Houston is a city on the up. Like Austin, it has evolved beyond being another Texan metropolis into one of the most culturally interesting, trendiest cities in the southern United States. With this development has come better accommodation, including boutique hotels with all the appeal of those you might find in New York or Los Angeles, without the cost or availability concerns. Here’s our guide to the top boutique hotels in Houston, bookable on Culture Trip.
The Lancaster, for an upscale stay
The Lancaster is in the middle of the Theater District and was subject to a lot of local media attention when it reopened in 2019 following a multi-million dollar renovation. Inside, it has an interesting combination of old money and the arts running through it. There’s a unique art piece in each of the 93 rooms, sitting comfortably next to the minimalist decor and marble bathrooms. Expect a touch of class from the optional shoe shining service to the complimentary glass of champagne on arrival. There’s a gym, a restaurant serving contemporary American dishes, and private dining available.
Hotel Granduca, for Italian-inspired surroundings
The uptown section of Houston has developed a reputation for having the trendiest bars and restaurants, as well as being home to The Galleria mall and the Arboretum & Nature Center. Just across the road from these attractions is a little secluded paradise, the Granduca, which exudes exotic class with canopied beds and beautiful granite-lined bathrooms. Outside, there’s a saltwater pool surrounded by palms, and the restaurant serves Italian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
Sara’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, for a cozy getaway
While it might reside in the middle of downtown Houston, Sara’s Inn looks as though it could be a countryside retreat. There’s a big wraparound porch, a parlor room and a garden pavilion, all surrounded by vibrant green gardens. Despite the old-fashioned stylings, the rooms come with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, plus there’s a touchscreen coffee machine that makes any kind of hot drink you might desire.
Hotel Ylem, for eccentric decor
Hotel Ylem is found in the center of the city near the NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans NFL team. It’s easy to spot, as there’s a huge mural on the front wall of a woman surrounded by plant life. Inside, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a flexible office space. The big open-plan common area is decked out with quirky, deliberately mismatched furniture and hashtagged phrases in metal lettering hung from the walls. The rooms follow the same trend, with armoires shaped to look like oversized suitcases and exposed wires curving their way up the walls. Netflix is available on the TVs and tablets are provided in each room.
Hotel ZaZa Houston Memorial City, for an outdoor pool
The ZaZa is another hotel that brings a tropical breeze through Houston. There’s an outdoor pool that is illuminated at night and features half-submerged loungers. The rooms all have unique decor, while the Magnificent Seven suites have specific themes such as French Connection, Asian Beauty and Beach House. Tuck into surf and turf cuisine on the terrace at the onsite restaurant. With the Memorial City Mall just next door, the location is perfect placed for a shopping spree.
Hotel Icon, for vintage glamour
The Icon was once a bank; spot signs of its former life in the pillars and polished brass as well as the vault doors repurposed as heavy-duty decoration. Thankfully, it’s much more welcoming than a bank, with big lounge areas, spacious rooms with classical furniture and a Texas-style restaurant. There’s a car service for easy access around the city, and for those looking to get their steps in, a large gym.
The Sam, for a prime downtown location
The Sam is a marriage of retro and modernity, with the property listed on the National Register of Historic Places and trendy modern art dotted around the hotel. Rooms feature beds with leather headboards, ergonomic office chairs at the writing desks and top-of-the-line coffee machines. Downstairs, enjoy seafood, steak and cocktails at the Pearl restaurant and bar, plus there’s a decent-sized fitness center where you can work off that food. Minute Maid Park is just four blocks away.
La Maison in Midtown, for a European feel
La Maison looks like it was airlifted into central Houston from a European village, which is very much the intended effect. The wraparound porch and balconies are ideal for a quiet drink in the evenings, and there’s a library with a fireplace in case things are looking less hospitable outside. High-quality service is key at La Maison, with complimentary brownies in the rooms on arrival and large cooked breakfasts in the morning. The hotel provides an optimal gateway to all the midtown attractions, such as the Downtown Aquarium and the Toyota Center.
Aloft Houston by the Galleria, for pet-friendly accommodation
Aloft is another central gem, close to the Memorial City Mall and Discovery Green. The rooms have a modern design, plus down comforters and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. There’s a coffee shop, a deli and a bar, plus cooked breakfasts provided each morning. The hotel also sports a billiards room and an indoor pool alongside the obligatory fitness center. Bonus: pets stay for free as long as they weigh no more than 39lb (18kg), so the corgi will be more than welcome but the mastiff might have to stay at home.
Looking for more places to stay in stunning Houston? Check out our guide to the best hotels in Houston, Texas, for every traveler, bookable with Culture Trip.
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