Between the freak snow storm and the overall gloomy January weather in Houston, I’ve been stir crazy and itching to get out of the house and do something fun. The rose of my week was definitely getting out an exploring Downtown Houston. Even though I work in the city and regularly go out on the town, it’s amazing to see how many new places there are and oldies I still haven’t visited! This weekend I had a fabulous staycation in Downtown Houston at Hotel Alessandra and here’s a breakdown of what I did!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the Society of the Performing Arts. All opinions are my own!
After work, I checked into the new Hotel Alessandra which just opened earlier in 2017. After interviewing the interior designer of the hotel for the Spring 2015 issue of DISTRICT Magazine, I’ve been anticipating this hotel’s opening for a long time. In addition to visiting, Hotel Alessandra’s sister hotels–Hotel Sorrella in CITYCENTRE and the Lone Star Court in Austin–and getting a facial at the hotel spa back in December, I was most excited to get the full experience in the beautifully designed hotel. And it did not disappoint!
After a quick workout in the hotel gym, I headed out to Jones Hall in the Theatre District for the Friday night showing of Kinky Boots! With songs by Cindy Lauper, Kinky Boots was an absolutely amazing musical–very high energy with great costumes, fantastic singing, and dance/acrobatic moves that blew my mind. I’m also now very inspired to buy some impractical, sexy red heels.
The show in Jones Hall was coordinated by Society of the Performing Arts (or SPA) which is a non-profit that brings a variety of performances to Houston. Checking their event calendar, you can choose from anything from traditional to avant-garde, large orchestras and dance companies to recitalists and solo performers. Most of their shows are traveling and only in Houston for 1-2 days. After watching some of the promo videos during intermission, I look forward to checking out the following upcoming shows: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, TAO: Drum Heart, and The Sound of Music. I love a good flashy musical performance, but they also have a night lined up with Ira Glass of This American Life, which would be pretty cool too.
After the show, we walked three blocks to the main strip of bars on Main Street. We made a visit to the most famous wallpaper in Houston and got artisanal cocktails at The Honeymoon. I got an Irish Coffee because it was cold and I wanted something warm and Natalie got a seasonal spiked apple cider.
Wanting to avoid the usual bar circuit that we do (Dean’s, Pastry War, Okra, etc.), we broke our routine and headed up to Lily and Bloom where DJ Miss Berry and DJ BRODY were bumping and the vodka sodas were flowing. Mid-night we discovered the owners had recently opened a new spot near Market Square, so curiosity naturally getting the best of us we headed out to Iron and Oak to see the new place that just opened in December!
All in all, getting around Downtown was super easy for this staycation. Between the METRO Rail, walking an $5 Ubers, we were living it up in that big city life.
Waking up in the fluffy Hotel Alessandra beds was most delightful. The room was stylish and modern with large rainfall shower, black and white tile detailing, a tablet, Nespresso machine (that sounded like a rocket taking off when turned on), fluffy robes and fabulous downtown views.
For brunch, we wandered downstairs to Lucienne the hotel restaurant– a serious hidden gem in the city where we mostly the whole restaurant to ourselves until about 1pm. The restaurant style is absolutely gorgeous with distressed mirrors, gold accents, and futuristic Jetson-like turquoise furniture.
Between the memories of the previous night’s lemondrop shots and the excessively priced cocktail menu (seriously, $22 for a glass of champagne?), we stuck to coffee and water at brunch. While we waited for friends to arrive, we snacked on warm, fresh baked bread and this magnificent butter. During the course of the meal, we literally had three bowls of it.
Entrees were all from the Eggs & Crepes section of the menu. I ordered the Cauliflower Crepe which was stuffed with spinach and topped with a truffle moray sauce and over-easy egg. The Crab Benedict was beautifully assembled with crab cakes and a tarragon hollandaise sauce, but the real winner of the meal was Wild Mushroom Omelet which was massive and filled with fat slices of brie. It was also served with the most interesting potato side dish: Pomme Soufflees which were potato chip-thin slices that were fried and assembled into little balloons. Crunch, light, and hella greasy. Overall, very delightful.
Naturally closed in the morning, the Hotel Alessandra bar looked absolutely gorgeous with sleek marble finishes and velvet couches. I will definitely be returning for drinks with coworkers or a post-dinner drink!
For more fun ideas on what to do in Downtown Houston, check out our Newstonian Guide!