Kirby District and Rice Village
Downtown is pretty quiet most nights, but Rice Village is usually hoppin’. Visitors often opt to stay here for the abundant nearby nightlife and cultural attractions. One of the best deals in the area is the Courtyard Houston West University (2929 Westpark Dr., 713/661-5669, www.marriott.com, $109 d), offering an outdoor pool/whirlpool, exercise room, book-filled library, and free Internet access.
Similarly priced yet slightly more upscale is the Renaissance Greenway Plaza (6 Greenway Plaza East, 713/629-1200, www.marriott.com, $119 d), featuring spacious rooms with walk-in closets, luxury bedding, Internet access, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
Another worthy option is the Hilton Houston Plaza (6633 Travis St., 713/313-4000, www.hilton.com, $129 d). The Hilton includes large suites, minibars, Internet access, a fitness facility, a heated swimming pool, and free transportation within a three-mile radius of the hotel.
The lodging jewel of the city’s Museum District crown is Hotel ZaZa (5701 Main St., 713/526-1991, www.hotelzaza.com, rooms start at $235). Billed as an “urban resort with a mix of glamour and warmth, high style, and creature comforts,” the ZaZa is in a league of its own. Amenities include a poolside retreat and outdoor bar with private cabanas, the luxurious ZaSpa and fitness center, nightly turndown service, cordless phones, free Wi-Fi service, ZaZa guest robes, fancy linens, refrigerators, and an in-room “grab and go gourmet refreshment bar.”
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition