adieu, alessandra

Downtown Houston's Euro-inspired luxury hotel suddenly shutters

Downtown Houston's Euro-inspired luxury hotel suddenly shutters

Hotel Alessandra
The Hotel Alessandra has closed. Photo courtesy of Hotel Alessandra

UPDATE: Real estate developer Midway provided CultureMap with the following statement, via Robert Williamson, of its Investment Management team. 

“With the unprecedented challenges faced by the hospitality industry in the COVID-19 era, ownership and its capital partners have decided to temporarily close Hotel Alessandra, along with its dining concepts, Lucienne and Bardot Bar. We view this as a unique opportunity to reevaluate operations, explore ways to enhance our offerings, maximize value and reopen with minimal impact while the industry slowly recovers. Providing an unrivaled hotel and dining experience remains our top priority and we look forward to serving our guests in the near future.”

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A downtown hotel has hosted its last guest. The Hotel Alessandra closed on January 6, according to the venue's website.

Valencia Hotel Group, the Alessandra's property manager, declined CultureMap's request to comment on the reasons for the closure, but hotels across Houston have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

With a decline in business travel, sporting events, concerts, and conventions, hotels have suffered financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. In September, a report released by local hotel consulting firm Source Strategies Inc. showed hotel revenue in the Houston area plunged 61.4 percent in the Houston market, with an occupancy rate of 37 percent.

Still, the closure comes as a surprise. Opened in late 2017, the Alessandra quickly earned a following with both business travelers and as a staycation destination. A prime location made it an ideal place to sleep off a night spent rocking out at either the House of Blues or Toyota Center, and its signature Maserati could be seen ferrying guests around downtown.

Amenities included a luxurious spa and Lucienne, its Mediterranean-inspired restaurant led by well-regarded local chef Jose Hernandez. Bardot, the hotel's bar, took its inspiration from turn-of-the-century bars in London. 

In its short history, the Alessandra earned a number of awards, including recognition from Condé Nast, TripAdvisor, and U.S. News & World Report. The hotel's dramatic entryway and second-floor lobby contributed to it being named a finalist in the SBID International Design Awards.

In 2019, Valencia ended its tenure as the property manager for CityCentre's Hotel Sorella, which rebranded as the Hotel Moran under management by HEI Hotels & Resorts. The company still operates hotels in San Antonio, Austin, and College Station.

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