La Borde House
Following a meticulous and complete restoration program, the historic LaBorde House in Rio Grande City, Texas opened as a luxurious, full-service hotel in April 1982.
Located one block from the Rio Grande River, the LaBorde House was originally the home of Francoise LaBorde and served as a travelers way-station for many years. Early-day guests included those traveling to Texas political events, riverboat and wagon travelers, cattle barons who sold their herds on nearby river docks and military officers en-route to California.
The LaBorde House was designed in Paris in 1893 by French architects and the plans were refined by San Antonio architects at the building site in 1898. Construction was completed in 1899. Restoration criteria for the hotel were established from original records, photographs and through consultations with the Texas Historical Commission. The Sheerin family with roots both in San Antonio and Rio Grande City sponsored the reinstatement.
In returning the LaBorde House to its turn of the century magnificence, the smallest detail was not overlooked. To assure authenticity in the LaBorde House restoration, numerous on-site reviews were made by both the Texas Historical Commission and the U.S. Department of Interior. Culminating in the hotel being listed in the National Register for Historic Places.
Since the mid 1990s the Starr County Historical Foundation has maintained and managed this historic inn. After successfully obtaining extensive federal and private monies to complete the renovation process the organization has ensured that guest can experience the opulence and simplicity of a long-past period when riverboats trafficked on the Rio Grande River, a period forgotten by almost all, except the most dedicated historian.
Furniture for the hotel has been collected from throughout the South and West and selected for its authenticity to the period. Oriental rugs of collector quality and English Axe Minster carpets have been used for floor and stair coverings. Although this may seem lavish for hotel use, purchase references in the original LaBorde House ledgers indicate their usage is authentic. In the style of the Victorian period, each historical room is named with the target of commemorating a bit of local history. Each room is beautifully furnished with antique furniture and accessories. Many of the wallpapers and fabrics used are the same as those used in the restoration of the Texas Governors Mansion in 1981.
Being positioned as "A gracious tradition... reborn," the LaBorde House offers both historical significance and a touch of continental elegance allowing for an unusual place to get away for a week or a weekend. There are a total of 16 rooms available, including 7 grand rooms and a beautiful patio.
A stop at the LaBorde House can easily be included as a part of a vacation trip to the South Texas Valley and Padre Island National Seashore. The Falcon Lake recreation area is only a few miles away and is a great water sport spot which also provides excellent hunting and fishing locations.