After saying farewell to Austin, the next stop on our Texas Road Trip was Houston. Upon arriving downtown, we spent some time at the Houston Aquarium and then grabbed a quick lunch at Bayou Place, Houston’s entertainment hub located in the heart of downtown’s theater district.
|The Houston Aquarium|
|Tiffany and I|
After lunch, we thought it would be best to call it a day, hang low, and head straight to the hotel because we would be driving 15 hours the next day to Knoxville, TN. The Park Inn Houston North Hotel is conveniently located about 15 miles from downtown Houston (via I-45) and only a few miles away from Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).
When we arrived at the hotel, I was impressed with the fresh, welcoming scent that filled the lobby, and we were instantaneously greeted by Derek at the front desk who had already checked us in and had our room keys ready. The Park Inn Houston North Hotel is a Category 1 Club Carlson property (reward nights are 9,000 points), and I booked it during Club Carlson’s “Redeem Points. Earn Points” promotion, making this stay completely free for us.
|The lobby was spacious with high ceilings and a cozy fireplace.|
|Derek and Shana at the front desk were two super helpful, warm, and welcoming individuals!|
Having elite status with Club Carlson, I was happy to know that we were upgraded to a HUGE townhouse suite. While walking to our room, I had a moment to chat with the hotel’s GM, Victor, who gave us a warm welcome and informed us of some of the exciting upcoming renovations that are in store for the property.
When we opened our door to our room, we were incredibly impressed with the size of our suite. No wonder why they call this the townhouse suite – it was definitely designed to be a nice home away from home, with separate rooms and lots of living space. Our suite included a huge king sized bed, 2 desks (one equip with a desktop computer), a dining room, a full-sized living room with a flat screen TV, a bar/kitchen area, two full bathrooms and plenty of closet space.
Below is a photo tour of our room:
|The spacious bedroom area of the suite (king bed, desk, flat screen TV, and sliding doors leading to the hotel’s courtyard).|
|Bathroom #1:located in bedroom and stocked with plenty of towels, toiletries, cotton balls/swabs, and Park Inn’s signature rubber ducky!|
|A close up of the toiletries – Vaseline body lotion, Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Jergens bar soaps, make-up remover wipes, a shower cap, and small sewing kit.|
|The very large and spacious bedroom work desk|
|There were plenty of snacks for us scattered throughout the room.|
|In the next room over, we had a huge full-sized living room furnished with leather couches.|
|Adjacent to the living room was another work area with a ready-to-use desktop computer.|
|The kitchenette/bar area was pretty basic, but a nice touch to the dining area. Too bad it wasn’t a fully-loaded bar LOL.|
|Bathroom #2 was nicely decorated and also fully stocked with toiletries. I really loved the colorful flower accents!|
|Executive chef, Richard Roane, prepared a beautiful welcome platter for us complete with a cheese assortment, crackers, fruit, chocolate-covered strawberries and Voss water.|
|A beautiful hand-written card from Victor and Elizabeth of the hotel’s management!|
After settling in a bit, we decided to explore the hotel a bit and squeeze in our very first workout of the trip. I was relieved to be able to get some fitness in knowing that we’d be driving for 15 hours starting promptly at 4 am the next day.
|The fitness room was larger than other hotel fitness centers of its class, featuring plenty of cardio equipment, exercise machines, free weights and fitness mats.|
After a brief workout, we set to explore some of the hotel amenities including the outdoor pool, the bar, and very large restaurant (Sam Houston’s) before showering and getting ready to have dinner and drinks on site at the hotel.
|The interior of the hotel’s restaurant, Sam Houston’s.|
|Another shot of Sam Houston’s restaurant.|
|A snap shot of Sam Houston’s hotel bar (photo was taken during non-operational hours).|
|This outside courtyard was accessible from our suite via our in-room sliding doors.|
|Here’s a shot of the outdoor pool. If Mr. Sunshine was out, I’d be tempted to tan poolside – it was a nice warm day!|
We started off our evening by visiting the Sam Houston’s bar to grab a drink. Alma, our bartender, made Tiffany and I amaretto sours (we’re such girls, I know). We then went to visit our new friend, chef Richard, by grabbing dinner at Sam Houston’s. The service was great and the food was very good!
|Here’s Tiffany pretending not to pose while looking at the menu.|
|Tiffany ordered the pecan-encrusted grouper filet with home-style mashed potatoes and string beans. Yummy!|