1. What is up with all this aviation stuff?
We are all pilots and aviation enthusiasts! It is our passion, and our lifestyle. While living that aviation lifestyle, we have collected an incredible amount of aviation artwork and memorabilia, over many years. Much of this collection is on display at the hotel, and has been used to decorate each room so that each one reflects a different era of aviation history, from the Wright Brothers to the modern era.
We are not only the best motel in Texas, but we are also the most unique in Texas, with aviation artwork and memorabilia from all over the world!
2. Why did an Iowa family move to Port Aransas?
We discovered Mustang Island quite by accident in 2009, when we flew our small plane from Iowa to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival. We had a great time in Austin, but our (then-teenage) kids soon grew bored, and wanted to visit a gulf coast beach. I, of course, had NO idea where a beach was in Texas, so I jumped on the internet and asked Texas pilots one simple question: "Where do YOU fly when you want a beach, but don't have a car?"
Almost without exception, they answered "Port Aransas on Mustang Island!"
We had never heard of Port A, but we soon found it on a chart, realized it was only an hour (by air) from Austin, and figured that, worse case scenario, we could always fly to Galveston or South Padre if it sucked. Well, not only did it not "suck" -- it was AWESOME. Within four days we had fallen in love with the island, and started looking for a motel to purchase. (We had owned another motel in our hometown of Iowa City, IA, since 2002, and had been talking about buying another motel "in the Sunbelt...somewhere.")
3. Why did you buy the Harbor Inn (now Amelia's Landing) in particular?
Location, location, location! And quality of construction.
We looked at many motels on the island, and soon realized that there are two architectural schools of thought here:
a. Build strong, like a fortress, to withstand the inevitable hurricane.
b. Build as cheaply as possible, because it's going to get wiped out anyway.
Most of the motels here are built with #2 in mind -- and we wanted nothing to do with that mind-set. Our hotel is built solidly, and extremely well. And, as we've continually remodeled it, we have continually enhanced the structure.
And the location is AMAZING! Amelia's Landing is at the EXACT geographic center of Port Aransas, just six blocks from the water in any of THREE directions. The address numbering system for the city starts at the hotel, and we are on the main road through town -- so we could not be more centrally located!
Everything worth seeing in Port Aransas is within walking distance. You never have to drive once you are here, because every bar, restaurant, live music venue, beach, dock, and pier is close by! Enjoy a cocktail without worrying about driving, because all the great bars are an easy stroll away.
4. Where did you get the idea of DELIVERING breakfast to each room? That's crazy!
Back in the 1980s, Jay worked for the Chicago Tribune. (He was in newspapers for 21 years.) When he and Mary visited Door County, WI, they decided to spend the night at the historic White Gull Inn, in Fish Creek, WI.
The next morning, Jay rose early and found a hot pot of coffee and a fresh Chicago Tribune on the doorstep of their room. This was earlier than he could get the paper delivered to his office -- and the coffee was great! An incredible first impression was formed, and they continued to visit the White Gull Inn annually for many years.
Fast forward 20 years. When Jay and Mary were deciding whether to buy their first hotel business in Iowa, they decided to make a list of everything they LIKED about hotels -- and everything they hated. Number One on the list of "hates" was the continental breakfast served in the lobby with a bunch of guys who haven't taken a shower yet. Half the time it ended too soon, and the other half the experience was so disgusting that you didn't want to even finish what you had selected.
THAT is when they remembered their stay at the White Gull Inn -- and when they decided to do them one better, and include bakery, fruit and juice. It became their "signature service", and has been delivered to every guest, every morning, since 2002.
5. Are all the rooms "pet friendly"?
Nope -- but some are. Pets are $25 apiece, per night. If you try to sneak a pet into a non-pet room, it's a $200 fine -- so please don't!
6. What's there to "DO" in Port Aransas?
As much...or as little...as you want. Depending on the time of year, your impression of the island can range from "It's a wild, crazy, party town" to "It's a sleepy little fishing village" to "Quiet, wonderful isolation". One thing is certain, however: With a gazillion bars, restaurants, live music venues, the beach, the docks, and the intracoastal waterway all within walking distance of the hotel, you will NOT lack for things to do.
Or NOT do. It's your choice!
Got more questions? We love to chat. Give us a call, toll free, at 888-671-8088!
F.A.Q.s Frequently Asked Questions about Amelia's Landing