The Old Made New Again: Pioneer Pocket Hotel, a Tradition of quality
Beginning with the hotel restaurant, the West Table, we shared a fine, if noisy, dinner—both partaking of a fine Scarpetta Pinot Grigio and a Pan Roasted Chicken with Warm Potato Salad and Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.
Thumbnail history: the Hotel Lubbock with six floors opened in 1925-26. Five floors were added in 1929-30. In 1961, it came under new ownership and was christened the Pioneer Hotel. It was replete with Italian marble floors in the lobby; the structure featured three restaurants; and its ballroom served as a center for civic events, including TTU fraternity dances. The May 11, 1970 tornado superficially damaged the hotel, but its steel-and-concrete structure remained a fortress (much better than the former Great Plains Life Building next door). Nineteen-seventy-five saw the hotel become a retirement center for people with low or fixed incomes and remained that way till the mid-1990s. It closed because the owners could not afford to make mandated changes in plumbing, heating, and air conditioning. It sat empty, boarded up for nearly a decade until the McDougal Companies bought it and converted the hotel into as many as twenty-five condos, some as large as 2,800 square feet. It opened in 2012, and in 2018, the third-floor spaces were converted into ten pocket hotel rooms or suites. It is difficult to pin down the term, but pocket hotels may have begun in Japan. The Pioneer Pocket Hotel features a "staffless" status. Clients book and pay online. On the day of arrival, they receive a text with door codes, and voila, there you are—ready to enjoy your stay fully stocked with fresh sheets, towel service, bottled water, and more. Our suite featured a TV in each room, but we didn't watch much.
Ken and I enjoyed our one-night stay—an evening free from cooking—and will certainly consider staying again. It would make a great place for an overflow of guests in your own home! Note the gallery of photos directly below.