turn up the AC

New European-style hotel checks into historic downtown Houston locale

New European-style hotel checks into historic downtown Houston locale

AC Hotel Houston Marriot Downtown
Houston's new AC Hotel is only the second in Texas. Rendering courtesy of AC Hotel/Marriot

Downtown’s hotel scene is getting a new player. AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown will be the city’s first AC — and only the second in Texas. The space at 723 Main St. is slated for an end of June opening.

The AC will be housed in the space that was formerly the Houston Bar Center Building, which dates to 1914 and was originally commissioned by famed Houston entrepreneur Jessie Jones. It was designed by Alfred Finn as the headquarters of Gulf Oil. It’s currently undergoing an historic midcentury-modern exterior and interior renovation.

Inside, the 195-room hotel will feature a restored 1914 silent movie theater called the Zoe Ballroom, which will host unique events at the property.

The idea, according to press materials sent by the property, was for AC Hotel Houston Downtown to “blend European soul with Texas friendliness, where every element is tailored for modern travelers’ needs.” AC should also mirror Houston’s distinctive energy and laid-back vibe.

Interior design and furnishings will reflect minimalistic European style, including guest rooms with “floating” furniture. Meanwhile, public spaces feature wood and stone finishes accented by chrome. Locally commissioned artwork throughout the property will complete the sophisticated signature look.

Additionally, the hotel has its own signature scent, a blend of cut grass and root, fig leaf and stem, gum resins, amber elements, and fir balsam, which will be present throughout the property.

Rooms feature eco-friendly Korres bath products, 50-inch TVs with premium channels, flexible workspaces, and mini fridges. There’s free WiFi throughout the property, as well as 24-hour fitness and business centers.

Snacks will be available in the AC Kitchen, and hand-crafted cocktails along with a nightly selection of tapas-inspired small bites will be the focus of the AC Lounge. The Lounge will be integrated with the Zoe Ballroom. The hotel also will feature a media salon and a coffee house.

The AC Lounge will feature handcrafted cocktails, Texas craft beer, and tapas, a nod to AC’s heritage as a Spanish hotel brand. Décor will reflect AC’s minimalistic European style while adding Texas touches throughout to give guests a sense of place, while luxury in-room amenities include eco-friendly Korres bath products.

A signature scent will be present throughout the hotel, featuring a blend of cut grass and root, fig leaf and stem, gum resins, amber elements, and fir balsam.