With an ornate high-ceilinged lobby and generously sized, lavishly decorated guestrooms, the 225-room Skirvin Hilton delivers an outstanding lodging experience. William Balser “Bill” Skirvin built the hotel in 1911 to have two 10-story towers, later adding a third wing and four additional stories. After decades of being considered a premiere place to stay, the hotel deteriorated and eventually closed in 1987. It remained vacant until a $56 million renovation revived it as the Skirvin Hilton in 2007. The lush decor—mostly rich gold, red and brown—reflects both the Art Deco era and the personal taste of Skirvin’s daughter, Perle Mesta, a legendary socialite and U.S. ambassador. (The Red Piano Lounge is a tribute to her.)
Our large room consisted of a comfortable king-size bed, desk, dresser, flat-screen TV, chair and sizeable bath. Historical pictures line the hallways and the lobby; if you’re curious to learn more, ask the front desk staff to print a self-guided tour sheet. You’ll read interesting tidbits about the floors, carvings, elevator doors, stairwell and chandeliers.
Two gripes: no free Wi-Fi and a mediocre breakfast. The Park Avenue Grill on the first floor is a lovely setting, but balsamic flavor overwhelmed the egg white frittata with tomato, basil and mozzarella ($13). Huevos rancheros ($11) proved a better choice for its mix of black beans, salsa, fried egg and queso fresco in a corn tortilla. With tax, tip and two glasses of milk, our breakfast bill for two came to almost $50. If you eat here, we recommend ordering something more mainstream. (Or go a couple of blocks down the street to the Colcord’s Flint Restaurant, where we had a delightful breakfast for about half the price.)
The Skirvin Hilton is within walking distance of many downtown attractions, including Bricktown, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Chesapeake Energy Arena, the convention center, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and Myriad Botanical Gardens. Room rates start at $179.