When you’re not taking in Houston’s beautiful architecture, foodie favorites, renowned museums and buzzing social scene, believe us, you’ll be seeking ways to remain at a chilled remove from the sizzling heat of the Texas sun. The easiest solution? A hotel with a cool pool. And we know the best of the bunch in H-Town. So grab your most stylish sunglasses, swimsuit and flip-flops and dive in.
The Westin Houston Medical Center’s lobby may come with calm-inducing skylights and lots of lush green space, but the most effective respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown is right here: at the rooftop pool, with water chaises, downtown views and a laid-back lounge area furnished with cozy cabanas. When hunger pangs strike, make your way to Terrace 54 Bar + Table and order the Gulf shrimp spaghetti, which comes with yet more stunning floor-to-ceiling views.
Everything is bigger in Texas. Take the Hyatt Regency Houston’s expansive lobby, which looks up into a 30-story atrium. Below it is a seven-mile (11km) tunnel system that connects the hotel with downtown’s thriving restaurant and entertainment scene. That’s one way to stay cool in the heat, but frankly, we’d rather be beside the Hyatt’s outdoor pool, taking in the city views, and admiring the garden on the deck: a special behind-the-scenes culinary experience, it grows the herbs and vegetables used in the dishes served at on-site restaurant Spindletop.
There’s plenty to wow you at the Hilton Americas-Houston. It’s connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center via an awesome skywalk. It has large, art-laden rooms, a luxurious spa and two on-site restaurants, 1600 Bar + Grille and Pappasito’s Cantina, as well as a lobby bar. But the heated indoor pool draws us back again and again. How could it fail, with those stellar skyline views to soak up year-round while splashing or lounging on a comfy chaise?
To know Marriott’s Aloft brand is to love it, with its designer-darling interiors and its tech-forward accoutrements. Houston’s is a textbook example, conveniently located, with a youthful, retro vibe. It’s colorful and playful, with bold room decor, a vibrant lounge called Re:mix, and whizzy craft cocktails rattled up at W XYZ® bar. If Houston has you hot under the collar, your escape is easy: a splash in the stunning rooftop pool amidst a lush terrace and the glimmering cityscape.
The Omni Houston Hotel gives its devoted fan base the best of both worlds: a convenient Uptown location and a luxe-urban-oasis atmosphere. Rooms adhere to conventional opulence with their patterned carpets, play-it-safe soft furnishings and marble bathtubs, but what lies outside surprises first-timers: what looks like a lush park, down to the resident black swans. Cool down at one of Omni Houston’s two swimming pools or retreat to a semi-private cabana for a bite to eat amid the greenery.
Steps away from Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center, this newly renovated favorite is a boutique-beautiful escape in the midst of Downtown. You might call the rooms urban cocoons: they’re catnip to weary city-weekenders, relaxing, with a rich, modern color palette of warm ambers and industrial greys. The rooftop pool, while nowhere near Olympian, certainly packs a plunge on a hot afternoon before you recline on one of the encircling loungers to top up the tan.
You might not expect a corporate city hotel to deliver recreationally, but this place goes to great lengths: the tree-lined outdoor pool is so generous it could belong in a Greek-island resort. With an abundance of chaises, it’s the perfect suntrap. Inside the hotel all is cool, too, from the business-boutique, cookie-cutter furniture to the off-the-peg-groovy lobby lighting. And we do like the high-stool communal dining at Rocks @ Greenway Bar: turkey club sandwiches comin’ right up…
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