It took a period of between five to six years from building purchase to construction completion, but the new Westin Houston Medical Center, at 1709 Dryden Road, between Main Street and Fannin Street, is now open and operating.
The 273-room, 233,000 square-foot mid-century hotel was unveiled to media last week, though it officially opened in January, confirmed Jamie Sava, account director with public relations firm Dancie Perugini, with a soft opening in December.
The hotel’s fifth floor serves as a hub that houses the lobby, ballroom, Terrace 54 Bar + Table restaurant, as well as two expansive terraces that look out over the treetops of Rice University and the core of the medical center, including Baylor, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to a hotel fact sheet, while floors six and above house 273 double queen and king rooms and 26 spacious suites.
Mid-century architecture from the original 1954 Medical Towers Building — from where the hotel was redeveloped — remains, out of a stylistic nod to the history of the building.
“Part of what we wanted to do was preserve that,” said Archit Sanghvi, vice president of operations for Pearl Hospitality, which was responsible for the development, management and strategy of the hotel.
The building remains on the National Register of Historic Places under the “Medical Towers” property, according to the National Park Service website, and was placed there “as an outstanding example of postwar modern architecture in Houston.”
The Medical Towers building was first constructed in response to the need for professional office and retail support services in a growing medical campus following WWII, according to the National Park Service website.
Now, the hotel blends academia, art and medicine into its design while simplicity and wellness are big focuses for clientele, according to a news release about the hotel’s opening.
To compliment this vision, the hotel has a state-of-the-art health club. The hotel chain also has hypoallergenic rooms, along with mattresses and pillows and hardwood floors instead of carpet, said Natalie Wiseman, the hotel chain’s regional director for sales and marketing.
The hotel also boasts over 17,000 square feet through 10 total event spaces, along with a three- story parking garage, and nearby street-level casual dining options.