The History of Prince Solms Inn

Prince Solms Inn Bed & Breakfast has become one of Texas’ most famous landmarks. No wonder – we have been in continuous operation since being built by German craftsmen in 1898! Originally named the Comal Hotel by the Eggeling family who built and operated it for more than 50 years, Prince Solms Inn, located one block east of the Town Plaza, is the oldest operational hotel in New Braunfels. 

Emilie Eggeling, an early settler of New Braunfels, built the inn. She had great faith in the City’s future; confident it would prosper and grow. Emilie was right on target. Although New Braunfels had only 2,000 inhabitants in 1898, she knew that its location, beauty, and its two rivers, the Comal and the Guadalupe, assured it an important place in the future. Christian Henry, a builder who came to New Braunfels from his native Germany, did the inn construction. 

Emilie asked Christian to give her an inn that would last and he certainly kept his part of the bargain. Its base is set on 36 inch footings with walls of brick and stone 3 feet thick in the cellar, 18 inches on the first and second floors. Emilie Eggeling left New Braunfels in 1900 to return to Galveston to care for relatives who suffered disaster in the Galveston Hurricane. At that time, members of the Eggeling family took over the management and operated the inn for years. 

It is easy to visualize an Eggeling family member meeting trains with a wagon and bringing traveling salesmen to the hotel. The pulley used to swing baggage to the second floor is still in place. At one time it was used by local farmers to negotiate with buyers; the buyers on the first floor and the farmers occupying the upper floor. Doctors and dentists came to town and rented rooms to treat local patients. Throughout the Inn’s successful history it has provided a warm and charming home for travelers.

As the years have passed, families of the Inn’s first patrons have continued to visit. Many have been married on the stairs and in the tree-shaded courtyard, held receptions in the parlor and cellar downstairs, and honeymooned in our suites. Countless others have continued to celebrate special occasions at the Inn. Followers and fans of Prince Solms Inn now number thousands! They come from all over the United States and many foreign countries.

The exterior material of the inn is a soft beige-colored brick handmade for this structure on the banks of the Guadalupe River. They were transported to the site by horse-drawn wagons. The lumber in the inn is cypress, milled from giant trees cut from the banks of the Guadalupe River. Ceilings soar to 14 feet in height on the first floor, 13 feet in height on the second floor. The beautiful front entry doors are 10 feet high and contain exquisitely detailed etched glass. These doors came from a hotel in Galveston that was destroyed by hurricane in the 1900. The bronze fittings that hold the doors were purchased in Europe.

Prince Solms Inn features two luxury suites on the first floor and eight guest rooms on the second floor, all with private baths. Carl’s Suite and Sophie’s Suite are named for the founder of New Braunfels and his fiancée. The second floor guest rooms are named for the gloriously 1940’s patterned wallpaper which decorates their walls. All of the suites, rooms, and parlor are furnished with sturdy antiques, exceptional lighting fixtures, and carefully chosen paintings and prints. The stone patio and some of the courtyard came from the floor of an old Comal County jail. An outdoor fireplace on the patio captures the feeling of the Spanish Governor’s Palace in San Antonio.

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The New Braunfels Feed Store, built in 1860, was restored in 2000 and it was discovered that the foundation, walls and ceilings are cypress and square nails that were used to secure the floor and other parts of the structure. The original freight doors open onto the loading dock on the West side of the building. During restoration the 11-foot ceilings allowed construction of lofts in each of the bedrooms. The floors were refinished to reveal seven inch wide tongue and groove honey gold pine. Once restored, it was converted into 3 large guest rooms, all with private baths. One of the guest rooms, Texas Room, has a fully furnished kitchen in it. It is great for families who want to stay a while and enjoy the sites of New Braunfels! 

Another building associated with the Inn is the old stable, built in the 1840’s, which was used for the draft horses which pull carriages around New Braunfels on weekend evenings. Sam Houston stabled his horse there while on a visit to the city on the 1850’s.

Also, the Joseph Klein House, built by this German settler in 1852, sits just behind the inn and now serves as a guest cottage. It once served as Joseph Klein’s cobbler shop and family residence. Over a hundred years ago, this small house was moved to the back of the lot to make way for the new hotel. It was renovated and returned to its original cypress interior in 1999. A living room with queen sleeper sofa, a bedroom with queen size bed, a bathroom and kitchen area make up the interior.

Both the Prince Solms Inn and the Joseph Klein Haus are registered Texas heritage landmarks.