Luxurious Suites and International Restaurant near Houston's Galleria
After its 2003 expansion, Uptown Houston's Galleria firmly established its place on the list of the nation's top 10 largest shopping malls. Not only does the multilevel complex house more than 350 stores, it also has a tennis club, several sit-down restaurants, and an Olympic-size indoor ice rink that stays open year-round. According to Travel + Leisure, the Galleria is one of America's most-visited shopping malls, recognized both for its amenities and its design, which includes suspended glass balconies and vaulted glass ceilings modeled after Italian Renaissance arcades. Located about a mile away, Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston offers complimentary shuttle service to the Galleria and is a short drive from other popular attractions, including the museum district and the Houston Zoo.
With its all-glass façade, the 23-story hotel complements the modern look of the neighboring Galleria. A baby grand piano and a winding staircase in the lobby add some classy touches to the decor. Upstairs, deluxe rooms continue that elegant aesthetic with soft mocha and cream hues and leather lounge chairs.
Head to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast à la carte, or stop by later in the day to select from an extensive menu of international dishes for lunch and dinner. The restaurant has an upscale vibe replete with hardwood floors and crisp white tablecloths. The lobby lounge offers a more laid-back atmosphere with decor resembling a cozy living room.
If you opt for the $50 or $75 hotel credit, you can redeem it for meals at the restaurant, bar, or lounge, use it at the gift shop, or apply it toward any other hotel cost.
Uptown Houston: World-Class Shopping, International Cuisine, and Picturesque Bayous
Uptown Houston is most famous for the Galleria, but the area has plenty to offer beyond high-end boutiques and retail stores. Steps from the massive shopping mall, the Williams Tower looms at 64 stories high, making it the city's tallest building outside the downtown area. Be sure to get a snapshot in front of the neighboring water wall, where thousands of gallons of water cascade down a sleek, six-story structure.
But if shopping's your thing, Uptown Park presents a charming alternative to the Galleria. The outdoor mall brings to mind a Venetian piazza with its Romanesque columns, stone fountains, and open-air bistros bedecked with strings of twinkling lights. You can also indulge in some of Houston's best dining here, including classic Italian restaurants, Costa Rican eateries, and quaint cafés serving fresh cupcakes made with Madagascar bourbon vanilla.
For a taste of Houston's scenery, venture east of Royal Sonesta to Memorial Park, a nearly 1,500-acre playground with bayous, bike trails, and volleyball courts. Check out the park's Arboretum & Nature Center to hike nature trails highlighting native plants and wildlife. It stays open through most of October.
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