After 80 some odd years as one of Houston’s most lauded and refined hotels, the historic Warwick Hotel went from Bach to rock, when new owners gave it a slick makeover and renamed it Hotel ZaZa in 2007. A bold beacon in the Museum District, the dimly lit hotel is a virtual playground for adults, with daring decor, baroque details, and an outdoor pool with private piazza-themed cabanas. While it maintains much of its original 1920s architectural elegance and details, including Baccarat chandeliers, the interior walls are splashed with modern art and iconic editorial-photo shots of beloved celebs.
Many rooms and event spaces are themed, including the space-inspired “Houston, We Have a Problem” Suite and the Conspiracy Room, which nods to Prohibition. A recent refresh includes newly renovated 11th-floor meeting rooms, new mattresses, new carpet, spa and fitness center upgrades (including treatment room tweaks and the addition of innovative infrared saunas), and new in-room HD channels. Bottom line: even an overnight stay feels like a true escape.
Rooms: 315 rooms, including original concept suites and the Magnificent Seven Suites. From $309. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options:Monarch Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (We recommend a patio table, overlooking Mecom Fountain.) Expect fine dining and whimsical dishes like “One Hot Chick,” a chicken sandwich with a side of Volcano salt fries, courtesy of executive sous chef Jonathan Wicks. You also can’t go wrong with a Hereford beef steak. Living up to its name, the space transforms for “Sip and Spin” on Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a live DJ. Spa and gym details:The full-service day spa has an oxygen lounge and offers in-room appointments and treatments for couples and groups. Steps from ZaSpa, the state-of-the-art fitness center has Synrgy360 training decks by Life Fitness, televisions on each machine, and disposable headphones, just in case.
Who's it for: Luxury and business travelers; patrons of the arts; and travelers who fancy themselves rock stars. Our favorite rooms: Any of the hotel’s cleverly named and themed Magnificent Seven Suites are grand, but the Black Label Suite gives guests the same view that Bob Hope once famously said was the best in the world. One modern revision: it now includes a private balcony with an outdoor bathtub. And the 2,300-square-foot Rock Star Suite is fit for the King himself, complete with a private glass elevator and lots of leather. Special Perks:A unique rewards program called ZIP (ZaZa Important Person) affords members exclusive perks like express check-in, complimentary stays at your favorite location, ZaZa Bucks to be used throughout the hotel, and personalized welcome amenities.