Great wedding venue,but... A review of The Houstonian
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.
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