Being that Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, store you can expect to have so many choices of places to stay while you're here. I hope that in the past few months of taking staycations in my city, I was able to give a glimpse of what Houston has to offer (and this is for my out-of-town readers) in terms of top notch accommodations. If you're from Houston, well you know pretty much what we've got!
The Galleria area is one of the prominent areas in town. It's called The Galleria because of the upscale mall in Houston that houses famous designer brands such as Miu Miu, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry and many more, along with department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The area is sometimes mistaken as downtown too but it seems to me like it's more like a financial district. There are a bunch of restaurants, corporate buildings, upscale condominiums, townhouses, as well as 3 and 4 star hotels, one of them being Royal Sonesta where I had once again the privilege of spending overnight just to experience the royal service! You all know how I love taking staycations.
Royal Sonesta has 485 bedrooms and 13 of which are suites – all of those rooms are non-smoking. Hooray! Sorry for those who are smokers. I don't smoke and I despise the smell of smoke. It's great to know that the rooms at Royal Sonesta are smoke-free and are very clean!
So when I got to the hotel, one thing I immediately noticed is its corporate vibe. I guess because they do have conference and meeting room facilities as well and because of the area. The reception is simple, there's not much decorations going on. It's quite minimalist.
Across the reception area is the Axis Lounge and Bar which a friend and I went to have dinner that same night and there will be a separate post on that. But can I rave a little bit? Man, they have amazing food! That's all I can say for now. The Axis Lounge it is actually a part of the lobby area but they serve drinks and food there as well.
It looks like they have a couple of lobbies. This part right here is the lobby for the conference and meeting rooms. If I am not mistaken, sometimes they use this area for some functions as well.
This sitting area is right next to the Axis Lounge.
The second lobby has a higher ceiling and part of the wall has this and thought it's pretty neat.
Royal Sonesta has 3 dining options – ARA Restaurant, Axis Lounge, and this one below is called Launch which I believe serves breakfast and snacks. There's complimentary coffee being served during breakfast hours. They also have room service.
The elevator area on my floor feels like home!
I like that the hallways are light and bright!
And here's my room! If I remember it correctly, I was on the 17th floor and had a great view of the highway and some buildings in the area. The room is quite minimalist as kind of expected from what I have seen on the lobby. I love it because it's bright and simple. Very easy on the eyes. The artwork is limited on the work/desk station. They do offer free wi-fi by the way but it has a certain speed. If you want the speed to be faster, you have to upgrade. The room has a flat screen TV and….Keurig!!! Yes! Ha.
Just a snapshot of the bathroom.
A couple of things worth mentioning: 1. I noticed that instead of those travel size toiletries, they have the shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel in dispensers instead in an effort to be environment-friendly. Thought that's pretty neat!
2. When I was heading out in the morning to snap some photos, I saw a newspaper on the floor by my door. Although I really don't read hard copy newspapers, I know that there are people that still do, especially the corporate people, so this is quite a nice service!
I got to check out their fitness center which has a heated outdoor pool. It's a pretty small area compared to the size of the hotel but I guess not too many people work out while on vacation or work travel anyways.
There is a small portion dedicated for yoga and pilates.
I really enjoyed my stay at Royal Sonesta – it's really one of my nicest staycation! With the exception of my room not ready when I got there and had to wait for a good 45 mins (thankfully, I'm a bit patient), everything was smooth. I'm pretty easy! I hardly call for service. I slept in till almost 10 AM since I stayed up late with friends hanging at the Axis Lounge. I normally ask for a late check-out because hey, what's a staycation if I have to wake up at 7 AM?
Like I said earlier, the hotel is a good fit for business travelers because of the corporate vibe and avid shoppers who would thoroughly enjoy the shopping and dining scenario at the Galleria. It's not much for family with kids who are looking for some recreation at the hotel because they don't have such amenities. That doesn't mean to say though that family with kids can't stay there. There is a lot of activities however in the area and a few minutes drive that kids will enjoy.
The hotel offers valet parking and they have a huge parking garage that has plenty of parking spots for everyone!
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary stay at Royal Sonesta to facilitate this experience write-up. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Royal Sonesta.