Travel Blogs from Houston
Back in Texas. This time Houston, the fourth largest city in the USA. I always feel that Houston is a very spread out but fascinating city. Great restaurants, nice climate and fascinating culture. Certainly worth a visit.
Bringing up a toddler is not necessarily a walk around the block particularly if the youngster is unpredictable. Possibly that's the reason the proliferation of children training materials has struck the ground sprinting in these recent times. In this particular light, three day toilet training systems are in high demand, merely because they complement a child's development in a manner that not anything else can. However, mothers ...
... and got her first underwater video for public distribution. The cool spring was just what the doctor ordered. We drove on to Panama City finding it challenging to find an ad hoc hotel room with the holiday weekend.
Yesterday (Sunday, July 6) we started early and visited Fort Walton Beach at 8:20AM. We had followed signs for a beach church service but arrived a bit late and walked down to the
beautiful water’s edge instead. The Gulf was ...
... flying home from Ireland the same day and were on the same flight from DC to Houston, so we met up with them in the airport. It was good to see some familiar faces and to reconnect with good friends and begin sharing stories about our trip. Our vacation was amazing and one we'll never forget! Taking two weeks to explore parts of the world we've never seen before not only helped us gain a ...
... and I, though her mother could speak some very simple English words (I learnt that Jumbo is hello and kwahiri is goodbye in Swahili!). All their family (except the husband's mother) remain in Congo, so they have settled here without anyone but are happy to be in a safer environment. It must be hard attending the meeting when she can't really understand what is being said or communicate much with the brethren and sisters - a big challenge!
When Sunday ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Houstonian
Unlike any other Houston Hotel
All I can say is wow! I am not sure why the other reviews are negative, but my husband and I had a wonderful stay at the Houstonian. We live in a suburb outside of the city and we wanted to have some fun in the city. We chose the Houstonian based on its reputation in the city. We recieved perfect service! The new pool is great place to get some sun, the spa service was out of this world!
The rooms are very nicely decorated. Bathrooms are small, but this hotel has been around since the early 80's. Most of the hotels I have been in here in Houston have the same size bathroom...the only acceptions are the ones built right before the superbowl. I have been in smaller bathrooms in NYC and in Chicago, and really, who spends that much time in the bathroom when you have so many things to do! I would definatly recommend this hotel for a quick get away or for a frequent business traveler who wants to experience something new.
My husband and I stayed at this hotel for a weekend recently. We booked the room over a month in advance, and requested a king. When we checked in, we were given 2 double beds, right by the pool area. We called the front desk to ask about our king reservation only to be told the 2 doubles were all they had left-no other explanation was given. Just as I feared, while trying to take a nap one afternoon, neither my husband nor myself could rest due to a swim lesson being given at the pool. That same night, we were woken up by people out at the pool well after midnight. At these prices, I would expect better service. Also, the hall leading from the elevator to our room smelled like vomit. Our room was clean, and the doormen always opened doors for us and called us cabs, but those are the only positive things I can say about the Houstonian. It doesn't live up to the hype. For a comparable experience, I would stay at a Hampton Inn for half the price!
Great wedding venue,but...
Our daughter got married may 15th at the hotel and about 60 out-of-towners stayed on property. They appreciated having the parties and the brunch all in one place. We stayed in a suite with floor-ceiling glass walls, but it was right by the pool, and it was a bit noisy at times. Our bathroom was a granite and marble wonder, with large walk- in glass shower and a huge bathtub. There was enough space in the closet for us, but it is on the small side. Our daughter slept on the pull-out sofa and it was fair, but she tolerated it. The 60 guests we had staying there did not complain, but my mother and sister mentioned the small bathroom and closet space being substandard. The rooms are very small and dark, but the hotel's charm is being in a dark-wooded sherwood forest atmosphere in the midst of a very busy and commercial area, so the trade-off is up to you.
During the 8 months of wedding planning, the catering/wedding coordinator was extremely professional and knowledgable. The hotel did give us difficulty when trying to have the bridal portrait done on property. We were told only outside, with only 3 days of very limited time allowed. We did have to dress the bride in the public bathroom. The service and staff were impeccable. The service at the brunch and wedding were flawless, and the food was prepared perfectly cooked and at the right temperature to all 245 guests. That is very difficult to do with a piece of tenderloin. Friends raved for days about the entire event. The waiters were very plentiful and the guests all ate at the same time, not the usual 1/2 of the room are eating their dinners while the other half just started their salads.
I would not hesitate to do it all over again if I could. But only on a Sunday.
One caveat. This hotel is Very Popular for weddings and graduations and such but that means the small drive up porte-cochere gets backed up and jammed for long periods. Sometimes there are 4-5 major weddings/parties going on simultaneously and the crowds are terrible, with long waits to park and to retrieve the car. Self park if you can for free. But that doesn't mean you will not have to wait to get through the single lane into the property.
Our wedding was on Sunday and we were blessed by being the only event of the day and evening, so it was just as if we rented the entire hotel for ourselves. The weekend would not have been so intimate and special if we had stayed at a 30 story commercial type hotel. So for us, it was a right fit, but others should be wary. There is an almost non-existent gift-shop and the hotel is way down the street from a convenience store. So you better stock up on chips, candy, snack stuff, and toiletries and such before settling in.
The grounds are beautiful, the Spa is open to all registered guest and everyone in our group who went were all in AWE. The top of the top equipment overwhelmed even those who are members of posh health clubs. And they loved that it was complimentary.
One for the short stay traveller on business expenses only
The lobby and restaurant of the Houstonian are more impressive than the rooms which are disappointingly small by US standards. Definitely one for the lone visitor, rather then couples. The lone visitor who is not staying long, because there's not a lot of closet space. The lone, short-stay, travelling-light visitor who likes a dark ambience. And shades of brown. A brown-loving lone short-stay travelling-light visitor who doesn't mind that the air con doesn't stay cold.
Ok, so the Houstonian is great for the the lone, short-stay, travelling-light, brown and heat loving visitor. For the rest of us it's just ok. For the price I would expect more.
Attended a wedding
For a 5 star hotel, I was quite dissappointed overall. First, my friend was having her wedding there, and she had already paid $30.000 to the hotel for the wedding this past weekend. When we arrived, they requested a criedt card which she thought was taking care of but the front desk wouldn't let her through. Finally, we had to request the events manager to straighten it out.
We had only an hour to get ready for the rehearsel, but it turned out to be less time because the bellman didn't get our baggage up in time. The other problem was that she had request two queen size beds, but only got one king with a sleeper. But it was too late to change since we were going to be late for the rehearsel. The bellman told us that they would make up the sleeper to be comfortable. It was horrible and I knew that I had a long day ahead so I needed some sleep. Unfortunately, I only received 4 hours of sleep that night and was exhausted the next day.
Service overall was decently but not 5 star quality. The wedding was spectacular, but that is because had invested so muhc into it. The hotel itself was dissappointing.
The best thing is that coffee was veryvery strong and that was perfect.
i purchased a room for my parents for their wedding anniversary...i told this to the agent when i made the reservation...however when my folks checked in they were told they would have to use their credit card...so i had to go down to the hotel to straighten it out...they wouldn't do it over the phone for some reason...but when they checked out they had the same problem!!!....
flowers were not delivered to room....
champange was delivered late....
wrote gm 3 times...no response...i guess they don't care...
basically a glorified holiday inn....
An Oasis Amid Concrete
We have stayed at the Houstonian for years - some good, some better. Today, under current management, this hotel is very close to the five stars it seeks.
It's rare to have your room, a complete spa, fitness center, fine dining and outdoor paths at any hotel, but in the heart of a big city is truly unique. The rooms are not huge, nor particularly luxurious, but the other amenities and service easily make up for what the room space lacks.
The cozy lobby is almost too inviting: perfect for inviting friends, business associates or family to gather, which shuts out others wanting to do exactly the same thing! It's a first come, first serve availability! In nice weather, you can easily gather outside or by the pool in the spa area: all are quiet respites from the busy world outside.
The staff is quick to respond to any need, extra pillows, a hot pad or cold compresses: with the fitness center, they have more than the ordinary hotel in heath-related items. Room service as well as the breakfast menu feature healthful eating along with the more 'haute' items.
The hotel is near the famed Galleria area, and is not convenient to down town except by cab. Houston has almost zero mass transit (JUST added a short light-rail system). But, if your visit allows you time to spare, this is the place to choose.
Ambience & staff were excellent but room was only average, certainly not worth even the corporate rate I paid. Bathroom badly needed upgrading (towels could do with replacement as well, like sandpaper) and rest of room no better than an average US hotel room. All in all a big dissapointment. Exorbitant price for a continental breakfast, no better than that provided free in some very down market motels!
Good but not Spectacular
My wife and I stayed at the Houstonian in June and generally enjoyed our stay. The rooms are nicely decorated and the floor-to-ceiling windows were quite nice. The food from room service was quite good, and the location in Houston is hard to beat. Also, the fitness center is truly a marvel. However, despite the expensive decorations, the rooms have the same floor-plan as a Holiday Inn, with an amazingly tiny bathroom. While the bed was incredibly comfortable, the hotel never quite convinced me that I was staying in a truly luxurious property. The pools were nice but their lay-out was not very pleasing and at times made for a crowded experience Also, the elevator area on our floor smelled musty, and staff couldn't seem to remember that the pine cone marked "do not disturb"--found in every room--really meant that. Also, I found it truly outrageous that the hotel starts to charge you by the hour ($15) for late-checkout-even if they have availability. That certainly gives you an idea of the limits of the hotel's service. In the end, you won't make a bad choice if you stay at the Houstonian. Just don't expect it to be the be-all-end-all of hotels. Here's a tip: Don't book a package where free parking is the featured perk--the parking is already free.
First time in Houston and after seeing their website decided to give it a try.
Well, simply awesome. The staff goes out of there way to assist you and make sure you are getting everything you need.
There is a main building where the rooms are. The only complaint with the room is the size of the bathroom. They are quite small.
They have a fitness building that is out of the world. The gym is over 100,000 sq feet (That is just the workout equipment). They have a full indoor basketball court, rock climbing, racquetball and etc.
They also have another building which is their day spa. If you go you must experience this.
My girlfriend and I are planning to back again this year. When is Houston, stay here