Magnolia founders Chip and Joanna Gaines — stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper — have reopened a nearly century-old hotel in their hometown.
Hotel 1928, formerly known as the Karem, is a 53,000-square-foot boutique hotel in Waco, Texas, that features over 30 units, a two-story library, a rooftop terrace, multiple food and beverage areas, and more than 6,600 square feet of event space.
The hotel had been abandoned for over two decades before being purchased by Chip in 2018 and then renovated by the couple in collaboration with Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners.
“Last week was surreal as we opened the doors to a boutique hotel in the heart of our town, alongside our partner AJ Capital,” said Joanna in a November blog post titled “Behind the Design of the Hotel.”
“What began as a surprise purchase from Chip in 2018 became our biggest fixer-upper to date — and now that Hotel 1928 has swung open its doors and welcomed guests in, we can’t wait to show you a behind-the-scenes look at the design and renovation journey of this special space just a few blocks from the Silos.”
While the Waco hotel received extensive renovations, the Gaines maintained some of the structure’s original elements and charm. These included the exterior masonry, terrazzo flooring, cased openings, and walnut wood windows, which were kept throughout the building.
The hotel’s renovation process is featured on the HGTV series Fixer Upper: The Hotel, which premiered on the Magnolia Network in November.
Renovating such a historically significant building was a little daunting for the Texas couple at first, but once Ben Weprin of AJ Capital was invited to walk the space, everyone’s minds began spinning with ideas, according to Joanna.
The refurbished hotel was redesigned with “Middle Eastern, Moorish, and revival influences,” with an exterior color palette that harkens back to the “roaring 20s.”
“When you step inside, we really want it to feel like you’re stepping back in time, and that every space would feel like permission to get swept up in that nostalgia, whether you’re dining in one of the restaurants, playing a game of chess in the library, or relaxing in your room,” Joanna said.
Additional information about Hotel 1928 can be found on its website.