Introduction: My wife & I stayed at the Magnolia Hotel here in Houston for a 1-night staycation on Saturday, December 8th, 2018.
Check-In: I checked in using the mobile app the day before arrival and was notified the following morning that our room was ready ahead of our planned time of arrival. My wife & I originally planned on arriving at the hotel at 3:30 pm but decided to arrive early and settle in. The front desk agent who assisted us with finalizing the check-in and providing the room key was pleasant to deal with. In addition to providing the basic check-in information she also provided us with a memo on Magnolia Hotel letterhead stating that their onsite restaurant (The Lounge) would be closed that evening since three company holiday parties were being hosted at the hotel. While this was a slight bummer, I was more than glad to see that the hotel was being used so extensively. Hotels are, after all, gathering spots and having three holiday parties simultaneously makes for one big, energetic gathering spot.
Parking: This particular property only offers valet parking and, since I’m not a big fan of valet parking, I went ahead and utilized a self-park garage approximately 50 yards from the entrance to the hotel. This garage was located on the same block as the hotel which meant my wife & I never had to cross the street, which was nice. I did notice, however, that there were always plenty of valets available at any given time which was a good sign for those who did valet.
Room: Our room was a spacious King Bed Guest Room on the 9th floor overlooking the rooftops of some surrounding low-rise buildings. The room was a clean, well-appointed, well-designed guest room that we left very happy with. By way of furnishings there was a business desk and chair, a lounge chair and accompanying ottoman, the king bed, a drawer with a flat screen TV, a minibar with an accompanying safe, as well as a spacious vanity station and bathroom with a tub/shower.
Common Elements: The hotel was decorated nicely with a large Christmas tree in the main lobby with assorted Christmas decorations throughout the hotel. The entry way, main lobby, and surrounding areas on the first floor were great for lounging and for meeting up with friends, as many guests did. Like many hotels even the air smelled nice, as the Magnolia Hotel appeared to have its own signature scent being circulated throughout.
Restaurant: While The Lounge was closed for dinner on the day, we checked in we did, however, get a chance to stop by for breakfast for the following morning. My wife & I sat at the bar and were greeted immediately by an attentive waitress. The food options were slightly more restricted than what appeared online, but we easily found something to eat, nonetheless. The food itself was delicious, the service was decent enough, and the prices were moderate. My wife & I particularly liked how the overall openness of the restaurant itself, as it was on the second floor with an attaching staircase leading to the third floor, and had large windows looking outside. There were many folks dining there that morning which is always a good sign. A special feature of The Lounge was that it has an adjoining billiard room that can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Gym: My wife & I utilized the fitness facilities on the day of our arrival and really enjoyed ourselves. The gym was located on the 23rd floor (the highest floor of the hotel) and was appointed with all of the necessary equipment to get a full body workout. What was particularly nice about the fitness center was that all of the equipment was arranged neatly, clean, and well-maintained. The treadmills operated as smooth as glass, the dumbbells were all in great condition, and the general space was clean and dust-free. The floor the gym is located on has accompanying bathrooms, as well as a neatly-arranged towel station that offers complimentary headphones to guests. There is also a nice vending machine that offers beverages such as LIFEWTR, Propel, Aquafina, Mountain Dew Kickstart, and other selections.
Pool: One of the neatest amenities this hotel offers is on the 23rd floor (the rooftop). This is where the pool and hot tub is located: a lovely lounge in the heart of downtown surrounded by skyscrapers. The rooftop pool area is accessed by going through the fitness center and offers sun lounging chairs, as well as regular chairs / tables that can be enjoyed in an open-air setting, as well as in a covered setting. The pool and hot tub, while both small by modern standards, are well maintained for being as old as they are and are perfectly suitable for guests to enjoy. Given that it was in the low 40’s when my wife & I visited the hotel I only utilized the hot tub and it was quite enjoyable. One element that I enjoyed about the rooftop pool area was that the hotel has decided to keep said area only for lounging and relaxation: there is not bar, no drinks or food service, nothing. This keeps for a pleasant atmosphere free of unnecessary business and nightlife lounging.
Summary: Our stay at the Magnolia Hotel in Houston was a very enjoyable and relaxing experience. Each of our interactions with hotel staff, hotel guests, and with the hotel’s amenities were pleasant and the entire hotel operation seemed to be running at a high level of efficiency, especially given the number of visitors and guests they had onsite the evening (and preceding morning) of our stay due to the holiday parties. Aptly situated in the heart of downtown within walking distance of so many things my wife & I enjoy doing I wouldn’t be surprised if we stay at the Magnolia Hotel again in the future.
Rooftop Pool / Lounge Area (Angle 1)
Rooftop Pool / Lounge Area (Angle 2)
Lobby w/Christmas Tree & Decorations
Billiard Room in "The Lounge"
Staircase leading up to the 3rd floor from "The Lounge" on the 2nd floor.
Exterior Shot (Angle 1)
Exterior Shot (Angle 2)