Houston is an odd city – it’s absolutely massive (the largest by area in the US) and due to not having any zoning laws, it has turned into a bit of an urban sprawl. Its downtown area is also a little like the City of London in that it’s utterly dead during weekends with very few people about and the majority of businesses shut.
I spent about 15 months commuting to and from the city a few years ago, and in the process making some amazing friends who I pop back to visit every now and then. This Easter was one of those trips and I’d booked the Friday and Saturday night at the Le Méridien Houston Downtown, for the very reasonable rate of around $110/ni, plus the various taxes that US hotels never include in the headline rate.
I’m only a SPG Gold, but I think due to the hotel being very quiet, plus just being friendly to the receptionist, got upgraded to a wonderful suite. The reception area itself wasn’t immediately obvious being on the first floor of the hotel (second floor to my American readers). Initially somewhat confused, the helpful bell staff directed us to the lifts.
The hotel seemed very new and my room when I reached it was great. Immediately to the right was a cabinet hosting a coffee machine, with some bottled water and the minibar. In front of it was a dining table with four chairs. The espresso machine was an Illy Francis Francis with a decent number of capsules, of both regular and decaf.
The rest of the living room had a comfy sofa with coffee table and a large flatscreen TV. What I also liked was that the living area had wooden hard flooring with rug over by the sofa area. This seemed to be much more modern and practical design that someone would have in a home, as opposed to carpet everywhere.
Into the bedroom and there was a very comfortable kingsize bed. There were also plenty of plug sockets and USB sockets on either side.
The bedroom also had another flatscreen tv with sound-bar, plus an arm chair.
There was also a sliding door between the bathroom and the bedroom which when closed revealed the closet.
The bathroom itself was huge with both a separate bath and walk-in shower. All of the toiletries were Malin & Goetz.
The hotel also had a pretty extensive fitness centre on the top floor with all the equipment that you’d expect.
On the same 23rd floor, there was also a rooftop bar, which apparently is the highest in Houston. It had some fantastic views over downtown.
I was really impressed with this hotel. The staff were all very friendly and helpful, without being overly attentive at any point. The rooms are decorated to a very high standard and actually pretty tastefully – a rarity for an American chain hotel! The rooftop bar was great with a pretty decent selection of drinks and the gym was high quality too.
They front desk didn’t have to upgrade me to the suite, but still did. Overall, I have to say it’s one of the best stays I’ve had in the US recently, especially given the room rate. I wouldn’t hesitate to come back here next time I’m in the area.