I spent 3 nights at the Hotel Derek attending a corporate event and its not a bad spot but just suffers from trying way to hard to be "hip" and not enough on the basics of good hotel management creating a negative experience
At arrival we found the parking valet, bell and front desk staff very efficient and accommodating We were not a huge group, just 6 rooms but we we all checked in and on our way in less than 15 minutes. The lobby area is spacious and very well laid out , including areas which naturally encourage groups to linger. However, we all immediately noticed the overwhelming, and very unpleasant amount of air freshener/perfume that seems to be pumped into the air. If you are at all fragrance sensitive, its intense enough to make your eyes water and nose run. Two of the people in our group experienced the same intense air freshener issue in the hall on their respective floors. It was so bad we all started to speculate where the dead body had been found.
The next issue is housekeeping. The rooms are well appointed, beds very comfortable and the linens of high quality. That said, I was very taken aback that the housekeeper who made up my room on the both days did not wipe out the sink or clean the bathroom floor whatsoever. I would not have noticed either, but I had spilled a bit of powdered foundation both on the counter and the sink and noticed both when I returned at the end of the day. The second day I had emptied the last of a cup of black coffee into the sink before disposing of the paper cup and there was still coffee in the sink. This is my estimation, is a huge issue that made me question the cleanliness of everything in the room.
I also was never able to connect to the wireless internet in the room. I travel with a MIFI pack, so I didn't even bother to contact the hotel about the problem. Another person in our group had the same issue, so its probably inadequate service on particular floors.
My last issue here is the platform bed frame, which sticks out 4 to 5 inches from the edge of the mattress. As stated earlier, the bed is quite comfortable. But the edges of the frame are square and a bit sharp and I managed to bang both my shins on the frame several times over three nights resulting in a lovely big bruise on both legs - and a lot of swearing.
I used the gym twice to run and on both occasions arrived by 5:45 AM to beat the 6;15 gym crowd. The gym is very nicely appointed, there is no trace of the lobby perfume and there were 8 treadmills. However three of the eight were broken without signs. One sounded like it was going to blow apart with a problem in the tread mechanism and the other two had electrical issues. On all the machines there is no information on how to work the TV, so you live whatever was playing as I couldn't even figure out how to shut the video off. Thank goodness for a good playlist on my iPhone. However another house keeping issue arose in the gym. There is nothing provided to allow you to clean the machines either before or after using them, such as paper towels or sanitizing wipes. How can this be during flu season and considering the other stuff going around these days? I am a bit neurotic about this, so on the second day I brought (and used before and after my run) the little packet of Clorox wipes I use on airplane arm rests and tray tables.
A hint to those of us who drink a a lot of water, thee is an huge supply of bottled water in the gym so I stopped by and restocked my stash regularly from the gym rather than paying $5.00 for the bottle provided in the room.
Over all, for the corporate rate of $179 a night, the hotel Derek was convenient and not a bad place to stay. However,with all their "Hip-Hype", the issues with housekeeping, the gym and intense air freshener really make this a just "OK" property. My favorite part of the Derek experience and right across the street (six lanes of endless traffic) is the Grotto restaurant, which is outstanding. A bit pricey but worth enjoying two nights of our stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- EXPERIENCE A NEW KIND OF SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY - ONE WHERE UNPARALLELED SERVICE AND DESIGNER AMENITIES ALLOW YOU TO APPRECIATE BEING IN THE MOMENT AND IN THE LOOP. Named for Houston's black gold roots, a play on the "derrick" drilling rig, Hotel Derek's bold styled guestrooms and suites are overflowing with modern details and stylish comforts inspired by fashionably chic Texas decor. Photography by world-renowned Arthur Meyerson adorns our public areas and guestrooms, capturing the spirit of Texas wildcatters; while everything from our black granite lobby floors to bold textiles and colors pays homage to our city's rich heritage in the oil industry. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Derek Hotel Houston