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Galleria Hotel renovates to stand out: Snakeskin walls and concierge "personalities" are here

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Hotel Derek, front exterior
On Dec. 17, 2012, Destination Hotels & Resorts started the Hotel Derek makeover, which includes significant aesthetic changes to guest room, lobby and meeting space interiors. Hotel Derek/Facebook
Hotel Derek renovation, January 2013
Two floors of guest rooms have already been renovated, and the grand ballroom. Photo courtesy of Hotel Derek
Places-Drinks-Vin Bar-Hotel Derek
While official plans have yet to be announced, “exciting things” will be taking place in the restaurant and bar space, which currently houses Valentino and Vin Bar, the latter shown here. Gensler
Hotel Derek renovation, January 2013
The hotel is working with Dallas-based interior design firm Flick-Mars to implement an updated look that highlights vibrant colors and new textures. Photo courtesy of Hotel Derek
Hotel Derek, front exterior
Hotel Derek renovation, January 2013
Places-Drinks-Vin Bar-Hotel Derek
Hotel Derek renovation, January 2013

Hotel Derek, the Galleria-are luxury boutique hotel originally opened in 2001, is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and management overhaul.

Destination Hotels & Resorts, the fifth largest hospitality management company in the United States, purchased the property last summer. On Dec. 17, the company started the Hotel Derek makeover, which includes significant aesthetic changes to guest room, lobby and meeting space interiors, and it's in full swing now.

 “It’s the only independent, boutique property in an area surrounded by chains, and we want to elevate the hotel from where it currently stands in the market.” 

“We’re onboard with a fresh perspective and assessing the potential the hotel has given its location and the type of business we have coming into the Galleria — both corporate and leisure,” Stephanie Summerall, director of sales & marketing, told CultureMap in a phone interview. “We’re utilizing that to move the hotel in a different direction.”

The hotel is working with Dallas-based interior design firm Flick-Mars to implement an updated look that highlights vibrant colors and new textures, such as snakeskin-clad bathroom walls.

“We’re taking the design elements up a few notches, further distinguishing Hotel Derek from other hotels in the Galleria area,” Summerall said. “It’s the only independent, boutique property in an area surrounded by chains, and we want to elevate the hotel from where it currently stands in the market.”

In addition to interior upgrades, Destination recently implemented new service standards at Hotel Derek. A combined concierge and brand ambassador position — “Sir or Lady Derek” — has been created to further enhance the overall guest experience.

According to Summerall, Sir or Lady Derek will provide guests with customized entertainment recommendations and act as the face of the hotel. “You’re going to have a personality there creating this vibe from the moment you arrive, who will have a specialized insight on all things Houston,” she said.

 “We plan to continually invest in the property, introducing things that are very edgy and aren’t being done anywhere else in town.” 

Destination Hotels & Resorts is spending approximately $6 million on design enhancements, which will be completed in March. Several floors of guest rooms have already been renovated.

While official plans have yet to be announced, Summerall said that “exciting things” would be taking place in the restaurant and bar space, which currently houses Valentino and Vin Bar.

“We plan to continually invest in the property, introducing things that are very edgy and aren’t being done anywhere else in town,” she said. “We want Hotel Derek to be the destination for people traveling in Houston, as well as Houstonians.”

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