Checking into Houston's Hotel Sorella

Talk about Curb Appeal …

Laurann Claridge
December 09, 2009

The new Hotel Sorella at CityCentre in Houston catches your eye the moment you motor past its two-story floating staircase enclosed in glass. This sleek, Italianate, 244-room boutique hotel projects a sophisticated urban environs — though truth be told, you’re in the midst of suburban zip code 77024. Created by the Houston-based Valencia Group and designed by Gensler, with guest rooms conceived by Remedios Siembieda, this flagship Sorella property feels like a hybrid between a luxury hotel (without the steep tariff) and a mod motel (and we mean that as a compliment). It wasn’t until I self-parked on the second floor of the convenient parking garage and slipped into the lobby, checked in and was whisked up to my spacious guest room that the appeal of its layout really sunk in. There is nothing more irksome, after all, than staying at a hotel on business and having to call valet services to fetch your car again and again. Another brilliant move: They’ve done away with the typical hotel restaurant and replaced it with an array of wonderful CityCentre eateries, including new concepts such as Café Rosé and Bistro Alex (compliments of Alex Brennan-Martin) and imports such as the Asian-inspired Straits, seafood-centered Eddy V’s, RA Sushi and sporty beer haven Yard House. There’s a sharp-looking infinity pool and workout room within the hotel, and across the street is fitness palace Life Time Athletic Club, not to mention a movie theater a stone’s throw away and a conference center that can seat up to 700. Guest rooms are outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, pressed high-thread-count linens, down bedding and laminate dark hardwoods that feel more sanitary than wall-to-wall carpet, and run through to the bath where they can be splashed with water from the walk-in rainhead shower without worry. Rates start at $189. 800 W. Sam Houston Parkway North, Houston, 713.973.1600; Laurann Claridge