Our Grand History
Since 1911, the hotel has a long and storied history as a treasured vacation, wedding and event destination for visitors from Texas and the surrounding states.
Established By History
Grand Galvez has pleased guests worldwide for more than 100 years. Our AAA 4-Diamond property is the only historic beachfront hotel on the Texas Gulf Coast and renowned as one of the finest Galveston hotels on the beach.
Bernardo de Galvez discovers Bahia de Galvezton (Galveston Island)
City of Galveston is incorporated
Galveston, Texas is known to be one of the richest ports in the country
The Great Storm, beginning on September 8, devastates Galveston, which takes years to recover.
Texas State Legislature. approves act for the construction of a seawall
Part of the hurricane recovery process includes a long seawall, started this year and completed in 1960 at 10.4 miles long.
Original Pleasure Pier Amusement and the electric rail trolleys are in operation
The Galveston Hotel Company announces plans for a new year-round beach hotel to take the place of the seasonal Beach Hotel, which had burned in 1898.
Construction of the Hotel Galvez is launched the same year to help restore Galveston’s reputation as a tourist destination.
On June 10 at 6:00 p.m., the Grand Galvez, the first fire proof hotel, opens.
Another hurricane hits Galveston, but the new seawall helps spare the Galvez.
The hotel welcomes 40,000 guests at a daily rate of $2.
Galveston Island debuts Splash Day, a bathing girl review event (U.S. contestants)
International Pageant of Pulchritude May 15–17 Bathing Costume Parade occurs on May 16th
The Baker Corporation purchases the Galvez for $1 million and undertakes a modernization program.
Ike Kempner and his partners, the original backers, repurchase the hotel.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt makes the Galvez his official Summer White House while he fishes offshore on his yacht, the U.S.S. Potomac.
W. L. Moody Jr. and his National Hotel Corporation purchase the hotel from the Kempner group and undertake new renovations. A swimming pool is added, along with a modern motel on the hotel’s east end and the members-only Galvez Club.
The U.S. Coast Guard commandeers the Galvez and uses it as its wartime headquarters for the next two years, including as staff living space.
The Galveston rackets are closed down in an island-wide raid on gambling casinos.
Hurricane Carla hits on September 11th (the largest hurricane to hit Texas coast in history)
September 12th, tornados strike seawall & cut north to the Galveston County Courthouse (destroying 120 buildings)
Galvez is closed for renovations. This is the last we will see of Peacock Alley until 2021
Moody sells the Galvez for $1 million to its fourth owner, Harvey McCarty, the first owner with no ties to Galveston, who partnered with Leon Bromberg, a BOI.
Denton Cooley purchases the hotel and initiates another major renovation in 1979
Galvez reopens under new owner, the Mariner Corporation and new name “Galvez Marriott”.
The National Register of Historic Places adds the hotel to its list of significant landmarks.
During Hurricane Alicia some guests take refuge at the Galvez, which reopens the next year after significant damage is repaired.
Galvez is sold at an auction after declaring bankruptcy; sold to Aetna Life Insurance Company
Mitchell Historic Properties purchases the hotel from Aetna for $3 million and undertakes a $20 million upgrade that restores the public spaces to recall their 1911 appearance.
Wyndham International is retained to manage and operate the Galvez as part of the Wyndham’s group of premier historic hotels, called Wyndham Grand Hotels.
The Galvez becomes a member of the Historic Hotels of America, a consortium sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
A second renovation of the hotel, directed by the Mitchells’ daughter Sheridan Mitchell Lorenz of Austin, removes heavy drapes obscuring the Gulf views and restores the windows on the lobby level to their original appearance. Fabrics and carpets were also updated; the Oleander Garden was launched; and planning was begun for the hotel’s first spa.
The Spa at the Hotel Galvez opens in the space originally occupied by the hotel’s barbershop and drugstore.
September 8th Hurricane Ike hits flooding the spa & complete lower level of the hotel; hotel closes for repairs
The Queen of the Gulf observes it centennial with events throughout the year. Activities include a Spanish cultural evening celebrating the birthday of Bernardo de Gálvez, a mass wedding vow renewal for former guests who were married at the hotel, outdoor concerts, and fireworks.
Wyndham management modernizes hotel lobby & overnight guest rooms
May 14th, the Wyant Family purchases Galvez and renames her majesty “Grand Galvez”
August 23rd, construction plans totaling $31 million begin and demolition begins with Peacock Alley
Lobby renovations competed in June 2022
Complete guest room, pool and suites renovations & transition to Marriott Autograph Collection Property