The Inn on the River has been a staple in Glen Rose for over 100 years.
What first began as Dr. Snyder’s Drugless Health Sanitarium in 1919 is now a historic inn that lies on the banks of the Paluxy River and offers guests a scenic getaway from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives.
Inn on the River was established in November 1984 and has been in business continuously ever since.
The current owner, Pamela Streeter, took over the property on June 10, 2019.
“I have been in the hotel business my entire career, so I've worked for the hotel and hospitality industry for 30 years. I had a midlife crisis and while most people go buy motorcycles or sports cars, I bought a hotel,” she said with a laugh.
The inn offers 21 uniquely-decorated rooms filled with antiques and plush resort towels and organic cotton sheets.
Each room comes with free Wi-Fi, French feather beds, en suite bathrooms, ceiling fans and individually controlled air conditioning.
In the summer, guests can enjoy floating the river on inner tubes and playing outdoor activities like croquet, cornhole and bocce ball.
A full gourmet breakfast is served daily in the hotel’s spacious dining room that features spectacular views of the riverfront.
The property has seven 300-year-old live oak trees as well as a cluster of trees called “The Singing Trees,” which inspired the song by the same name that was recorded in the 1960s by Elvis Presley for the movie soundtrack, “The Clambake.”
“We like to say we’re once removed from Elvis,” Streeter said.
Recently, the inn obtained its adult beverage license and now serves beer, wine and distilled liquor on the premises.
Streeter is also in the process of restoring the property and says it hasn’t been renovated since 1993.
"The exterior of the property has gone through a lot of change,” she said. “In the 80s and 90s, it was made to look like an English manor house, but it had become overgrown with foliage that was destroying the building, so we came in and removed all of that. We have restored all of the rotted wood. We have gone under the building and fixed the termite damage. We’ve had to replace a number of windows and we are in the process of painting it.”
Streeter had to remove the swimming pool that was built in the 1980s because it didn’t meet code but in doing so, opened up the grounds for much better views. Now, some of the rooms actually have a water view.
“We’re doing little things here and there, taking care of things that needed a little extra love. We don’t want to take the charm of the place away, but we do want to update and modernize things for our guests,” she said.
She updated the artwork with some of her own she has collected from around the world as well as the furniture.
“That feeling of you’re walking into a home, that sensation, we want to treat all of our guests like they’re our favorite relatives,” Streeter said. “Our motto is basically to treat everybody as individuals.”
Of course, Streeter couldn’t have accomplished all of this without the help of her friend and partner, Scott Cole.
“We like to say he’s the brawn. I’m supposed to be the brains, but it doesn’t always work out that way,” Streeter joked.
But the main life of the party is Streeter’s 8-year-old English lab, Ryman.
"We tell our guests he is here for their entertainment, but he really expects them to entertain him,” she said. “He will go out and play ball with the guests and give them company."
One thing that makes Inn on the River so unique is its lack of clocks, telephones or televisions.
“It helps in getting away and disconnecting from the hectic life and allowing people to refocus on themselves and their friends, partners and family. We keep a game closet and a lot of people break out board games and just have fun,” Streeter said.
She also loves the inn’s atmosphere and energy that leaves guests feeling relaxed.
"We see it as people walk in the door after they’ve driven in. They may feel a little harried, but by the time they sit down and we check them in, everything starts to relax. Their shoulders drop and they’re breathing deeper,” she said.
Although Inn on the River has changed throughout the years, Streeter’s goal is for it to become something more than just a hotel.
“Our mission is to make the town proud,” she said. “What we’re doing here as far as making the building ready to stand another 100 years is something we’re doing out of love for history because it's important to recognize your past and help keep it a part of your future.”