Open since 2002, the hotel pays homage to Houston’s rich roots in the oil industry with black granite lobby floors and a vast collection of Texas wildcatter images by famed photographer Arthur Meyerson. A wildcatter is a nickname for a person who does exploratory drilling, and the hotel’s name is a variation on an oil “derrick” drilling rig.
Streamlined and modern, the property underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation after Destination Hotels acquired it in 2012. Guest rooms have a neutral palette with bold accent colors, graphic textiles, and contemporary furnishings including platform beds and banquette seating. Expansive windows with city views are standard. The business center is open 24 hours, and the pet-friendly property has a “Wag Lounge” for guest dogs.
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Sandwiched between the Galleria and Highland Village, Hotel Derek is also next door to River Oaks District—the new luxury shopping mecca opening in October 2015. The hotel is literally steps from a slew of high-end stores and restaurants such as Caracol and South African spot Peli Peli. Hotel Derek also runs parallel to Loop 610, which makes its location both a blessing and a curse, depending on the time of day and traffic flow. Rather than spinning your own wheels, take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary chauffeur service, available within a three-mile radius from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Need to Know
Rooms: 312 designer rooms and suites. From $109 on weekends; $209 on weekdays. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options:Revolve Kitchen + Bar executive chef Shannen Tune prepares seasonal menus like a peach-driven summer menu, which includes a saladwith grilled Texas peaches, wild arugula, local strawberries, goat cheese, and charred peach vinaigrette—not to mention fried peach donutswith salted caramel ice cream, peach chutney, and cinnamon sugar dust. Other highlights include braised short rib tacos with pickled jalapeños, prosciutto and goat cheese pizza, heirloom tomato salad, and Mason jar cheesecake. An on-site Starbucks brews in the morning, while Tap & Pour, a pop-up bar, has local craft beers on tap in the evening. In-room dining is also an option. Spa and gym details:There’s no spa, but the fitness center, SWEAT 24/7 Gym, makes good on its name. Plus, SPLASH Pool and Terrace features a movie wall that broadcasts a film nightly at sundown.
Who's it for: Luxury and business travelers with modern taste; people who travel with pets; and serious shoppers. Our favorite rooms: The 1,200-square-foot Penthouse Suite is the most spacious and luxurious with a private balcony. The Terrace Suite is smaller, but it also has a private balcony. Social hour:Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the hotel hosts “Drinks with Derek” in the lobby, serving complimentary sweet and savory light bites with wine and cocktails inspired by Texas distilleries.