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Houston is famous around the world as the epicenter of American space exploration, thanks to the presence of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It’s also known for its scorching summer temperatures, its world-class restaurant scene and the vast green expanses of its public parks. Whether you’re planning a cultural trip to the Museum District or a singles’ getaway to bustling, bar-filled downtown, we took a look at the city’s eclectic accommodations options. From quaint B&Bs to family-friendly sanctuaries, this is your guide to the best hotels in Houston.
Best Overall: The Lancaster
Located opposite Jones Hall in the heart of downtown Houston’s Theater District, four-star hotel The Lancaster is a Texas Historical Landmark. Built in 1926, it impresses with soaring Italian Renaissance architecture and original 19th-century artworks. Arrive on a Friday or Saturday and enjoy the luxury of a champagne reception - but on any day, the service here exudes turn-of-the-century sophistication. Rooms and suites are made exceptional by luxurious four-poster beds and Carrara marble bathrooms.
Standard amenities include a separate seating area and a 42” flat-screen TV. The hotel charges a small daily hotel fee, but the associated perks are well worth it. Savor a complimentary gourmet breakfast buffet each morning, as well as a hosted wine reception on weekdays. High-speed WiFi, downtown transportation and access to a nearby gym are all included in your room rate. Upscale restaurant The Bistro serves food throughout the day and it's the perfect pre-theater dinner spot for contemporary American cuisine and fine international wines.
Best Budget: Best Western Plus Downtown Inn & Suites
The Best Western Plus Downtown Inn & Suites is an excellent option for those that want to stay close to the city center without having to pay premium prices. Located a short walk from Sam Houston Park, the hotel offers easy access to the attractions of downtown. Rooms and suites are well-equipped despite their low rates. Expect a fridge, a microwave, a Keurig coffee maker and a 42” TV with more than 150 HD channels. A pillow top mattress ensures a good night’s sleep.
Several floor plans sleep up to four guests, making this a good choice for budget getaways with friends or family. You’ll also benefit from an impressive range of free amenities, including a full breakfast, WiFi and on-site parking. During the week, the hotel offers a free downtown shuttle service and a happy hour with complimentary beers, wines and snacks. Other useful amenities include a fitness room, an outdoor pool and a handy business center.
Best Boutique: Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE
Part of the upscale retail community CityCentre, Hotel Sorella is surrounded by chic shops and restaurants. Decorated with Murano glass chandeliers, sleek ceramic floors and contemporary furnishings, it is the perfect fit for design-conscious travelers with a fondness for the unique. Rooms and suites include an honor bar, free WiFi and a 37” plasma TV. Sink into your custom Hotel Sorella bed, with Egyptian cotton sheets and goose down pillows.
Room rates include a generous continental breakfast buffet, while Radio Milano restaurant serves modern Italian fare paired with craft beers and cocktails from Milano Bar. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, unwind after dark at Monnalisa, the hotel’s trendy lounge bar. There’s a fireplace inside, an open-air courtyard overlooking the infinity pool and live music from Wednesday to Saturday. The hotel also offers a fitness center and extended-stay penthouse residences.
Best for Families: Omni Houston Hotel
Situated next door to Memorial Park, Omni Houston Hotel is perfect for families hoping to combine their urban vacation with a taste of the great outdoors. Thanks to the Omni Kids Crew program, youngsters receive a backpack complete with crayons, games and an activity book upon check-in. Milk and cookies are delivered to your room on the first night and both on-site restaurants include coloring menus and crayons.
If you’re traveling with young children, book the Kids Sensory Suite, which features a fun beach themed bathroom and colorful bedding. There’s a reading nook, age-appropriate books and games, a chalkboard and a 55” TV with an Xbox One for older kids. The suite has two queen beds, as well as an adjoining room for Mom and Dad. Two outdoor pools and sprawling grounds complete with real swans add to this hotel’s family appeal.
Best for Romance: Hotel ZaZa Houston
Hotel ZaZa Houston creates a tranquil enclave on the edge of the Museum District’s Hermann Park. Rooms and suites foster romance with a gourmet minibar, luxury linens and a rainforest shower. Take things to the next level in one of the hotel’s Concept Suites. An Affair to Remember offers an antique bed and a red leather banquette; while Geisha House charms with a pagoda poster bed and chandelier.
Open throughout the day, Monarch Bistro treats you to succulent steaks and indulgent desserts on an open-air terrace with memorable views of the Mecom Fountain. Head to Poolside at ZaZa bar for skyline views and specialty cocktails by the pool; or indulge in The Romance Ritual treatment for two at ZaSpa. The hotel also has a sleek fitness center for health-conscious couples.
Best Luxury: Hotel Granduca Houston
Located in the exclusive uptown area, five-star Hotel Granduca Houston’s elaborate architecture is inspired by the 16th-century palazzo of Italian noble, Adalberto Malatesta. Each of its rooms and suites offers a private kitchen, fine Italian linens and Acqua di Parma toiletries. For top tier luxury, choose Residenza Imperatore, a magnificent apartment spread across 2,100 square feet and adorned with imported antiques.
As well as lush grounds and a crystalline outdoor pool, Hotel Granduca offers several exquisite dining options. Pair gourmet Italian cuisine with one of 600 vintages at Ristorante Cavour or listen to live music while sampling custom cocktails at Bar Malatesta. Afternoon tea is served daily, while Saturdays and Sundays host jazz evenings and brunches. Concierge services and in-room dining are both available 24/7.
Best for Nightlife: Hotel ICON, Autograph Collection
You’ll find Hotel ICON at the center of Houston’s lively nightlife scene, near top-rated downtown bars such as Moving Sidewalk and Conservatory. The hotel’s own L&L Bar provides the ideal start to your evening with an extensive menu of classic and contemporary cocktails. Make the most of the happy hour, hosted on weekdays between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated night out, the Theater District is also a short walk away. In between parties, Line & Lariat restaurant invites you to refuel on prime Texas steak and seafood. Rooms and suites come with a Keurig coffee maker, a mini fridge and a 42” LCD TV; while hotel amenities include free WiFi and a fitness center.
Best for Business: Hilton Americas - Houston
Connected via two indoor skywalks to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hilton Americas - Houston is a convenient pick for those in town on business. In addition to a choice of on-site meeting rooms, the hotel offers a business center and free WiFi on the Lobby Level. Recharge between meetings in your room or suite. All floor plans include a work desk, an HD TV and allergen-free bedding. 1600 Bar & Grille is your go-to for upscale seasonal cuisine, while Pappasito’s Cantina serves laid-back Mexican fare. There’s a Starbucks, a Lobby Bar and Skyline Spa & Health Club with an indoor pool.
Best B&B: Sara’s Bed & Breakfast Inn
Sara’s Bed & Breakfast Inn enjoys a charming location in historic Houston Heights. The brightly painted clapboard house is over 100 years old and paints a pretty picture with a quaint turret and widow’s walk. Choose from 11 uniquely decorated rooms, all of which offer a flat-screen TV, luxury robes and linens, as well as a high quality mattress. Antique design elements include a claw foot tub here or a four-poster bed there. Breakfast is a highlight, featuring made-to-order pancakes, eggs and waffles, while complimentary amenities include WiFi and parking help to make you feel at home.