Did you know there’s the most amazing new hotel in Waco? Take a tour of the 1928 hotel with tons of pictures and all the details on our visit.

When I first got married, I always imagined the day when we’d take a spur-of-the-moment trip.

You know.

Where you look at each other and decide that you need an adventure and you pack your bags and your toothbrush and head out of town at a moment’s notice.

I’ve never really been a spur-of-the momenter.


I’m a little more of a one-day-I’ll-get-to-it-because-what-I’m-doing-now-is-so-much-more-importanter.

But not this time.

I was reading the Magnolia Magazine and read about the brand new Hotel 1928 that just opened in Waco and I showed it to my husband and yesterday we found ourselves standing in the lobby of 701 Washington Avenue.

We ate dinner in the rooftop restaurant and watched the Christmas lights display in the rooftop bar and strolled through all the Christmas displays and hung out in the library and had the most wonderful random conversations with the other patrons of the hotel.

And I thought of all of you.

And that you might want to see this brand new Waco hotel. So I took pictures. Lots and lots and LOTS of pictures. So many pictures that this is actually a two-part series on the hotel. It was just too much amazingness to put in one post.

Let’s GO.

1928 is waiting.

A Tour Of the 1928 Hotel In Waco

This is me in front of the hotel.

LOOK at that entrance—the stone-carved doorway is so beautiful.

It’s a small luxury boutique hotel with 33 rooms (I’ll show you pictures of my room tomorrow).

When you pull up at the entrance there’s valet parking with the sweetest attendant who asked me if I wanted to have my picture taken in front of the sign. There’s even a line in the concrete where you stand at the perfect angle to make sure you can see the entrance and the sign.

This is the lobby that’s just inside that carved door entrance.

There’s a check-in stand (that I couldn’t get a picture of because it was surrounded by people) with a brass bell and calling cards and they checked us in and asked us if we wanted complimentary coffee service in the morning.


Hot coffee served to my room?

1928 is my new favorite year.

There are two entrances off the main lobby.

To the left is the downstairs restaurant.

This is the small sitting area in the front.

To the left up a marble ramp is this beautiful seating area.

There were Christmas trees everywhere and it felt like you had stepped back in time.

The hotel smelled AMAZING. The lady at the gift shop told me the scent was a candle that Joanna had designed and it smelled exactly like you think the holidays should smell—almost like all the smells of a simmer pot. There was music playing everywhere and it felt just like you were walking into a place that you had been hundreds of times before.

(edited to add: I think I found the candle on the Magnolia website. It’s called Joyeux Noel and it’s on sale right now. You can see it here.)

And we made so many new friends.

We chatted here with several couples and laughed with the lady at the gift shop and the lady at the coffee shop told us Merry Christmas on the way to the library.

And oh-—the library.

Of all the libraries in all the world this is the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen.

There are two sets of stairs that you walk down to the bottom floor where the library is tucked into the corner of the hotel.

There’s a giant stone fireplace in the center and groups of seating areas all over the space with it’s dark paneled walls and giant soaring ceilings.

There are vintage chess sets and games and books and cozy couches and velvet club chairs everywhere.

I could have grabbed a book and spent hours curled up in the corner of this space.

Everywhere you look there are vintage finds and vintage rugs and books.

I felt like I had stepped into the pages of a vintage novel.

You know what’s funny?

When I was there? I felt like I was taking picture after picture and when I went to edit these photos? I feel like I didn’t take enough.

There were so many details that I want to share with you and these pictures are just the tip of the amazing iceberg that is the Hotel 1928. The time went by so fast. I kept finding new little vintage details in the hotel (wait until I share the room with you).

But we did get the most important photo.

One of our new friends took this as we were coming down the stairs.

It was the most amazing couple of days in Waco.

I’m so happy we took the trip.

It was amazing.

All these years—I’ve never really been a spur-of-the momenter. I’ve never really just planned things at the last minute.

But if this is what spur-of-the-momenting turns into?

I’m turning over a new leaf. 🙂

PS I’ll be back tomorrow with more pictures and a tour of the room. If you follow me on Instagram-–I’m also sharing TONS of videos of the hotel that I took, too.

PPS You can see all the details and even more information about the Hotel 1928 here.

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  1. Image for Diana Clark Diana Clark

    I'm assuming Joanna refurbished the hotel? Looks amazing. I love that you took a spur of the moment trip. Sometimes those make the best memories! Thank you for the tour

  2. Image for Monique Marie Bray Monique Marie Bray

    How wonderful of you to share your experience at that lovely hotel. I was wondering if Jojo and Chip actually were in charge of redesigning the decor at the hotel. Can't wait to see what your bedroom looked like. Thanks, Moniqiue-Marie Montreal, Qc ps: I did live in Austin, Tx for a while

  3. Image for Nana Diana Nana Diana

    Hi Karianne- I went back and re-read to make sure I didn't miss what I was looking for. Do you know the name of the scented candle that smelled like "Christmas" at the hotel. I thought maybe it could be ordered online. Wonderful tour. I absolutely LOVE those spur of the moment trips. Make sure you take the opportunity to do it more often. We can no longer do it due to hubby's health issues and now I wish I had made the time to do it more often. I, too, was "too busy" to go so many times. Happy Holidays to you. I have always loved your blog! Hugs- NanaDiana

  4. Image for Connie Sumner Connie Sumner

    So beautiful! I have been watching the renovation on their channel and it’s just amazing. This Georgia girl needs a TX trip to see your beautiful state! Thank you for sharing and can’t wait to see your post tomorrow.

  5. Image for Becky Becky

    Oh my! I was there Monday night when you checked in. I knew I recognized you! I’m so sorry I missed the chance to speak in person. I’ve been following you for years and I admire all you do. My friends and I really enjoyed are evening there. Next time I’m saying Hi! and Merry Christmas!

  6. Image for Debbie Debbie

    If you haven’t already seen the show. Chip and JoAnna are doing the restoration of the 1928 Hotel on The Magnolia Network. You can probably watch it on demand if you’re interested. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, as JoAnna and her team make all the decisions for the hotel. Joanna is a very talented woman and I love her work, she did an outstanding job on this project. I’m so glad that you two were able to share the experience of the hotel, it sounds like you had an amazing time together. I hope to do the same someday soon.

  7. Image for Kathy W Ryder Kathy W Ryder

    Thank you so very much for your fabulous pictures of the Hotel 1928. I've been watching the Magnolia network with Chip and Joanna as they take on this massive renovation. And you just made it more personal. Absolutely fabulous job. Thank you. Kathy Ryder, Frisco City, Alabama. And I love your blog.

  8. Image for laura laura

    love this! Waco is on a US trip visit bucket list! Great job! We have a library wall painted in navy so pinning a few of those pics! laura

  9. Image for Jan McKenzie Jan McKenzie

    How wonderful that you had this experience at 1928. How can we get that Joanna Gaines candle you spoke of from the gift shop?

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Jan, I think it was the Joyeux Noel Candle and you can find it in the Magnolia shop! It's on sale right now and it's linked here: https://bit.ly/3NgU1p7 Happy day! KariAnne

  10. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    Spur of the moment trips are the BEST! So glad you did it! Once on a trip home to Hilton Head from Christmas in Palm Beach I decided to surprise the family with a stop at Daytona Speedway to drive a race car around the track! I reserved our rooms on my phone from the car, reserved the driving tickets and we’ve talked about it ever since! My daughter asked her driver to “ “please open the door”- he smiled and told her she had to crawl thru the window- doors don’t open for safety!😁😁BEST Christmas ever!

  11. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Wow! How beautiful! Our home is a 1920 cottage(if you 4 stories a cottage). So I loved seeing how the hotel was decorated. 😍

  12. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Perfect timing…following along with the episodes…you gave me the placement of those books from the collection Chip bought…and smelled the scent that they were creating in the last episode. Thank you for taking us along for the spur of the moment trip…which by the way, looks great on you!

  13. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Oh, my goodness, what a neat visit!!! I am so glad you two did this. Isn't everything so awesome looking? All that Art Deco goodness - post WW1 - the heart-beat of life was starting to beat again with so many changes happening so fast. I love that J and C took this project on. They are two of the best, aren't they? Sure hope to get to Waco one of these days!!! I do have to ask though - do you know anything about what looks to me like a bowl of burned dominoes? Is there some significance to them? Thanks for sharing, KA. What a hotel, wow! Can't wait for more on it from you!

  14. Image for Linda Linda

    KariAnne, Thank you for sharing your trip to Hotel 1928. I’ve been watching the renovations and the choices Joanne and Chip have made. Like picking out their scent that is shared throughout the hotel, amazing. All that hard work over 3+ years, choices made, vision coming to reality…can’t wait to stay there on our next trip to Waco! Looking forward to tomorrow’s posting!

  15. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Wow !!! I'm so happy you two got a chance to just relax and enjoy each other. That's crucial this time of year. I look forward to seeing your continued tour of this hotel. Welcome home. Big Hugs,

  16. Image for Diana Diana

    I'm very happy you took time out for an adventure this time of year. The hotel looks amazing and the library fits the name. I can't wail till tomorrow, In the meantime I will imagine it.

  17. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Thanks for the tour, Karianne. I noticed there was a new Magnolia show about this hotel, but I haven't had time to check it out. So, I appreciate the tour. I especially love the library and partially tiled flooring in the entry. How lovely for you and your sweet hubby to get away and enjoy yourselves. Happy holidays!

  18. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Thank you for bringing us along and sharing these photos! I look forward to seeing your room photos tomorrow. I am definitely going to stay there next time I am in Waco visiting my Baylor Bear!

  19. Image for Jem Jem

    Thank you, KariAnne, for sharing the beautiful photos! I’m sure it’s magical, especially at Christmas! Looking forward to seeing more❤️🎄


    KariAnne, how nice that you and your precious hubby were able to spend some time in Waco at Hotel 1928! I really enjoyed your pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us! This hotel is quite the place and Joanna & Chip have done a fabulous job of restoring this old hotel. Hopefully, we will get to visit Waco in the spring and stay at this hotel.

  21. Image for Nadia Nadia

    This hotel looks very elegant and it seems from your story the hospitality extended was wonderful too. I was interested to see the Moorish Revival architectural elements such as the stone arch over the entryway and the painted wooden ceiling with motifs similar to those I've seen in tea houses in Central Asia. Looked into the history of the building itself also, very interesting. Thank you for sharing the experience.

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