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Haute Hotels Hit the City

The perfect spots to relax in style

Houston's spoiled when it comes to stylish hotels--from modern properties with a hopping social scene to the innovative and eco-friendly. Read on for the scoop on those with a fresh new look and even more that we have to look forward to.

hotel derek 2013
The luxury Hotel Derek recently underwent a major renovation that included its lobby

FRESH FACES

Hotel Derek
The stylish 312-room boutique Hotel Derek has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation of its guestrooms and suites, meeting and public spaces. Working with Texas-based Flick-Mars, a leading luxury hotel, resort and restaurant design firm, Hotel Derek has a bold new look with bright colors, textured fabrics and natural materials that reflect the hotel's "indigenous surroundings."

Westin Downtown
The former Inn at the Ballpark, located across the street from Minute Maid Park, has been rebranded as the Westin Houston Downtown. The conversion to a Westin began in early 2013 with renovations that included updated furnishings and finishes throughout, an expansion of the fitness center and a brand new lobby and lobby bar. The renovations to the Landry's-owned property were completed in late 2013.

Lancaster Houston Hotel
Work began in April on a $10 million renovation of the historic Lancaster Houston Hotel. The family-owned Lancaster is getting an extensive redesign that will include the hotel's lobby and meeting spaces, as well as all guest rooms and suites. The project will also include upgrades to the property's technology and mechanical systems. The Lancaster opened as the Auditorium Hotel in 1926 and reopened as the Lancaster in 1983. The hotel will remain open during renovation as work proceeds one wing of the hotel at a time. Completion is targeted for mid-summer 2013.

Sam Houston Hotel

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 97-room hotel recently went back to its original name, the Sam Houston Hotel. The boutique property, which opened in 1924 and reopened in 2002 as the Alden after a period of closure, will undergo an extensive renovation of the guest rooms, meeting spaces, restaurant and bar. The Sam is home to *17 Restaurant, a chef-driven concept and the Sam Bar, a popular happy hour hangout. The hotel also features 7,000 square feet of event space, including the rooftop Verandah.

Royal Sonesta
The former InterContinental Houston By The Galleria began operations as the Royal Sonesta Houston last summer. The 485-room property, located in the Galleria area, features 50,000 square feet of function space, several dining options, a pool and a 24-hour fitness center. The Royal Sonesta will undergo a major renovation starting this summer.

Hotel Icon
Hotel Icon


Hotel ICON

This 135-room property, located inside the 1912 Union National Bank building, welcomed a $5 million renovation in 2012, which included an exterior restoration, interior updates and upgrades to guestrooms. Now part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection, Iconjoins an elite collection of independent hotels worldwide. Line & Lariat--a modern culinary concept inspired by the Texas coast, farms andranches-now inhabits the property's prime Main Street dining space.

ON THE HORIZON


JW Marriott
The 102-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building at 806 Main has been gutted as crews work to transform it into a 323-room JW Marriott. Pearl Hospitality is spending $80.8 million to develop the new luxury hotel at the corner of Rusk Street in the center of Downtown. The hotel will include a full-service bar, spa, health club, executive lounge, swimming pool and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The JW is slated to open in spring of 2014. The Carter building is hailed as one of the city's architectural gems, but had fallen into disrepair in recent years. When it was first constructed, it was the tallest building in Houston.

Marriott Marquis
Last December, RIDA Development Corp. and Houston First announced plans for a new 1,000-room Marriott Marquis that will rise adjacent to the GRB Convention Center. The massive hotel, along with the existing Hilton Americas Houston, will bookend Discovery Green and dramatically increase Houston's ability to host major conventions. Construction on that property is scheduled to begin in 2014 with completion in spring 2016.

Holiday Inn
A development group will turn the former Savoy Hotel that straddles Downtown and Midtown into a Holiday Inn. The 17-story property on Main Street has been closed since the late 1980s, but the new owners say they have plans to turn the property into the city's flagship Holiday Inn within a year. Work on the intense renovation has already begun with a prospective opening slated for mid-2014.

SpringHill Suites
Just a few blocks west of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the historic Humble Oil Building complex at Main Street and Dallas is getting a new 166-room SpringHill Suites hotel. The complex is already home to a 191-room Courtyard and 171-room Residence Inn. The property's owner, RLJ Lodging, intends to convert an existing 82-unit apartment tower into the new hotel, with construction slated to wrap in mid-2015.

 

By Natalie Bogan Morgan