My Travels: The Mobley Hotel; Cisco, TX

My time in Texas has brought me to the place where Hilton Hotels first began: the old Mobley Hotel in rural Cisco, TX.

I’ll start with the Mobley Website, which can be found here.

In 1919, Conrad Hilton made his way to Cisco to purchase a bank. That transaction failed because the seller changed the price last minute and Conrad failed to get his foot in the banking industry. He went across the street to the Mobley to “lick his wounds” and plan what his next move was going to be. When he arrived, he found that the Mobley was insanely crowded – lodging options were sparse to non-existent in that moment in time. Conrad was turned away at the front desk – they told him that all rooms were rented and that he would have to come back in 8 hours.

The Mobley was in such demand that it filled every room for guests to sleep in every 8 hours, and people would rotate out in shifts to sleep. Conrad sensed an opportunity and spoke with the hotel manager, Henry Lanford Mobley. By the next day, Conrad had purchased the hotel instead of the bank he originally came to Cisco to buy. Business was absolutely booming. Shortly after his success with the Mobley, Conrad went on to purchase a string of other hotels, across Texas, then across the United States, and eventually across the world.

The Mobley changed hands a few times after Conrad was forced to sell it. Eventually it fell under the jurisdiction of the University of Houston (which is where Conrad Hilton established a school for Hotel Management). The University of Houston, along with the Conrad Hilton Foundation put a staff in place to run the Mobley as a museum dedicated to both the history of Mr. Conrad Hilton and the city of Cisco. The building was completely renovated internally in 1985, with some upkeep over the years; most famously when Hilton sent in a volunteer team to re-paint and fix a few things up in 2017 to prepare for Hilton’s 100 year anniversary.

Here’s a sampling of the photos I took during my visit:

Photos of photos don’t really do the place justice. It is absolutely worthwhile to visit the Mobley, in fact the current curator confirmed my suspicion that several current (and possible former) Hilton team members have been making pilgrimages to the Mobley, just as I did.

Here’s to the next adventure!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Travels: DoubleTree Atlanta Northlake

My 4th stop in moving from Vermont to Texas was in Atlanta. (My 3rd stop was spent with family in South Carolina.) While I’ve technically been at the airport here, I’ve never properly explored the city of Atlanta.

Two big figures in Gay Culture who call Atlanta Home are Violet Chachki and Johnny Rapid. Man, what a dream it would have been to meet Johnny Rapid. These days he’s planning to open his own auto repair shop, and perhaps I’ll take my car to him someday.

Once again, I tried to take a photo similar to the promotional image of the time.
It’s funny how I was there on the last week before the hotel was set to begin a multi-million dollar renovation.

The restaurant in this particular DoubleTree was one of three Marlow’s Taverns. (Click the photos below for their website)

My first drink after driving in Atlanta: The “Blueberry Buck”
Dinner was a French Dip.
And topped off with a “New Fashioned”
Welcome to the top floor!
King bedroom.
TV, Chest of Drawers, and desk.
The perks of Hilton Honors.
I was impressed that this DoubleTree offered so many bathroom amenities.
I sat on the other side of this waterfall for breakfast.

While my time in Atlanta proved to be uneventful, it was ok. I had been traveling across the country for 4 days at that point and the biggest moment was still yet to come.

I’ll be back again to truly see Atlanta again someday!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Travels: Hampton Inn Greensboro Airport, NC

On my move from Vermont to Texas, I stopped in Greensboro, NC to visit a friend who I had known online for over a decade but hadn’t quite met in person yet. I chose this Hampton as my first premium room reward, paid with Hilton Honors points. I chose a room with a hot tub inside the room. Unfortunately the hot tub did not work, but I did get a good hot bath in, and getting to meet my friend was the experience of a lifetime!

The website for this Hampton Inn can be found here. This was the 2nd of 4 hotels I stayed at paying only in Hilton Honors points.

King Bed.
King Bed.
Sitting area and work desk.
Sitting area and work desk.
TV and chest of drawers.
TV and chest of drawers. This Hampton also offers mini fridge and microwave.
Large bathroom.
Large bathroom.
Robes & hot tub.
Robes & hot tub.
Flower with towel set.
Flower with towel set. I liked this nice small touch.
Hot tub.
The hot tub that wasn’t functioning when I arrived.
Signature Hampton bath amenities.
Signature Hampton bath amenities.
Hampton Inn bathrobe.
Hampton Inn bathrobe. I didn’t think these were made, since Hampton is a focused service brand and not considered anywhere near luxury.
Do Not Disturb
Anything with a bow tie will always catch my attention.

While it’s a shame that the hot tub that I booked this hotel for did not work, and I spent extra points to do so, the front desk did offer to find me a different room with a working hot tub. In the end, there was none available, even after checking with housekeeping. I do think the customer service was excellent, as the agent make a point to keep conversation and apologize for what happened.

Greensboro, NC does not offer many Hilton options. All hotel choices are focused service level, and only a slim few have any sort of hot tub. I look for hot tubs because it’s an easy tool to relax with, since my leg muscles get very tense on a daily basis.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Travels: Embassy Suites Blue Ash, OH

This hotel was my first stop in my cross-country move from Vermont to Texas. I choose this hotel for 2 primary reasons:

  1. Embassy Suites offers cooked-to-order breakfast, 2-room suites, and an evening reception with free alcohol drinks and snacks every night.
  2. This specific Embassy Suites was the location for a crime that was documented in Forensic Files, a show I am a huge fan of.

This is the 1st of 4 hotels that I booked & paid for using only Hilton Honors points, so since parking and breakfast were included there was no cost to me for my stay here!

Entrance
Entrance to Embassy Suites. I wanted to take a photo very similar to the promotional photo they used for the hotel at the time.
Entrance
Entrance to Embassy Suites. I wanted to take a photo very similar to the promotional photo they used for the hotel at the time.
Sign at the entrance
The sign welcoming guests to Embassy Suites.
View of the restaurant in the atrium.
View of the restaurant in the atrium.
View of the sitting area in the atrium.
View of the sitting area in the atrium.
Another view of the restaurant in the atrium.
Another view of the restaurant in the atrium.
Living room in my suite.
Living room in my suite.
Living room work desk and TV in my suite.
Living room work desk and TV in my suite.
Wet bar leading to the bedroom.
Wet bar leading to the bedroom.
Bathroom.
The bathroom.
Shower & tub.
This Embassy offers tubs with showers, and this style of shower head.
Hilton Honors Benefits
I loved the small touch of “Princess” on the complimentary Snickers bar with my welcome waters!
In room coffee maker.
In room coffee maker.
Bedroom TV and closet.
Bedroom TV and closet.
King bed.
King bed.
Bedroom closet.
Bedroom closet.
View from the suite.
View from the suite.
View from the suite.
View from the suite.
Decorative waterfall in the atrium.
Decorative waterfall in the atrium.
Heated indoor pool.
Heated indoor pool.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Travels: Hilton University Of Houston, TX

In an effort to add more content to my website, this is going to be mostly photos for now.

The website for the Hilton at University Of Houston can be found here.

Entrance to the hotel.
Entrance to the hotel.
Hotel Lobby.
This is the Hilton-History inspired lobby of the hotel. Images of Conrad Hilton and Hilton President & CEO Chris Nassetta are abound.
Sitting area across from front desk.
A Conrad Hilton quote greets anyone who goes to the front desk.
King Bed
View of the room with 1 king bed. Fairly chic for a hotel that hasn’t been upgraded in a while.
King Bed
View of the room with 1 king bed. Fairly chic for a hotel that hasn’t been upgraded in a while.
Bathroom entrance
Narrow bathroom entrance
Bathroom
Standing shower, large well lit makeup mirror, and bathroom amenities.
Bathroom amenities
Flagship Hilton formerly carried Pater Thomas Roth bathroom amenities, but no longer does. This was one of the more generous offerings of bathroom amenities in my travels.
Welcome card
This Hilton had a welcome card from the General Manager that included his picture.
Hilton Honors Welcome Bag
Hilton Honors Members get 2 bottles of water, a pack of nuts, 2 small chocolate bites.
View of the campus from the room.
View of the campus from the room.
View of the campus from the room.
View of the campus from the room.

 

Eric's Restaurant
The restaurant on site is named for Eric Hilton.
View of the campus from Eric's Restaurant
View of the campus from Eric’s Restaurant
Margarita
Drink with dinner at Eric’s.
Burger
Dinner at Eric’s Restaurant.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Travels: Hilton Garden Inn Sugar Land, TX

In an effort to add more content to my website, this is going to be mostly photos for now.

Hilton Garden Inn Sugar Land’s website can be found here.

Hilton Garden Inn Sign
The sign that welcomes guests to Hilton Garden Inn
View of the building from the parking lot.
View of the building from the parking lot.
Hilton Garden Inn Welcome Table
Hilton Garden Inn Sugar Land offers “Welcome Bite” mini-cookies, infused water, and hot tea in the lobby.
Infused Water
The infused water at this Hilton Garden Inn had much more variety than I typically see at HGI.
King Bed
King Bed
Work & Sitting Area.
Work & Sitting Area.
View from the room.
View from the room.
View from the room.
View from the room.
Charging station & Clock
This Hilton Garden Inn offers alarm clocks with 2 USB charging ports and 2 plug in ports per clock.
Elevator poster advertising the business center.
Elevator poster advertising the business center.

Hilton Garden Inn offers an elevated cooked-to-order breakfast, including omelettes, pancakes, and more. This is free to Gold & Diamond members who choose breakfast as their My Way Hilton Honors preference instead of 750 bonus points. Otherwise the cost is around $10-$12 per person, depending on the location. This is one of my favorite points to Hilton Garden Inn – the option for a freshly prepared breakfast with some healthy choices.

My specific stay memory is that this is where I found out where I’d be spending the first 6 months of my life as a Texas resident living. It was the first step to knowing I was going to make it to Texas!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Travels: Hampton Inn Providence, RI

Sign at the entrance to HamptonSign at the entrance to Hampton

What led me to this Hampton?

This was still at the beginning of my travel life. I had only Silver Status as a Hilton Honors member, so I knew the “focused service” level brands were going to be my first stepping stones. I wasn’t ready to shoulder additional costs for breakfast and whatnot at the time I was in Providence. Two of Hampton’s signature brand benefits are free hot breakfast, and free WiFi.

This particular Hampton does not offer free parking, but I’m in the middle of a known US city – parking typically isn’t free when you are at this level of urban. I’m always mystified by people who think they can get free parking in a hotel with a hot location. (A regular complaint at both hotels I worked at.)

My other choices at the time were Hilton Garden Inn, or flagship Hilton, both of which would have netted me an extra cost for breakfast on top of my room rate and parking. (In hindsight: parking is cheaper at both of those options, so that could have offset my costs. Location would have been another thing to consider. Forgive me, this was still early in my travel experience!)

The number one thing that drew me here though: the coveted #1 spot on the TripAdvisor rankings (sorted by traveler ranking). I will say, this hotel has been endorsed by The New York Times.

From my TripAdvisor Review:

There’s a good reason why this hotel is rated in the top of Providence – it’s quality is superb! The hotel is an older building, so the history really gets to shine through, but Hampton’s standards are clearly present.

Erin was warm & welcoming – and granted me the PRIVILEGE of a 2 PM check in (typically starts at 4 PM), and was helpful with some of my area questions.

Valet was a little overwhelmed on Saturday night, but pleasant during the rest of my stay. The secret behind the $28/night cost is making sure to take advantage of the shuttle (which is by appointment). For the most part, I kept my car secured on property and took the shuttle where I needed to go.

Bob the shuttle driver in particular is super friendly, knowledgeable, and great to chat with. Alisha was another fine example of hospitality – welcomed me back in the evenings and also wonderful to talk with!

Historic letterbox inside the building.Historic letterbox inside the building.
Mail drop on the 6th floor.Mail drop on the 6th floor.

Hampton offers free hot breakfast which always great, and they do rotate out meat selections from day to day.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie