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The only 5-star hotel and spa in Texas

“This is really something,” says General Manager Steven Chou, as we come to another corner of The Post Oak Hotel’s lobby.

A statement from a general manager about this hotel above Houston, which is one step ahead in itself, is quite significant. something. Post Oak Hotel is relatively new. It opened in 2018 after being built on a plot that had been vacant for years, but has accomplished some truly great things in the luxury hotel space during its short life.

For starters, it claims to be the only five-star hotel and spa in Texas. It was a brag in my mind that pushed the limits of credibility, especially for a state so laden with oil money.

But maybe that’s exactly why. Post Oak represents the Lone Star State’s new money landscape – in fact, Post Oil might be a more appropriate name.

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta, owner of Post Oak, is a perfect example. As Owner-CEO of lodging company Landry’s, he built his fortune in restaurants and casinos and today owns the Houston Rockets NBA team.

The story begins when Fertitta notices an empty lot next door while shopping at the Bentley dealership above Houston.

The party with nothing spoke to the man who had everything, and a deal was soon struck. Three years later, The Post Oak was launched and opened its doors to a fan base.

The standard bearer of luxury in Houston

And there is much to admire. The lobby alone is littered with multi-million-dollar, museum-worthy artworks (and signs discouraging photography of said artwork). There is The Spa, a cutting-edge retreat aimed at relaxation, wellness and transformative healing.

Post Oak has hosted many world-class celebrities (including a Houston native, Beyoncé), top politicians, international royalty, multiple professional sports teams, and a host of Fortune 500 C-level executives from around the world.

The hotel has 250 guest rooms and suites, all with the same details and a high level of luxury, with one exception.

The centerpiece of Post Oak is Suite 32, a two-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot headquarters with the Houston Rockets theme that Fertitta loved so much. In fact, among its many features – fully stocked wet bar, deluxe bathroom with five faucets, steam shower for eight – there is a basketball half court.

With such an offering, it’s no wonder The Post Oak has become the standard bearer of luxury in Houston. Post Oak has hosted many world-class celebrities (including a Houston native, Beyoncé), top politicians, international royalty, multiple professional sports teams, and a host of Fortune 500 C-level executives from around the world.

It would be fair to say, the The place to stay in Houston.

Rolls-Royce link

Despite all this, whatever is around the rapidly approaching corner, something To Chou, something she believes I’d be surprised at too.

We turn the corner to find a spotless, sparkling two-story Rolls Royce dealership incorporated into the lobby of The Post Oak. The cars for sale are massive, chunky, tank-like variations of the classic Rolls. They’re not as many vehicles as they are four-wheeled expressions for anyone with a bank balance to do these things.

We turn the corner to find a spotless, sparkling two-story Rolls Royce dealership incorporated into the lobby of The Post Oak.

Those who hate Rolls can take the short walk to Post Oak Motors, the evolution of the Bentley dealership that started it all. Bentley is still in the field with Bugatti and more Rolls. If you’re going in to buy, you’re probably driving away, and that’s exactly what they’re doing here.

“Last year, Tilman’s Post Oak Motors was named Rolls Royce North America Dealer of the Year,” Chou says, never taking his eyes off the cars. “The most prestigious dealer award in the North American network.”

I do not doubt for a moment the truth of his words. Rolls-Royce Post Oak is also the brand’s largest Gulf Coast franchise and has the same significant clientele as the hotel.

sense of ownership

And to me, that’s the heart of The Post Oak experience, whether it’s Beyoncé or Tilman Fertitta or whoever’s walking away from the hotel in a brand new Rolls. There is a sense of ownership that comes with staying at The Post Oak. The experience is yours, thanks to the excellent work done by the hotel’s tireless team.

The Post Oak was Fertitta’s gift to the Houstonians; an inexpensive, Forbes Double Five-Star hotel experience that the city can call its own. To me, it feels like an integral part of the Houston experience, an expression of the rich side of the city that has been exiled for decades behind the prohibitive fences of enclosed estates and has nothing to do with oil.

The Post Oak was Fertitta’s gift to the Houstonians; an inexpensive, Forbes Double Five-Star hotel experience that the city can call its own.

As I wait for my Uber at the airport, a helicopter takes off from the roof above. “Guests can enjoy the Rooftop Helipad Offerings with the sunset helicopter tour,” Chou said. Of course they can.

As if I was in someone else’s car and leaving with only a pair of slippers and a fridge magnet as proof of my stay, I feel that The Post Oak experience is a gift in itself, just as it is for the passengers of the helicopter.

Chou’s last words echoed in my mind. “The opportunities at The Post Oak Hotel are endless,” he said. “We are committed to making every stay unforgettable for our guests.”

Perhaps for the man or woman who has everything, such an experience is the greatest gift.

Houston’s restaurant scene

“Since its opening, we’ve redefined luxury not just in Texas but around the world,” says Chou. “We put Houston on the map as a premium travel destination.” The opulence of The Post Oak Hotel blends well with Houston’s thriving luxury scene, particularly its restaurants.

While The Post Oak boasts nine dining experiences (including The Cellar, home to a record-breaking wine collection valued at more than $5 million), the city has great eateries that defy the expectations of barbecue and Tex-Mex.

Just above is Bludorn, owned and operated by the Netflix sensation Houston chef Aaron Bludorn. Final Table. The restaurant’s seasonal menus, a creative and eclectic mix of American cuisines, have become an urban sensation since it opened in 2020. Bludorn (the restaurant) is so popular that Bludorn (the chef) opened Navy Blue, a seafood-concept restaurant in Houston’s. The bustling Rice Village in 2022.

But the jewel in the crown is definitely Musaafer, which opened at The Galleria in 2020. traveler converts to a travelerand the restaurant really takes the diner on a culinary journey through India. Don’t expect butter chicken and tikka masala here. The à la carte menu combines flavors from all over India and spares no expense.

I was surprised to see the added taste of mulberry in my yellowtail ceviche, while the tandoori works wonders with the root vegetable carpaccio. Musaafer’s Head Chef Mayank Istwal has spent a lifetime working around the world, and the menu reflects his travels. India may be the origin, but it is not always the destination.

Speaking of travels, the restaurant is the last step of owners Shammi and Mithu Malik, who founded the first Indian restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria. So much so that when the couple moved to Houston, their regulars soon followed.

What they found was a restaurant that looked as good as it tasted, and that’s saying something. Each room of Musaafer is its own slice of India, carefully designed to represent a period or aspect of the country’s history and culture. “Our aim was for people to see and appreciate the art, architecture and culture of India,” says Shammi. “We didn’t want to just give diners a meal, we wanted to have a truly unique dining experience.”

As such, it’s a perfect fit for a city that stands tall behind its restaurants. “Houston’s restaurant scene is dynamic, diverse, and constantly evolving,” he says. “The number of high-end restaurants, great bars, and cuisine at all price points can’t be found anywhere else. You had a hard time choosing.”

So it’s no wonder then TIME Magazine It added Musaafer to its 2021 World’s Greatest Places list and helped put Houston on the gourmet map.

“It’s the most diverse city in the United States, and to be honest, it’s probably also the food capital,” Shammi says. “At least when it comes to the existence and acceptance of world cuisine. The love and support shown to us by the Houstonians over the past two years is something we are truly grateful for.”

Shammi is the next stop on Musaafer’s journey, according to New York. No doubt many Houston devotees will follow him.