A powerhouse for business and the fourth largest city in the country, Houston is experiencing an evolving downtown and drawing leisure travelers. The new Hotel Alessandra, which opened in October, is the latest full-service property to emerge and offers a relaxing retreat within an urban setting.

Urban respite

The 21-story luxury hotel in the pedestrian-friendly GreenStreet development is a few short blocks to the George R. Brown Convention Center and the adjacent Discovery Green – a 12-acre urban park with a lake, art, gardens, jogging trail, dining, performance space, playground and special events. The Alessandra’s convenient proximity to the METRORail line provides easy access to the Houston Zoo, Hermann Park and the Houston Museum District.

Houston Metrorail

Houston’s METRORails offers over 23 miles of light rail service in central Houston

A ground up project, the new Hotel Alessandra was developed by Midway and is managed by Valencia Group. This intimate 223-room hotel was designed by the San Francisco office of Gensler and showcases interiors by Rottet Studio, whose recent work ranges from two Four Seasons hotels in Bogotá to Viking Cruises’ river and ocean fleets.

Thoughtful design

The hotel’s design is modern minimalist.

Reach the second floor lobby by elevator or climb the marble staircase. The space with sepia mirrored walls, stone floors and niche seating reflects understated elegance. Behind the check-in desk is a 16-foot long Reinhard Gorner photograph.

The hotel’s guest rooms are traditional kings or doubles plus a selection of suites; some of the corner accommodations can be configured to two-bedrooms. Gleaming white storage units line the bedroom wall and the custom Valencia Group beds with cotton linens are punctuated with the signature jade monogrammed pillow, which matches the lounging sofa. Pops of metallic gold add some glam.

Hotel Alessandra guestroom

A guestroom (Credit: Hotel Alessandra)

Guests may use the in-room tablet to order room service or call for their car. Additional amenities include an espresso maker, complimentary Wi-Fi, in-room safe, mini bar, 50-inch television and turn-down service. The bathrooms are styled in black marble and subway tile – some feature soaking tubs.

Spoil me

Guests who seek a bit of pampering can schedule an appointment at the fifth floor Spa by Alessandra. The “Traveler’s Revival” with a 45-minute HydraFacial and 45-minute foot and leg massage is a rejuvenating choice. The professional staff manages two private massage rooms and a manicure/pedicure station, along with a retail and relaxation area. Adjacent to the spa is a small glass-boxed fitness center.

Outside, there’s an expansive rooftop terrace with an abundance of seating and a swimming pool with skyline views, which are especially appealing in the evening.

Hotel Alessandra pool

The fifth floor pool at night (Credit: Hotel Alessandra)

Nourish me

Bardot, the bar, is perched above bustling city streets and provides a cozy spot to sip a crafted cocktail. The “small bites” are Texas-sized and an eclectic selection ranges from crisp fried frog legs to the decadent lobster fondue with gooey gruyere, parmesan and truffle.

The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Lucienne, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lucienne restaurant at the new Hotel Alessandra

A waiter carrying wine at Lucienne

The narrow room with toile curtains adorned with circular mirrors evokes the feel of a contemporary Viennese café. A row of pale green banquettes and tables sit on a herringbone patterned floor under a rib caged ceiling. A handful of seating overlooks the display kitchen, where chef Jose Hernandez explains that the menu is “European and Mediterranean flavors prepared with French techniques.”

dessert at Lucienne in Houston

Pistachio Vacherin dessert (raspberries with crisp meringue) at Lucienne

The new Hotel Alessandra: Where small is beautiful

The Hotel Alessandra is luxury on a smaller scale in a city bursting with cookie-cutter hotel brands.

This posh newcomer provides a refreshingly clean design, professional staff and proximity to some of Houston’s cultured and outdoor offerings.

What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?

  • You can walk to Minute Maid Park, home of the World Series Champions – the Astros.
  • Beat the traffic and catch a ride on the METRORail to see a game at NRG Stadium or to enjoy a day at a one of the city’s museums. The stop is steps from the hotel.
  • Spend an evening at the Alley Theatre. The not-for-profit theater stages a range of classics, modern plays and premieres. There’s no need to drive. Within a three-mile radius, the hotel will shuttle guests in a Maserati.
  • Rent a bicycle from the rack just outside the hotel’s front door and explore miles of waterfront at the Buffalo Bayou Park – it’s less than a three-mile ride away.

Take note

  • The Spa by Alessandra is closed on Sundays.

Houston outdoor art

Home to hundreds of art galleries, Houston has a thriving outdoor art scene


*All photo credits: Jim Twardowski (except lead photo, courtesy Hotel Alessandra, and where noted)


The author’s hotel stay was hosted by the Hotel Alessandra.