Stay ZaZa in Houston

It can never hurt to play tourist in your own backyard... this past weekend, we did just that, staying at Hotel ZaZa in the museum district.

We had visited the ZaZa before... not as hotel guests but as guests for the Tribeza Magazine launch party. Our first impression was immediate... this isn't your grandmother's Warwick Hotel, anymore. The ZaZa was unveiled as an elegant, sultry and somewhat naughty hotel with a dark but alluring side. From the glamorous lobby to the whimsical yet head-scratching water display behind the elevators, the ZaZa is never short on surprises.

Our Balcony Room

Our room was a balcony room on the 3rd floor - nice and spacious with great decor, a fantastic wall-mounted LCD TV and a balcony overlooking... well, not much other than parking garages and the light rail line. See if you can swing a view overlooking the museums and the Mecom Fountains. If anything, at least the sliding patio doors kept most of the noise out of the room.

Turndown with a twist

Some nice touches in the room - little pillows with whimsical sayings, a humorous turndown service, Bulgari toiletries and, since it was our anniversary, a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Nice indeed. If you're so inclined, ordering breakfast in bed is actually reasonable - more reasonable than our recent stay at the Hyatt Regency on Town Lake in Austin... and while I like the Hyatt, I'd pick the ZaZa anyday. Service was very prompt and attentive although we stayed on a Sunday night -a slow night. Not sure what it would be like during a busy night. From what we've seen at parties, they would be scrambling to keep up.

The pool is a great spot to blow an afternoon

Other amenities in the hotel - be sure to spend some time at the pool... a great area with plenty of nice, big loungers and a little over half-a-dozen private cabanas that overlook the pool area and the Meacom Fountains. Adjacent to the pool is a well-equipped fitness center with about a dozen machines, very nice treadmills and ellipticals, some freeweights, etc. By the entrance to the pool area is a small cafe' and ZaSpa... we cut through the Spa but did not use any services.

ZaZa, as seen from Hermann Park

Now... the area. One of the best reasons to stay at a hotel like ZaZa is the surrounding area... more museums than you can handle in one weekend and Hermann Park. We really enjoyed going out to Hermann Park and taking a nice, leisurely stroll around the reflecting pond. Very peaceful. For dinner, we drive five minutes to the west on Bissonnet to the always charming Raven Grill. Today's lunch was at Niko Niko's... good but not quite up to the hype. We tried to hit Dolce Vita but, alas, Monday was the wrong day (same with the museums, of course).

A stroll in Hermann Park

Anyway, you can't go wrong at ZaZa - a sultry hotel for a glamorous little weekend getaway tucked one of cultural centers of Houston.

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