By John Egan
The Houston area ranks among the 10 largest hotel markets in the United States, with over 900 hotels and 84,000 hotel rooms. And more hotels are on the way.
The crown jewel of hotels in the works in Houston is a 1,000-room Marriott Marquis that will adjoin the George R. Brown Convention Center. The $355 million, 29-story Marriott Marquis Houston is on track to debut in September 2016. In the Convention District alone, more than 2,000 new hotel rooms are set to open by 2016. Hundreds more rooms are on tap for areas like the Galleria, Energy Corridor and Texas Medical Center.
One notable addition to downtown Houston's hotel scene opened in November 2014. The JW Marriott Houston Downtown, housed in the 104-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building, features 384 guestrooms, more than 16,000 square feet of event space, the world's first Spa by JW and a curated art collection.
"Houston's downtown is not only a hub of global commerce, but is also home to a thriving arts, cultural and culinary scene," said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president and global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts.
In downtown Houston and elsewhere, hotels are leaving a positive impression.
In 2014, readers of Condé Nast Traveler put Houston's Hotel Sorella CityCentre atop a list of the best hotels in Texas and the Southwest. And it was in good company. Houston's Hotel Granduca grabbed the No. 3 spot, Hotel Icon came in at No. 6 and the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa took ninth place.
Also in 2014, readers of Condé Nast Traveler ranked Hotel Sorella CityCentre 74th on a list of the world's top 100 hotels and resorts.
The accolades don't stop there:
● Five Houston hotels appeared on the list of four-star hotels in the 2014 Forbes Travel Guide: The Four Seasons Hotel Houston; Hotel Derek; Hotel Granduca; Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa; and St. Regis Houston.
● Two Houston hotels made US News & World Report's ranking of the country's best hotels for 2015: The St. Regis Houston and Hotel Granduca.
As a whole, Resonance Consultancy awarded Houston the No. 12 spot on its list of the top places in the US for hotel accommodations. The cake underneath that icing: A 2014 survey by Travel and Leisure ranked Houston second among America's favorite cities.
Sonia Garza-Monarchi, previous board chair of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Houston's showing on the Travel and Leisure list is "further proof that Houston's story is being told and the city recognized as a destination on the national and international stages."
Garza-Monarchi credited Houston's hotels, restaurants, museums, art galleries and other amenities with providing "an amazing experience to those who come to our city." And those who come to Houston will be welcomed with open arms and open doors by the region's hundreds of hotels.
Learn more about the evolving Houston Convention District at visithouston.com/meetings/.