As the most populated city in Texas – and the southern United States – Houston has plenty going for it. There are the intergalactic wonders of the Space Center Houston, endless learning in the Museum District and a collection of elite sports teams, including the Texans, Rockets, Astros and Dynamos. Pair all of that with an expansive dining scene and cultural hotspots such as the House of Blues and the Houston Grand Opera, and you’ve got one exciting destination. There’s also a collection of hotels to suit every budget and style – here are the best.
A strong contender for the top hotel in Houston, the 250-room Post Oak towers into the skyline, serving as a model of luxury. Each room and suite comes in sultry, dark tones and includes luxurious extras such as Egyptian cotton linens and marble bathrooms with Acqua di Parma toiletries. There are also eight in-house bars and restaurants, with Mastro’s Steakhouse serving delectable Japanese wagyu and kobe beef, both of which rank in the top A5 category.
In the heart of Houston, the upmarket St Regis is just a short walk from the Galleria, a shopping mall thick with luxury fashion houses. Return to your room and throw your purchases (carefully) onto your pillowtop bed before taking advantage of the 24-hour concierge and butler service. Finish the evening at the Wine Room, a private space serving California’s finest grapes and a chef’s selection menu. Planning something a little bigger? The hotel is also home to the grand Astor Ballroom, a premium event space perfect for a wedding.
With a nearly 100-year history and a location in the middle of the Theater District, the Lancaster Hotel is an institution in Houston and features more than 200 original pieces by Texas artists throughout the building. The rooms are every bit as luxurious as the property, with Frette bedding, Bulgari toiletries and Nespresso coffee machines. A great choice for culture lovers, the hotel neighbors the Alley Theatre and Houston Grand Opera.
Inspired by the picturesque villas of southern Italy, Hotel Granduca brings a dash of European style to Houston. It’s every bit as opulent as you might hope, with the 122 rooms and suites featuring Italian linens, terry cloth robes and Acqua di Parma toiletries. Of course, there’s an exquisite restaurant, Ristorante Cavour, which serves northern Italian fare with seasonal products. There’s also a courtyard pool furnished with a European aesthetic, transporting guests to an Italian retreat in the center of Houston.
Spread over 27 acres (11ha) of picturesque woodland, the Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa doesn’t feel like it’s in one of the most populated cities in the US. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows, bringing an abundance of natural light, complimentary high-speed wifi, a flat-screen HDTV and terry cloth bathrobes. You can also access its extensive fitness center, proffering more than 300 pieces of workout equipment, 200-plus group classes and enough personal trainers to make sure you never slack.
Offering a fresh take on the boutique hotel, Hotel ZaZa – one of several throughout Texas – is found in the Museum District. In addition to the guest rooms, it also has Concept Suites, each with an individual style, such as the Space Race-inspired Houston We Have a Problem (which comes with a full astronaut suit) and the Japanese-themed Geisha House. Dine at the Monarch, a classy yet fairly relaxed fine-dining restaurant, serving international dishes, craft beers and cocktails.
Part of the Curio Collection – an upscale portfolio from Hilton – the Sam Houston opened in 1924, and today, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Perfect for the business traveler, the rooms include an ergonomically designed work area, superfast complimentary wifi and a Keurig coffee maker. For those wanting to work up a sweat, the hotel has a 24-hour gym. However, you may prefer to spend your time in the Pearl, a seashore-inspired restaurant and bar serving scrumptious surf and turf.