Tag Archives: Galleria

Casual Hotel Critic in Houston – Indigo at the Galleria

In the ongoing interest of commenting on all things Yucatan, it is useful to include information on the those points of entry into the Yucatan, of which Houston is an important one as the United (formerly Continental) flight into and out of Merida is the only American airline covering that route.

And for Yucatecans, Houston is an important and attractive destination for all sorts of reasons; medical, financial and of course touristic.

The Casual Hotel Critic doesn’t appear often on this blog, but he is back and this time he comments on a recent stay at the Indigo Hotel at the Galleria.

This is a funky hotel with friendly staff, especially the Mexican ladies working the breakfast shift in the café/restaurant/bar just off the lobby. Funky because the colors and feel of the hotel will almost convince you that you are in Miami Beach and not Texas. The rooms are all handicapped accessible, if that is a term that can still be used and remain politically correct (not that the Critic is particularly concerned about such matters) which makes for an interesting closet situation, where the bar that you hang your shirts on is at waist level and the longer items of clothing will reach the bottom of the closet furniture mueble.

An important point to note for those with noise vs sleep issues: the air conditioning is loud. Very loud. It is a constant loud so it wouldn’t be bad – at least for the Hotel Critic – as it masks out outside and hallway noises, but unfortunately the a/c clunks off when the room hits the temperature set on thermostat and the switch from buzzing hum to silence will wake you. Every. Single. Time. The only way to ensure that the air conditioner does not go off is to set the temperature at the beef-aging meat locker setting and tuck yourself in very well.

The location though can’t be beat and is just behind the Galleria mall, at the Nordstroms entrance, so it is perfect for those who come to Houston to shop. The parking is free, another nice touch and right outside the hotel, something that definitely does not happen for example at the Westin Galleria where gigantic corner room 1906 is a personal favorite of the Hotel Critic.

Plenty of restaurants nearby both on Westheimer and up on Richmond, ranging from Starbucks to Pappas luxe steakhouse to Mexican and a gazillion Asian places that range from Vietnamese to Japanese to Thai.

Good place to stay? Yes. But the sleep vs noise issue is one that needs to be considered.



The Casual Hotel Critic?

Many moons ago, when this newsletter was still at a long-forgotten and now historical site called GeoCities, there was the mention of a Casual Hotel Critic whose mantra was ‘he stays there so you don’t have to’ which in retrospect, makes not a whole lot of sense.

On the road, accompanying the Casual Restaurant Critic and his Better Half on their travels through Houston and now Tucson Arizona, the Casual Hotel Critic has resurfaced and would like to tell you a little something about the hotels visited on this particular adventure.

First of all the Holiday Inn near the Galleria, in Houston. This frumpy hotel actually uses that as their location name: near the Galleria. It is near the Galleria of course, which implies that it is fancier than it could ever hope to be. It could be called Holiday Inn beside the 610 which would also be accurate and more precise, and perhaps would lead one to be less ambitious in ones expectations of this house of lodging.

I don’t know where or when the Holiday Inn name started to be equatable to cheap and somewhat run down, but that has been my experience lately with anything marked Holiday Inn. This hotel is no exception. The reception is friendly enough but casually so and one can anticipate that a problem would be met with some resistance. The room was tired, carpet somewhat worn and the beds soft which is not necessarily a positive thing but the most striking part of it were the uninviting microscopic pillows on the bed.

The general feel, what with the strippers checking out and the couple having a loud and trashy argument on the bench outside the lobby as their 8 year old son looked on, was one of cheapness. Unfortunately the price did not reflect that and one is charged for the location, which is, again “near the Galleria”.

I would advise avoiding this hotel.