The Definitive Guide to Houston

Your Complete Neighborhood Guide to Memorial

in Hotels/Things To Do by

The Memorial neighborhood has upgraded its status from a suburb on the outskirts of the city to a staycation destination and an accommodation option for business travelers. Hotel Sorella’s location in CityCentre, an inviting retail and dining hotspot paired with green space, makes for a strategic launching pad to explore the area whether you’re here for business or pleasure, or a mix of both.

Where to Stay

Photo Courtesy of Hotel Sorella

As part of the Valencia Group, Hotel Sorella’s comfortably elegant ambiance is what guests have come to expect from this luxury hotel management group. A chic second-floor lobby and check-in desk greet visitors as they step off the elevator. Striking black-and-white geometric wallpaper makes for a dramatic backdrop. In fact, many brides make use of the hotel’s high design elements for photographs. The roomy lobby features a balcony overlooking CityCentre’s greenspace, where you can enjoy coffee and pastries made in-house as part of the hotel’s complimentary breakfast served seven days a week. The hallways to the spacious rooms and suites also feature the hotel’s signature wallpaper with the same pattern repeated in a subtle white-on-white design inside the rooms. For guests needing a longer stay, the hotel has a selection of exclusive one- and two-bedroom penthouse residences available complete with panoramic views of the city skyline and Viking appliances.  

Be sure to make reservations for a meal at Radio Milano, the hotel’s restaurant which offers traditional handmade pasta dishes as well as innovative touches like truffle cream as a pizza topping. Standouts include a decadent lobster ravioli and a bountiful seafood fettuccine plus plenty of meaty options for heartier appetites.  

HHM Tip: Night owls can take advantage of Radio Milano’s reverse happy hour on Thursday-Saturday from 9 pm-12 am.

The hotel’s Monnalisa Bar isn’t just an amenity for guests in need of a nightcap. Locals head to the dance floor or request bottle service at this clubby space featuring live music Wednesday-Saturday evenings. Wine and dine over light bites around the bar’s indoor fireplace or take in the views from the adjacent open-air courtyard where loungey seating surrounds the hotel’s infinity pool.

Where to Eat

International Smoke, Photo Courtesy of Shannon O’Hara

Make reservations at International Smoke where the menu showcases the elements of fire and smoke in their sophisticated American and International barbeque dishes. Sal y Pimienta sources organic produce, meat, and seafood for its upscale South American menu. For a stylish surf and turf meal, book a table at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood where there’s outdoor deck seating, regular live music, and a generous happy hour, including Sundays and Mondays from 4 – 10 pm. Burgers and shakes at the Austin import Hopdoddy are always a hit with the family. Treat yourself to macarons from Tout Suite, dessert crepes from Sweet Paris, or Italian pastries and gelato from Fellini Gelato & Caffe.  

Where to Shop

For stylish Texas souvenirs, browse Kendra Scott’s jewelry-filled CityCentre boutique. This transplanted Texan’s fan base includes Lady Gaga and legions of ladies who don Scott’s signature design, the oval-shaped Danielle Earring, available in a range of colorful, natural gemstones.

Photo Courtesy of CITYCENTRE

Equestrians aren’t the only ones who shop at the CityCentre outpost of the King Ranch Saddle Shop – a brand that’s been handcrafting horse and hunting gear since 1853. City slickers can sport the King Ranch look with the shop’s line of leather handbags and wallets bearing the brand’s wavy logo.

HHM Trivia: The King Ranch “Running W” symbol is said to resemble the diamondback rattlesnakes who call the ranch home or the iconic horns of a Texas Longhorn bull.

Admire the exotic car collection at Freedom Supercars where you can purchase a membership to try out an Aston Martin or Ferrari without a long-term commitment.

CityCentre’s retail landscape also includes Anthropologie, Madewell, Allen Edmonds, and lululemon (in case you need a pair of yoga pants for a class at nearby Life Time Athletic).

Where to Explore

Photo Courtesy of Aria Group Architects and Top Golf.

Reserve a bay at Top Golf – a high-tech version of the driving range where you take aim with a micro-chipped golf ball to score points. A full menu of food and beverages, including brunch with mimosas and Bloody Marys, is available.

There’s no need to worry about weather conditions or a fear of heights at iFly, an indoor skydiving experience. A certified International Bodyflight instructor provides training before you suit up for the flight chamber that’s an exhilarating version of a wind tunnel.

HHM Trivia: Former Houston resident and 41st President, the late George H.W. Bush, celebrated four of his birthdays, including his 90th, with a skydiving jump.

Fans of plays and musicals can catch a show at Queensbury Theatre. Movie buffs can check the Studio Movie Grill calendar for their classic movie series or enjoy the latest blockbuster. Strike out at Bowl & Barrel, a boutique bowling alley that feels more like an elegant bar with its craft cocktails and imported cheese and charcuterie boards.

Borrow one of Hotel Sorella’s complimentary bikes and helmets and ride the hike and bike trails at nearby Terry Hershey Park, named in honor of the Houston conservationist who rallied for the preservation of Buffalo Bayou. The trails follow an east-west route along the bayou for an approximately six-mile stretch. Nature lovers will appreciate the wetland habitats along the paths where you can take a break at one of the gazebos for a scenic view.

Feature Photo Courtesy of CityCentre

Dana is a native Texan who grew up in Houston and Joni is a transplant via Kansas, North Carolina, Scotland, and New Orleans. Together, they founded Trip Chandler, a two-woman team who create guides to Houston and provide tours to the city for visitors and locals!

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