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Houston: The Hospitality City
Houston is a great destination city for both leisure and business, boasting more than 500 hotels that cover the price and amenity spectrum to suit the needs of guests from all over the world. With so many hotels, there’s always something new or being renovated to provide the best experiences for guests, so take a look at some recent changes to the local hotel scene. Then learn about how some of Houston’s finest hotels offer more than just a stylish place to sleep with their exquisite restaurants, spas and meeting spaces. Also, discover the advantages of staying at a hotel near one of Houston’s two major airports without having to compromise on style and class.

hotels changes and developments
The Houston hotel scene is always changing to keep up with the developing needs of its international clientele. Take a look at the following renovations and developments happening in the Houston-area hotel industry.

The Candlewood Suites Houston-Westchase in the heart of the Westchase business district recently completed a $1.5 million four-phase hotel renovation that included enhancement of all guestrooms and suites in the hotel.

The historic landmark Hotel ICON finished its $35-million renovation of the entire property in June 2012. One of the most unique hotels in Houston, it features 135 rooms, including 18 suites, and is located in the heart of Houston’s business, legal, entertainment and sports districts. The refurbished hotel’s amenities include oversized bathrooms with rain showers and whirlpool tubs, laptop safes and keyed elevator access.

The Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston, formerly the InterContinental Hotel Houston, recently reopened in the Houston Galleria area under the Sonesta brand, which is owned by Hospitality Properties Trust. The four-diamond hotel was rebranded in July and marks Sonesta’s first hotel in Texas. The Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston still features 485 guestrooms and 50,000 square feet of function space.

The Hilton Hotels Corporation is undergoing renovations at several of its Houston properties, most of which are set for completion in late 2012 or early 2013. The updating properties include the Hilton Garden Inn Houston Northwest America Plaza, Hilton Houston Southwest, Hilton Houston Hobby Airport Hotel, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Houston by the Galleria and Hilton Hotel Houston Post Oak.

Magnolia Hotel Houston in downtown currently is constructing a second ballroom that is projected to open for event bookings in early November 2012. The nearly 2,400 square feet of flexible space for up to 240 guests is flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows and will be a luxurious addition to the hotel’s existing public areas.

Downtown’s historic Alden-Houston—originally the Sam Houston Hotel when it opened in 1924—was purchased by a Houston hotelier who is considering bringing back the original name. Under the new owner, enhancements will be made to the guestrooms, meeting spaces, restaurant and bar and every aspect of guest services to create the best possible experience for all visitors.

Expected by March 2013, the new Westin Houston Downtown opens to a convenient location near major highways, the George R. Brown Convention Center and three professional sports stadiums, including the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park. Guests will enjoy traditional charm and inspiring views from its 200 guestrooms and suites and be able to take advantage of the business center and gym. Plus, the Westin Houston Downtown will offer five meeting spaces, the largest at 2,700 square feet, as well as access to the ballroom of Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse next door.

Whatever your hospitality needs may be, come see the new and improved Houston hotels all over town.

beyond the guestrooms
Certainly the luxury hotels in Houston are ideal for business professionals and upscale clients to stay the night, but many of the top-tier hotels in the city offer far more than just exquisite room accommodations and luxurious pools. Many also feature fine-dining restaurants frequented by discerning local foodies as much as visitors. Plus, almost all of these hotels have fantastic meeting and event spaces that make it convenient for guests to stay, work and play all in one location. In addition, some of the properties offer luxurious spa facilities that attract everyone far and wide who needs a little bit of pure relaxation.

Alden-Houston in the heart of downtown is where contemporary and classic styles mix and mingle with traditional Texas hospitality. At the hotel’s premier *17 Restaurant, American cuisine meets fine dining with succulent and creative dishes prepared with market-to-plate principles offering only the freshest and locally produced ingredients. The wine program at *17 Restaurant also offers an unparalleled array of vintages and prices. For special events or intimate celebrations, *17 Restaurant provides full-service custom catering and a private dining room. Along with its convenient downtown location, Alden-Houston has 3,200 square feet of meeting space with state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities and practical arrangements to maximize space and comfort for groups up to 200. Each room features blackout curtains, high-speed Internet access and video conferencing while personalized meeting services from expert staff complete the package. For an alternative, the naturally illuminated Veranda features the charm of exposed brick, natural ivy and clean white décor in an open-ended indoor-outdoor space.

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