Heading to the Hill Country? Don’t miss this new place to stay

Starry’s Studio melds luxury lodging with Fredericksburg charm


When my husband and I started planning a one-night getaway to celebrate our 10-year anniversary in October, Fredericksburg was the natural choice.

A morning hike at Enchanted Rock followed by an afternoon of wine tasting and an evening strolling Main Street and two-stepping at Hondo’s is my idea of a perfect day.

The only problem for two people who are not exactly fans of traditional bed and breakfasts or anonymous hotel chains? Finding a great place to stay.

Cue Starry’s Studio, a new guest house two blocks off of Main Street in Fredericksburg that combines unique, modern design with Hill Country charm.

“We want them to feel comfortable — they’re in Fredericksburg,” said Sarah Starry, who grew up in Fredericksburg and runs Starry’s Studio with her mom, Melissa Starry, and other family members. “We try to surround them with Fredericksburg things, but at the same time (make them think) ‘I can’t believe I’m in Fredericksburg.’”

The family has a long history in the Hill Country town. In 1951, Melissa Starry’s father, Walter Hayden, built what is now Starry’s Studio as a workshop and smokehouse behind the family home, which was built in 1906. Here, he smoked meats from his family’s ranch, tanned leather, made furniture and crafted homemade wines from mustang grapes, agarita berries and local peaches. Melissa Starry took over the property in 1989 with her husband, Ron Starry, living in the main home with daughter Sarah and turning the workshop first into a hair salon (the client roster included Lady Bird Johnson) and later an art studio.

In 2015, the family decided the studio’s next incarnation would be the guest house. It opened for overnight stays in September.

Inside you’ll find a 900-square-foot apartment-style suite decorated with pieces from local artists that range from a twisting deer antler chandelier by Del Benedict of Hill Country Antler Art to a striking mixed-media piece that incorporates the words “All passes — art alone endures” by Melissa Starry. Like a piece? You can buy it.

The studio also features a private outdoor shower, a wide back deck overlooking Barons Creek, high-thread-count linens and a private gated entrance. Sarah Starry said the studio’s design was inspired in part by hotelier Liz Lambert’s properties in Austin.

“It’s easy to get lost in Austin because there’s so many great places, but her places still shine and always will. She took something old and made it fabulous and different from the things that were around it,” Sarah Starry said. “Really we’re just trying to help, if we can, move along this idea that we can mix luxury and travel in Fredericksburg.”

Special touches from area businesses such as Segner’s Pecans, Chocolat and local wineries also contribute to the modern-yet-homespun vibe.

They’re touches that seem to make an impression on guests. The on-site guest book is brimming with glowing reviews, and the property currently enjoys only five-star reviews on Airbnb. After spending an evening there, I can’t help but agree. We couldn’t have had a better visit.

“It’s really cool to just see it and walk in and say, ‘This is exactly what I pictured,’” Sarah Starry said. “The positive feedback is just a cherry on top.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

These airplane ‘seats’ are the closest thing to your bed at home

Airlines make a big deal about the comfort their lie-flat seats provide to business and first-class customers. It’s unusual today to find an airline that doesn’t offer 180-degree recline, fully flat seats in their business and first-class cabins on long-haul flights. Even so, let’s face it: sleeping well on a plane, even sleeping...
Places to go in 2018
Places to go in 2018

From Bourbon Street to the South Pacific pull of Fiji, destinations abound for the tourist with a strong case of wanderlust.  — A one-of-a-kind U.S. city turns 300.   There is no city in the world like New Orleans. Influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and indigenous peoples have made it the ultimate melting...
Start planning your 2018 vacation now: Here are the best times to book flights

Congratulations, you survived another year of holiday travel. However, before you settle into your leather sectional and refuse to lift your "Complete Purchase" finger for another 316 days, you might want to rethink your non-strategy strategy.  "This is a great time of the year to start planning a trip," said Patrick Surry...
Travel deals: Free airfare on European river cruises and 10 percent off packages to Africa

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   - Book by Feb. 2 and save up to $400 on select trips with EF Go Ahead Tours. For example, the Highlights of Eastern Europe tour departing March 26 starts at $1,769 per person double, a $400 savings. The trip includes 13 nights' lodging in Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and...
American Airlines’ new lounge for elite fliers at LAX includes a Bloody Mary bar

To compete for the travel dollars of big-spending fliers, American Airlines recently unveiled two ways to pamper its most elite fliers.  The Fort Worth-based carrier, the world’s largest, opened a new lounge at Los Angeles International Airport last month that includes all the luxuries of a buffet restaurant and bar, plus a counter where...
More Stories