Southern Charm nestled in Bryan, Texas – The Stella Hotel, Lake Walk Town Center turns college town around

BRYAN, Texas -- A hop, a skip, a jump or just a leisurely drive down Highway 290 and Highway 6 will lead you to a destination paradise right in the great state of Texas.  The Stella Hotel is a beacon of light nestled in Bryan / College Station steering travelers under the Texas sky to whatever you need -- rest, relaxation, a whole lot of fun -- or a combination of it all.

Who knew there would be so many fun things to do on one property? Within the Lake Walk Town Center, The Stella Hotel welcomes guests into a world that honors local history and cherished traditions, and there are plenty of activities for people of all ages to enjoy.

Guests can take their picks of enjoying a glass of whiskey at the bar, a campfire on the lawn, a poolside BBQ and a few hours of stillness and stargazing. There are also summer concerts just across the street at the Lake Walk pavilion on the lawn where visitors can spread out their picnic blankets while enjoying live music and eating delicious foods from the many local vendors aligned on the grounds.

 How about the amenities? Well -- check this out! The hotel boasts 176 guest rooms and suites, two outdoor swimming pools with five cabanas, Watershed Pool Bar, 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space (indoor and outdoor), and great places to sip and chow, including Campfire Restaurant & Bar, Hershel’s and POV.

Those who love the outdoors can make great use of the hotel's bicycles and paddle boards -- complimentary of course-- or explore a little further on the nearby hiking and biking trails. On Saturday mornings, there is free outdoor community yoga on the grounds of Lake Walk Town Center and parents can take their little ones out for Stroller Strides class, getting in some light exercise while enjoying the scenic views.

And this type of fun is not just limited to those who walk upright -- the hotel is welcoming to your four-legged family members as well. Bring those pampered pooches along!

 Now...let's get down to the particulars.... How was MY experience?

A dream come true for a much-needed staycation!

I took off from Houston on a Friday after work, and after buzzing past the standard evening traffic commute from Houston, I amazingly made it in just in time to catch the Jack Thweatt band playing for Lake Walk’s Eats and Beats summer concert series. It was Beer & Wine Night, featuring food trucks and many free tastings.

 Side note: I enjoyed one of the BEST grilled hot dogs ever (kids scarfed down the burgers) and while they cooled off with sno-cones, I enjoyed a "spirit-filled" popsicle made with alcohol (Extra side note...these are NOT SOLD by the hotel, a vendor at the event had them and I thank her dearly!) I'll just call it my "Mommy Pops!" I also sampled some of the best popcorn from a local family-owned vendor, and bought enough bags to share with my co-workers after returning from my trip. The salty-sweet combination was amazing!

On Saturday, the kids and I spoiled ourselves with a little room service -- and let me promise you -- the portions were TEXAS-SIZED. After all, we Southerners love a healthy heap of flapjacks and thick bacon in the morning!

Speaking of bacon, one of my favorite meals was the salad for lunch at Campfire. The Stella Wedge comes with thick bacon lardons and blue cheese, heirloom tomatoes and pickled shallot.

Other lunch favorites for my table were the House Burger and the Honey Lime Chicken Sandwich. Both were thick, juicy and loaded with flavor.

Dinner was nothing short of amazing as well. But there was just one problem -- too many great selections and not enough room in your stomach to enjoy them all! So what is a greedy mom to do? Have us all pick different things and sample off each other's plates without stealing all the favorites for ourselves!

Do not leave the Stella Hotel without trying the Lobster Mac and Cheese. Thank me later...and while you are giving out thanks, I will gladly take another couple for encouraging you to enjoy the Bone-In Berkshire Pork Chop (creamed sweet potato, thyme-marinated apples and warm black berries) and the ‘1855’ Beef Filet (blue-cheese crusted, balsamic cipollini onion, roasted marble potatoes, red wine demi-glace). Seafood lovers will also enjoy the Grilled Atlantic Salmon and the Roasted Gulf Redfish. Like I said, so much to choose from, not enough room to enjoy in one sitting… good thing we stayed the entire weekend!

And the atmosphere -- perfect ambiance with the right touch of lighting and the best servers with that good-ole "Southern Charm" Texans are known for.

For the adults who want to duck off into a cozier nook of the hotel, Hershel's has just what you need -- classic and specialty cocktails crafted nightly with small bites and shared plates. The bar has the best selection of single and small batch bourbons in the Brazos Valley, complemented by a selection of premium wines by the glass, if that's your fancy. I snuck into Hershel’s a couple of times while my family “lived large in style” under the cabanas at the pool.

The cabanas were fully-equipped with remote controlled ceiling fans, cable flat screen televisions and elegant outdoor seating. We shared memorable moments – and took a lot of #FamilyFun social media pictures – enjoying our early evening swim time. And if you don’t want to go inside to Hershel’s, no worries, Watershed outdoor bar allows you to order blended libations, light fares and other goodies poolside.

On the days we were exploring the city and the grounds, we dashed into POV for some fresh, quick bites to take on the go. POV offers freshly made food throughout the day, with the tastiest morning muffins, croissants and kolaches paired perfectly with its many coffee specialties of the Merit Roasting Co. (We don’t sell Merit Roasting Co. Coffee anymore) There were also plenty of "Grab-N-Go" salads and deli sandwiches.

We took a tour of the town one day, and on the other, we stayed right on the hotel property, strolling through Lake Walk Town Center for shopping.

Lake Walk Town Center is the wellness-driven heart of ATLAS and Traditions. It is the place where parks, shops and lakefront dining create a welcoming backdrop for locals and visitors to Texas A&M University and Bryan/College Station’s thriving Biocorridor.

Featuring approximately 90,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and 80,000 square feet of available office space, Lake Walk Town Center is poised to become a sought-after community epicenter for shopping, dining and recreational pursuits. The gleaming Lake Atlas has become a hotspot for water-based activities, while The Lookout’s lofty perch is the perfect to watch the sun set and engage your senses.

So glad we got the chance to experience it all early. Now, we want to share the news with you!

Go out and enjoy all that the Stella Hotel and Lake Walk Town Center has to offer! Tell them the lady who fell in love with the alcohol-laced popsicles while bopping her head to the Jack Thweatt band sent you! #Memories

More nearby attractions:

  • Texas A& M University
  • Kyle Field
  • Reed Arena
  • George Bush Presidential Library
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center Campus
  • Easterwood Airport
  • Historic Downtown Bryan
  • Brazos County Expo
  • Rellis Campus