A ‘New’ Four Seasons in Houston?
Storied Chain Barrels Into the City’s Luxury Hotel Wars in a Major WayBY Chris Baldwin // 02.16.16
There are Four Seasons in cities including New York, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, even Austin … and then there’s the Four Seasons in Houston.
Houston’s Four Seasons never seemed to quite fit in with the storied luxury brand. It never wowed in the same way. It never invoked the same type of pure relaxation bliss that other Four Seasons do. If you’re a celebrity who just sees the Four Seasons name — or has business at the Toyota Center — sure, you’ll stay there. But there are other luxury hotels in Houston that seem to inspire much more devotion and buzz.
Perhaps recognizing this, Four Seasons Houston is upping its game. The hotel is engaging in an extensive renovation that may bring out some of that Four Seasons’ mystique.
The 34-year-old hotel’s entrance and building front will get a complete renovation. There’s no question its current look is almost 1970-ish. The hotel was built in 1982 and seems to come from another era. But beyond a more modern, sleek feel, the revamp centers around the idea of making the hotel more attractive to passersby.
A new bar near the main entrance will try to capture the foot traffic that’s part of major events such as this April’s Final Four and next year’s Super Bowl. That’s also essential to building some local buzz around the hotel. The goal is to make Houstonians who aren’t staying at the Four Seasons consider it as a place to hang out and get a drink or a bite.
Just ask yourself: How many times has the Houston Four Seasons even crossed your mind as a dinner or drinks destination?
That is the hotel’s dilemma, and it’s attacking it with the most extensive renovation the Four Seasons Houston has ever gone through. The spa and fitness center are also getting total revamps and using the Four Seasons as your sometimes gym now will be in play.
With new high-profile luxury hotels on the way, including the showy Marriott Marquis by the George R. Brown Convention Center (a short stroll from the Four Seasons), this is a fight to stay vital in the city’s high-end market.
There is a luxury arms race going on — and it suddenly seems like the Four Seasons is up for the challenge.