Houston Travel Guide
Nope, it's not a Snickers bar or a can of Coke. It's actually hand sanitizer.
The Hotel Sorella, a 255-room luxury hotel in Houston, discovered that the 25-count box of single-use, b4 antibacterial hand sanitizer disposable gel outsells nearly every other item in the minibar. The only two things people take more are, funnily enough, vodka and water.
The $6 product is obviously a good thing to grab for when guests leave the hotel room and hit the city streets (Just so you know, there is soap in the bathrooms too. Lol.) But the hotel says it's actually the bigger purpose of the b4 sanitizer that gets people to buy. b4 donates half the profits from the sales to children-focused charities of The Midway Foundation. And that's one minibar purchase we can't feel guilty about.
Rates at Hotel Sorella start at $169 next weekend for a traditional king room.
[Photo: Hotel Sorella]
Celebrity Scoop / Hotel News / Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / Houston Hotels / Historic Hotels / Music Hotels / Texas Hotels / → All Tags
Nothing like a little celebrity appearance to make a hotel re-opening event really sparkle, and that's what happened last week when Sheryl Crow turned up at the Sam Houston (which used to be called The Alden).
The 100-room hotel recently completed renovation work on all guest rooms, suites, and public spaces (the rooms now "combine clean decor with contemporary touches," which is a good thing, since the hotel's been around since 1924!), and has spent the past month celebrating its grand re-opening. Meanwhile, Sheryl Crow has a new album coming out, and she was in town doing promo at a local radio station.
The opportunity was too good to pass up!
Oh no they didn't!
Marriott announced this week they'll open a third - yes, a third - hotel inside Houston's historic Humble Oil Building by converting 82 apartments into hotel rooms. A new 166-room SpringHill Suites, slated to open in 2015, will join the 191-room Courtyard and the 171-room Residence Inn already residing in the building.
Apparently, Marriott doesn't think three's a crowd. We have seen examples of two brands under one roof, but we can't come up with another site that houses three hotels of the same parent company. There will be 528 hotel rooms in total if you treat them as one conglomerate, but it's not even close to being the biggest dog in town. The Hilton Americas-Houston, for example, has 1,200 rooms.
A few outstanding features of the room include: red brick walls, chains next to the bed, concrete floors, and a possible two-way mirror.
BoingBoing reports that when the man called to complain, he was told by the Front Desk that they'd made a mistake and that, in fact, "no one was supposed to use that room." Suspicious!
Hotel Woes / Hotels with Revolving Restaurants / Hyatt Hotels / Houston Hotels / Texas Hotels / Killer View / Hotel Restaurants / OpenThread / → All Tags
Or is it the other way around...?
We didn't think it was possible to have a bad time at a revolving restaurant on top of a hotel, but one family in Katy, TX has found a way. Back In October, reports The Houston Chronicle, while dining at Spindeltop atop the Hyatt Regency Houston with her parents, a four-year-old girl got her foot stuck in the gap between the slowly-rotating floor and the window. A few panic-stricken moments ensued as they struggled to free her, but luckily the girl came away with her foot intact, and only a few lacerations. Scary!
The bad news? The family is now suing Hyatt for the incident, claiming the gap didn't have any warning signs, and that the hotel handled the situation badly.
Hotel News / Autograph Collection / Marriott Hotels / Houston Hotels / Historic Hotels / Magic Johnson / → All Tags
The Hotel Icon in Houston has been around since 1911, and used to house the Union National Bank. But in January, the struggling landmark was acquired by a company known as Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, a side project of NBA legend Magic Johnson.
The new ownership had decided the hotel would be re-branded by an unnamed "major luxury national hotel chain" at some point over the summer. It has now been revealed that the Icon will be inducted into Marriott's exclusive Autograph Collection, and will officially relaunch in two weeks.
If you're a fan of Virginia Commonwealth University, you probably never thought this weekend would happen. But if you're a fan of VCU, then that means you're probably looking for a hotel room in Houston, Texas for the NCAA Final Four. After all, you'd be crazy to miss this appearance.
While hotel rooms in Houston are in high demand this weekend, they aren't at exactly Super Bowl rates. Looking at HotelRates.HotelChatter.com, we were psyched to see the Hotel Indigo Houston at the Galleria going for $209 on Saturday and Sunday night. That includes free WiFi, very bright guestroom decor and hardwood floors (perhaps this could come in handy if you need to dribble out the nerve?). And it's actually $20 less than the nearby Hilton Garden Inn. Does HGI put haikus in the guestroom? No, they do not.
Friday is now officially Cute Hotel Doggie Day here at HotelChatter, and in honor of Halloween, we felt it was our duty to bring you Dogs At Hotels in Halloween Costumes. It looks like quite a few properties have had Halloween parties for their four-legged guests this week, including Houston’s Hotel Derek.
Dog Days Out are a regular affair at the pet-friendly Hotel Derek, but this Wednesday was a special Howl-o-ween Spooktacular. As you can see from these photos, it wasn’t just the dogs who dressed up: owners were welcome to come in costume, too. (Which seems fair, considering how silly and perturbed some dogs look when they’re in costume.)
The pink hotel craze continues but the latest hotel to use pink in its rooms is doing it for a good cause. The Hotel Derek in Houston has created five guest rooms designed for the female traveler (uh oh, paging gender neutralists) and 10 percent of the room rate will go towards the Houston chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Pink décor complements each of the guest rooms and includes luxurious bedding, bathroom accessories, as well as a cozy robe and slippers. A unique feature of the Lady Pink rooms is the wellness bar and soothing spa music atop each nightstand.
Room rates start at $289 a night during hte week and goes down on the weekends to $169.
Hotel Technology / Plug Panels / Geek Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Openings / Houston Hotels / → All Tags
Hey there tech geeks: next time you find yourself in need of a hotel room in Houston, consider spending the night at the Hotel Sorella which will open on August 16. That's because the hotel promises to have a plug panel that includes bluetooth stereo for guests in-room--meaning they can play music from their iPhones or other Bluetooth-enabled devices through the rooms's TV speakers.
We got the tip from someone who works for the plug panel technology. Here's how it all went down:
I work for a hotel technology supplier and we are installing our first MediaHub panel with stereo Bluetooth at the Hotel Sorella in Houston. I know I've seen a few people chatting about plug panels. The new one going into the Hotel Sorella has a stereo Bluetooth interface so guests can stream music or any other audio through the TV speakers by using Bluetooth - no wires or cables. The catch: you have to pair an A2DP enabled device or one that will work with wireless speakers (not just a Bluetooth headset).
Ok, so what the heck is an A2DP enabled device and how do you know if you have one? Well if you have the iPhone 3G, that will definitely work here. A lot of Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones will work with this, as will Palm TREOs. Unfortunately, your first, second, or third generation iPod will not work with this feature. Still, you can just plug it into the panel.
This past weekend, we jetted down to Houston, Texas for an insanely over-the-top wedding that only a true Texas bride could pull off. It was large, it was lavish, it was ornate and so was the hotel in which the wedding was held (which is also where we crashed for the weekend).
Check out the tour of our room at The Houstonian (apologies for the shaky camera work; we were fresh off the plane and all psyched up to hit the wedding festivities) and our thoughts on the "urban resort" which is part of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Group from our two-day stay & play.
Hey, remember that duck who was just minding his own biz in an Embassy Suites ornamental pool when a crazy guest ripped off his head and threatened to eat it in an Embassy Suites Lobby? Ah, yes, well: it seems an Embassy Suites has erected an homage to him in the form of this hideous basket-y thing.
This is a snapshot from the Embassy Suites Houston, and it was staring at us from behind the coffee maker. Everyone in the room had some commentary about it: "that's something my grandma would have" or, more succinctly, "ew."
We're happy, though, that Embassy Suites has honored Mr. Duck's memory but this belongs nowhere near the gigantic flat-screen TV and other updated amenities.