Welcome to the Ant Street Inn!
Historic Downtown Brenham, Texas
While the Ant Street Inn boasts exquisite antique furnishings, Oriental rugs and stained glass in every room, our guests also enjoy 21st century amenities such as free wireless high speed internet, flat-screen cable televisions, private bathrooms, full made-to-order breakfasts and free parking! Guests also enjoy the rocking chairs on the back veranda overlooking the gardens and fountain. Couples celebrating their honeymoon, anniversary or birthday will want to request the Celebration Time Package to enhance the occasion. The Ant Street Inn and Brenham provide many opportunities to relax! Reserve a room with a large soaking tub for two, or add a Unity Theatre Package to make your stay extra special! Breakfast is served from the expansive menu of the Brenham Grill, the award-winning restaurant right here in our hotel. After a busy day of antique shopping, geocaching, or history seeking, nothing hits the spot like relaxing at the Ant Street Inn!
Washington County and the surrounding areas have much to offer our guests. The Ant Street Inn itself is situated right in the middle of historic downtown Brenham, a charming Main Street city featuring, great shopping, fine dining, nightlife and the arts. Wine lovers are increasingly discovering the four Washington County wineries: Pleasant Hill Winery, Windy Winery, Saddlehorn Winery and the newest Wahington County winery, the Texas Star Winery are all enjoying an increased following. Springtime brings the bluebonnet trails to life. Year-round day trips with short drives to Round Top for the Round Top Antique Shows and Festival Hill Music Institute; the George Bush Library in College Station; and, the birthplace of Texas can be explored at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park and the Star of the Republic Museum. Horticulturalists will enjoy the Antique Rose Emporium. And that's just the beginning! So much to offer... so much to enjoy!
Meet the Innkeepers
Suzy and I purchased the Ant Street Inn in December, 2011 and are excited to be continuing the work of the inn's founders, Pam and Tommy Traylor: that of bringing Texas hospitality and peacefully elegant sanctuary to our guests. Graduates of Texas Christian University (we are both proud members of the Horned Frog Class of '88), we have two grown children: Joyce, a professional artist living and working with her husband Dan in St. Louis, Missouri, and Tommy, studying geography at Texas Christian University.
After a 20-year career in the management and administration of healthcare, I (Keith) was ready for a career change. After the much more difficult and challenging 20-year career of managing the household, rearing the kids, and intensive volunteer work (I often referred to Suzy as "The Quintessential Stay-at-Home-Mom-Who's-Never-at-Home"), Suzy was ready to put her gifts of hospitality on display beyond the threshold of our own home.
We knew very early in our marriage that we wanted to own and operate a business together, but we didn't know what. After much discussion and debate, we decided on a bed and breakfast. When we identified that the timing for the merging of our careers was at hand, we were living in St. Louis, Missouri. We had two criteria for the property we would purchase: 1) It had to be in Texas; and 2) It had to be able to support both of us - we didn't want to walk into a situation where one of us would have to get an outside job to support the endeavor. Those criteria were met in the Ant Street Inn!
Our knowledgeable and efficient staff tirelessly work to keep you comfortable, our rooms and common areas clean and safe. It could not be the Ant Street Inn without them! Whether at the Front Desk or Housekeeping and Maintenance, our staff is here to assist you, and to make your stay at Ant Street Inn one you want to experience again and again!
Ant Street Inn Guest Comforts
Luxurious Linens; Sensuous Soaps; Treats for the Palate
All guestrooms have private baths en suite with custom soaps, luxurious bathrobes, fluffy towels, hair dryers and irons. Five of our guest rooms have a shower only, five have a combined tub and shower, and five have a separate tub and shower, with the tub in these rooms being a garden tub large enough for two. Our comfortable, plush antique beds feature premium linens and white mattelasse coverlets. Complimentary high speed wireless internet access is available throughout the inn. The business traveler will find plenty of private workspace on authentic antique desks in every room. Flat screen television, individual temperature control, fresh coffee, ice, soft drinks, Blue Bell ice cream and a full breakfast prepared to your order in the Brenham Grill, the award-winning restaurant right here in our hotel round out our list of standard amenities.
The Ant Street Inn has a large, spacious veranda overlooking the landscaped gardens and grounds behind the main building. Enjoy a drink out back and take in the view of the flower garden and the ambiance of downtown Brenham while the country breeze blows through.
If it gets too hot or cold outside, come in and enjoy the luxury of the Grand Hall, with exquisite antique furnishings and works of art that take you back to the turn of the century, the 19th/20th century! Enjoy catching up with your favorite magazines, pick up a book from the secretary in the Hall, or enjoy a puzzle or game from the Hospitality Room at the east end of the Hall.
Complimentary parking is always available at the Ant Street Inn, in the private lot behind the main building, in the spaces out front, and in the public parking lot just to the east of the Ant Street Inn, across Park Street. You don't have to drive a Porsche, or even an Austin Healey, but it helps!
The Ant Street Inn has two broadband, high speed wi-fi networks available at no charge to our guests, making access to your emails for work or the internet for leisure simple and easy.
Refreshments are available to our guests any time of day or night. Soft drinks, coffee or tea, water, in our Refreshment Room, stocked once per day. Of course, complimentary world famous Blue Bell ice cream will be available, just as soon as it's available!!
Weekend evenings, when no other activities are happening at the inn or in downtown (such as a wedding at the inn, or a festival downtown), we put together a little "Guest Social" tray of light appetizers to give our guests the opportunity to meet and greet one another before the restaurants in the downtown area are open and ready to serve.
Please do not hesitate to make any special requests or inquire about any special arrangements you may need. We'd be glad to assist you!
General Policy Information
- Children 12 and over are welcome.
- No smoking indoors. You are welcome to smoke outside on the verandas. There will be a $500 fee charged to your credit card if it is determined you smoked anywhere inside the building.
- No pets. Service animals are welcome. If you have a service animal, please let us know prior to arrival.
- Check in as early as 3:00 PM
- Check out as late as 11:00 AM
- All rooms except the San Antonio Room are upstairs with stair-only access
- A full hot, made-to-order breakfast is included, served in the award winning Brenham Grill restaurant located off our lobby.
Cancellation of a Friday and/or Saturday night stay: Notification is required a minimum of 10 days in advance of your scheduled date of arrival. If you must cancel within the 10-day notification period, you agree that your credit card will be charged for the date(s) and/or room(s) that we are unable to re-rent.
Cancellation of a Sunday - Thursday night stay: Notification is required a minimum of 24 hours in advance for Sunday through Thursday nights. If you must cancel within the 24-hour notification period, you agree that your credit card will be charged for the date(s) and/or room(s) that we are unable to re-rent.
Special cancellation policies apply to the Round Top Antique Show periods, groups, holidays, and/or other nights as specified in the confirmation emails or mailings.
Weddings, private gatherings and business meetings have cancellation policies specified in each contract.
Check-in: Begins at 3:00 PM. If you will be arriving after office hours (after 8:00 PM Monday through Thursday, after 9:00 PM on Friday or Saturday, or after 5:00 PM Sunday), please call or email us during office hours on the date of your scheduled arrival to receive the late entry security code for the key pad entry. An envelope with your name will be left for you on the front office counter.
Check-out: 11:00 AM. Please return your keys to the front desk upon check-out.
Discounted Rooms: We reserve the right to change the room assignment in the event that the room was reserved at any discounted rate.
Round Top Antiques Shows: Checks for payment in full are required for rooms reserved during the Round Top Antique Show weeks.
High Demand Periods: Rates/policies are subject to change and vary during high demand periods and for special requests.
Our Policies Explained
"Children 12 and over are welcome."
To state it clearly, children under the age of twelve (12) years are not allowed to stay at the Ant Street Inn as overnight guests.
We are often asked, "But I have a very well behaved 10 year old... Can s/he stay?"
Our answer is no, unless you rent all the rooms in the hotel for that night -- then you can have anyone you wish to stay here.
Many people who read this policy believe we at the Ant Street Inn are just trying to protect our antiques. While this is a concern, it is not the PRIMARY concern. Our primary concern is for our guests.
Our goal is to provide for our guests an elegant sanctuary. Children simply do not allow that condition to exist. Children speak loudly, walk loudly, and run indoors way too often.
We host many guests who stay with us specifically BECAUSE we don't allow children. Perhaps they are a couple seeking a romantic weekend away from their children. Perhaps they are business people preparing for a big presentation the next morning.
Each child is a unique gift from God himself. It is unfair of us as adults to expect them behave as something they are not: small adults.
"No smoking indoors. You are welcome to smoke outside on the verandas. There will be a $500 fee charged to your credit card if it is determined you smoked anywhere inside the building."
No, there really is no smoking indoors. Yes, we really will fine you. And really, $500 is still not enough to fumigate the guest room, clean the upholstery and curtains, and scrub down the room to get that smell out. We prefer no use of tobacco products inside at all, but we won't fine you if you're caught dipping snuff or chewing tobacco.
"No pets. Service animals are welcome. If you have a service animal, please let us know prior to arrival."
We're often asked, "But he's such a small dog (and the kind lady shows me the head of a dog poking out of her purse). Can't he stay?"
The answer will always be, "No," even if you do rent all the rooms. Again, folks think we're doing this to protect our antiques, but that's not the PRIMARY reason. The primary reason is to protect our guests. Some people are deathly allergic to dogs or cats (as I am). Some people experience cynophobia, the fear of dogs, or ailurophobia, fear of cats.
Service animals are always welcome because they are not pets. Service animals are performing important tasks.
"Check in as early as 3:00 PM"
It's really difficult for us to guarantee an early check-in time, since, again, we are a small property and our check-out time is not until 11:00. We can sometimes get you in to your room early, so please go ahead and ask. We just cannot guarantee that you will be able to get into your room until 3:00 PM.
"Check out as late as 11:00 AM"
We can sometimes grant a late check-out, but again, we're a small property and our check-in time is 3:00 PM, so we need all that time to clean the guest rooms and common areas to the standard that we maintain at the Ant Street Inn.
"All rooms except the San Antonio Room are upstairs with stair-only access."
This is not so much a policy but a statement of fact. We only have one guest room on the ground floor. We have two stair cases leading up to the second floor, one interior and one exterior. The interior staircase has 27 steps, the exterior a total of 31 steps.
We understand that so many steps may represent a significant challenge to some of our guests. We would be much more than happy to assist you with your belongings up and down the stairs. All we ask is that you let us know.
"A full hot, made-to-order breakfast is included, served in the award winning Brenham Grill restaurant located off our lobby."
Yes, a great breakfast will get your day started right! The Brenham Grill has an extensive breakfast menu that can meet most if not all dietary needs. If you have a special request, please let your waiter or waitress know.
Ant Street Inn is an historic property where every guest reservation is both important and special to us. If your travel plans change and you must cancel your reservation, please note the following cancellation policies:
- Cancellation of Friday and Saturday night bookings and/or holidays a minimum of 10 days notification in advance of your scheduled date of arrival is required;
Cancellation of Sunday-Thursday night bookings - a minimum of 24 hours notification in advance of your scheduled date of arrival is required.
- Cancellation of a stay during Round Top Antique show weeks (generally the last week of March through the first week of April, and the last week of September through the first week of October), or other group bookings, unless otherwise stated in our written contract with your group, notification of cancellation is required at least 30 days in advance of your scheduled date of arrival.
- When a multiple-night minimum stay is required, you will be responsible for the charges for the entire stay even if cancelling only one night.
- In the event that you must cancel your stay after the cancellation notification period, or shorten your stay, or check out early, your credit card will be charged for your entire stay. If we can re-book your room(s), a full or partial refund will be made; otherwise you agree that your credit card will be charged for your entire stay.
Some people question us, even irately, regarding our requirement for a notice of cancellation at least ten (10) days in advance of your scheduled stay in order to not be charged for your stay. Please allow me to explain some of the economics that support this policy.
First, we are a small property... only 15 rooms. If you book one room, you have reserved 7% of our inventory for that night. If we were a large, 200 room property, you'd have to book 14 rooms to meet the equivalent percentage.
Second, because each of our rooms are unique, we do not have "classes" of rooms. For instance, we don't have 75 single queen rooms, 50 double queen rooms, 50 king rooms and 25 two-bedroom suites that we can just book as "inventory" and decide when you arrive which room to assign to you.
Third, we do not overbook the Ant Street Inn as many large hotels do. We do not employ sophisticated algorithms that predict how many cancellations will occur based upon the weather forecast, the density of the bluebonnets on Highway 290, the play that Unity Theatre is performing, the movie that's playing at the Simon Theatre, the quality of the grape harvest for the vintners, and whether or not Texas A&M has a home game.
Fourth, our rooms on the weekend book four to six weeks in advance, on average.
So, let's look at a hypothetical situation. Let's say you book a room at the Ant Street Inn online, five weeks before your anniversary. Two days prior to your arrival, your mother gets sick, is hospitalized, and will be unable to care for your children. You have to cancel.
Now, let's think about this. When you booked a room with us, you HAD to agree with our policies, including our cancellation policies, before you could enter your payment information. If you called in to book, even if we for some reason forgot to tell you about the cancellation policy, you'd still receive notification of all of our major policies in the confirmation that we send. When you booked your room, we set aside a specific room for you, on specific dates. We guaranteed that the room you selected would be available to you for the nights you selected. In response, you guaranteed to us that you read, understood and agreed with our policies.
Here are the economics of the situation: For five weeks, we have been telling potential guests who called in, and showing potential guests who checked online that the room you booked was reserved for that weekend. That's five weeks of opportunities we would have had to book your room that we didn't have. By two days prior to your scheduled visit, almost all of the people who would have booked your room have already found other accommodations for that weekend, or they have decided to come at another time.
People who book rooms at the Ant Street Inn weeks ahead of their scheduled visit and then have to cancel at the last minute all have good reasons for cancelling. That's because people who book rooms at the Ant Street Inn weeks ahead of time really want to be here! They really want to visit the wineries and breweries, shop in the fabulous boutiques, stores and galleries, dine in the amazing restaurants, and be entertained by the fantastic live musical and theatrical talents that Brenham has to offer. And, at the end of a day, and night, full of activity, people want to be able to experience the elegant sanctuary that is the Ant Street Inn. So, when people cancel a weekend stay at the Ant Street Inn, there is ALWAYS a good reason behind it.
Yes, your mother getting sick at that time, and with the level of acuity requiring hospitalization, is tragic. So is being called in to work unexpectedly. So is experiencing a death in the family. So is having an auto accident on the way to Brenham. Any number of reasons for having to cancel are good reasons to cancel. We're not saying you don't have a good reason for cancelling. The reason for your cancellation is not the issue. The issue is that when you booked, we guaranteed to you that a specific room would be available for specific nights, and you guaranteed to us that you read, understood and agreed with our policies.
"We reserve the right to change the room assignment in the event that the room was reserved at any discounted rate."
We sometimes discount our rooms, especially for those companies doing business here in Brenham during the usual work-week. We sometimes need to move them around, based on other events or activities going on at the inn.
"Checks for payment in full are required for rooms reserved during the Round Top Antique Show weeks."
This is another interesting policy that we are sometimes asked about. The check-writing policy was actually taught to us, and extended from the previous owners of the Ant Street Inn. You see, the Round Top Antiques Shows bring in soooo many people that visitors sometimes would book rooms at multiple locations thinking that they could cancel at the last minute if their friends decided not to come, or they might book at one place and then try to book rooms at a location closer to Round Top, again cancelling their first rooms at the last minute. This payment method is a lot more difficult to alter than a credit card payment, especially after the check is deposited.
"Rates/policies are subject to change and vary during high demand periods and for special requests."
Just as an example, we do raise our weekday prices during the Round Top Antiques Shows to the weekend rates.