From the 1920s until the 1940s, the hotel was known as the "Playground of the Southwest," attracting celebrities like
Jimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Duke Ellington, and Frank Sinatra. The National Register-listed
hotel even served as a temporary White House for President Teddy Roosevelt.
The Galveston seawall, a 10-mile-long structure, protected the Hotel Galvez and many other historic properties
on the island. The hotel lost clay tiles from the roof and sustained two feet of floodwater on the lower level,
where the spa, fitness center, offices, and laundry facilities are located.