This will not be even close to the reviews that houstonfoodandwine has provided us, but here goes!
We had an event in Houston last night in support of Welcome - Houston Pets Alive! for pet adoption. My wife was involved with the organizer of the evenings activities held at The Dogwood - Midtown Houston TX and as we always seem to do after an event downtown we stay at a hotel rather than make the 40 mile drive home.
Last night was no exception and I'd booked a room at a Hilton property since I'm on a current status match with Hilton. Well, as luck would have it (on my side this time) yesterday morning I started reading some reviews of the hotel as we have not stayed there and it appeared they had some extensive renovation taking place to the point of have no bar, restaurants or lounge open on site. I called the hotel and requested to have my reservation cancelled due to this not being mentioned anywhere on the hotel website or the Hilton site (Marriott is pretty good with this type notification at least). They agreed to cancel the room without charge and I started looking at Marriott properties in the downtown area. For some reason found an excellent rate at the fairly new Downtown Houston Luxury Hotel | Le Méridien Houston Downtown. Being we'd not stayed at a Le Meridien before I jumped on it and with the location being excellent for our ride in from home as well as to/from the event it was perfect.
We arrived at the hotel and found the valet parking assistant instantly on the street. He took our name and explained the texting function to retrieve the vehicle and told us the check-in is on the second floor. The doorman then proceeded to take out roll-a-board and walked us to the elevator. Hmmmm very nice touch. The very modern decor of the hotel was inviting right from the start. I had checked in via the Mobile App right after making the reservation but needed to get the room key from the front desk since they don't offer the digital key. Danny greeted us through the wave of some 16 Qatar Airlines Flight Attendants who were checking out to head to the airport for their flight to Doha. Danny thanked us for being loyal Titanium members and gave us the full rundown of all the Elite benefits as well as the location of things within the hotel as well as telling us of the rooftop lounge on the 23rd floor. Very very polite and told us we could have the 500 points or the breakfast option credit of $20. We opted for the breakfast since they have no CL or M Club. Danny did not offer us an upgraded room from the 1 King Bed that was reserved so I asked him, and we got a Sweet SUITE!!! He also told us they would be having a complimentary "Sparkling Time" in the lobby from 4-7 PM for Elite Bonvoy members which we took advantage of, not the best offerings though they were free.
A very bright nice two room suite was what we found on the 21st floor. The sitting area was large with a table, chairs, couch, large HD TV and very clean mini-fridge. The room decor was attractive with plenty of lights, power outlets as well as being totally spotless. The newness of the property stood out as the room had a very pleasant aroma. The bedroom had another large HD TV, comfortable bed and pillows, large closet with robes,slippers, wire metal drawers, good sized safe and a dresser with huge drawers as well.
The bathroom was large with a tub and shower, large mirror plus make-up mirror (it doesn't help me any) and was well stocked with toiletries which turned out to be excellent in the shampoo and conditioner department.
Another real nice classy move was the extra roll of toilet paper!
Before we took advantage of the "Sparkling Time" we wanted a light snack and glass of wine so we went down to the Zutro Restaurant & Bar on the first floor t and sat at down at the bar. We were greeted by a very warm friendly smiling Alley who took our beverage order promptly and gave us menus. Since we'd planned on eating at the event we opted for the Caprese Salad. Since we did not want a ton of the Mozzarella Cheese she offered to put Avocado on instead which we jumped at. The salad was fabulous as we the Pinot Gris and Pino Noir we enjoyed. What a pleasant time we had with her in the short 40 minutes or so we had before leaving. We enjoyed the Salad so much that we did not eat during the event and made it back to Zutro just before they closed at 10 PM for a second round of it and Wine. Alley was swamped, yet took the time to be just as friendly, personable and professional as before.
Breakfast this morning was equally tasty with the Egg White Scramble that we both had along with Wheat English Muffin. The service was somewhat disappointing as they had only one server on duty along with a fella serving beverages. While the occupancy of the hotel might he been about 1/2 full that may have led to the lack of staffing in the restaurant. Nonetheless, no need to complain about it as our server was kind enough to thank us for being patient with her.
Time to text for the vehicle which they responded with almost instantly asking for 20 minutes to retrieve it. Since my cellphone was off and I am pretty lazy about using it I attempted to checkout via the TV, but the TV did not have the option of checking out so I called the front desk which resulted in a recording and a please wait. I waited about 30 seconds and hung up before leaving the room to complete the checkout at the front desk. Upon arriving at the valet stand some 10 minutes after requesting the vehicle it was waiting for us. Again very courteous guys running the valet as they took our roll-a-board and loaded it into the vehicle.
The Le Meridien Hotel we do believe will become our go to spot in downtown Houston. Easy in/out access to the freeway, almost in the middle of downtown so plenty of dining options close, not far from Minute Maid Park for Astros games nor Toyota Center for Rockets games or concerts and the pleasant staff along with excellent rate makes it a good match for us.
P.S Plus it yielded this to add to theLast week in pens thread!