Leading the revival in Houston’s once less than favourable downtown district, is the Marriott Marquis, a sprawling 1000-bedroom hotel that, at first glance, might not look like much from the outside, but with its swish interior and resort amenities, travellers might check in for business, but it’s likely they’ll stay for pleasure.
The Dallas-based design company Looney has created a subtle nod to the Lone Star state with a retro feel that references Houston’s landscape throughout; carpets are decorated with recurring motifs of Texas rivers, murals have been constructed from cow shapes and astronauts are printed on black glass inside the elevators.
The rooms are simple and elegant with floor-to-ceiling windows - some with views of the adjacent Discovery Green park – that are softened with metallic curtains reminiscent of moon dust. It’s difficult to imagine spending time in-room though, when there are six restaurants and bars to choose from, including Xochi, that serves up Oaxacan specialties from chef Hugo Ortega, and Cueva, a wine bar with 16 locally-produced wines on tap.
We suggest heading to the sixth floor rooftop and grabbing a cocktail from the High Dive bar to enjoy while floating in the ‘lazy river’, a Texas-shaped winding pool that is the most obvious reference to the state.