The Best Boutique Hotels in Houston, Texas

Houston's rise as a cultural hub means a bevy of welcoming boutique hotels await your next stay
Houston's rise as a cultural hub means a bevy of welcoming boutique hotels await your next stay | Courtesy of Hotel Icon / Expedia
Photo of Callum Davies
15 January 2021

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, and now there are numerous boutique hotels with all the appeal of those you might find in New York or Los Angeles, without the cost or availability concerns.

The Lancaster

Hotel
Map View
The Lancaster
Courtesy of the Lancaster / Expedia
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, with white pillars in front of walls covered in work by local painters. There’s a unique art piece in each of the 93 rooms, sitting comfortably next to the minimalist decor and marble bathrooms. The class shines through in the service, including optional shoe shining and a complimentary glass of champagne on arrival. There’s a gym, a restaurant serving contemporary American dishes, and private dining available.
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Hotel Granduca

Hotel
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Hotel Granduca
Courtesy of Hotel Granduca / Expedia
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 is a little secluded paradise, the Granduca, which exudes exotic class with canopied beds and beautiful granite-lined bathrooms. Outside, there’s a mosaicked saltwater pool surrounded by palms, and the restaurant serves Italian meals made with locally sourced ingredients.
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Sara’s Inn Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast, Boutique Hotel, Inn
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Sara’s Inn Bed & Breakfast
Courtesy of Sara’s Inn Bed and Breakfast / Expedia
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 space. Despite the old-fashioned stylings, the rooms come with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, and there’s a touchscreen coffee machine that makes any kind of hot drink you might desire.

Hotel Ylem

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel
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Hotel Ylem
Courtesy of Hotel Ylem / Expedia
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, with a big open-plan common area 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, polished brass and exposed wires curving their way up the walls. There’s a bar, Netflix is available on the TVs, and an in-house newsletter features on the tablets provided in each room.
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Hotel ZaZa Houston Memorial City

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel
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Hotel ZaZa Houston Memorial City
Courtesy of Hotel ZaZa Houston Memorial City / Expedia
The ZaZa is another hotel that brings a tropical breeze through Houston. There’s an outdoor pool that is lit at night and features half-submerged loungers. The rooms all have unique decor, and the Magnificent Seven suites have specific themes such as French Connection, Asian Beauty and Beach House, with a thematic commitment that might bring to mind a Brazilian love hotel (although that’s where the similarities end). The restaurant has a terrace and offers some intriguing options, surf and turf alike. With the Memorial City Hall just over the road, the location is also ideal.

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  • Hotel Icon

    Hotel, Spa Hotel
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    Hotel Icon
    Courtesy of Hotel Icon / Expedia
    The Icon was once a bank, and evidence of this is present all over the place, from the pillars to the polished brass to the vault doors repurposed as heavy-duty decoration. Thankfully, it’s much more welcoming than a bank, with big lounge areas, spacious rooms with interesting furniture and a Texas-style restaurant. For guests looking to get around, there’s a car service, and for those looking to get their steps in, a large gym.
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    The Sam

    Hotel, Chain Hotel
    Map View
    The Sam
    Courtesy of the Sam / Expedia
    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. The rooms feature beds with leather headboards, ergonomic office chairs at the writing desks and top-of-the-line coffee machines. Downstairs, guests can enjoy seafood, steak and cocktails at the Pearl restaurant and bar. Plus there’s a decent-sized fitness center where guests can work off that food. Minute Maid Park is just four blocks away.
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    La Maison in Midtown

    Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    La Maison in Midtown
    Courtesy of La Maison in Midtown / Expedia
    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 big 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.
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    Aloft Houston by the Galleria

    Budget Hotel, Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel
    Map View
    Aloft Houston by the Galleria
    Courtesy of Aloft Houston by the Galleria / Expedia
    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. For a 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.
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    These recommendations were updated on January 15, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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