Midtown Manhattan?

Unveiling of hotel's new $25 million facelift wows party goers: Is this Midtown Manhattan?

Unveiling of hotel's new $25 million facelift wows party goers

Liz Ha, from left, Thomas Chen and Dawn Nophsker at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Liz Ha, from left, Thomas Chen and Dawn Nophsker at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Stephanie Zimmer and Barry Hammond at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Stephanie Zimmer and Barry Hammond at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Mia Stanford, from left, Kevin Kenyon and Rachel Cox at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Mia Stanford, from left, Kevin Kenyon and Rachel Cox were among the 1,000 guests pourin in at the Royal Sonesta Hote.l  Photo by © Jenny Antill
News_Shelby_Royal Sonesta_November 2013
A $25 million facelift means a new vibe for the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston. Courtesy of Royal Sonesta Hotels
Melissa Ramirez, left, and Michelle Wasaff at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Melissa Ramirez, left, and Michelle Wasaff at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Omar Mejia
Jenny Crone, from left, Christina Sacco and Ann Massey at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Jenny Crone, from left, Christina Sacco and Ann Massey at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Jenny Antill
James Sivco at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
James Sivco was one of several guests staking a sat in the new Axis bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  Photo by © Jenny Antill
Arturo Boada and Jodie Eisenhardt at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Arturo Boada and Jodie Eisenhardt at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Omar Mejia
David Gugino, left, and Jeff Carey at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
David Gugino, left, and Jeff Carey at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Jenny Antill
D.J. Cesar Gil at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
D.J. Cesar Gil at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Dena Davidson and Michael Kemper at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Dena Davidson and Michael Kemper at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling party. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Liz Ha, from left, Thomas Chen and Dawn Nophsker at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Stephanie Zimmer and Barry Hammond at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Mia Stanford, from left, Kevin Kenyon and Rachel Cox at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
News_Shelby_Royal Sonesta_November 2013
Melissa Ramirez, left, and Michelle Wasaff at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Jenny Crone, from left, Christina Sacco and Ann Massey at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
James Sivco at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Arturo Boada and Jodie Eisenhardt at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
David Gugino, left, and Jeff Carey at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
D.J. Cesar Gil at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013
Dena Davidson and Michael Kemper at the Royal Sonesta Hotel renovation unveiling November 2013

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.

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