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Galveston – The Harbor House Hotel at Pier 21

Let’s – after quite some time in between – continue with reporting about our stay in Galveston more than a month ago, this time with a description/review of our hotel. Ever since we had seen it last year we had had our eyes on it for a stay because of its great location directly at the waterfront of Galveston harbour at pier 21 – even if, from the outside, it didn’t look too posh, and, for a place in Galveston, certainly lacked character.

Galveston – Das Harbor House Hotel am Pier 21

Nach einer längeren Pause – es gab in der Zwischenzeit ja so viel Anderes Erzählenswertes – geht es jetzt weiter mit dem Bericht über unseren Aufenthalt in Galveston vor mehr als einem Monat, zunächst einmal mit einer Beschreibung/Rezension unseres Hotels. Seit wir es im vergangenen Jahr  gesehen hatten, hatten wir ein Auge darauf geworfen für einen weiteren Aufenthalt in Galveston, und zwar wegen seiner prima Lage direkt am Hafen von Galveston am Pier 21 – auch wenn es von außen gar nicht besonders aussah und – für ein Gebaeude in Galveston – auch nicht unbedingt charaktervoll war.

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Harbor House Hotel – Not Too Posh Looking

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Harbor House Hotel – Entrance

Let me start with the positive: our room was quite spacious. That it was spotlessly clean is actually normal and should not be worth mentioning, were it not for the fact that not much more positive, except for the fact that the staff was friendly and helpful, can be said.

Fangen wir mal mit dem Positiven an: unser Zimmer war erfreulich groß. Dass es außerdem tadellos sauber war wäre eigentlich nicht besonders erwähnenswert – es gehört sich schließlich so – wenn es denn nicht eines der wenigen positiven Elemente gewesen wäre, außer dass das Personal freundlich und hilfreich war. Na ja, auch das eigentlich eine Selbstverständlichkeit.

Oh well, there certainly is something we liked a lot, and that definitely is the location, especially with the Tall Ships’ Festival going on. As they say: location, location, location! It was in  the gated festival area, directly [within spitting-distance] next to the tall ships, and from our room we had a good view onto the Elissa …

Na ja, es gab da doch noch etwas, das uns sehr gefallen hat, und das ist mit Sicherheit die Lage, ganz besonders während des Tall Ships Festivals. Wie hier der Werbespruch für Immobilien lautet: Lage, Lage, Lage! Es war schon im abgeschlossenen Festivalbereich, direkt [man konnte hinspucken] bei den Großseglern, und aus unserem Fenster konnten wir direkt auf die Elissa schauen …

room with a view

View from Our Room’s Window onto Galveston Harbour with the Elissa

… and also on the cruise ships that dock in Galveston:

… und auch auf die Kreuzfahrtschiffe, die in Galveston anlegen:

room with a view

Cruise Ship [the Carnival Freedom], the Elissa, and – Behind the Shed – the Oosterschelde

The negative: for a hotel that pricey [of course, part of that was because of the festival], the breakfast had extremely little choices, about the standard of a cheap motel. Just some cereals, yogurt, fruit [the bananas became quite “tigerish” during our stay], and sweet rolls was not really what we would have expected. Add to this that things were only rarely refilled. Also on the negative side: the breakfast room was very small. At a hotel of this price level, we would also have expected a swimming-pool and an exercise room. They were offered for free at the sister hotel, the Galvez, about 2 miles away.

Das Negative: für ein so teures Hotel [was natürlich teilweise wegen des Festivals war] gab es beim Frühstück nur eine sehr geringe Auswahl, etwa auf dem Standard eines billigen Motels. Zur Auswahl standen gerade einmal zwei verschiedene Cerealien, Joghurt, Äpfel und Bananen [letztere schon ganz schön “getigert”], und (süße) Teilchen. Das war nun nicht unbedingt das, was wir uns unter einem Hotelfrühstück vorgestellt hatten. Hinzu kam, dass die Sachen – und das betraf auch den Kaffee – nur sporadisch aufgefüllt wurden. Ein weiteres Negativum: der Frühstücksraum war reichlich klein. Auch hätten wir bei einem Hotel dieser Preisklasse eigentlich einen Gymnastikraum und einen Swimming-Pool erwartet. Aber Fehlanzeige. Beides wurde beim Schwesterhotel, dem Galvez, angeboten: kostenlos zwar, aber immerhin auch 2 Meilen entfernt.

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The Breakfast Room – Quite Smallish

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Bananas Getting “Tigerish”

In all, the only fact really in favour of this hotel for us was the location, just in the midst of the tall ships festival area, which allowed us to also watch – from the window at the end of the hallway – the ships sailing by:

Zusammengefasst: die einzige Tatsache, die für uns fuer das Hotel sprach, war die Lage, direkt inmitten des Festivalbereichs, sodass wir auch – vom Fenster am Ende des Flurs – die vorbeifahrenden Schiffe beobachten konnten:

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The “When and If” Sailing by Our Hotel

Let me finish with two pictures, Mary took one early morning:

Zum Abschluss zwei Bilder, die Mary an einem frühen Morgen gemacht hat:

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In the Early Morning Light, Even a Nondescript Parking-Lot Can Have Its Charm

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Statue at the Pier

9 responses to “Galveston – The Harbor House Hotel at Pier 21

  1. Pingback: Galveston Harbour – The “Carnival Valor” Leaving | Pit's Fritztown News

  2. I had the same opinion of my stay in a different hotel. Very overpriced.

    • Well, actually the hotel is somewhat cheaper when there’s no festival. But still, they charge you because of the location. And: they charge you an additional ten bucks a day for parking – in the open on their parking lot.
      Last year we stayed at a La Quinta on the Seawall Boulevard for a tad over $100 per night. Not too cheap, either. The motel was fairly old. But at least they served a good breakfast.

  3. Well, the view from your room was wonderful even if the rest wasn’t great. I love Mary’s shot of the statue too.

    • We had hoped for a “room with a view” – and we got one. That, plus the fact that we were in the middle of the festival area and didn’t have to care about parking was a great boon.

  4. This was an interesting read. I’ve never known anyone who actually stayed at the Harbor House. Most people I know who “go to the HH” reserve a slip, and stay aboard their boat in the equally small Harbor. Your description makes me think they live by the “one and done” philosophy, figuring that an endless supply of tourists will keep them busy, even if no one ever comes back.

    • Glad tou liked all that stuff about the hotel, Linda. As to the price of the rooms: I just checked, and now – without the festival – they seem to start at $90, which, to my mind, is quite reasonable for a hotel in Galveston in that location. I can’t really compare, of course, as our bookings were for the whole kit and caboodle: rooms, festival tickets to all events including two sunset parties wih drinks and food, VIP-access [skipping the waiting lines] to the ships, and parking. We had debated if the price would be worth it, but with hindsight we’d still say yes.
      I knew that they call themselves “… hotel and marina”, but with that very tiny spot I had never jhought you could really get a mooring there. Good to know.

Hi, what's your take on this? Let me know. - Hallo, und was meinst Du? Schreib' doch mal.

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