A new W Hotel in downtown Houston would add more of a cool factor to the lodging scene.
The Texas-shaped lazy river pool is the Marriott Marquis Houston's showpiece. (Photo by Chris Baldwin.)
Marriott Marquis Houston went all out in its chandelier game. (Photo by Chris Baldwin.)
The Houston Marriott Marquis features a long, winding lobby. (Photo by Chris Baldwin.)
A Texas-shaped lazy river quickly grew into a tourist siren — it practically seems like staying at the Marriott Marquis and not Instagramming a shot of that pool is against the law. And now, downtown Houston could be getting even more hotel trendy.
Plans are moving forward for a new W Hotel in the convention district, a short walk from the scene shifting Marriott Marquis. Known for their cooler than thou vibe, W Hotels were a big deal (and nearly revolutionary) when the first W Hotel in New York City opened to much fanfare in 1998.
Now, as more and more hotels embrace the hip surrounds and nightlife emphasis that W Hotels are based around, the brand no longer carries quite the same mystique. But Houston finally getting its first W Hotel still says something about the city’s dramatic recent hotel transformation.
Dallas and Austin have both had W Hotels for years and years. Now, however belatedly, Houston is in the hip crowd.
Plans call for Houston’s W Hotel to be built atop Houston First’s 10-story office tower at 701 Avenida de las Americas.
The 308-room hotel is a $120 million project that aims to create a new destination spot downtown. Expect restaurants and a nightlife component in the hotel.
The board of Houston First Corporation voted 8-2 in favor of going forward with the final negotiations with the Texas Hospitality Partners, the development group behind the project. The final hurdle will be a Houston City Council vote on the project, which includes projected state and local tax rebates totaling near $43 million.
Texas Hospitality Partners will privately finance the actual $120 million project costs. The developers say that the new W Hotel will create a minimum of 275 permanent jobs worth more than $14 million annually and 745 construction jobs.
Of course, many of the people staying at Houston’s new W Hotel will just want to know how Instagrammable the scene is.
One thing’s certain — the bar’s been set. It has to beat a certain Texas-shaped pool.