Hotel Granduca

Channeling Italy in Uptown Houston

Holly Moore
December 09, 2009

I finally get the Hotel Granduca. Being happily ensconced there for the past several weeks with my children, dog and husband (new house under renovation), I have had time to study it, and now I see what owner and developer Giorgio Borlenghi envisioned: a very old world luxurious hotel-villa, in the vein of a seaside or hillside Italian albergo, where Sophia and Gina might mingle with the Agnellis. Furnishings are in tapestries, silks and damasks, rooms are spacious and high-ceilinged, and twin coats-of-arms guard the lobby. The housekeeping ladies — many could be my nonna — wear traditional starched black uniforms, frilly white aprons and stiff caps. Relaxing one evening on the veranda overlooking the pool, cabanas and statuary, where a craggy slope to the Ligurian Sea wouldn’t be unexpected, were international folk sipping prosecco and flinging accents about. The 123 suites in this boutique-hotel gem range from 425 to 2,100 square feet. The bar is charming, and a piano player or guitarist performs Thursday through Saturday. Ristorante Cavour is gently grand with draped tables puddling at your legs. I’m innamorato. Rates from $195 to $2,400. 1080 Uptown Park Blvd., Houston, 713.418.1000;