Wanderstay ,Deidre Mathis, Wanderstay hostel

Deidre Mathis Makes History, Opens Houston’s First Black-Owned Boutique Hotel

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was on hand to celebrate and honor the opening of the city’s first Black-owned hotel on August 28. The new 10-room, adults-only Wanderstay Boutique Hotel is located in downtown Houston and caters to both business and leisure travelers.

Its owner, Deidre Mathis, first made history when she opened Wanderstay Houston Hostel, the first Black-owned hostel in the United States, in 2018. The hostel has hosted over 15,000 guests from more than 30 countries since its opening. Now, Mathis is bringing a themed one-of-a-kind accommodation to the city that has a little something for everyone.

According to Travel Noire, rooms at the Wanderstay Boutique Hotel include the Black and White Art Museum, Desert Vibes, and Houston Sports Teams. More easygoing travelers can simply book a room and let the hotel’s staff choose their experience.

“You can literally stay with us ten different times and have ten different experiences,” Mathis said. “We have a Music Lovers Room, a Winter Wonderland Room, and a Safari Room.”

For the 36-year-old hotelier, it’s all about providing a safe, fun, welcoming, and unforgettable experience.

Mathis, who herself has traveled to more than 46 countries and seven continents, is part of a very rare community of hotel owners of color. According to Travel Noire, less than 2% of hotel owners in the U.S. are Black, and the numbers are even lower for women.

“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.”

With a blessing from megastar and Houston native Beyoncé’s BeyGood Foundation, Mathis has been able to push the boundaries of what it means to be Black in the hotel business; her next goal is to teach others how to do the same. “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,” she said. “My hope and goals are that it’s life-changing for people who want to get in this industry.”

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