By Erin Williams



When you picture a boutique hotel in Houston, Texas visions of leather and cowhide may fill your head. In that regard, Hotel Icon does not deliver. Instead, as you enter the lobby 30-foot Doric columns, huge windows, dark woods, and warm earthtones dominate the space as do various nooks and crannies to have private moments. I promise, you won’t miss the saddles.


Formerly a Union National Bank built in 1911 in downtown Houston, the twelve story brick and limestone building underwent a $35 million renovation to create what is now one of the most popular hotels in the whole city. Inside are The Whiskey, an amazing bar/loft that oozes luxury, BANK, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant renowned for its menu, and BALANCE, a full-service spa. Equipped with 135 guestrooms and 9 suites (including duplex and triplex penthouse suites with private terraces), there’s something for everyone at Hotel Icon.


But if you’re like me, you want to know, 1) how comfy is the bed? 2) how big is the bathroom? and 3) what are the extras? In walking through the door of our Premium Accomodations/King Bed room we were met with a bathroom that rivaled the size of the actual room. It was beautiful! And the tub, ladies and gents, the tub was huge. Roomy enough for two it was a perfect way to end the day and opening the shutters separating the bathroom from the bedroom enlarged the space even more. Molton Brown ruled the soaps, shower gels, lotions, shampoos – everything – and were restocked every day.


After wrapping up in the cozy robes and slippers the hotel provided, my husband and I went to find lovely flowers and chocolates placed on the turned down bed which was, worry not, very comfortable! High thread count sheets, down pillows, and a down comforter let you snuggle in and feel you’re right at home.

So we’ve got the bed, the bathroom, now the extras. In addition to your bottomless supply of Molton Brown, there are On-Demand movies and games on the flat screen television in each room, an extensive hotel CD library (and a CD player to play them on), a 24/7 fitness facility, and you happen to be in the most happening area of Houston. Surrounded by theatre, art galleries, restuarants, clubs, parks, and even Minute Maid Field (home of the Astros baseball team), everything is within walking distance. But, if you don’t feel like jaunting about town on foot complimentary car service is provided at no charge to guests in the surrounding area! Hotel Icon is also the only downtown hotel on the new METRORail light rail line which can run you everywhere you’d like to go in the city.

So if you’ve got a weekend planned in Texas, make sure to stop in for lunch for for the night at Hotel Icon. Their staff will make you feel so at home, you won’t want to leave!

Hotel Icon is located at 220 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002; 713.224.ICON

Originally published July 2006



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