Monday, November 23, 2015

Houston, here we come! A Gold Standard look at Houston, TX part III

Now that we've covered most of the greater Houston area, let's finish this series off by covering the rest of this awesome city.

We'll start off on the West side of town, in the tony and posh Galleria/Memorial Park/River Oaks area.  THE hotel to stay at here is the Hotel Derek.  Now, I know what you're saying, "But George, there's TONS of hotels in the area, like the JW Marriott, the Westin, or the Sheraton Suites!"  Yes, but those are chains that look pretty much the same everywhere you go.  The Hotel Derek is decidedly Texan, but upscale and chic.  It is such a destination hotel, Forbes Magazine has awarded it four stars.  It is also the only boutique hotel inside the 610 Loop, two blocks from the Galleria.

The Hotel Derek has several incredible styles of rooms and packages (such as the Pampered Pooch package, which includes an exclusive amenity and donation to the Houston SPCA, all while staying on a dedicated floor designed with easy access for walks and constitutionals).  My favorite rooms though, are the Sky Deluxe rooms, which are located on the top two floors of the hotel, with some incredible views of either downtown or uptown, and the ultra-chic platform king bed.

The other room I adore is the Penthouse Suite.  Clocking in at 1,200 square feet, it is by far the most expansive and incredible room on property.  With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Galleria or Downtown, a massive private balcony, and 2 separate bathrooms.  If you're trying to get some work in, there is a spacious office alcove with a huge glass desk to get the job done.

Now that we've got our digs out of the way, lets mosey on over to the Galleria area.  With 2.4 million square feet, 4 levels, 2 hotels, 1 indoor ice rink, 1 rooftop jogging track, and 375 retail shops to play around in, the Galleria is one of the largest malls in the United States.  The only Tesla Motors and Prada stores in Texas call the Galleria home.  Surrounding the Galleria are several other shopping areas to complete one's spree in Houston.  Dillard's, Neiman Marcus, and Zone d'Erotica all have anchor stores in the complex and are consistently their highest grossing locations nationwide.

There are also several museums and art exhibits in the area as well.  From the Arader Galleries, the Beer Can House (I implore you, check it out!), to the Rienzi Mansion, an arm of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center,  there is something for everyone's taste.  If it's golf you want, Memorial Park has not just one golf course, but there is also the neighboring River Oaks Country Club.

Now that we've kind of covered the greatest city in Texas, it's time to catch your flight home.  If you're leaving from the George H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport, it'd be a great idea to spend your last night in the city at the on-airport Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental.

Conveniently located smack in the middle of the Intercontinental Terminal area, there is an underground tram connecting the hotel to every terminal, or you can take the hotel's free shuttle van to your terminal.  The rooms are you standard Marriott equipped rooms, but you cant complain being situated so close to the terminals.  Makes your morning departure out that much better.  One thing though, they used to have a revolving restaurant up top the main tower, but I've heard that was closed and the excellent restaurant that was up there has been reopened on the lobby level.

Well, that was a short look at Houston, Texas; now giddey up and c'mon down!


  1. This place is so special! Speaking of special, this is how our evening went. I met my buddies in the downstairs part of the event space, which is more than just an average kind of bar with a lot of woodwork.

  2. Clocking in at 1,200 square feet, it is by far the most expansive and incredible room on property.gourmethouston