How Houston’s hotel scene is changing ahead of the Super Bowl

While Houston prepares to host the 2017 Super Bowl, area hotels are scrambling to open ahead of the Feb. 5 game. Here’s an update of the major upscale hotels slated to debut well before game time:

Aloft Houston-Downtown, originally slated to receive its first guest over the summer, opened in October. The hotel hosts live music shows and features a roof-top pool and patio. Inside, murals of vintage Houston line some of the walls.

Operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the 10-story, 172-room hotel at 820 Fannin — on the corner of Fannin and Walker — is a redevelopment of Houston’s historic Stowers Building. Built in 1913, the structure once housed the G.A. Stowers Furniture Co. headquarters.

The Marriott Marquis Houston is scheduled to open in winter 2016 in Downtown Houston. Features include 1,000 guest rooms, 100,000 square feet of meeting space, a skybridge to the nearby George R. Brown Convention Center and a rooftop lazy river shaped like Texas overlooking Discovery Green Park.

Marriott Marquis is the largest hotel opening in town. Also initially aiming for a summer start, the 1,000-room hotel is now expected to open its doors in the winter. The 29-story building at 1777 Walker — near Discovery Green — is a development of Houston-based RIDA Development Corp. (Story continues below.)

The Marriott Marquis will have a Texas-shaped lazy river, a skybridge connecting it to the George R. Brown Convention Center and an upscale sports bar, which is being launched by Astros Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio. Dubbed Biggio’s, the sports bar will offer steaks, burgers, craft beer and cocktails.

Upcoming Houston hotels that won’t be open before the Super Bowl Hotel Alessandra was shooting for a pre-Super Bowl debut but has moved its projected opening to mid-2017. The 20-story structure at Fannin and Polk will have 223 rooms. Midway, which developed CityCentre, will own Hotel Alessandra, and the Valencia Group will operate it.

Another hotel in the works that will not open in time for the Super Bowl — it’s now estimated to open in early fall 2017 — is the Hotel ZaZa-Memorial City, near the Katy Freeway and Bunker Hill. It will be the brand’s second Houston location; the first is in the Museum District, at 5701 South Main. This construction came courtesy of a collaboration between Houston-based developer MetroNational and Z Resorts. It will have another high-end restaurant and its signature spa ZaSpa.

Le Meridien-Downtown, like downtown’s upcoming Aloft, is also being developed in a historic downtown office building. Built in 1952, the Melrose building is being outfitted with a rooftop pool, sundeck and restaurant. The 21-story structure is considered Houston’s first skyscraper, and it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This project, a Starwood Hotel-operated hotel, is slated for completion in fall 2017.

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