Now Playing

Welcome Home

This summer, get away—but don’t go far—and rediscover hip Houston properties proffering posh pools, culture cred and enticing staycation packages.

Poolside at Hotel Granduca

Make a Splash
The Hotel Derek’s pool has gotten a splashy makeover. Not coincidentally dubbed Splash, the deck has been restyled with a graffiti wall and daybeds in high-contrast black and cream—and another touch that’s, well, reel cool. If you can take your eyes off the hotties in the water, check out the new movie wall. Turning a concrete wall of the adjacent parking garage into functional art, the Derek plans to show old Westerns, among other fare. Created by local public artist Ken Goar, the Western-themed wall spans three floors in height. The screen itself, about 25 feet tall, is bordered by a cowboy rope and rests on a large-scale cow-patterned mural. The Western motif is echoed in the Should’ve Been a Cowboy package, starting at $819, which includes a three-night stay, three days at Sankey Rodeo School, complimentary valet parking for pickup trucks, and cold craft beer every night. Yahoo! Overnight rates from $139. 2525 W. Loop S., 713.961.3000

Party Arty
Haute Hotel Zaza caters to the social set with an in-house DJ at the hip Monarch restaurant—now overseen by Jeff Axline, formerly with Brooklyn Athletic Club, who was just named exec chef—and a posh pool. Plus, it’s within walking distance of some of the city’s most notable museums. Guests can take advantage of these perks with the Arts and Smarts package, including a boozy brunch at the resto and a pair of tickets to an exhibition at the MFA, such as the installation of PVC tubes by Venezuela’s Jesús Rafael Soto, which hangs this month. Package from $309, overnight rates from $259. 5701 Main St., 713.526.1991 

Sky-High Chic
CityCentre’s Hotel Sorella, which this month opens its contemporary Italian resto Radio Milano, offers an over-the-top deal for summer adventurers. The Sky’s the Limit package includes two nights in a penthouse suite, where a personal chef plates a multicourse dinner in the dining room one evening. Between spa treatments (massages and manis are included), take a private kayak tour of nearby Terry Hershey park, and rest up for a three-hour helicopter trip through Downtown and the Ship Channel. Package from $3,200. Overnight rates from $169. In CityCentre, 713.973.1600 

Horse Around
Check in at the regal The St. Regis—think spacious surroundings and luscious Italian linens—and saddle up at the nearby Houston Polo Club. The hotel’s Polo Aficionado package touts a private box at the Houston Polo Club on Sunday. Enjoy sensational views of the fast-paced, horseback action—and an extra 10 percent off a Saturday-night stay. Overnight rates from $495. 1919 Briar Oaks Ln., 713.840.7600 

A spacious suite at the Four Seasons

Royal Treatment
After unveiling its $25 million reno in the fall, the Royal Sonesta reveals an equally stylish summer staycation package. The Royal Escape, starting at $269, includes a $100 gift card to the nearby Galleria and overnight valet. Also enjoy a food and beverage credit to be used toward dinner in the recently rebranded ARA restaurant—think smoked short ribs with parsnip puree, or cured Scottish salmon with dill mustard. Overnight rates from $129. 2222 W. Loop S., 713.627.7600 

Season’s Greetings
A perennial pick for cosmopolitan travelers, the Four Seasons offers perks for return guests. The “passport” promotion means those who rack up stays at the Four Seasons outposts in Houston, Dallas and Austin receive credit to be used during a future stay at any Four Seasons hotel. And couples that stay at the H-Town location can take advantage of suite upgrades—the Urban Escape package proffers two nights in a spacious suite for the price of one—and an all-knowing concierge who can assist in planning romantic dates, horseback rides, hot air balloon trips and poolside spa treatments. Overnight rates from $239. 1300 Lamar St., 713.650.1300

Urban Exploration
Location, location, location. Scout Hotel Icon’s prime setup in the heart of Market Square—home to some of H-Town’s hippest bars, like the new tiki-savvy Honeymoon Cafe and Bar, and the Nightingale Room lounge. It’s also minutes away from other popular Downtown destinations, and the city’s B-Cycle bike-share program, which has an outpost in the Square, makes it a breeze to explore the area. The Icon’s Discover Downtown package offers incentive to do so, too, with perks at the nearby House of Blues and credit at the also-walkable upscale Lucky Strike bowling alley. Recover from a big night out with breakfast for two at the hotel’s Line & Lariat restaurant, included in the rate. Package from $199, overnight rates from $189. 220 Main St., 713.223.4266 

Italian Accent
Nestled behind the Uptown Park shopping center, Hotel Granduca offers Euro-chic staycation packages to get one’s mind off the Texas heat. The Escape to Serente option, starting at $622, features a treatment at the next-door Serente Spa, such as an illuminating hydramemory facial. Also enjoy a chilled glass of prosecco—best enjoyed poolside—and a late checkout, for those who want to savor a few extra hours of shut-eye. Meanwhile, the B&B Italian Style package, starting at $285, offers breakfast for two—lemon-ricotta pancakes, anyone?—at the hotel’s Ristorante Cavour and a shuttle to nearby boutiques in Uptown Park, the new Boulevard Place development and the Galleria. Overnight rates from $260. 1080 Uptown Park Blvd., 713.418.1000 

Show Time
A favorite of theatergoers, the newly remodeled Lancaster Hotel is ready for its close-up. As part of its $10 million renovation, the hotel’s 93 rooms are now decked out with refinished mahogany beds and showbiz-inspired art, such as Playbills. The charming, light-washed lobby boasts furniture covered in men’s suiting fabric, and a gorgeous Italian chandelier hanging over the reception desk. The Theater District hotel’s Art We Delightful deal, starting at $159, includes valet parking and a voucher for a preshow meal at the hotel’s Bistro restaurant. Overnight rates from $149. 701 Texas Ave., 713.228.9500