For Labor Day my wife & I, along with our 6-month-old son, decided to do a brief 1-night staycation at the St. Regis Houston from 8/31-9/1/2019.
I booked our reservation through American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts (herein FHR) portfolio in order to unlock the host of benefits I have grown quite fond of over the years. The benefits associated with booking through the FHR portfolio (below).
- Noon check-in
- Room upgrade (upon availability)
- Daily breakfast for two (valued at $24/person at this property)
- Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi
- Guaranteed 4:00 pm late check-out
- $100 food & beverage credit
Arrival / Check-In:
Upon pulling up to the front of the hotel we were immediately greeted by a friendly valet and a very professional, endearing bellman named John. John assisted us with our luggage and coordinated the notification of our arrival with the front desk. When we got to the front desk, we were warmly greeted by front desk agent May, who was kind and professional. While I was checking in John, the bellman, gave our little son (who was in his car seat) a St. Regis teddy bear, which was such a kind gesture: our son loved it! This level of service was the “norm” throughout our entire stay, which helped make our experience truly exceptional.
Aside from the highly attentive staff members and the kind gesture of giving our son a St. Regis teddy bear, I’d like to make two additional notes about the service at this property. The first point is about housekeeping, which was great. As other online reviewers and Insiders have observed, you will never actually see housekeeping, nor will you see the housekeepers’ carts sitting in the hallways. Nonetheless, they come and do a great job tidying the rooms. The second point I’d like to make also revolves around housekeeping, but from a different angle. Being the lover of quality that I am, I can appreciate some of the simplest things if they’re just done well. As such, I happen to think that the Ritz-Carlton’s umbrellas are the best I’ve ever used, so when I saw quite some time back that it was possible to purchase a Ritz umbrella online, I promptly got one. You can imagine my excitement, however, when I also noticed that the St. Regis’s umbrellas are the exact same quality & build as the Rtiz’s. During our stay I called down to the front desk to see if I could simply purchase one of their umbrellas since the St. Regis’s are unavailable for purchase online. May, the front desk agent, assisted me with my request and told me she would check on the price and get back with me. Five minutes later we got a knock on our door and lo-and-behold it was the head of housekeeping with a brand-new umbrella, complimentary! This was yet another kind gesture that really showed the staff was eager to please and to go the extra mile.
Our initial reservation was booked under the most basic room type this property offered, which was the King Bed Superior Guest Room. However, due to our Amex FHR benefit of being given a room upgrade (if available) we were bumped up two tiers to the Grand Luxe Room. Said room was also a corner unit, which was nice since we had a newborn. The room was spacious, clean, and well-appointed and had nice views (for the area) out of both windows. We were very happy with it.
The only aspect of our stay that was a letdown was the dining. The quality of the food was truly lacking, every dish we tried being completely mediocre, at best, except for the chicken-apple sausage breakfast sandwich I had the morning after our arrival. Unfortunately, this property embodies the stereotype of overpriced, mediocre hotel food. Even with this misstep in food quality, however, the service throughout our dining experiences (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) was good. For all future stays at this property my wife & I will skip out on dining at the hotel for lunch and/or dinner and will more than likely just stick with breakfast.
Lunch - In-Room Dining
Dinner - The Remington (Bar Area)
Breakfast - The Remington (full restaurant)
We spent a good deal of time at the pool both days we were at the property, thoroughly enjoying ourselves on both occasions. Each picture I found of the pool online that guests had uploaded showed zero people at the pool. However, both times we went to the pool there were lots of people relaxing and sunbathing. Occasionally some folks would get into the pool to soak in the water, but mostly folks just hung out on the loungers eating, drinking, smoking cigars, working, etc. Everyone was well-behaved (even the kids) which made for an even more pleasant experience. My wife & I ordered some fun “beach” drinks and we were happy with the quality.
Even though Houston’s St. Regis is an older property, the grounds and the structure itself have clearly been given the love & attention necessary to maintain the 5-star status. The only other time I had been to this hotel was for a wedding rehearsal dinner, so it was nice to be able to explore the property and really take in the traditional elegance this property offers.
Exceptional service, lovely property, well-maintained amenities, and a nice, quiet location, the St. Regis Houston offers guests a wonderful respite from a busy, oftentimes crowded life. While the onsite dining was a disappointment, my expectations for the food were not nearly as high as my expectations surrounding the service. As such, I was incredibly happy with our overall experience and certainly have no issue with staying here in the future. In fact, I very much look forward to it.