By Roger Cox, Editor
At first glance the Houstonian may appear to be just another urban hotel focused on business travelers and conference groups. What sets it apart, however, is a setting in an 18-acre wooded oasis in the heart of Houston and guest access to the otherwise members-only Houstonian Club, a Texas-sized 125,000-square-foot health and fitness center that shares that wooded footprint. Late in 2009, the Club raised its tennis profile by building a four-court indoor tennis complex to complement the five lighted Deco-Turf courts outside. With 40-foot ceilings, abundant windows high in the walls, high-quality florescent lighting, and a cushioned hard surface called Classic Turf, this indoor facility makes playing year-round both feasible and enjoyable. The roster of tennis programs, under Racquet Sports Director Mike May, naturally focuses on the needs of members but, says May, "guests have full membership privileges." That means access to men's and ladies clinics, men's drop-in sessions, and a junior program. "We also do our best to set guests up with games, if that's what they need," May continues.
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Courts & Fees. 9 hard courts, four of those indoors, and two racquetball courts and two international padel courts.
Golf. The hotel does not have a golf course but does offer playing privileges at The Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club (home of Houston's only PGA TOUR stop, the Shell Houston Open) and the BlackHorse Golf Club.
Spa & Fitness Center. Measuring 125,000 square feet, the health and fitness club affords a broad range of workout options, including a full range of cardio and strength training equipment, 180 weekly group fitness classes, 35 personal trainers, three swimming pools—one with a slide, waterfall, and baby lagoon—a climbing wall, a sports shop, cafe, and an outdoor workout plaza. In addition, there is a 17,000-square-foot spa called Trellis, offering a range of treatments and salon services in its 21 rooms.
The hotel has 289 rooms and suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of woods, residential-style furnishings, and such amenities as Keurig coffeemakers, environmentally conscious lighting and climate control features, and occupancy sensors to minimize intrusions by housekeeping.
The main restaurant, Olivette, specializes in American fare and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And there are three other options for light fare or lunch.
If you're looking for an urban hotel with resort amenities and a spa, also check out:
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General Tourist Information. For information about vacationing in Houston, visit the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau website or phone toll-free 800-4-HOUSTON. For general information about vacationing in Texas, visit the Texas Tourism website or contact them at 800-888-8TEX.