Some of the best bargains in the city are in the busy Uptown area west of downtown near the Galleria. Among them are Drury Inn and Suites (1615 W. Loop South, 713/963-0700, www.druryhotels.com, $79 d), offering a free hot breakfast, evening social hour, a fitness center, indoor/outdoor pool, and whirlpool. Guest rooms feature free Internet access, microwaves, and refrigerators.
Similarly priced and amenity-packed is the adjacent La Quinta Inn and Suites (1625 W. Loop South, 800/531-5900, www.lq.com, $79 d), containing a heated pool and spa, a fitness center, free deluxe continental breakfast buffet, and rooms with free Internet access.
For a modest increase in price, consider the impressive Hilton Post Oak (2001 Post Oak Blvd., 713/961-9300, www.hilton.com, $119 d). Each room includes a balcony offering impressive skyline views, as well as Wi-Fi access, minibars, and refrigerators. The hotel also offers complimentary shuttle service to destinations within a three-mile radius.
Another option favored by many Galleria shoppers is the JW Marriot on Westheimer (5150 Westheimer Rd., 713/961-1500,www.marriott.com, $139 d), featuring wireless Internet access, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and a whirlpool.
It’s a bit more expensive, but you’ll certainly enjoy a unique and memorable experience at Hotel Derek (2525 West Loop South, 713/961-3000, www.hotelderek.com, $150 d). This independent option is contemporary and sophisticated, with consistently reliable service. Hotel Derek’s highlights include an outstanding pool with gushing waterfall, day-spa treatments, and the Derek Mobile, a black stretch SUV providing free transportation to the Galleria’s nearby shopping locales (or business meetings). Rooms feature free Wi-Fi access, minibars, CD players with extensive music libraries, bathrobes, and beds with goose-down duvets. The hotel’s restaurant, Bistro Moderne, is a destination itself, with remarkable French cuisine.
Galleria visitors also enjoy setting up shop at Embassy Suites (2911 Sage Rd., 713/626-5444, www.embassysuites.com, $159 d). Guests are immediately greeted by an almost-overwhelming lobby featuring a lofty atrium with a jungle-themed waterway containing swans. Hotel amenities include an indoor pool and whirlpool, a large fitness center, a free cooked-to-order breakfast, and an evening social reception. Rooms offer a private bedroom and separate living area with a sofa bed, minibar, refrigerator, microwave, and Internet access.
The Galleria draws some big spenders, and the surrounding area accommodates them with several pricey lodging options. Among them are Doubletree Guest Suites (5353 Westheimer Rd., 713/961-9000, www.doubletree.com, $207 d). In addition to its ideal location, the hotel offers spacious one- and two-bedroom suites with wireless Internet access, a fancy fitness center, and a large outdoor pool area with sundeck and whirlpool.
Another worthy option is Staybridge Suites Houston Galleria Area (5160 Hidalgo St., 800/465-4329, www.ichotelsgroup.com, $209 d), featuring full kitchens, separate sitting and work areas, free Internet access and printing capacities, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition