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“Comfortable hotel but beware the hidden costs!”
Review of Omni Houston Hotel

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Omni Houston Hotel
Ranked #25 of 517 Hotels in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 10, 2012

In some ways, the Omni Hotel is typical of the kind of business hotel I used to stay in 20 or 30 years ago. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, well furnished and suitable for a business person wanting to work quietly in spare moments outside of the office. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar, a well equipped gym and an outdoor pool. The hotel boasts conference facilities and a ballroom for functions. With our visit coinciding with the Christmas holiday season, we saw several parties take place and there was a festive atmosphere to the place. The elevators were very efficient and we never waited more than a few seconds for one to arrive. The breakfast buffet was very good with freshly cooked omelettes to order. Finally, the staff were simply outstanding; friendly, helpful and full of smiles and willing to go the extra mile to provide good service. Full marks all round for that but now on to the minus points…

Although the lobby area is very large and welcoming, other parts of the hotel look a bit tired and show their age. For example, the dominant colour scheme throughout the hotel appears to be brown. This may have been the standard a few years ago and presumably it's supposed to give the hotel a sober, business atmosphere but to me it felt a bit gloomy. Our room, although very comfortable also showed its age, particularly in the bathroom where some of the fittings seem old fashioned. For example the shower head looked as if it had seen better days and had a low water flow. The lever that switched the water between bath and shower was temperamental and it took me some time to get the shower working properly. The shower curtain seemed dull because it was coloured a light brown in line with the overall theme. Compared to modern business (and even budget) hotels in Europe, the décor in the Omni falls way behind the competition.

Hidden costs: Mrs G and I arrived at the Omni after a stressful arrival at the airport, transit through immigration and a car drive into Houston at peak traffic time. We just wanted to get to our room and relax so opted for valet parking on arrival… at 24 dollars per night as we discovered later. Self parking is a bit cheaper costing 17 dollars a night. You could argue that secure parking in other US cities (and most major European cities) comes at a similar price but somehow it just seemed excessive. I didn't realise until reading through some of the hints just now on Tripadvisor that free parking is available somewhere around the back of the hotel. Not sure how safe this option would be, especially at night.

The major rip off however is the charge for wi-fi access to the internet. More and more hotels (both quality and budget) offer cheap rate or even free internet access but the Omni charges 9.95 dollars per day except there is a catch that isn't obvious or made clear. The charge is actually 9.95 dollars per day per DEVICE. So Mrs G and I had connected with two different laptops plus a smartphone. Three devices at 9.95 per connection… kerching! To give the hotel some credit, we were able to negate the charges racked up over one week by signing up to a loyalty scheme (more junk mail on the way presumably) but seriously?

If my review seems over negative, it's not meant to be. I did enjoy my stay at the Omni and would stay there again, but I'd be interested to see how it compares with other hotels in Houston. Compared to European hotels, the Omni has a lot to learn in terms of general décor and ambience but on the other hand, the Omni could teach European hotels a thing or two about customer service. Overall I enjoyed the stay but those extra charges... ouch!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Alan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielDelk, Manager at Omni Houston Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to submit a thorough and thoughtful review. We are very glad that overall your stay was a good one and that the customer service you received was so outstanding. We appreciate your feedback on both the decor and costs as we use all feedback as a means to assess the overall experience we provide for our guests and make changes when needed. We are happy to hear that the front desk was able to take care of the WIFI charges for you as we do not want any guest to feel that we are not being upfront about our costs. You may certainly opt out of our Select Guest Program so as not to receive any of our promotional e-mails. However, as a member of the Omni Select Guest Program you are also eligible to earn stays though our partner, the Global Hotel Alliance, which has many 4 and 5 Star properties throughout Europe. Again, thank you for your review and we do hope to see you again on your next trip to Houston.

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1,618 - 1,624 of 1,927 reviews

Reviewed December 8, 2012

If you are looking for a nice hotel a little off the beaten path - the Omni is a good choice. It's in the heart of Houston, but on a big piece of property with plenty of green space (albeit part of a business park). The facilities and rooms are top notch. My only beef is that the service is not quite as crisp as I would expect for a hotel of this caliber.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank ATXMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielDelk, Manager at Omni Houston Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to submit a review of your stay at the Omni Houston Hotel. We're glad you found the facilities and rooms to be top notch. We are, however, disappointed to hear that the service was not as crisp as you nor we would expect. We take great pride in our level of service and hope that your next stay at our property hits all the marks.

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Reviewed December 5, 2012

Love the Omni! This hotel has been always been great. The location is fabulous for shopping! No problems with noise, easy check in, and check out. We stayed for a 40th birthday celebration (2 nights) and had fun going to dinner and shopping. Check out the Black Swan, it was an amazing time.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Winejunkie_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielDelk, Manager at Omni Houston Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Thank you for your review...we're glad it was such an amazing time and hope to see you again very soon!

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Reviewed December 3, 2012

Spent almost 2 weeks in the hotel. Staff was so helpful & had a free room upgrade. Everything was well planned and organized, check-in/out didnt take a few minutes. Good variety for breakfast. 30 minutes walking distanve from downtown and good shopping spots like Galleria Houston. Nice forest scenery from the room. Would recommend to any business traveller visiting houston.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank fahmkm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielDelk, Manager at Omni Houston Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Thank you for your review and for choosing to spend two weeks at our hotel! We're glad you enjoyed so many aspects of your stay and appreciate your recommendation. We look forward to seeing you again on your next trip to Houston!

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Reviewed November 24, 2012

First of all, we did fill out the comment card however we got no reply from management!! So now that we had no reply from them,we decided to write this review on trip advisor!! We decided to wait for their concern but they didn't!! So here it is!!
Overall it was a gorgeous resort! The only thing we have to complain about is room service and maid service!! The first day we got there, we got our sparkling wine with truffles and on time!! However the next 2 days the room wasn't done at a normal time!! We had to call or go to the front desk at least twice to advise them!! And for our alloted time to get our wine and cheese plate for the next 2 days it was suppose to arrive at 4pm and we remember that one day we had to call 3 times to get it delivered but it came at 7 pm!! When we are on vacation we don't believe we have to do their job!! It was extremely irritating!! However overall,front desk,restaurant and the whole staff were very
Warm and friendly!!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank Lizzypoo28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielDelk, Manager at Omni Houston Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Thank you for your review. We apologize that you never received a response to your comment card as it unfortunately did not make it to our management team. We value every piece of feedback we receive from our guests and always try to respond in a timely manner. We are very disappointed to hear of the difficulties and frustrations you experienced with room service and housekeeping and this feedback has been forwarded to our Director of Housekeeping and Director of Food & Beverage to address with their teams. We are glad to hear that, despite these issues, your overall experience was a good one and we hope to see you again on your next trip to Houston.

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Reviewed November 22, 2012

This is really a 3 and 1/2 star review, but I couldn't bear giving them a 4 star review and telling you all to downgrade it slightly.

Over the last 10 years, I have spent at least 3 nights every quarter in the Galleria area of Houston, and try different hotels on a regular basis to see how they continue to rate. However, my last stay at the Omni was over three years ago because of an absolutely abysmal experience. But my secretary convinced me that because this one of our corporate choices (which I regularly ignore), that I should at least give it a try again. I succumb to my secretary's logic, but only to be reminded that while the Omni appears to try hard, it's all surface fluff, with significant underlying systematic problems.

Simply put, after a horrendous stay three years ago, I was allowed to have "Deja vu all over again", with another mediocre stay.

The Omni started by repeating their error of three years ago. I specifically order a queen or king bed everytime I stay at any hotel. I don't like full size beds, and would rather sleep in a sleeping bag. Three years ago I show up late (because I fly in at the end of the day), with a guaranteed reservation (we'll always charge your credit card .... because we can!) and they claimed they didn't have a king size room (they only have kings and fulls). After telling them point blank that I'd go to another hotel, the "found" one room - a king in a basement like area that was dank and damp. It was a horrible stay.

So when I arrived on the Thursday before thanksgiving, once again they pull the same stunt. Not even bothering to argue, I simply pulled out my trusted iphone, fired up an app, and had a king reservation less than 2 miles away. But I wanted to be sure that I wouldn't be charged on my card for cancelling because they couldn't fulfill my reservation. That would take finding a manager, which since it was after 11PM, I wasn't terribly thrilled about waiting. However, knowing the Omni's mindset that they could do no wrong, I decided to wait.

The manager came and understood why I was cancelling. He was quite nice, and miraculously "found" a king room after all. I was tired. I had to leave in less than 7 hours. I decided to stay. -10 points for the bungled reservation and the diffident underling service, +5 for the manager's kindness and service.

Since I drove, I decided to park in self parking - for which you get the honor to pay a not small sum to enjoy. I forgot that the garage is literally a 1/4 mile away from the elevators and THERE IS NO DIRECT WAY FROM THE PARKING GARAGE TO THE HOTEL THAT DOESN'T REQUIRE YOU TO GO OUTSIDE FOR A VERY LONG PATH. Seriously. Because everyone knows that it never rains in Houston (/sarcasm off), the Omni has there garage without an inside path. But worse, when you're in the garage, you have to either leave from the middle and take this meandering path to the hotel (which requires you to go up and down stairs without any handicapped ramps, great if your dragging a heavy bag), or go back out on the road and either follow the road to the hotel entrance (a good 300 yards), or go by the service entrance and follow a path along the back to come in through the outside restaurant (btw, this is the Omni recommended route - I guess they don't want you to be hit by a car and have the Omni have to fight being responsible). -25 points for the stupidity

This abomination is all the more ridiculous because it would be simple to make an exit to the open air parking garage structure where it nearly abuts the Omni, create a bridge over a small culvert and then put you to the back of the building, where an entrance could be easily made. I asked about this three years ago, and I was told "it's in the plans to be done soon". Guess what? I asked again - same exact answer. - 25 points for the repeated stupidity

Now having had all of this remarkable annoyance, the room was perfectly appointed - simply grandly beautiful with every detail. The bathroom is grand, and probably bigger than my first apartment. Note that there is no in room coffee maker. But, when I awoke at 5AM and went down stairs, there was a free open coffee station with Starbucks coffee - very nice detail. I didn't notice if this was still there after the restaurant opened. +10 for thinking of your customer

My other quality checks were also precisely met. The internet was fast and free - very nice. +10 The showers water temperature and pressure did not vary - another check for quality. +10 There were no unsightly but slight overlooked problems that can easily be found in most hotels (a screw missing from a fixture, a stain on the carpet, etc.) Everything was perfectly in order. I admire this attention to detail and no how hard it is for a hotel to do this. +10.

The breakfast buffet is above average, with the wait staff being very attentive. However, note it's very expensive if not included with your room (~$20)

So, once you survive the fight to get to your room, it's a lovely experience - until you have to fight to get back to your car.

With just a few simple changes (actually have the rooms you reserve, and fix the &%$#%! path to the garage), the Omni would be a 5 star hotel, set in a beautiful high rise business park. Until then, I'll wait another 3 years to give this another review.

Room Tip: Don't let them give you a basement room - ever.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank Pelzigenvater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielDelk, Manager at Omni Houston Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to provide so many details regarding your most recent stay and we are very sorry for the inconveniences, annoyances, and perceived ambivalence you experienced and take your feedback very seriously. We do hope that the positive points that were accumulated during your stay are enough to persuade you to stay with us again in the future.

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Reviewed November 18, 2012

I've been traveling to Houston for 20+ years and always thought this was a past-its-prime, Uptown/Galleria hotel that catered to oil guys and hooks in the 80s. That said, I had the chance to stay for free after converting some frequent flier miles on a 2nd tier airline into hotel points, and went for it.
Hotel is renovated and in great shape, and certainly has above-average fittings, decor, and room size. Very courteous staff and a swanky luxury vibe, BUT ....
Why am I paying $16 to self-park and $9.99 for wifi? And another $16 for a half-liter of bottled water?
Moreover, I know I was a "freebie" guest, or at least low on the revenue spectrum, but they gave me a room that was basically adjacent to a convention meeting room off the 2nd floor lobby, while a conference was going on. Big hint then - don't be shocked when I help myself to the pastries, coffee, and bottled water that are on a serving table 10 feet from my door.
It's not that I'm a pilferer or cheap - but when I'm woken up by the sound of dozens of people chatting in the hallway, there should be something in it for me.

Overall - very good stay, nice hotel, good people, and great location. I'll go back - but only if I get a good deal or if someone else is picking up the tab, as I'm sure there are better deals in that neighborhood.

Room Tip: Go high; make sure you are nowhere near a conference meeting room.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank mooshai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielDelk, Manager at Omni Houston Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

Thank you for your review...we are glad to hear you found our renovated hotel in great shape and that you appreciated our courteous staff and a swanky luxury vibe. We are sorry to hear of the bad aspects you experienced during your stay. We hope that you will choose to join us again in the future and that you sign up for our guest loyalty program in which the wifi is complimentary and you would receive a complimentary morning beverage delivered to your room each morning of your stay among many other great perks. Once again, thank you for your feedback and we do hope to see you again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Omni Houston Hotel

Address: 4 Riverway, Houston, TX 77056-1915
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Houston > Great Uptown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Houston
#14 Luxury Hotel in Houston
#19 Romantic Hotel in Houston
#24 Family Hotel in Houston
#27 Business Hotel in Houston
Price Range: $145 - $299 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Omni Houston Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 378
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover a luxurious oasis at the Omni Houston Hotel. Situated on impeccably manicured grounds, the Houston Galleria hotel features the finest in Houston accommodations with 378 spacious guest rooms, including 33 luxury suites, all with sensational views of the city or pool area. Enjoy the nightlife at Black Swan. The Omni Houston Hotel is centrally located in the prestigious Uptown Post Oak/Galleria area and is just minutes from all of the excitement that Houston, Texas has to offer. You are just 10 minutes by car from the central business district and 30 minutes from George Bush Intercontinental Airport or 25 minutes from William P. Hobby Airport. Of course, our exceptional amenities and four-diamond service may make it hard to leave your room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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