With the transformation complete, Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston raised the curtain last week on its $25 million facelift and close to 1,000 friends, clients and neighbors poured in to party at 2222 West Loop South (formerly the Hotel InterContinental). The new incarnation has wiped away all resemblance to the hotel's past, adding a contemporary chic vibe that had the crowd delivering thumbs up at every turn.
For example, gone is the vibrant, swirling carpet that greeted guests and in its place a custom carpet depicting a satellite view of Houston from outer space. The lobby was gutted to make room for a new bar, the Axis lounge, and Launch, a grab-and-go boutique featuring unique and local offerings. Guest rooms have been completely refurbished and updated. As one observer noted, the new vibe is very much Midtown Manhattan.
The partying throng was practically given the run of the hotel with food and drink flowing throughout. Part of the fun — two hot air balloons, carrying an array of party food, drifted overhead only to be deftly landed by two fetching Neal Hamil models.
On this night, Discovery Center (the smaller of the two ballrooms) was transformed into a nightclub complete with dazzling light show. Cookbook author and birthday girl Erin Hicks Miller hit her stride on the packed dance floor where those grooving to the tunes included Jodie Eisenhardt, Taylor Byrne-Dodge, Arturo Boada and Shepherd Ross.
Checking out the new digs were guests including Jonathan Glus and Alton LaDay, Marcy de Luna, Mauney Mafrige, Terry Wayne Jones, Allison and Brian Bagley, Suzy Simons, James Sivco, Michael Kemper, Roseann Rogers and Deborah Elias.