If Houstonians lived through a recession, it's tough to tell. A new club at West Houston's chichi CityCentre oozes excess out of each tufted leather pore: The Marque, the private club of Houston Motor Club members, spared no expense, from its 3D facial recognition system to its hand-painted wallpaper.
Luckily, there's an area for the
plebeians public to mix with the members-only crowd and get a load of the place. The Empire Lounge, located on the second floor, boasts a pulsating, colored bubble wall behind the bar, which is surrounded by bottle-service booths ensconced in hand-painted wallpaper in a luxury car-inspired palette of "Ferrari reds" and "Lamborghini golds and blacks," says Mark Solomon, Houston Motor Club sales director.
The pearlescent paint in the women's restroom is straight from the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Along with the hand-painted booths — situated on risers of varying heights all the better for people watching, dears — all of the gold leaf accents were hand-applied, as were beaded wall treatments that look like wallpaper from a distance.
The detail — and the homage it pays to the cars — is what's truly notable. Leather-tufted ceilings are designed to recall old-school upholstery. The pearlescent paint in the women's restroom is straight from the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Although public access can get you in the royal restrooms, membership certainly has its perks. To name a few, there is the Tequila Library, which features a community storage area where members can "check out" rare and pricey bottles; the Grand Havana cigar lounge, which has its own scotch whiskey bar, a walk-in humidor, an in-house cigar sommelier and is triple-ventilated so you can smoke inside; plus little conveniences like a private elevator and individual iPod docs in each room so members can select their own tunes.
But The Marque strives to be more than a palatial party scene. Members can reserve the back member's area — which opens at 7:30 a.m. — for breakfast business meetings to be catered by a small kitchen downstairs. A private billiards room and the wine room, which features glass-encased lockers and old-school gas lanterns for a traditional cave-like feel, can also be reserved for meetings or private dinners.
The Marque is located at CityCentre at 798 Sorella Court, upstairs next to Urban Outfitters.