunkhouse Group

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