Photo Credit: Strata Visuals
Black Woman Hotelier Makes History With 'First Adult-Themed Boutique Hotel'
Deidre Mathis is making history once again in Houston. Mathis made history in 2018 with Wanderstay Houston Hostel. It’s the first Black-owned hostel in the United States. She’s back at it again by opening the first adults-only themed boutique hotel.
Wanderstay Boutique Hotel is a 10-room, adults-only, themed hotel. The rooms range from the Black and White Art Museum, Safari Escape, Desert Vibes and Houston Sports Teams. Guests also can book a room and let staff choose their own room theme as a surprise.
After the hotel’s success, which has welcomed more than 15,000 guests from more than 30 countries since its opening in 2018, Mathis wanted to give visitors and people looking for a staycation a unique experience.
She’s traveled to more than 46 countries and seven continents and understands the importance of having fun, safe and unique accommodations while traveling. Located in Houston’s Midtown area, the property was converted from a thirty-year-old air condition warehouse to a 7,000-square-foot themed hotel.
“You can literally stay with us ten different times and have ten different experiences,” Mathis tells Travel Noire. “We have a Music Lovers Room, a Winter Wonderland Room and A Safari Room.”
Besides the theme-filled fun, each room has plush robes, slippers, a robe and a towel warmer for comfort.
Breaking Barriers For Hotel Owners of Color
At 36 years old, Mathis is breaking barriers for hotel owners of color where there’s hardly any representation. A report from Hotel Management reveals less than two percent of hotel owners in the U.S. identify as Black. These numbers are lower for Black women, as less than one percent of hotel owners identify as Black women.
Mathis plans to change that narrative through future programming.
“The greatest barrier for aspiring Black hotel owners is the financial hurdle of opening a hotel,” Mathis said. “It’s capital intensive. You either have to come from money, have an investor, or get a bank loan to make this happen.”
Mathis added, “I’m going to start a course to teach people how to open their own hotels with all the knowledge I gained over the past seven years. My hope and goals are that it’s life-changing for people who want to get in this industry.”
She has some strong backing. The company was granted a small business grant from Houston’s own superstar, Beyonce, through her BeyGood Foundation.