Editor’s note: the Olivia Mansion in Seguin was hit by lightning and caught on fire in spring of 2021, with extensive fire and water damage. Until extensive restoration work is complete, it is not available for booking.
Seguin, Texas, roughly 40 minutes east of San Antonio off U.S. 10 is one of Texas’s oldest towns and worth a stop for its Old West ambiance and unique history. The Olivia Mansion, a Victorian beauty B&B in Seguin’s downtown is worth a stay for its loveliness, intrigue and relaxing comfort. Plus, the hospitality here is splendid. We stayed one night on our summer road trip after our stop at the Michabelle Inn in Louisiana.
Built over 121 years ago, the Olivia Mansion, originally owned by Emil Mosheim, a prominent lawyer in town, has gone through several updates and changes which blend Victorian authenticity with modern comfort. It’s now owned by two sisters who bought the property as a joint B&B venture with an added use as a wedding and reception venue.
The original part of the mansion has been restored and furnished to reflect the time period of the Mosheim family. Gleaming, polished floors, light fixtures, and stained glass windows reflect the stature of this home in Seguin’s earlier days. Victorian era furniture and decor, however, is well-placed to be welcoming to modern guests.
Armed with my laptop, I settled into a spot at the end of one of the dining room tables in order to have some writing time after our late arrival. Although surrounded by antiques, I felt perfectly comfortable hanging out here, as well as, taking a walk through the added on section of the mansion that includes a ballroom.
There are two sitting rooms for visiting as well. The ladies’ parlor at the front of the house has furniture with elegant needlepoint details of the cushions and period paintings.
Our room, Abelina’s Room, in the original part of the mansion, is a perfect example of how old meets new. Once the nursery, Abelina’s Room features a king size bed in an antique frame, a matching dresser and a flat screen TV. Our private bath with its plush towels, bathrobes and toiletries was down the hall and accessible by our room key. The high ceiling and tiled floor were the Victorian era features while the walk-in shower was pure 21st century.
Julia’s Suite, the original master bedroom, has a sitting room with the bathroom across the hall.
The other guest rooms (the mansion has six total) include private baths as part of each room’s layout. Those rooms in the added section of the mansion have aesthetically interesting architectural features. For example, Madeline’s Room incorporates the brick wall exterior of the original section of the house.
Regardless of the room one books, breakfast is served in the original mansion’s dining room. This was a lovely experience of fresh berries and an egg and asparagus casserole accompanied with roasted potatoes. Seriously scrumptious.
There was one other couple staying who had been to Seguin before. They, along with the inn keeper who makes sure Olivia Mansion runs smoothly for the owners, gave us tips on what to do in the area. During our conversation, we speculated about the possibility of ghosts in the house. Some say yes. If so, I declare them friendly.
The inn keeper who lives off-site but comes in bright and early to prepare breakfast also ensured that our late arrival was smooth. I called her to let her know we would be arriving late which wasn’t a problem. We were given directions on how to access the main door using a code. Super simple. An envelope with the key and instructions for how to access the WiFi and to make ourselves at home were left in an envelope in the downstairs entrance.
Rates vary depending upon the room and whether booking on a weekend or a weekday. Julia’s Suite weekend rate is $239. Our weekday rate for Abelina’a Room was $129 at Hotels.com. Other amenities include: a microwave and refrigerator for guest use, plus coffee and tea facilities. There are also board games.
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein