Beautiful property - very expensive!
Recently stayed at the Hilton Americas Houston - very beautiful property, but very expensive.
*Beautiful property, nice meeting rooms, very nice hotel rooms, huge bathrooms - everything cleaned to perfection.
*Very nice front desk staff. I was too late to receive the convention price, however, on the morning I checked out, the staff located a lower price and adjusted the bill - not the convention rate, but something is better than nothing.
* Great gift shop (good variety) and nice staff.
* Very nice staff at both the coffee bar and the cafe. Food was hot and good at the cafe - for a hotel, the pulled pork bbq was quite good.
* The biggest problem that I had is I felt "locked" there. By that I mean that there are quite a few Katrina refugees wandering (and living) on the street corners and I was advised not to walk anywhere by myself. Apparently the crime rate has risen significantly in the Houston area, inclusive of the downtown. The hotel does provide van service within a 2-3 mile radius for dining and shopping, however, I was there on a Sunday evening when some of the restaurants in the downtown were closed.
* I think that rates are way overpriced. I was initially charged $259.00/night - not worth it for a standard room without free wireless or other perks provided by some chains.
* I found the concierge staff very unhelpful. I was advised of a "fantastic" Mexican restaurant which the hotel van took me to. As a solo woman traveler, I did not want to get out of the van in this particular neighborhood as the restaurant was surrounded by a swarthy crowd and the building itself - low, flat - looked like a dilapidated Dairy Queen, had bars on the windows. I'm very street wise, but not that much!! Although the food was probably terrific and genuine, I don't think they should have recommended it to me. I additionally asked several other questions (shopping, gas stations, etc.) and only received shrugs. Thankfully, the Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau was on site at our convention and provided terrific information.
I would probably stay at this hotel again if I had business in the downtown area, however, only if I could find a decent rate online.
Beautiful Hotel with Service Flaws
My fiancée and I stayed at the Hilton Americas to celebrate my birthday weekend at the end of October. We reserved both our room and restaurant (Skyline Bar and Grill) reservation almost a month in advance. At that time, we requested two things - a city view room on a high floor and a table by the window. The reservations clerk informed us that our room wouldn't be assigned until we arrived at the hotel for check-in and the restaurant told us they would do everything possible to accommodate our request. We arrived at the hotel shortly after check-in and were told that rooms were "pre-assigned" which goes against what the reservations clerk told us. We informed the front desk clerk of this and he reworked our room assignment so that we managed to get a mid-level floor. We arrived at the restaurant before our reservation and informed the hostess that we would like to sit at the bar for a few minutes to have a drink. During this time my fiancée also reminded the hostess about our table request. We were at the bar for 5 minutes (the bartender had yet to take our drink order) when the waitress pulled us away and told us our table was ready. We were a bit confused but went along with it. Our table was not directly in front of the windows as we had requested. What made it even more annoying was 1 table directly in front of the windows remained empty for at least an hour. The following morning I woke up with a terrible headache. The mini-bar did not contain aspirin and my fiancée went down to the front desk in search of some. The front desk clerk informed him that the store did not open for another 45 minutes but a driver could take him to a drug store. He declined this option and we checked out of the hotel by 8am that morning.
In terms of appearance this hotel is impeccable. Maintenance and housekeeping obviously do a great job of making sure the lobby, rooms and pool areas are clean and luxurious. BUT, for the amount of money guests pay to stay at this hotel, the face-to-face service is NOT acceptable. My fiancée and I consider ourselves relatively easy to please and undemanding but the simple requests we made were not honored and this gave us a bad impression of the hotel. In addition, we believe that every effort should be made by the front desk staff to accommodate guests in their time of need. Instead of sending my fiancée to the drugstore with a driver, what not offer to find the aspirin themselves and send it up to our room? Because of the failure to honor simple requests I give this 4-star hotel a 2-star rating.
Very Lovely Hotel
I stayed at this lovely hotel just a few months ago, and my pictures just do not do it justice!! I was there for a conference, and it seems to be a very poplular place to have them as there were a few others going on at the same time. All of my meals were catered by the hotel and its staff which I thought were wonderful!!! Even though there were other conferences at this hotel, it did not seem to be understaffed or pressured at all. Very professional. As for the rooms-I have stayed in some very nice hotels and this one had the best bed I have ever slept in!!!!! Not once during the night did I wake up uncomfortable. Pillows and down comforter a plus in my book!!! Bathroom was very nice and clean. I was a little dissapointed to find out that the workout center closed at 10pm, as I wished to get a little sweating done after all the food I ate!!! I would definetly reccomend this hotel to anyone who wished to stay in Houston. Since I was there for a conference, I didnt get to see the city at all, so as far as its closeness to attrations and such, Im not too sure. I hope this helped in anyone's decision as to where to stay!!
Loved the Hilton Americus
I was recently at the Hilton Americus for a Conference and the accomodations were great. The hotel provided shuttle serve to surrounding popular restaurants. the hotel did have a restaurant located in the lobby of the hotel, however the buffet was a little pricey for the selection of foods that was offered. The rooms were very clean and the housekeeping was very accomodating for the items that were not placed in the room. I would recommend this hotel if you are looking for luxury in your accomodations and willing to pay the price, because this is not an inexpensive hotel.
Clean but service needs help
Stayed there for three nights. Definitely very clean. It should be, it's only a couple of years old. The room was very quiet except for hallway noise. Couldn't hear anyone above, below, or next to me. Great views of downtown Houston. Great amenities but they will make you pay. Close to restaurants and shopping. The food on the breakfast and lunch buffet was pretty good. Its connected to the convention center so this is the place to stay if you must go to the George R Brown convention center.
I take issue with their service. Every time I went to eat in the casual dining area the hostesses were extremely slow. The restaurant would have 100 open seats and there would be 10 people waiting for 5 minutes to be seated. Not something you expect when paying 250+ per night. Plus the front desk was less than enthusiastic. Finally, be aware that there is a $6.00 charge to use the gym. It's not on their website and it's in very small print on one line in one of the several publications in the room [the brochure says $5.00]. The gym attendant will rudely make sure you sign in at the gym and charge the fee to your room.
Great for a ballgame!
We make an annual trip to Houston for the Rangers / Astros series usually booking rooms outside of downtown with reward points. But I decided to give downtown a shot this year and I was pleasantly rewarded! Just a short walk from the ballpark this hotel was PERFECT! The lobby is awesome and the rooms were clean and comfortable! We will be back next year!!!!
Traveling by Bus
I am traveling to Houston on a business trip in June. I am allergic to everything, so I will probably have to eat dinner at Whole Foods Market. Google Maps Traffic has helped me rule out renting a car. So I was planning on taking the bus. How safe is the public transportation, are there any rules that I need to follow? And is the nearest Whole Foods safe? (I will be staying downtown near the ballpark)
Thanks in advance.
Re: Traveling by Bus
The nearest Whole Foods (West Alabama at Kirby) is totally safe and is one of the best areas of the city. The area you're staying can get sketchy though when there's not a sporting event happening. You should be okay, just don't walk east of 59. Are you staying at Hilton Americas?
Public transit isn't excessively safe after the work crowd gets off of it (past 7 or so), but it's not really excessively dangerous. You must understand that very few in Houston actually use the bus. It depends more on the neighborhood where you catch the bus though. Downtown is the nexus of METRO's system, and your bus to West Alabama should be fine.
Not sure of your gender, but, if you're a woman, I would strongly encourage you to reconsider this and either stay somewhere else and rent a car, or stay in a place in a better neighborhood and ride the bus to and from Downtown every day.
Re: Traveling by Bus
Get a car ... just make sure you count to five and look to both sides before proceeding after the light turns green. I've driven in Houston many times. Be careful where you park at night.
Re: Traveling by Bus
Because you are allergic to everything.. and you will be in Houston in June... I also have to echo the sentiments above. Rent a car. The pollen, the allergens in the air.. will kill you come June.
Re: Traveling by Bus
Depending on how long you are staying you can get everywhere you want to go on the bus www.ridemetro.org The Whole Foods on Kirby isn't very big (compared to the one in Austin) and you might find more choices at Central Market, it's at Westheimer and Weslayan, just before the Galleria when you are coming from downtown and the 82 bus can take you there. Feel free to e-mail me directly if you have any questions.