Plan a trip to one of Houston’s red light districts
IF THE LAST YEAR HAS taught us something, and that is that staying put is not so bad.
Without the complete freedom of being able to board a plane for an extended vacation in Europe or a luxury cruise in the Caribbean, Houstonians have found vacationing here in the city to be a welcome alternative.
As the city continues to evolve and grow – from new hotels to planned developments with popular restaurants at every turn – there are plenty of places tucked away in and around the city to relax for a few days.
Whether you want to feel the heartbeat of a particular neighborhood or are looking to trade the hustle and bustle of the city for the great outdoors, consider these exciting Houston neighborhoods for your next stay.
After being for years one of the city’s hottest foodie areas, the Heights now offers accommodations for visitors looking to really crouch down and explore the neighborhood. The Heights House hotel (100 W. Cavalcade St. Houston, Texas 77009) opened as the region’s first boutique hotel in the former Astro Inn space after a $ 3.5 million renovation including a complete gutting of interiors, bedroom furniture sourced from the Hard Rock Hotel of Las Vegas and pops of vibrant color in the style of a 36-foot neon sign and “Good Vibes Only” mural by Mexican artists Sergio Aguilar and Jose Kontos. While there is plenty to see, eat, and do in the heights, staying put at the hotel is also recommended. The on-site restaurant, Space Cowboy, is run by Houston’s top talent, Chef Lyle Bento, and offers a menu of comfort food and tropical drinks available until the wee hours of 2 a.m. daily. The pool, with its cabanas and poolside DJ is an obvious draw, but guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s lawn games, electric scooters, and bike rentals. Insider tip: The Heights House Hotel accepts dogs!
As one of Houston’s first suburban pockets, Sugar Land is a quaint town with plenty to do and foodie spots to explore. A stay at Marriott Town Square (16090 City Walk Sugar Land, TX 77479) gives guests full access to Sugar Land Town Square, a sprawling mixed-use development with shops, bars and restaurants anchored by Town Hall and a plaza jutting out from its steps. A relaxing afternoon can consist of browsing the shelves of Altar’d State, then diving into the brand new location of State Fare Kitchen & Bar (15930 City Walk Sugar Land, TX 77479) for a cheeseburger or Frito pie. Evenings are best spent taking in the sights and sounds of the main plaza, which often features live music performances and family-friendly activities, then settling in for a long wine-based dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse (2115 Place de la Ville, Pl. Terre de sucre, TX 77479).
Highly sought-after restaurants, eclectic boutiques, artisanal cafes, and cozy cocktail bars have shaped the Montrose neighborhood for decades, making it a no-brainer for a stay in Houston. With the reopening of the grand Hôtel La Colombe d’Or (3410, boulevard Montrose Houston, Texas 77006) located right on Montrose Blvd., there has never been a better time to stay and play. The recently renovated old hotel allows visitors to experience some of Houston’s history in a fashionable way. Guests can choose to reserve one of five suites in the iconic mansion – the home of the Fondren family of Houston in the early 1920s – or a suite in the adjacent residential tower. It’s hard not to spend the whole day lounging at the rooftop pool, located on the 10th floor of the tower, but take some time to browse the grounds which are home to an art gallery and sculpture garden. While dining choices are plentiful, there’s the new Gatsby’s Steakhouse (4319, boulevard Montrose Houston, Texas 77006) on the road or Chris Shepherd’s new Italian concept of red sauce within One Fifth (1658 Westheimer Road Houston, Texas 77006) a short Uber ride. Consider the hotel’s chic restaurant, Tonight & Tomorrow, run by Chef Jonathan Wicks, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Uptown area has long served as the city’s hub, with convenient access to the world-class shopping of The Galleria and River Oaks District, top-notch restaurants along Post Oak Blvd. and scenic hiking and biking trails at Memorial Park. Nestled in the middle of it all is the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa (111 N. Post Oak Ln. Houston, TX 77024), a true getaway set on 27 acres of lush, wooded grounds. As well as choosing from one of three temperature-controlled pools for splashing around, guests can explore the property with a pre-packaged picnic basket or visit the pastry shop for an overview of how the Houstonian’s various sweets are made. . A day should be set aside for a visit to Trellis, the Houstonian’s popular spa that received a substantial overhaul in 2020, revealing updated interiors and new outdoor water features. While the Houstonian offers all the charm of a secluded resort-style getaway, venturing out isn’t a bad idea. Nearby shopping and dining hotspots include Uptown Park and Highland Village, and both are easily accessible with the hotel’s free car service. Insider tip: Highland Village is home to the Solaya Spa & Salon, Trellis’ little brother.
Houston’s north side is filled with lush, scenic parks and protected forests, making it a natural choice for weekend getaways. At City Place, located just 20 miles from downtown on the Grand Parkway, Hardy Toll Road and I-45 axis, visitors will experience a global destination spanning 2,000 acres with a particular focus on dining, entertainment and outdoor recreation. Plan a stay at the Houston City Place Marriott (1200 Lake Plaza Dr. Spring, TX 77389), a stone’s throw from City Place Plaza, and take advantage of the hotel’s staycation promotion which allows guests to reserve rooms for 143 $ per person. night and receive 20% off food and drink, plus a late checkout. It’s not hard to stay busy with the nearby Star Cinema Grill, which has hot new stuff and restaurants like Common Bond Bistro & Bakery and Dallas-based Bread Zeppelin within walking distance. An extension of the Spring Creek Greenway was completed in June, connecting the new trail to City Place on its 150-acre reserve. This completion makes Spring Creek Greenway the largest urban greenway in the country, offering visitors the opportunity to canoe, kayak, archery and cycle along the 19-plus mile stretch.
Downtown Houston can serve as a welcome getaway for those looking to break free from the familiarity of their suburban bubble for a few nights. While staying at the Marriott Marquis (1777 Walker Street Houston, Texas 77010), guests can let all their worries melt away as they float leisurely around the Texas-shaped lazy river at the Altitude Rooftop Pool. Located on the 6th floor of the hotel, the pool terrace offers stunning views and a festive place to enjoy cocktails and live music. With chef-run restaurants like Potente and Irma’s Southwest dotted around the neighborhood, foodies flock to downtown for a taste, and one of Houston’s best is located right inside the hotel. Xochi (1777 Walker Street Houston, Texas 77010) led by award-winning chef James Beard Hugo Ortega, presents diners with a modern take on Oaxacan cuisine, while its patio offers views of – and convenient access to – Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St. Houston, Texas 77010), the nearby 12-acre downtown park. Here, hotel guests can enjoy free activities like fitness in the park and Friday night concerts, but Discovery Green also often features eye-catching art installations that change from season to season, the next being Mosaic of Light. from design studio HYBYCOZO arriving in November.