On September 6, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:It’s hard to survive the Houston heat without a pool readily available, and The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa completely understands this. Taking advantage of its 18 wooded acres, this resort showcases not one, but three pools to cool off in during those brutal Texas summers. Whether you are clocking your 50 daily laps, lounging poolside with a beverage, or splashing during a game of water volleyball, the pool area at The Houstonian has an aquatic pastime for you.
After you’ve soaked up some rays and are ready to be refreshed, ease your way into the resort pool with its walk-in entry, letting your body cool off one step at a time. Snag one of the coveted lounge chairs on the sunning shelf so you can stay submerged while you bask in the sun. When you tire of tanning, let the fun begin with the 32-foot-long slide buried into the rock-scape or splash under the waterfalls and the geysers scattered throughout the pool. You can even challenge your pals to a game of water basketball or a friendly match of water volleyball. The gym offers aquatic classes in one part of the pool, so check the schedule to join in. And, yes, the pool is that big that you can be sunning in one area, volleying in another and doing “poolates” in the next. There is even a baby pool, Little Lagoon, so the tykes can splash around, too.
For fitness addicts, the sports pool is your panacea. The 25-yard-by-25-meter competition pool has the latest and greatest pool technology. With anti-wave lane lines, removable starting blocks and pace clocks plus a digital clock, the sports pool is just six-feet deep for the best hydrodynamics. The heat pump technology used to heat and cool the water makes the lap pool the perfect temperature throughout your sporty swim.
To get in touch with your mind, body and soul, or just for a quiet escape from the exciting resort pool, make your way to the garden pool. Heated to a therapeutic temperature year round, you can soothe your muscles and rid yourself of stress as you soak in this pool. There is also a lap swim lane if you want to exercise without the pressure of the competition lap pool.
A stamped concrete deck envelops all three of the fabulous pools, providing a much cooler surface than cement or wood decks. With four new restrooms — one with a shower and two with baby changing stations — you don’t have to make the trek to your room every time you finish a soda. Speaking of, the Gazebo serves drinks and a special pool menu to keep your stomach satisfied during your pool session.
On September 6, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Tucked away from the chaos of the nation’s fourth-largest city, The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa sits upon 18 lush, wooded acres. While you may feel like you are a world away from the busy city life, you are just a hop, skip and a jump from rejoining civilization. At 111 North Post Oak Lane, this urban resort is less than a mile from the 610 Loop (Houston’s main highway); but if you didn’t see it on your drive in, you would never know that the highway was so close.
Considering you are within minutes of Houston’s shopping mecca, the Galleria, navigating your way around town is as easy as one, two, three. You are just a short drive away from the city’s most affluent neighborhood, River Oaks, and just across the highway from the Bayou City’s popular Memorial Park. Whether you want to explore the area or simply explore the property’s grounds, your options are endless.
The moment you roll down the long driveway, you’ll know that your stay at The Houstonian is something special. Though some may want to escape from the city, this Houston hotel is a getaway in the city.
On September 6, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Perched on 18 lush acres in the bustling Bayou City, The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa feels like it’s a world away. Sure you may feel like you are miles from civilization, but you are in the heart of the most posh part of town. In fact, you are less than a mile to the busy 610 Loop. There’s a lot to love about this Houston hotel, but here are our Forbes Travel Guide editor’s favorite things about The Houstonian:
1. The gym. We can’t even compare your average hotel gym to the gym at the Houstonian. As a private club for much of the city of Houston, the gym is out of this world amazing. We’re talking 175,000 square feet of fitness wonderland. With 250 state-of-the art cardio and strength training machines, you’ll likely find that The Houstonian Club is nicer than your gym at home. It’s consistently ranked as one the top fitness clubs in the nation.
2. Trellis. Just steps from the lobby is the hotel’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa, Trellis, The Spa at The Houstonian. With 21 treatment rooms and a full salon, you can’t go wrong choosing to relax here. Lounge by the saltwater indoor float pool with a glass of citrus-infused water, or indulge in the endless array of treatments. Slipping into the tranquil world of relaxation doesn’t get much better than a treatment at Trellis.
3. Décor. From the rustic fireplace in the lobby to the mahogany accented walls, the décor pays homage to all things Texan. While at first the lobby atrium of this luxury hotel feels a bit like a hunting lodge, you’ll quickly appreciate the easy elegance in the overstuffed sofas and the regal staircase.
4. Pools. It’s hard to beat the Houston heat without taking a dip in the pool. The Houstonian takes advantage of their lush, wooded property by featuring not one but three pristine outdoor pools. With a top-notch lap pool complete with anti-wave lane lines, a resort pool boasting a 32-foot slide through the rock-scape and a tranquilly therapeutic garden pool, this resort has an aquatic escape for everyone.
5. Location. Hidden from the hectic life of the country’s fourth largest city, The Houstonian certainly feels like it is in a remote location. That’s the beauty of this resort; it feels a million miles away, but in reality you are less than a mile from the 610 Loop, minutes from the shopping mecca of the Galleria and a short drive from Houston’s financial district.
On September 5, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Sitting in the center of Grand Circle, Canyon Point experiences extremes when it comes to weather so the best time of year to visit depends on your preferences. Sure, it’s the desert, but that doesn’t mean it’s always hot. In the winter (December and January) you’ll find temperatures dropping to an average high between 30 F and 40 F with cold nights and an occasional light snowfall. When southern Utah welcomes spring, you’ll find crisp days in the 50s and 60s with chilly nights. Summer brings the heat during the day, but the evenings are pleasantly refreshing — enough to make you forget about the desert heat. Fall is a lot like spring, with mild days and chilly nights.
Canyon Point has beautiful weather year-round, but target your visit depending on your favorite activities For example, whitewater rafting is best during the warmer months when the river is flowing and the air is warm. For hiking, we suggest booking a trip during the spring or fall for ideal temperatures. If you’re really heading to the desert to sunbathe, the summers are great — but don’t forget sunscreen.
On September 5, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:From Canyon Point it’s a bit of a hike to the Grand Canyon — or, more accurately, a two-and-a-half hour drive each way. On the plus side, the drive through this sun-washed desert landscape is about as picture perfect as driving gets — and the journey is definitely worth it when you lay your eyes on the Grand Canyon. If you’re lucky enough to snag a room at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Amangiri, the Canyon Point resort offers transportation to the Grand Canyon for guests. Book an activity (say, a hike, horseback ride or whitewater rafting) and transportation to and from the Grand Canyon is included.
On September 5, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Located at the Utah-Arizona border, Canyon Point is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, this Utah oasis features great hiking, spectacular natural wonders and views that stretch as far as the eye can see. Here are Forbes Travel Guide editor picks for the best things to see and do in Canyon Point:
1. Take a hike. Canyon Point sits within the United States’ Four Corners region and offers some of the nation’s best hiking. Trails range from beginner to advanced and can take anywhere from one to five hours. Set out on the Cave Trail for a taste of one of the better known hikes in the area, which brings you to Ulrike’s Cave. Or, explore the Coyote Trail, where you’ll find great sunset views toward Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
2. Gaze at the stars. One of the perks of being in the middle of the desert is that you’re far from the hubbub of big-city life. Here, night skies are so clear you’ll think you’re in a planetarium. Whether you’re from New York or L.A., the glittering stars above Canyon Point are worth the trip.
3. Venture to the Grand Canyon. You can’t visit the Four Corners region without exploring the country’s most famous natural wonder. The Grand Canyon is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Canyon Point and is a must-see. Do everything from riding a donkey down the narrow paths to whitewater rafting on the Colorado River.
4. Get a spa treatment. We can’t think of better way to relax in Canyon Point than at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Amangiri’s spa. The Aman Spa at Amangiri blends beautifully into the surrounding rock formations, offering a deep sense of awe and relaxation. The treatments reflect elements of the Navajo culture and healing traditions.
5. Explore the national parks. Canyon Point is surrounded by national parks, many of which offer stunning views of the surrounding desert. In addition to Grand Canyon National Park, this Utah town is also near Zion National Park (home to a diverse plant and animal population), Monument Valley’s iconic sandstone buttes, Bryce Canyon National Park’s hoodoos and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:While NINE18 does accept walk-ins, our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest making a reservation. Whether you’re staying at Villas of Grand Cypress or just visiting the resort, it’s easy to reserve a table at NINE18. You can call the restaurant directly, which is best if you have questions about its seafood-and-steak-filled menu or have a large group. You can also snag a table at NINE18 by going on OpenTable.com and choosing the date and time that you’d like to dine at the dinner-only Orlando restaurant. The upscale eatery is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. and is a great place for private parties and group dining.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Although it’s the only upscale restaurant at Villas of Grand Cypress, NINE18 doesn’t have a strict cancellation policy. You can cancel your reservation at any time without penalty, though our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest giving as much notice as possible so someone else can snag your spot. Whether you book your table through OpenTable.com or call the Orlando restaurant directly, you have the option of canceling if something comes up last minute. Of course, bailing on your dinner reservation means missing a delicious meal along with a beautiful sunset on the edge of the golf course — but that’s your only punishment.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:You won’t have to worry about a strict dress code for your steak dinner at NINE18. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors like that this Orlando restaurant is both relaxing and upscale. While the official dress code is business casual, men will be fine in nice jeans and a polo or button-down shirt. As for the ladies, you’ll feel comfortable in a dress, skirt or pants — something you’d wear to the office. Considering this is a dinner-only steakhouse, it’s dressier than its counterpart (a sports bar) but far from formal.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:NINE18 is open from 6 to 10 p.m., appealing to both early birds and night owls. As Villas of Grand Cypress’ upscale dining option, NINE18 is a dinner-only restaurant that serves up hand-cut steaks, chops and fresh seafood every night of the week. Overlooking the Jack Nicklaus signature-designed golf course, this romantic Orlando restaurant is a picturesque place to watch the sun sink down below the fairways. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest planning your dinner around this sight; but even if you miss the sunset, you’ll still be treated to a warm ambience at NINE18. Reservations are highly recommended, so be sure to plan accordingly.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Located on 1,500 acres in Orlando, Nine18 is Villa of Grand Cypress’ dinner-only restaurant. Overlooking the resort’s Jack Nicklaus signature -designed golf course, this elegant eatery boasts great views to go with its chophouse menu. As you pull into the cypress-lined driveway and wind around the property, you’ll find the steakhouse set inside the Clubhouse. The Orlando restaurant (and resort), whose address is 1 N. Jacaranda, is just eight miles north of Walt Disney World. NINE18 is a nice spot to enjoy a romantic dinner, take in the Florida sunset and relax as you soak up the vistas of the fairway.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Villas of Grand Cypress offers two bars on its 1,500- acre grounds. But don’t expect a party scene, since the Orlando resort is just a few miles from kid-centric Walt Disney World. The Club, which doubles as a restaurant and sports bar, is a good spot to unwind after a day on the golf course and catch the game on one of the seven HDTVs. Overlooking the North and South courses, The Club is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though it is a sports bar and definitely has that atmosphere, it’s also family-friendly. That’s not to say there aren’t drinks: The libation menu includes an extensive array of wines, beers and plenty of cocktails. If you’re sunning by the pool, there’s a dedicated bar out there to serve you cool cocktails as well.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:Set on 1,500 acres, Villas of Grand Cypress offers two onsite restaurants, as well as a poolside snack bar. For a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner, our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest heading to The Club. The eatery has a sports-bar-like feel, but it’s still a family-friendly option. Overlooking the fairways of the North and South courses, The Club turns out classic American food — create-your-own skillets and omelets, quarter-pound hot dogs, Reuben Panini, assorted Signature salads — and shows games on its seven HDTVs. The pool bar is another relaxed spot that serves sandwiches, chips and sodas between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
If you’re looking for an upscale dinner, head to NINE18, the newest addition to the Orlando resort. The dinner-only restaurant serves up tender, hand-cut steaks, chops, and fresh seafood. NINE18 also overlooks the golf course (thus, the name), a romantic backdrop to your filet mignon or twin lobster tails with lemon-chive butter sauce.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:If you plan on calling off your trip to Villas of Grand Cypress, be aware that the cancellation policy requires that you give plenty of notice. Villas of Grand Cypress has a 72-hour cancellation policy, so try not to bail on your trip at the last minute. When you book your villa, the Orlando resort requires a deposit equal to one night’s stay (exclusive of taxes and resort fees) — unless you book the “advance purchase” rate, in which case you have to pay in full. Cancel before the three-day period and your deposit will be fully refunded — with the exception of rooms reserved at the advance purchase rate, which can’t be canceled at all. You’ll forfeit the deposit if you fall within the 72-hour mark.
On August 24, 2012Hayley Bosch answered the question:The average price of a room at Villas of Grand Cypress depends on which type of accommodations you book. And with villas ranging from 650 square feet to a spacious 2,800 square feet, the options are plentiful.
Of course, the time of year you visit the Orlando resort will also affect the price. The 650-square-foot Club Suites can be as little as $145 a night between May and September. In the shoulder season (October through December), the rate gets hiked up to $275; while the high season (January through April), it can be as much as $400. The price for the larger villas runs the same pattern: Expect to shell out around $245 for a one-bedroom during the low season and $500 in the high season. The two-bedroom villas are a steal in the low season at $310 a night, but can be as much as $840 during peak travel times. The spacious three-bedroom villas come in between $450 and $1,240, while the four-bedroom accommodations cost anywhere from $600 to $1,640.