a new-look magnolia

Mainstay downtown hotel checks in with new Texas-inspired look

Mainstay downtown hotel checks in with new Texas-inspired look

Magnolia Hotel lobby
The Magnolia's new lobby. Photo courtesy of the Magnolia Houston
Magnolia Houston pool
The elevated pool. Photo courtesy of the Magnolia Houston
Magnolia Hotel lobby lounge
The lobby lounge.  Photo courtesy of the Magnolia Houston
Magnolia Hotel lobby
Magnolia Houston pool
Magnolia Hotel lobby lounge

Houstonians might need a scorecard or tracking app to keep up with downtown’s hotel scene. This year alone has seen two new hotels open: The Cambria and the highly anticipated C. Baldwin. Power players such as the legendary Four Seasons and the flashy Marriott Marquis and Alessandro make the scene highly competitive for operators.

To stay relevant, mainstays are updating and renovating to draw guests. Such is the case with the The Magnolia Houston, which has completed a several year multifaceted renovation project that includes enhancements to the meeting spaces, ballroom, rooms and suites, and public spaces.

The inspiration for the transformation harks to the hotel’s former life as the former iconic Post Dispatch newspaper building and, later, as the corporate office of the Shell Oil Company. The atmosphere is meant to embrace a “Texas Parlor,” eliciting a “nostalgic feel of an era gone by,” according to a release.

The design is rooted in the building’s history as a newspaper and radio conglomerate. That means dark charcoals and deep indigos set an ink inspired palette along with subtle touchpoints like the typewriter keys outlining the columns and the printing press reception desk, according to Laura Hilpipre of OZ Architecture, who spearheaded the makeover. “Contrast of bright polish and moody patinas along with the details in the ironwork and trim speak directly to the pulse and architecture of Houston,” Hilpipre added.

Much of the updates are seen in the Magnolia’s meeting spaces. Most of the spaces feature high ceilings, ample natural light and distinctive finishes and fixtures. The Magnolia Lounge, an open-concept space splashed with artwork, is a draw; other side rooms offer photo booths, a kid’s room, and more.

“The completion of this renovation is a major milestone for the Magnolia Houston, and we are excited to show off the history of the building alongside a chic new design that will delight any size group, meetings, and leisure travelers,” said Edward Timmons, general manager for Magnolia Houston. “As one of the original boutique experiences in downtown Houston, this historic gem is an urban oasis for travelers looking to be in the heart of Houston’s bustling downtown.”