As the only five-diamond hotel in downtown Houston (a distinction it’s held since 1996), the Four Seasons has occupied the same pristine piece of real estate near the George R. Brown Convention Center for 34 years. Several of the city’s top entertainment options, including Toyota Center (where the Houston Rockets and many musicians play) and Discovery Green (a 12-acre urban park), have sprung up around the iconic destination. It’s not uncommon to spot visiting VIPs including politicos and athletes in the 20-story hotel, which also accommodates extended stays with private residences.
Known for top-notch service like twice-a-day housekeeping and nightly turndown, the Four Seasons is about to embark on a complete renovation of the 4th-floor fitness center and spa facilities—to be unveiled in January 2016. The Spa has a private suite for couples and offers poolside “Spa Tapas,” like the 15-minute Coconut Scalp Soothie massage. Speaking of the pool, it’s 65 feet and shaded by palm trees.
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Surrounded by office buildings and its own parking lot, Four Seasons is a short walk to green space and outdoor entertainment, concerts, and sporting events. During baseball season, kids ages 5-15 can run the bases after an Astros game at nearby Minute Maid Park. But for guests who want to hit less pedestrian-friendly venues like the Galleria or the Medical Center, ask about complimentary car service. A winning, walkable dining option—with punchy margaritas and a diverse menu of steaks, seafood, and Texas barbecue and gourmet quesadillas—is the Grove, which is adjacent to Discovery Green.
Need to Know
Rooms: 468 rooms, including 167 suites and 12 specialty suites. From $269. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:Helmed by Italian-bornexecutive chefMaurizio Ferrarese, Quattro serves authentic dishes such as burrata and potato gnocchi alongside braised boneless short ribs and pistachio-crusted duck breast. Chef also prepares special themed dinners and plays the appropriate tunes when popular rock stars are playing at the Toyota Center. Though the wine list is impressive, the tart, cucumber-infused Discovery Green martini is refreshing on a typical steamy Houston day. Upon ordering, look for the arrival of a delightful (albeit dangerous) bread basket with a side of jam and butter. Floor-to-ceiling windows let you watch the world go by in the hotel’s signature restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Vinoteca, the hotel wine bar, the lobby lounge, and the deck also serve food. Plus, in-room dining is available all day. Spa and gym details:The hotel is home to a dedicated 2,500-square-foot Clarins spa, open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for massages, manicures, pedicures, body treatments, and facials. The health club includes state-of-the-art equipment with E-zone entertainment system consoles, and private yoga classes.
Who's it for: Luxury travelers with classic taste; business travelers who need to be downtown; George R. Brown Convention Center goers and sports enthusiasts. Our favorite rooms: Book one of the hotel’s two top-floor presidential suites. Both are more than 1,500 square feet with a panorama of Houston outside each window. Good to know: Check the offers page for special incentives, including the “Downtown Escape” package, which is 40 percent off a room when booking a suite for a two-night stay.