As part of an ongoing plan to rejuvenate The Fort Worth Stockyards, a new high-end hotel celebrating its history and lore is set to open in early 2021.
Called Hotel Drover, it's part of Marriott's Autograph Collection and will anchor the buzzy new Mule Alley District, home to an entire slate of restaurants and shops including Provender Hall, Shake Shack, Biscuit Bar, Cowtown Winery, and Lucchese.
General manager Krisen Assad says in a statement that the hotel will summon the history of the Texas cattle trade and pay homage to the Stockyards' National Historic District by harnessing "the true spirit of the drover."
A drover is someone who drives cattle. Drovers would stop in Fort Worth in the late 1800s when moving cattle to market along the Chisholm Trail.
The hotel will offer 200 cozy guest rooms and suites with oversized soaking tubs, fireplace suites, modern bunkhouse rooms, and vintage-inspired retreats.
Rooms will include:
- world-class dream-inducing beds
- luxury sheets and down comforters
- Los Poblanos organic bath amenities
- wet bars
The grounds will include two acres of outdoor living space, a pool, flagstone courtyards, water features, fire pits, music stage, and outdoor games.
Assad says they're building a place "where simple pleasures and one-of-a-kind experiences blend effortlessly to become special memories," "from sunset strolls on horseback to whiskey tastings and s'mores kits."
There'll be 12,000 square feet of meeting space and two one-of-a-kind stores: The Lucchese Custom Collection at Hotel Drover with custom and made-to-fit boots and accessories available only at this location; and Little White Lies, a boutique with clothes, jewelry, bags, travel accessories, and distinct gifts.
What it won't open with is Jenna Kinard, the high-profile Fort Worth chef who previously worked at Max's Wine Dive, as well as with Paula Deen. Kinard, who has one eye on a TV chef career, has filmed a number of pilots for TV shows.
In 2018, she was named executive chef at the hotel, including the development of the menu for 97 West Kitchen and Bar, its in-house restaurant, as well as the culinary programs throughout the property. That relationship was still ongoing as recently as July.
But in early August, Kinard revealed that "due to the current pandemic," she had to "part ways" with Hotel Drover a couple of weeks prior. "Part ways" is usually a gentle way of saying, "got laid off," but she said she was grateful for the time she spent with the team, and wished "nothing but the absolute best for the Hotel Drover team."
A spokesman for the hotel confirmed that "Chef Jenna is no longer with Hotel Drover, and we will have updates regarding 97 West in the coming months."
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.