Stop over in Style at Houston’s Post Oak HotelAuthor:Abigail Stone
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from L.A. or S.F., consider Houston. Just over three hours away by plane, Beyonce’s hometown has a booming art scene—the one year-old Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston houses one of the country’s most important international collections of modern and contemporary art, including Latin American modernist—and tons of exciting restaurants. Plus it’s the home to the burgeoning space program.
Catch an early morning flight to one of the city’s two major airports—William P. Hobby Airport (HOU / KHOU) or George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH / KIAH)—and check into The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston, Texas’ only Forbes double Five-Star hotel and spa. The 700,000-square-foot tower owned by billionaire entrepreneur and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta soars 38 stories above glamorous uptown Houston. Its rooms are equally magnificent, built as much for comfort as for luxury.
It’s all about high-end pampering here, with amenities that range from 500-count Egyptian cotton bed linens to robes, complimentary slippers for the room and flip flops for the pool. The rooms even have motion-sensitive lights that illuminate the floor, perfect for guests who might wake up at night to use their room’s sumptuous white marble bathrooms. But the pampering doesn’t stop with room service. To ensure that your time here is a memorable one, they’ve put together a series of experiences they’ve dubbed “Uniquely Post Oak” that can be seamlessly folded into your trip. Whether you’re a sports fan, a Van Gogh enthusiast, a space nut, an art connoisseur, an animal lover or you’re just looking to relax, they have a VIP package tailored just for you.
After settling into your room, slip downstairs to the lobby for the guided art experience. You’ll sip on champagne while discovering the Post Oak Hotel’s impressive art collection. From the Frank Stella’ Bene Come Il Sale sculpture in the lobby to the vibrant yellow Alex Katz duo Nicole and Emma in the Grand Ballroom and James Rosenquist’s Sunset On The Time Zone behind the concierge desk, the works here will whet your whistle for tomorrow’s excursion to the city’s museums.
You’ve got time for a quick drink before the next item on your agenda. Take a seat at the hotel’s H Bar (home of the infamous $1600 “black gold” burger, a pound of sliced wagyu beef topped with black truffle shavings and seared foie gras on a 24k gold leafed black caviar infused brioche bun, accompanied by a bottle of 2006 Dom Perignon champagne and golden fries). Or, if you’re more of oenophile, head to the intimate Stella’s Bar. With a $5 million dollar wine cellar curated by master sommelier Keith Goldstein to choose from, they’re certain to find a bottle to please your palate.
Then it’s time for the Houston Rockets experience, where you can take in a basketball game at the Toyota Center in high style. Suited up in a personalized Rockets jerseys, you’ll enjoy a courtside view of the action from your floor seats after a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium. Given the team’s up and downs (they ridden both a 15-game losing streak and a 7-game winning streak this season), the night promises to be an exciting one. Head to the exclusive Lexus Lounge during half-time for drinks and dinner before being driven back to your hotel room where you’ll be greeted by turn down service that includes a different handmade chocolate each night.
Enjoy breakfast in your room or at the Bloom & Bee, under a ceiling of blown glass flowers that’ll set you up for your art-filled excursion. First stop is the Menil Collection, housed in a building designed by Renzo Piano. To the east side of Menil Park is the Rothko Chapel; to the south, the Cy Twombly Gallery. A brisk thirty minute walk will prep you for lunch at Le Jardiner, a contemporary French restaurant in the one year old Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, churning out tempting plates under the auspices of culinary director Alain Verzeroli, who worked with legendary French chef Joël Robuchon, and chef de cuisine Andrew Ayala, who trained under Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, that are a sensory match to the astonishing collection of art on display here.
Arrive back at the hotel in time for the Starry Night Tea Service that is inspired by The Van Gogh Immersive Experience open until the end of January, Executive Pastry Chef Oralia Perez puts together an array of hand-painted 100% edible treats that pay homage to the renowned French painter.
After all this excitement, you’ll want to spend your final day at The Spa at The Post Oak Hotel moving from their Aroma Steam Room to the Tranquility Pool to the Sauna. Spa director Daisy Tepper has culled the best treatments from around the world, with an approach that is both holistic and innovative and, of course, luxuriously indulgent. Try their signature “Ritual of the Five Worlds,” which combines massage, stretching, cranial acupressure and reflexology, schedule time for a private yoga session or indulge in their two hour “In-Skin Ultimate Radiant Complexion Treatment” which utilizes lymphatic drainage, microdermabrasion, oxygen, LED therapy, radio frequency and micro-needling. Fully refreshed, you sail downstairs where one of the hotel’s luxury vehicles awaits, ready to whisk you to airport. Satiated in body and soul, it punctuates a perfect three days.