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Houston: A Memorable Stay in an Artistic town

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Ariella Ruth

Many venture south to the large state of Texas to visit its flashy and music-filled capital, Austin. But the city of Houston, located in the southeast part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico, is actually the country’s fourth largest city, and draws many tourists to the area with its professional sports and world-class cuisine. For art lovers, Houston is a mustsee destination. From the Art Car Museum, The Orange Show, and a visit to David Adickes Studio, your visit to Houston will allow for countless photo ops, endless color, and some real American flare. Though an exciting day of art seeking can be a memorable part of your trip, adding some additional excitement is possible when your accommodations also give you something to write home about. The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, Hotel ZaZa Houston, and Magnolia Hotel Houston are three great hotel options to add that additional zing to your travels.

If you’re looking for a local Houston attraction that is truly unique (and even a bit bizarre), then make a trip to the Art Car Museum in Houston, nicknamed “The Garage Mahal”. For the locals, whose work is featured in this museum, they see a car not just as a way to get from point A to point B, but also as a blank canvas. Houston has long been a home to outsider art, and people who create car art consider themselves regular people, not professional artists, but they are extremely creative and find ways to decorate their cars. Each car has a running theme, and some of the museumgoers’ favorites are the “Roachster”, which is a car shaped like a giant roach, and a rabbit shaped car called “Rex Rabbit”. There is also an annual art-car parade through Houston that has been occuring since 1988 and that draws locals and tourists alike to experience this one-of-a-kind culture of elaboratelydecorated cars.

To continue your visit to Houston by taking in the local flavor, a stay at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa is sure to exceed your accommodation needs. This hotel is considered a historic gem in Houston, known for its comfort and grace, and boasts an unparalleled guest experience. Located in the heart of Houston, The Houstonian features guest rooms with floor to ceiling wooded views and four restaurants for exquisite on-site dining, including the Arbor Grill, a seasonal restaurant with a fire pit and poolside fare, and the Center Court, which offers a smoothie bar and healthy fare. The Trellis Spa, located inside The Houstonian, is a Mediterranean-style, luxurious facility that features a float pool, hair and nail salons, 20 treatment rooms, and a whole lot more. This hotel has a true Texas motif that’s a mix of elegance and rustic charm. Whether it’s sitting by the fireplace, or spending an afternoon at the Trellis Spa, guests are sure to feel rested and rejuvenated by their stay, and ready to experience some more of what Houston has to offer.

For a cultural attraction that is both whimsical and colorful, visit The Orange Show, an outdoor, 3,000-square-foot, architectural masterpiece located on Houston’s east end. This incredible work of folk art is a creation built single-handedly by the late Jefferson Davis McKissack, a former postal worker in Houston, to honor oranges, his favorite fruit. This unusual attraction can promise an experience quite unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. The Orange Show was built with a little bit of everything in mind. Here you can find a wishing well, oasis, gift shop, museum and upper decks. Consisting of its own unique environment, The Orange Show was constructed out of steel, brick, and concrete, as well as countless found objects such as tires, mannequins, wheels, statues, tiles, and old car parts. McKissack’s love of oranges (both the fruit and the color, which is apparent when visiting this Show) was the beginning of what has now become a nonprofit that holds a range of events in the arts, and the funding helps to preserve other local outside architecture.

After a visit to The Orange Show, it’s only expected that you will continue your feast of the senses, by visiting the Hotel ZaZa Houston, located in the center of the vibrant Museum District, which is in close distance to some of the best shopping that Houston has to offer. This distinctive boutique hotel features a collection of exquisite guest rooms, including the Magnificent Seven Suites, Concept Suites, pool villas, a day spa, and the award-winning Monarch Bistro. The unique suites are intricately designed and uniquely different from one another, the perfect opportunity to match the overall vibe of your Houston gallivanting. Excited to take in some local music during your visit? Then maybe the Rock Star suite will be fitting for you. Decked out with rock star photos and prints, mirror walls, fireplace, and a stainless steel kitchen, this suite is the height of comfort, and the perfect place to come home to after a night on the town.

If larger-than-life experiences are a necessity for you when exploring a new city, then a visit to the David Adickes Studio is sure to do just that. You may not have pictured yourself venturing to an industrial part of Houston during your visit, but Adickes’ larger-than-life sculptured busts are absolutely worth the trip. Though not originally intended as a tourist destination, Adickes’ studio has become a must-see for any art lover visiting Houston. Adickes is known for sculpting large statues, including 43 enormous busts of former presidents of the United States. His workshop features many of his most incredible works of art, and Houston tourists are fortunate because his studio is open to the public for viewing. Many of his large sculptures can even be viewed from the parking lot, such as his sculptures of The Beatles, including their instruments, as well as a bust of former President Bush. You may just happen to visit on a lucky day, and get a chance to see Adickes and his assistants working on their next big project.

If eye-catching structures are appealing to you, then the Magnolia Hotel Houston, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is the perfect place to stay during your Houston visit. The hotel was originally known as the Post- Dispatch building. This historic building was recognized across Texas for its impressive features, and was extensively renovated and opened as the Magnolia Hotel Houston in 2003, and has since reestablished the building as one of Houston’s most striking architectural building. Named as the “Best Boutique Hotel in Houston” by the Houston Press, the hotel is slated to become Tribute Portfolio’s first property in Texas when it converts in February 2017, and will start offering Starwood SPG Points at that time. This chic hotel offers luxurious accommodations in the sought-after neighborhood of downtown Houston. Decked out in gorgeous lighting and colorful décor, the Magnolia Hotel Houston offers a lounge with billiards, a Jacuzzi®, and a rooftop pool overlooking the city, along with 314 comfortable and stylish guest rooms. Just blocks from the theater district, Minute Maid Park, and the Houston Aquarium, you will be right in the urban core of Houston when staying at the Magnolia Hotel Houston.

Houston is the perfect destination for those who like hot weather and eccentric art, architecture and Americana. This city is full of culture and hidden adventures, and with great hotel options, such as The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, the Hotel ZaZa Houston, and the Magnolia Hotel Houston, staying in Texas in style is an enjoyable and stylish endeavor.

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