It’s been said that there are two certainties in life, death and taxes. By this point, most of you have probably filed your taxes and hopefully Uncle Sam rewarded you with a nice tax return. Some of us save our returns, but some of us tend to splurge the extra cash. From the poshest hotels and fine dining to private transport via aircraft, if you’re looking to spend, Houston has no shortage of ways to indulge and live large, even if only for a day.
Let's start with where to stay if you’re coming for an overnight trip. First and foremost, check into the ultra-lux Post Oak Hotel owned by Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta. Even if you aren’t a billionaire, or a millionaire, you can certainly live like one in this hotel. As Houston’s only five-diamond hotel, living in the lap of luxury is no problem. You can easily rent a helicopter service to transport you to and from the hotel or take a custom flight to explore Houston by air. Post Oak Motor Cars is also on site, so if helicopters aren’t your style, you can rent one of the Bentleys, Bugattis or Rolls-Royce to cruise the streets.
Perhaps the St. Regis is more your style which is always a classic, elegant and sophisticated choice. First, there are rooms for all upscale budgets and tastes. Big spenders will love the presidential suite with two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms and a balcony or the royal suite, which is a one bedroom that includes a cozy fireplace. Enjoy the couple’s massage, which offers a private room for you and your significant other to enjoy or even treat yourself to a fancy caviar facial.
For the high-end art aficionados, head to Hotel Zaza in the Museum District. With plenty of attractions in the Museum District, including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Menil Collection and Contemporary Arts Museum, you’ll find yourself browsing masterpieces for hours. Plus, if you’re ballin’ on a budget, there are plenty of other museums in the area that are free to visit.
For a place to lay your head Downtown, check out the Four Seasons Houston. Proximal to everything there is to do in the Downtown area, this four-star hotel is perfect for those who want to see and do in H-Town. Beat the Houston heat by renting a poolside cabana and order their hourly “treats.” You can hop over to Minute Maid Park, BBVA Compass Stadium, Discovery Green, 8th Wonder Brewery and more for proximal entertainment.
If a true steak house and wine tasting is what you’re looking for, head to Doris Metropolitan. Doris is a phenomenal steakhouse where the wine list is next level. Sure, you can order a bone-in ribeye, but go ahead and order the Regiis Ova Royal caviar for $150 per ounce. Then, top it off with a bottle of Keenan Merlot for $1,950 per bottle. A little too pricey? The wine list is extensive with cheaper options and ready for consumption. Another great steakhouse option is Houston’s own Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Part of the Pappas Restaurants group, the seafood options and steaks shouldn’t be missed as they’re dry-aged in house and include options like a bone-in filet mignon and porterhouse carved tableside.
The 4 ft. communal board hits the table with shared options like Wagyu strip, porterhouse, tray-aged tomahawk, pork belly and crispy potatoes covered in roasted garlic aioli. The board selections vary, so ask your server for nightly options.
For a lighter option, Houston boasts fabulous sushi, sashimi and nigiri. Check out Uchi in Montrose. This Austin-based restaurant has quickly become a Houston hot spot for upscale dining. We recommend trusting the chef and taking advantage of the tasting menu. For a unique experience, you can even book a private room with a demonstration by the chef. For other fun dining options check out State of Grace in River Oaks for fresh oysters and amazing champagne. Tiny Boxwoods offers a great ambiance for an upscale brunch with counter service. Rainbow Lodge describes itself as a sophisticated, but not stuffy option for the adventurous eater. Known for wild game options like quail bites, pasta with wild boar and nilgai antelope loin, guests will experience a bit of Texas and anticipation in every bite.
If you’re looking to make a few purchases while your newfound fortune, head over to The Galleria and enjoy some of the high-end designer boutiques like The Webster, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Chanel, Stuart Weitzman and more. Of course, there are also iconic department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks to choose from.
For a Beverly Hills-inspired shopping experience, head to Highland Village lined with tropical palm trees for a California feel. Whether you want to shop some of the stores like Cole Haan, Restoration Hardware or get a designer cupcake at Sprinkles, there are plenty of ways to indulge. Further, just down the street is the River Oaks District, one of Houston’s newest and hottest places for haute shopping and dining. Try on jewels at Cartier and Harry Winston or explore ready-to-wear designers like Tom Ford, Stella McCartney and Hermès.
The Upper Kirby area has lots of high-end shopping options. Tootsies is a prime location for women’s luxury ready-to-wear, handbags, jewelry and accessories with offerings from the world’s most exciting and exclusive designers. The boutique itself is impeccable and provides a fabulous shopping experience with floors of on-trend items. The well-dressed male can explore Suitsupply in the same shopping center for their own perfectly tailored ensemble. For the home furnishings addict, make sure to check out Kuhl-Linscomb which is 80,000 square feet of home goods, fine linens, gifts, apothecary and more, making it the largest privately owned design and lifestyle store in Houston.
Cleared for Landing
With your new luxury lifestyle, traveling commercial might not be your thing. That’s okay, Houston is used to personal aircraft and accommodates accordingly. To park your private jet, head to any of the following private airports, Ellington Airport, West Houston Airport, Sugar Land Regional Airport or Houston Executive Airport. After all, traveling economy is so last year’s tax return.