The Hotel Sorella opened with a bang Saturday night as several outdoor fireworks displays illuminated the main square at CityCentre and dancers twirled fire batons and hoops to herald the biggest thing to hit Houston's west side in a long time.
Although the temperature outside was cool, the temperature inside was red hot as more than 2,000 guests jammed the hotel, spreading across the lobby and fanning out beside the cabana-lined swimming pool into the Monna Lisa lounge, where revelers danced around a fire pit - do we detect a theme here?
Guests were granted a VIP peak at the plush penthouse suites on the 11th and 12th floor, causing long waits at the elevators. On the main floor, Alex Brennan-Martin was all smiles as his Bistro Alex was packed.
A lot of people who live in the area seemed particularly pleased to have a new open-air development with the chic boutique hotel (owned by the Valencia Group), restaurants and shops where Town & Country mall once stood. The CityCentre complex has a gigantic Anthropologie shop, a Studio Movie Grill theater, and such trendy restaurants as Straits and Ra Sushi.
Seen in the crowd: Susan and Mike Plank, Deanna LeBlanc-Anon, Fox Sports' Steve McNair and wife Paula, Mauney Mafrige, Blake Tartt, Tami Dias and Ceron.