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Culture / Travel

A Woman’s World — New Downtown Hotel Aims to Create a More Serene Houston Luxury Retreat

Your First Sneak Peek at C. Baldwin and its World of Chic Shops and a Cali Celebrity Chef

BY // 05.26.19

Step into the new Presidential Suite at C. Baldwin Hotel and you’re immediately struck at how serene the setting is. Your eyes are drawn to the striking framed photo on the wall of a badass Houston woman.

To say this is not your father’s hotel is putting it lightly.

C. Baldwin, named after the woman considered the true mother of Houston (Charlotte Baldwin Allen, an 19th century entrepreneur who helped shape the city), celebrates women with a refreshing fervor. Forget the Mother of Dragons. This is the Mother of Houston hotels.

“This is a project that I wanted to be a part of,” Maggie Rosa, the new hotel’s general manager, tells PaperCity. “It’s not just a hotel revamp. There’s something inspirational about it.”

C. Baldwin Hotel women
C. Baldwin Hotel brings a powerful team of women and a more feminine touch.

This new hotel in downtown Houston at the Allen Center is a complete re-imagining of the subpar Doubletree Hotel that it’s taken over. The clear driving mission is to transform a blah hotel into a real sophisticated destination spot.

C. Baldwin is coming to life (scheduled June 2 opening) with a feminine vibe. Much of the hotel’s leadership are women and those photographs of remarkable everyday Houston women from Houston photographer Elizabeth Conley are highlighted throughout the hotel.

This hotel metamorphosis is built around the finer things in life. This means an ambitious new restaurant from famed San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino, a new Sloan/Hall store just off the main lobby and a 1,300-square foot Paloma salon.

The Bayou City’s downtown hotel scene is about to get much more sophisticated. The new Sloan/Hall at C. Baldwin will be a tightly edited version of the flagship store, with a rotating mix of small gifts, jewelry, shoes, clothes and more packed into a 600-square-foot space.

“We’ve never been in this type of high traffic space,” Shannon Hall tells PaperCity. “We’re looking forward to it. We always wanted to have a little shop in a hotel.”

If Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel is the brawny, bold, towering attention grabber in The Galleria area, the C. Baldwin aims to be a more serene, reserved beacon downtown.

Cosentino’s new restaurant, Rosalie Italian Soul, is named after his great grandmother and it aims to recreate the feel of the red sauce dishes that the first generation Italian immigrant taught Cosentino to fuel his love of cooking. The former Top Chef Masters winner describes it as his most personal restaurant yet.

The new Paloma is the third Houston salon from owner Maryam Naderi, who believes that non-toxic nail treatments should be affordable. Naderi easily mixed with the new hotel’s women leadership team at a preview night. This a place that’s aiming for a unique mix of upscale local shops in a revitalized hotel setting.

C. Baldwin’s debut even means more green for this old hotel property. Special attention’s been paid to the landscaping in an attempt to give a decidedly urban locale more of a retreat sense.

C. Baldwin suite
C. Baldwin’s Presidential Suite has plenty of room to lounge.

It’s all about setting the C. Baldwin apart. There are not many hotels in the world with a shop like Sloan/Hall in their lobby. Sloan/Hall also fits with C. Baldwin’s mission to be a more women-orientated luxury hotel. The C. Baldwin brings a distinct mission.

If Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel is the brawny, bold, towering attention grabber in The Galleria area, the C. Baldwin aims to be a more serene, reserved beacon downtown. She is here. Hear her roar. Or at least, relax.

“It’s a different type of a hotel,” Hall says. “And I like that.”

A New Houston Hotel Scene?

Now the trick is convincing hotel goers that there is a new worthy retreat in Houston. For the fourth largest city in America, H-Town is still woefully short in standout hotels. The $350 million Post Oak’s opening represented a huge step forward, but even one of the top hotels in America cannot change everything without some reinforcements.

C. Baldwin’s general manager goes out of her way to note that this hotel isn’t just for women. Rosa knows the reborn hotel must attract all types of business travelers to succeed.

And who says men don’t like being pampered?

C. Baldwin hotel does not try to be slick. It’s not going for trendy. It’s aiming for something a little more subtle — and lasting — than that.

“I just want people to see the hotel and give it a chance,” Rosa says. “When all these elements come together, I think it’s going to be special.”

It’s a different type of look. A different type of hotel focus. Is Houston ready?

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