Recommend me a hotel in Houston
September 3, 2008 4:27 AM   Subscribe

My SO and I are planning a very short trip to Houston next April, but obviously we'll need somewhere to stay for the night when we're there -- the question is, where?

We're planning to travel from Dublin, Ireland to WrestleMania XXV at Reliant Stadium next April. We won't be staying long -- flying into the city on the Saturday and leaving on the Monday just after, flight availability provided -- so we only need somewhere cheap and cheerful for (most likely) two nights.

However, since neither of us drives, we really need somewhere that's either on or a short (safe) walk to the METRORail line so we can get to and from Reliant Park. We don't want to get lost in Texas; it's a big place.

So what options do we have, accommodation-wise? Any and all advice welcome! (But please, don't recommend anything that necessitates driving. I know Houston is a car city, but neither of us has a licence so it's out of the question.)
posted by macdara to Travel & Transportation around Houston, TX (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How much are you looking to spend?

I had a friend stay at Hotel Icon for an interview (paid by the firm) and he liked it a lot. It's downtown and it's also on the METRO light rail route. It's also expensive.

Two nights downtown is probably the best use of your time since things will be in walking distance and close to bus routes.

Frommer's or any travel guide will give you a breakdown of the most interesting places to stay.

There's also this new REV electric cart text message taxi type service. Supposed to be good for getting around downtown during daytime, though I haven't tried it, but since you have a lot of time you might want to ask them about it. (link)
posted by abdulf at 5:25 AM on September 3, 2008

Best answer: Pretty much anything in downtown or the museum district / medical center areas will be in walking distance from the metro rail line.

As for safety, I'd recommend staying in the museum district or medical center, first. Downtown, second. Reliant Stadium area, third.

I don't know what you consider cheap, but the Holiday Inn Medical Center has standard rooms starting at $149 per night, for two people. It's one block away from the Metro Rail.

For a little more money (~$230 per night) you can get a room in the Hotel ZaZa, which used to be known as the Warwick (a storied Houston institution). Again, about a block from the Metro Rail, right in the museum district.
posted by syzygy at 5:48 AM on September 3, 2008

Response by poster: We're really not looking to spend too much -- $200 per night at the most, preferably $150 or less (at the current €/$ rate). We're also not too pushed about seeing much of the city -- not to disparage Houston or upset its natives, but we're not really going for the sights.

That Frommer's list (thanks, BTW) has a good option in The Magnolia Hotel (at least in terms of price and location). But I'm hoping others here might have similar or better personal recommendations.
posted by macdara at 5:49 AM on September 3, 2008

Response by poster: I've searched the Hotel ZaZa for the dates we'll likely be staying (4-6 April) and they've got a very reasonable rate for their standard rooms, considering the opulence of the establishment. More recommendations like this please, if possible!
posted by macdara at 6:26 AM on September 3, 2008

I was going to recommend Hotel ZaZa as well. It's walking distance to lots of museums, Hermann Park and the zoo, as well as the train.
posted by bwanabetty at 8:05 AM on September 3, 2008

The Marriott Medical Center is directly off the rail line, the cheapest room seems about $120.

However, I would suggest something in the Museum District if you can arrange it, just so you're closer to the Museums, Hermann Park, and the Zoo.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:20 AM on September 3, 2008

Try Couch Surfing
posted by shamble at 8:26 AM on September 3, 2008

Super cheap, in the museum district, easy walk to the rail. And I'll buy you a beer if I'm in town.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:14 AM on September 3, 2008

Best answer: I don't have hotel recommendations (I live here!), but I have some general location recommendations. It's not a great idea to stay near the Reliant Center -- not a great part of town. You can find hotels in the Medical Center area, but that area is a collection of hospitals, so it's not so great if you want something to do, a nice place to eat, etc. Another option you might think of is to stay near the airport -- another dicey area that's best avoided, really (assuming you are flying into IAH).

I'd recommend that you stay either in the downtown area (fun nightlife, good restaurants, all within walking distance) or the Galleria area (some good restaurants, and lots of shopping if that's your thing). Hotel ZaZa is our latest "thing" -- it's a hotel plus bar/restaurant that markets to the "hipster" crowd.

(I had no idea WrestleMania was such a big deal that people traveled to see it. Hope you have fun! Welcome to Houston!)
posted by Houstonian at 6:43 PM on September 3, 2008

If you like the Magnolia Hotel, by the way, it won the Best Renovation award in 2003, the Best Hotel Bar award in 2007, and apparently serves a mean dirty martini. The location is good, too -- easy bus transportation, lots of restaurants and bars and things to see within walking distance. The Houston Press (linked above) and the Houston Citysearch website are good places to find the places you want to go (besides the wrestling) near your hotel.
posted by Houstonian at 6:55 PM on September 3, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the great advice!

(And yes, WrestleMania is a pretty big deal. I went to WrestleMania X-8 in Toronto back in 2002 and the city was buzzing with fans who came in from all over North America and overseas. The fact that it was on St Patrick's Day didn't hurt, either.)
posted by macdara at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2008

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