The perfect weekend in the heart of El Paso begins and ends with The Plaza Hotel. Located adjacent to the San Jacinto Plaza, The Plaza is at the corner of antique luxury and encapsulates the charm of the Texas/Mexico border. We visited there last summer and couldn’t resist going again to check out their Rocketbuster Boot package.
Most people treat their hotels – myself included – as just a place of rest and a safe place to keep their luggage while they explore. But The Plaza is an experience within itself. So, pack your bags because we have a stellar weekend getaway waiting for you.
As you walk in through the grandiose entrance, many elements of The Plaza compete for your attention: the blend of “Pueblo Art Deco”, Mexican, Native American, and historic interiors and architecture, the live music in the lobby, the wafting scent of authentic Mexican food floating from their onsight restaurant – Ambar – and the unmatched hospitality. The Plaza hotel is the most luxurious destination in El Paso and it spares no detail toward your weekend accommodations.
Pack a carry on, put on a cowboy hat, and march yourself down to The Plaza and El Paso. Here is what you will be up to:
You arrive at The Plaza (a scenic 15 minute drive from the airport) and the doors are opened for you, a concierge takes your bag, and you are quickly escorted to a sweeping suite with contemporary-pueblo decor. Put your bags down, make yourself a quick Nespresso in the room, and make your way back down to the Plaza lobby. Rocketbuster Boots awaits.
72 hours in advance of your stay, you secured the Rocketbuster Boot package – which included a private store tour of the Rocketbuster Boot factory, a $500 gift certificate, $150 F&B credit, margs, and late checkout!
Now, you are in the lobby and ready to go. Rocketbuster Boots is a 12 minute walk through Downtown El Paso. You wind up in front of a standalone building with the blue sky as its backdrop and the off centered yellow door calls you in.
A woman named Lisa – dressed like Stevie Nicks – opens the door and immediately launches into the rich history that is Rocketbuster Boots. It is hard for you to pay attention because the walls are filled with the most decadent, eclectic, and ostentatious handmade leather boots you ever did see. As you zone out for a second staring at the thigh high Star Wars themed boots, you are called back to reality as you hear Lisa go down a list of celebrities sporting RB boots.
“Mitt Romney, Leon Bridges (worn at the Grammys), Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Slyvester Stalone, and Roy Rodgers – to name a few.”
The rest of the tour, you spend marveling at the handmade artisanship and the stories of their foundress – Nevena Christi. The tour itself was experience enough, but you decide to purchase custom boots that fit your foot better than your own skin and tell your life story better than your mom at Christmas. You submit a custom design that has cartoons from your childhood, quotes from your grandmother, and a replica of the first tattoo you got in college. In a short six months – they will arrive at your doorstep and replace any other shoe (or thing) you thought you loved!
You make your way back to The Plaza but choose to take a longer route so you can meander about the city. Downtown is surrounded by mountains and has the haze of a country-western movie. There are people roller skating, couples in the park, vintage cars, and an overall calm ambiance you don’t often find in Texas cities.
If Austin is the crazy youngest child, Dallas is the put-together sibling, El Paso is the cool older sister.
In due course, you are back in The Plaza – it is dinner time. You put a nicer outfit on and you take the elevator up to the 17th floor where you have reservations made at La Perla. The contemporary rooftop bar with an unparalleled view of El Paso, the Rocky Mountains, and the borders of Mexico and New Mexico. The name of this stunning dinner destination was inspired by La Peregrina – a pearl from the Spanish Monarchy that wound up decorating the decolletage of Elizabeth Taylor. A fitting name for this restaurant because it is in fact the former penthouse of Ms. Taylor herself during her marriage with Mr. Hilton. You order their cheese board, tapas, and a cocktail as you watch the Texas Sun set over the mountains and glistening city.
*Pro tip: make your reservations around sunset so you can see why El Paso is nicknamed the Sun City.
The next morning, you walk through the lobby and have breakfast at Ambar, The Plaza’s onsite wood-fired elegant Mexican restaurant. You browse through Chef Lawrence Acosta’s brilliantly curated menu and decide on the wood-grilled margarita french toast with a canasta de pan dulce for the table.
After breakfast you run through a packed itinerary, here are your stops (all walkable):
Walk on over to The Coffee Box and try their horchata latte. With your coffee in hand, circle back to El Paso Museum of Art. The museum is riddled with history, compelling photography, and character. You find yourself dining at Taconeta for lunch and have ordered grilled elote and the tempura green beans for the table with a Manzanita to wash it down. You walk back in the direction of The Plaza, perhaps you freshen up a bit or take a powernap and then you catch an evening musical performance at El Paso Live.
You walk across the street from El Paso Live and arrive back at the steps of The Plaza where you decide to end your night with dinner at Ambar, live music, and a select patron tequila tasting. After much deliberation, the waiter helps you order the Lobster Zarandeada with salsa roja and verde, chili-lime sauce, esquites – the works. The experience is a culinary narrative that has notes of Mexican culture, unique ingredients, and modern applications.
Eventually, you make your way back up to the king suite and as soon as your head hits the plush feather pillow and you are enveloped in the heaven-like comforter, you fall asleep.
My dear friends, you have The Plaza and you have The Plan. What are you waiting for? Get your boots on and head over!
Cover Photo Courtesy Plaza Hotel
Juliana Stanford is an undergraduate Public Relations student at the University of Texas at Austin and is a native Texan. She aspires to work with international nonprofits and with abroad entities.