You’re (Fort) Worth It: Hotel Drover and the Stockyards Add Luxury to Legacy

by Daniel Ramirez on May 11, 2023 in Travels, Dallas/Fort Worth,

At no point during a stay at Fort Worth’s Hotel Drover does one feel like they have left Texas. But, the hotel’s luxury accommodations and the Stockyards’ dining and entertainment add elegance and flair to the ideal picture of the Lone Star State.

It’s red dirt meets red carpet. It’s Texas, made fancy. And it makes Fort Worth the ultimate Texas getaway. 

The Most Elegant Home Away From Home

Grab a seat and relax in Hotel Drover’s incredible lobby, complete with a curated collection of Texas-born books. Photo Courtesy Hotel Drover.

Walking into Hotel Drover, one feels a pervasive sense of warmth. The lobby is a living room for those who stay, and if the boot jacks were in the lobby, rather than in the rooms, one might just take off their boots and get cozy. Plush leather couches and natural wood accents surround a vintage Texas books collection, while the scent of a pleasantly fragrant bonfire invites you to linger for a spell. 

Hotel Drover’s Veranda Bar is an oasis from the Texas sun, while still providing a view of the Drover’s expansive backyard and pool. Photo Courtesy Hotel Drover.

The details matter at Drover. The scent that pervades the hotel is a uniquely crafted fragrance named Fire Starter. The glassware in both the lobby and Veranda Bar, Drover’s outdoor patio bar, is by Rose Ann Hall Designs, a recycled glassmaker in Mexico that employs artisans with physical disabilities to hand etch vessels to deliver Drover’s top-shelf libations.

Luxe accommodations are at every turn in Hotel Drover’s guest rooms. Photo Daniel Ramirez

It’s this attention to detail that elevates every experience at the Drover, from wrought iron light fixtures and carved wood furniture to leather accent pillows that adorn the bedding. Hotel Drover successfully blends the storied notes of the West with the modern rhythms one expects from a five-star hotel, creating a harmony that strikes a chord in those visiting or native to Texas.

The Story of Cowtown – A History of the Stockyards

With recent development in the Stockyards area, one might wonder what remains of Fort Worth’s ‘Cowtown’ roots. To find the deep Western influence on the city, one only needs to attend the twice-daily cattle drive that goes through the heart of the area. A nod to its roots and an attraction all its own, the cattle drive serves both as a way to preserve tradition and recognize the livestock industry that founded the city.

To delve into the history and meaning of the Fort Worth Herd, book a formal tour of the Stockyards. Along the way, the tour guides tell tales of the Old West and how it began where the Stockyards still stand today. 

The Old West lives every week at the world’s year-round rodeo, held at the Cowtown Coliseum. Photo Courtesy J Public Relations.

The slow lumbering of a herd of cattle may not fulfill one’s thirst for the West, and so the Stockyards also plays home to the Cowtown Coliseum, where a full rodeo operates every weekend. Barrel races, bull riding, roping contests, and the ever-popular calf scramble showcase live competition at a thrilling pace. The Coliseum features real cowboys and cowgirls aiming to win national renown. The only year-round rodeo in the world, the Cowtown Coliseum is a can’t-miss experience.

Getting Ready to Get Down

The expert shapers at Proper Supply Co. in the Fort Worth Stockyards shape and tailor their high-end headgear to visitors seeking the ultimate Cowtown accessory. Photo Courtesy J Public Relations.

Proper Supply Co., the ultimate in Western wear boutiques, is just around the corner from Hotel Drover and sells chic jeans, tops, and the biggest necessity for a true Cowtown visit, cowboy hats. Tailored in both style and fit to the patron’s features and preferences by the Proper staff, the hats ensure you’ll fit right in during your time in Fort Worth, or anywhere in Texas.

The Lucchese Custom Collection, inside the Hotel Drover, displays examples of what one can do when given total freedom to create a boot tailored specifically to a single customer. Photo Courtesy Lucchese.

For the greatest of bespoke experiences, the storied bootmaker Lucchese has adopted the Stockyards as a secondary home. The full experience of the 130-year-old establishment lives at Drover, where Lucchese proudly offers their Custom Collection. Customers can have boots built specifically to their foot’s dimensions and their own preferences. Lucchese archives the measurements and design in a bound library, should the customer ever want another pair. 

(Eat, Drink, and Have a) Big Ball In Cowtown

Bright and open by day, moody and warm by night, 97 West brings Western charm, fine dining, and live fire dishes together. Photo Courtesy Hotel Drover.

For dining, one can hardly do better than to enjoy any meal at 97 West, Hotel Drover’s restaurant. Encompassing both Tex-Mex and Western fare, the chefs serve great meals whether in their restaurant, in their room service offerings, or in the most exquisite of dining options, the Chef’s Table experience held in one of their private dining rooms or al fresco in the beautiful creekside backyard.

The Biscuit Bar is all-Southern, all-impressive, and all-you-can handle. The Hoss combines fried chicken, bacon, and gravy, for an all-in-one meal that will power your entire day or fuel your evening plans. Photo Courtesy The Biscuit Bar.

If you prefer a hearty biscuit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, The Biscuit Bar, a Dallas/Fort Worth staple, lives in the very heart of Mule Alley. Their wild takes on biscuit sandwiches are a highlight, including a “Chicken and Not Waffles,” built with biscuit French toast sure to power a long day or festive night.

The most intriguing restaurant in the Stockyards is the latest from Tim Love, serving Italian food in a Tex-Mex world. Love’s Caterina hits all the luxury notes with its white tablecloth aesthetic and shared plates. Bites of prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano greet you before you order from fresh offerings of exquisitely balanced beef carpaccio, high quality wagyu steaks, and fresh pasta (the cacio é pepe was a sublime note). 

An elusive photo of Caterina’s interior, where cell phone use is not permitted for diners. Photo Credit Kevin Marple.

Diners’ cell phones are locked in pouches upon entry and not unlocked until diners leave. This emphasizes both the food and one’s dinner company, a bold statement by Caterina’s, aimed at re-establishing the uninterrupted meal.


Cover Photo Courtesy Hotel Drover

Daniel Ramirez is a native Texan, who has written about the life, leisure and legends of the Lone Star State. From music to food to film, he is always looking to remind the world that the cultural epicenter of the U.S. is just as rooted in Texas as it is on either coast. With his own roots firmly established in Houston, Austin and Central Texas, his nomadic pursuits are always grounded in a familiar mantra – Texas Forever.