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“Extremely nice, very affordable -- for now”

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Magnolia Hotel Houston
Ranked #33 of 516 Hotels in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Plano, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Extremely nice, very affordable -- for now”
Reviewed March 21, 2008

We had never heard of the Magnolia. It was within walking distance of the George Brown Convention Center and looked nice, so we decided to give it a try. I have to believe that the price of the rooms here will increase. Only $129 per night, and it is lovely. A very old building that has been renovated, the lobby is very small -- and different. It has a contemporary decore, which is not my favorite, but it looked great. The facility saves the second floor for its common amenitites. A library. A lounge, a billard room, a bar. All very nice. Low, soothing lighting. Our group gathered on this floor. The kids (early teens) spent the evening in the library, the adults in the lounge, which seems like a very large, yet cozy, living room. Happy hour every evening, included, warm, mushy cookies and milk for the kids, included. Lovely rooms, marble, new carpet, in-room bar, included internet. Helpful staff. What else can I say? Just a very beautiful room and hotel overall at a very affordable price.

  • Liked — Clean, beautiful, cozy, friendly surroundings.
  • Disliked — Breakfast food could have been better, but overall, still good.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oldTTtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2008

I have stayed at this hotel once before last August, and had a blast for a girlfriend's 30th. I did stay there again this past weekend while on business in Houston. First off, my fiance's company placed us at this God awful place in Greenway plaza (more on that later) and I had gotten an email in my mailbox that The Magnolia was running a special. It was $98 per night, which is awesome for downtown Houston especially since the Rodeo was in town. We booked it, and off we went. We checked in early around 12 noon, and had NO problem. The valets were fast, and they placed us in a standard room on floor 10 with a kind bed. I knew what to expect since I had stayed there before, but my fiance had not. The bellhop Maurice was VERY nice. he told us about local bars, lounges, places to have dinner, get a nice microbrew, and other things in the area. All of the staff in fact was very helpful and extremely hospitable. They called us at 5 to remind us about the free happy hour of beer and wine from 5:30-6:30, and we wondered downstairs to enjoy a cold Shiner. Later on we ordered room service (it took 20 minutes) and it was EXCELLENT! Spinach dip was awesome, and the desserts are great! Much better service and food than Hotel Zsa Zsa where we stayed the time before in Houston. The bed was filled with a duvet cover, pillows, and great high thread sheets, the garden tub was HUGE and very nice for two. All in all we had a great time, secured a fantastic rate, and everyone was VERY NICE. Maybe they turned it around since the last time it was reviewed, but I would stay there again with no problem!!!

  • Liked — The huge tub, the bedding, the staff, great room service, current movie selection
  • Disliked — valet was a little pricey ($24.00 a night)
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank innerloop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2008

A last-minute business trip to Houston found me at the Magnolia Hotel, downtown near Minute Maid Park. It was a Saturday night right before a big international convention, so the place was packed.

But when I arrived at the hotel, the front desk attendants couldn't find my reservation. Even when I handed them a printout with my reservation confirmation code, they still shrugged their shoulders and said, "sorry."

Suffice it to say, despite what was a beautiful, modernly decorated lobby, I was none too impressed with the staff at the Magnolia right off the bat.

So I called up American Express Traveler Services. After a half an hour on hold, they told me to talk to the Magnolia's manager on duty, an Alex Trojanowski. And from this point on, my experience at the Magnolia improved dramatically.

Alex apologized profusely for the glitch (even though it very well could have been American Express' fault), comped me two extra drinks at the 2nd-floor hotel lounge (on top of the standard Happy Hour two drinks free) and gave me a double in-room breakfast the following morning for no charge.

Oh, and Alex also put me in a suite for the same price as my regular room.

My reservation crisis averted, I quickly found out that Ms. Trojanowski isn't the only reason to love the Magnolia. It boasts Houston's only rooftop pool and jacuzzi area, offering a dazzling view of the skyline.

My suite was spacious and modern, with two televisions, a kitchenette, a full dining table and living area in addition to a large bathroom and ample bedroom. The king bed was comfortable and clean, but the pillows were a bit lumpy and hard; so if you're someone who's particular about their pillows, I would either request softer pillows or bring your own.

The bar at the Magnolia is large and inviting, with a two-free-drink happy hour on Saturday (I haven't stayed there any other night, so I don't know if it's just on the weekend). The bar also offers a complimentary milk-and-cookie bar late at night and a free breakfast bar in the morning. Didn't try those, but the milk-and-cookie bar sounded novel.

The in-room breakfast, on the other hand, was above-average. I enjoyed the scrambled eggs with maple sausage, potatoes and wheat toast. (But they were out of rye, which was disappointing.)

The free shuttle at the Magnolia is a major reason to stay there. I never waited more than 5 minutes, and it took me anywhere I wanted to go (all my destinations happened to be downtown). The shuttle is a roomy, comfortable SUV along the lines of a Yukon or a Suburban--not a clunky bus-type thing. The drivers do expect tips.

It should be noted that the Magnolia is rather close to a nightclub or two (like, a block away or so), and on the weekend you can hear the cars and the music. I was faintly aware of the noise while awake, but it was never loud enough to disturb me in my sleep.

So despite a rocky start, the staff, or at least Alex Trojanowski, went out of their way to make my stay at the Magnolia a comfortable one, in what is an already posh hotel in a convenient downtown location.

  • Liked — The pool location (although small).
  • Disliked — Slow elevators.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank busterfreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MagnoliaHotels, Director of PR at Magnolia Hotel Houston, responded to this review, February 29, 2008
We are so glad to hear that we were able to set your stay on the right path by providing good customer service. We truly pride ourselves on a staff that goes above and beyond. Thank you for your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you at a Magnolia Hotel again in the future! (And, definitely make time to try our signature cookies and milk!)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, Alabama
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2008

The Magnolia is a nicely designed hotel. The historic building (a defunct Houston newspaper was here) is beautifully maintained, and we stayed here because a friend said it was a nice hotel with bigger than average rooms. He was right on all counts. We got a standard king room, and at 420 square feet, it was more than adequate. We ran into the manager in the elevator, and he seemed very interested in how our stay was going. We saw him again at the evening reception, when he came by to say hello.

THE LIBRARY: This room is open to relax/kick back, read a book, or check your email. Yes, this is where you'll find a couple of computers with internet access. It was my favorite room in the hotel. Lots of old books line the bookshelves, and the room is clearly available for conferences.

THE BILLIARD ROOM: I've never been to a hotel with a pool table. It's a separate room next to the bar, and it's a terrific touch. No cost to play.

MILK AND COOKIES BUFFET: This was actually a bit of a dsappointment. The build-up at the hotel's website made me think there'd be a cookie chef or something, and warm, freshly bakeed cookies (not that they made that claim... they did no such thing). No such luck. The cookies were good, but they were cool and sitting on the buffet with three kinds of milk. The "buffet" is next to the bar; it just looked like no big deal. If I owned the hotel, I'd try to make this feature a bit more interesting.

SERVICE: A little bit of good and a little bit of not so good. The manager, as I mentioned, was terrific and seemed genuinely interested in our comfort. The staff was hit or miss. We had a terrific waitress on Sunday night during the complimentary drinks hour. She recommended a good restaurant (Ninfa's... fantastic!), she called the hotel's car service on our behalf, and she was paying attention The next night, we had another waitress and she was completely indifferent -- almost seemed annoyed that we were getting free drinks. (Maybe she thought it would affect her tip.... it didn't, and that's no excuse anyway). Same problem with the valets. A couple were fantastic, while a couple of others seemed disinterested, annoyed.

PARKING: It's $24/day for valet. That's about average, and there is some effort required to avoid it. You may not want the hassle. The garage behind the hotel charges $6/day, but there are no in and out privileges. Even worse, the cost only buys you a parking space until 6AM the next morning. In otther words, you'd have to get out of bed at 6AM(!!), walk a block to the garage to pay $6 more, put the ticket on your car, and then go back to the hotel. You can park FREE across the street from 6PM - 7AM and all day on Sunday. My advice: park on the street at night, and move into the garage at 7AM. if you're leaving by 9AM, just feed the meter for 2 hours... it's $1.50/hour.

POOL/FITNESS CENTER: They have a pool on the roof, which is open 7AM-11AM. Although we didn't use it, the hotel says the fitness center is open 24/7.

INTERNET ACCESS: I love that the hotel doesn't charge for internet. Not only is free access available in the room, you can also use a public computer in the Library. Convenient!

RESTAURANT: None! They have room service, though, and the menu looks pretty good. We never tried it, though. There is a little coffee shop at the front of the hotel.

BREAKFAST: It's free, but it's small. You can get some breads, fruits, and cereal. They charge $9.95 for the bacon and eggs on the hot bar. The coffee is from Starbucks, both at breakfast and in the room.

FREE SHUTTLE: The hotel has an SUV to give people free rides around the downtown area. This was terrific -- efficient and fast. They gave us rides to Ninfa's and back (for a terrific dinner) and to the Toyota Center.

SUMMARY: The Magnolia Houston needs to make service a bit more consistently great! But overall, it's got a lot of amenties that other hotels don't. The rooms are big and comfortable (great beds!), and for downtown Houston, it's a good value. The location is pretty terrific, as well.

  • Liked — Unique Design and Features
  • Disliked — Occasionally (Rarely) Indifferent Service
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank GoingEverywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas, tx
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2008

Just got back from a week stay there for work. I was very impressed with the hotel. It is modern and very attractive. Seems to be modeled after the modern look of W Hotels. The room was a king bed suite with a small kitchen and was a huge corner room away from the elevator. Had a very large walk in closet and seperate vanity and shower area. Room was spottless and quiet. Everything worked but the alarm clock, but I just used wake up calls. Didn't eat at the restaurant, but they have a complimentary happy hour and a cookies and milk thing late at night. Very nice workout facilities and rooftop pool and hot tub were very nice. I would highly recommend.

  • Liked — Modern look, clean rooms, workout facilities.
  • Disliked — Expensive valet parking.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank rainer49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Superior, CO
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2007

I was so unimpressed with this hotel, especially given the rates they charge. I travel to Houston almost weekly for work, and would never consider this hotel again.

Upon check in, I had to pay $24 for valet parking, and he was rude, spelled my name wrong, and told me that I could not call ahead for my car the next morning. I asked if there were other places to park, and he said no, yet I found out later that the lot behind the Magnolia is $6 or free (depending on when you park there) as were the multiple street spots (free 7-7 each day).

The room was nice, but the trays in the bathroom had been dropped, chipped and cracked, and they looked awful. At breakfast the next day, I had to ask multiple times for a spoon to eat my cerael, and finally gave up after 10 minutes since my breakfast had turned into mush and there were still no spoons. I just went out for breakfast after that. Also, they had not bussed any tables, and there was no place to sit - I had to finally move dirty dishes just to sit down.

Downstairs, I waited almost 25 minutes to get my car from valet (by comparision, the Courtyard down the street takes less than 5!), and the valet told me that I should have called ahead, which I had been told the night before I could not do. This time did not include the 3 times I tried to hand him my ticket, and he just ignored me, and finally said "yeah, its coming" (which it was not!). As a result, I was late for a client meeting, and the whole valet staff was just rude - I utilized the lot the next two nights, then had to argue with the staff at check out because the charged me for 3 nights instead of the 1 night I actually used them. For $24, I would have expected better service, especially since they just take them around the corner to the "free" lot.

The second night, I arrived into my room to find that the hotel had left me no washcloths at all in the bathroom, and the chipped bowls were still there. The same thing happened the third night as well - not sure what was up there. The room was not cleaned very well either.

The "express" check out was a joke, too. I waited in line for 10 minutes, and there were only 2 people in front of me, then had to aruge about the invalid charges.

I will never stay here again - I have paid far less for hotels in Houston, and had FAR BETTER SERVICE! This hotel has a long way to go. They tout free cocktails and milk/cookie bar, probably to hope you overlook their terrible service. They should focus on that, and also implement a frequent guest program. So, for the money, go to any number of other hotels within 2 blocks of this one, and skip the Magnolia entirely.

  • Stayed December 2007
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank kaley1kt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weatherford, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2007

Nephews wedding~ Group rate. Suites spacious. Clean and comfortable. Rooftop pool and gym clean and maintained.
Staff courteous and helpfull. I left my dress belt at home, consierge aided me with yahooo directions to nearest mens store. Nice panoramic view of Houston. Central to downtown
facilities. Valet or park yourself, garage parking.

  • Liked — Unique charater and furnishings
  • Disliked — pool could have been a wee bit larger
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bozbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Magnolia Hotel Houston

Property: Magnolia Hotel Houston
Address: 1100 Texas St, Houston, TX 77002-3114
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Houston > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Houston
#13 Family Hotel in Houston
#16 Business Hotel in Houston
#18 Luxury Hotel in Houston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Magnolia Hotel Houston 4*
Number of rooms: 314
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique hotel in downtown Houston, Texas offers accommodations for leisure travel and extended stay guests, as well as space for meetings, wedding receptions, conferences, and special events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Houston Magnolia Hotel

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