Royal Sonesta Houston Completes Nearly $30-Million Property-Wide Renovation

HOUSTON, TX – Spring 2014 –Royal Sonesta Houston has completed an extensive, nearly $30-million renovation, positioning the property as one of the premier hotels in the city and the state.  The endeavor, which focused on interior spaces, spanning the lobby, all 485 guestrooms, food and beverage outlets, 50,000 square feet of meeting and event venues, plus a refresh of existing amenities, including the rooftop swimming pool and fitness center, began in July 2013.

Rebranded on July 16, 2012 as the first and only full service Royal Sonesta in Texas, the hotel is ideally situated at the gateway to the Uptown District and just steps from the famed Galleria complex.  Within walking distance of the acclaimed shops and restaurants of Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer, the property offers a striking façade that features 23 stories fronting the 610 Loop.

Management tasked award-winning, Dallas-based design firm, Looney & Associates, whose past work includes The Osprey at Beaver Creek in Colorado, the Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur, CA, the Park Hyatt New York in Manhattan and in the Houston area, The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center, to transform the building by interjecting a modern fusion of style and substance that would reflect the city from a fresh perspective while reinforcing a brand platform that instills a strong independence and individuality for each Royal Sonesta.  Rather than relying on heritage and overt Texas references, the scheme is decidedly international and chic and flavored by the principles that make Houston a leader in energy, medicine and space exploration, as well as a cosmopolitan, future-leaning destination.  Many aspects of the reinvention, from the custom, sculptural light fixtures in the lobby to the vibrant art throughout, reflect that influence of science and technology.

Looney & Associates has created an environment that is contemporary without being cold through an artful use of contrasting textures and a warm color palette, in addition to a mix of metal finishes and wood tones.  One of the major challenges of the project was addressing scale by introducing intimacy and concentrated energy in vast public spaces, while creating perceived volume related to ceiling heights in the guestrooms and hallways.

Two expansive lobby areas – one previously in a great room format serving hotel guests and a second adjoining reception/pre-function area for the meeting and event facilities – were dramatically retooled while preserving some significant architectural features.  In the hotel portion, the ceiling alcove was enlarged, a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows has become a focal point with decorative screening and the front desk was enhanced beyond recognition.  The former bar was eliminated to accommodate Launch, a grab-and-go concept with a carefully curated selection of sundries.  The new, backlit bar was positioned to divide the reception space from Axis, the central lounge.  Located just off the lobby, the restaurant was reborn as ARA, adjoining the updated TableOne chef’s table.

The meeting and event reception area was reoriented to highlight the grand, soaring staircase and open mezzanine with the addition of seating vignettes that activate the formerly bare space.  The myriad of flexible function and ballrooms were also upgraded to state-of-the-art.  Predominant colors throughout the first floor include an earth mix of chocolate, taupe and cream with pops of sapphire.  Lighting elements are impactful and sculptural, incorporating star-like qualities.  Custom carpeting depicts Houston as viewed from space.

An all-new experience is provided to travelers on the guestroom and club floors beginning with elegant hallways favoring a soothing color scheme of grays paired with chrome lighting and furniture accents.  An orbital carpeting pattern segues to a honeycomb geometric in the mod rooms that cocoon guests in stylish comfort with premium bedding and significant, custom furniture that evokes a residential rather than institutional feel.  Designed to maximize space, the sleek and functional, low profile pieces, which include a sectional sofa in the king rooms, visually elongate and heighten the accommodations.  The adjoining bathrooms were also substantially remodeled, continuing the residentially-inspired fit and finish.
The hotel’s renovation was timed perfectly to take advantage of tremendous growth in Houston and the immediate community.  The Galleria area, a primary and preferred business and entertainment core, is at the axis of the city roughly equidistant from key destinations including downtown, the Texas Medical Center, Museum District, Montrose/Midtown, Reliant Park and the Energy Corridor.  Visitors enjoy the convenience of being in the heart of one of Houston’s most well maintained and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods with nearby leisure attractions such as Uptown Park, the 1,500-acre Memorial Park and Highland Village.  And soon, additional phases of the BLVD Place mixed-use development and River Oaks District, a $450-million, 15-acre project under construction, will introduce additional high end dining and retail just blocks from the hotel’s doorstep.

Reservations are available by calling 617.315.9100; toll free at 800.SONESTA or online at www.Sonesta.com.

The 485-room Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston is AAA approved Four Diamond full service hotel located in the area of the Houston Galleria. The hotel offers 24-hour fitness center, roof top swimming pool, and 50,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel offers a spectacular location within walking distance of the Houston Galleria. The hotel is a convenient home from which to explore the nearby attractions, professional sporting events, and exciting dining and nightlife the city of Houston and the hotel’s uptown neighborhood has to offer.

Discover Royal Sonesta and Sonesta Hotels & Resorts in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hilton Head Island, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Sint Maarten (3), Panama, Chile (2), Colombia (5), Ecuador, Peru (6), and Egypt (10). Sonesta ES Suites is an extended stay hotel brand managed by Sonesta in 27 locations found near Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Burlington, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbus, Detroit, Flagstaff, Houston, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Parsippany, Princeton, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Tucson. For more about the Sonesta Collection, visit Sonesta.com or call 617.315.9200 or 800.Sonesta (800.766.3782) in the U.S. and Canada.

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