Answers from Our Experts (2)
When it comes to hotels in Houston, Texas' "Lone Star State" moniker doesn't quite fit — there are four distinct hotels that each claim Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star status. There's an option for every type of traveler in our roundup of the best hotels in Houston.
Active travelers will enjoy all the fit and fun amenities offered at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, a Forbes Traevl Guide Four-Star hotel that's located in one of the city's most posh areas. Its location just off the busy 610 Loop puts you in easy access to the city's best attractions and restaurants, but many guests are content to stay on the luxe hotel grounds to take advantage of three pools, a running track, hiking trails that span the 18-acre property and complimentary workout classes at the Houstonian Club. After a day of exercising your body, unwind with an appointment at Trellis, The Spa at The Houstonian, a Four-Star spa that's known for its aromatherapy massage and "Tired Legs" pedicure.
The Four Seasons Hotel Houston is a favorite among business travelers, since the 30-story hotel is close to the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Toyota Center. That doesn't mean this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is all work and no play, though; it's also close to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, and it's within walking distance of cultural attractions and restaurants that have helped revive Houston's Downtown neighborhood in recent years. The onsite restaurant, Quattro, is a Four-Star destination that uses fresh, seasonal ingredients in its daily breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. When you book a room here, you can look forward to nestling into a signature Four Seasons bed each night — reason enough to make a reservation, in our opinion.
Italian architecture sets Houston's Hotel Granduca apart as one of the loveliest hotels in the city. It may be located in a shopping center, but details such as fine Italian linens, fully-stocked kitchens with marble counters and a heated outdoor pool make this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel feel like a self-contained paradise. Other perks, such as chuffeur service and personal training, add to the luxury. Before settling in for the night, we recommend grabbing a nightcap at Bar Malatesta — sipping a Tuscan Sun (Skyy Vodka shaken with peach nectar and a dash of Grenadine Liquor) while enjoying live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights is one of our favorite things to do in Houston.
The ritzy River Oaks neighborhood of Houston is where you'll find The St. Regis Houston, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel that positively radiates luxury from the moment you set foot on the lobby's marble floor. Dark leather, mahogany furnishings and uniquely Texan décor give this hotel a sophisticated aesthetic that's a tad playful, with longhorn motifs and other hints at cowboy culture carefully hidden among the carpets, paintings and accessories. Live like a true Texas socialite by sampling the hotel's afternoon tea service at the Tea Lounge; when evening settles in, saunter down to Remington Restaurant for a feast of seafood and steaks.
The best hotels in Houston have a little bit of personality to them. Hotel Icon, an historic building in the heart of downtown Houston, has the charm and character of an old-world hotel, with the first class facilities of modern hotel. Standard roms are equipped with large, sunken jacuzzi tubs. The glowing bar downstairs is a great place to grab a carefully constructed artisanal cocktail, and the Line & Lariat restaurant offers excellent American dishes created by Executive Chef David Luna.
In Midtown, close to the Medical Center, Herman Park, Rice University, and smack dab in the middle of the Museum District, the Hotel Zaza is this luxurious hotel which has this sort of glamorous feel to it, with its sumptuous decor of velvets and striking color combinations in the lobby, and specialty themed suites for the visiting VIP. In the Monarch restaurant downstairs, diners can experience creations by local chef Jonathan Jones, who puts a spin on hotel dining with touches of Gulf Coast. And if you're staying at the Hotel Zaza, don't miss out on the pool, complete with cabanas to lounge in and hidden spots where you can relax or people watch if you so desire.
In the Galleria area, the Hotel Derek, Royal Sonesta Hotel, and the Hotel Granduca are three of the more noteworthy hotels. Hotel Derek, with its hip, rock-starrish shiny facade, is the perfect location in Houston to park and do anything: shop at the Galleria, dine at the local restaurants, visit the Highland Village, drop in on the River Oaks Country Club. The Royal Sonesta, formerly The Intercontinental, boasts a Presidential suite that has actually been occupied by Presidents when they visit Houston. And the Hotel Granduca is like this Italian grand-dame, quiet and elegant, channelling old-world European style with an intimate restaurant, celebrity-worthy pool, and quietly luxurious bedchambers.
The St. Regis and Four Seasons are national luxury chains which also have a presence in Houston. I think if we are to talk about Houston hotels, however, The Houstonian best epitomizes the spirit of Houston, with luxurious, first-class accommodations, excellent fine dining options, a world class fitness center and spa, and beautiful rooms and grounds.