They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the hotels are no exception. In true Texas fashion, large, newly built hotels are emerging from everywhere. When the oil industry blew up, so did the hospitality scene. Major airport cities like Dallas, Houston, and Austin have a growing demand for hotels that has led to rising occupancy rates and a slew of new developments. Whether one wants to be in the heart of the action or out in a quintessentially quiet Texas country setting, visitors are sure to find something that fits their ideal experience. In some aspects it seems as if Texas is its own country.
Hot Zone: Austin
Austin, Texas, is known as the Live Music Capital of the World—and rightfully so, being the home to South By Southwest (SXSW). SXSW’s first event was held in the spring of 1987. What was expected to be a small meeting of creative people has now turned into a national phenomenon. These conferences and festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. SXSW is responsible for the happenings of some of the most unexpected discoveries by bringing diverse people and topics together.
As Austin continues to grow as a leading meeting and convention destination, exciting developments emerge. Hyatt Place Hotel is scheduled to open at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport this month. The establishment will include 139 rooms, resort style pool, meeting space, and state-of-the-art fitness center. This LEED Silver certified property will be a quick 15-minute drive from downtown.
Fairmount Austin, located on 101 Red River St., is scheduled to open in September of this year. Fairmount is a $370 million project by Manchester Financial Group. At 37 stories, it will be the second tallest structure in downtown Austin. It will feature 1,048 guestrooms and 42 suites and will include over 128,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art meeting space, a 21,000 sq. ft. outdoor deck, two ballrooms over 25,000 sq. ft. each, and four levels of underground parking. It will also offer direct access to Austin Convention Center.
Homewood Suites Downtown Rainey, located on the East Avenue in the Rainey Street entertainment district, will open in the later part of this year. It stands 17 stories, featuring 150 rooms.
White Lodging Services Corp. plans to build an Aloft & Element located in downtown Austin on Congress Avenue and Seventh Street, scheduled to open this summer. This project will host two Starwood-brand hotels in a tower slated to rise 32 stories. These upscale establishments are expected to attract a young, more hip bleisure traveler. With 411 rooms total between the two, they will include a full service restaurant, 3,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, and an outdoor lounge area.
Hot Zone: Houston
Between the vast oil industry and the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research, institutions, Houston is hot. “A lot of people don’t realize Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country,” says Leah Shah of Visit Houston. “All these different cultures combined makes up Houston’s large culinary scene with different foods from around the world.”
Tilman Fertitta’s new Uptown project, The Post Oak Project, is scheduled to open later this year. The tower is a 36-story mixed use 680,000 sq. ft. endeavor with 250 rooms and 22 apartment units. It will feature an open plaza with a pool, two Landry’s Inc. concepts, Mastro’s Steakhouse, and Willie G’s Seafood and Steaks. It will also feature a two-story spa and salon and a two-story Bentley and Rolls-Royce showroom.
“ALL THESE DIFFERENT CULTURES COMBINED MAKES UP HOUSTON’S LARGE CULINARY SCENE WITH DIFFERENT FOODS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.”
Melrose building originally constructed in 1952 is being renovated into Le Méridien Hotel, a Starwood Hotels and Resort luxury brand hotel. It will be 21-story modern style skyscraper featuring 225 guest rooms, a rooftop pool, outdoor sundeck, restaurants and bar, with 8,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.
Midway Group is developing Hotel Alessandra, a tall narrow 20-story tower with 223 rooms that will include 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, an indoor/outdoor event deck, a restaurant, and bar with Valencia Group as the operator. The completion is slated for mid-2017.
Z Resorts has partnered with MetroNational Corp. to bring Hotel ZaZa Memorial City, a boutique brand hotel to Memorial City at Interstate 10 and Bunker Hill Road. The establishment will feature 158 creative guest rooms including seven specialty concept suites, over 22,000 sq. ft. of event and meeting spaces, social events fit for 6-600 people, and romantic personal getaways. It will be equipped with an outdoor poolside experience with neighboring pool bar, ZaSpa, and a fine dining restaurant and nightlife-oriented lounge. The hotel is slated to open in summer of this year.
Hot Zone: Frisco
Frisco is home to the Dallas Cowboys’ 91-acre campus world headquarters, The Star. Located just an hour outside of Dallas, Texas, The Star is not only home to the Dallas Cowboys corporate offices and practice facilities, it also features the Ford Center. The Ford Center is a state-of-the-art indoor football stadium that hosts a variety of events each year. Located in the entertainment district, it is lined with an array of shops and restaurants. This is the place where Dallas Cowboys fans can take a peek inside their entire operation. Frisco takes the cake as the fastest growing city in the country. In 2016 they had the opening of The Ford Center at The Star, the National Videogame Museum, and the Hyatt House Hotel. Frisco has numerous projects underway for 2017 as well.
Hotel Indigo will open this summer. It will stand six stories high, with 110 rooms and Blacklands Bar & Grill.
Omni Frisco Hotel at The Star is scheduled to open this summer as well. Omni will serve as a cornerstone to mixed-use development. Anchored by the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and the Ford Center, it will feature 300 guest rooms, a ballroom and meeting space, along with a rooftop pool deck.
Lifestyle Hotel Campus is being launched by NewcrestImage as a four-brand, 600-room hotel campus at Frisco Station. In the Northwest quadrant of the Dallas North Trollway and Warren Parkway, this will be a 242-acre, mixed use development. The campus will include a dual brand AC Hotel and Residence Inn both by Marriott. They will feature 300 rooms, plus a Canopy by Hilton and a Hyatt Place, each featuring about 150 rooms. Construction will be done in two different phases, and the first opening is scheduled for June 2018. They will have the best of both worlds on one campus in a prime location. With AC and Canopy being chic lifestyle brands, with Residence being an upscale extended stay brand, and Hyatt Place as a select service brand they’re sure to fit everyone’s needs.
By Kristin Sullivan