Haute Wedding Hotels
Photo: Serendipity Photography
Baby, it’s cold outside. Or sweltering hot. Or raining cats and dogs. Whatever the city’s fickle weather on your wedding day, you won’t fret a bit. That’s because you know that your guests will be surrounded by the beauty, opulence, sublime service—and state-of-the-art climate control—offered by one of Houston’s world-class hotels. Which one? Well, that is entirely up to you. And you can start your search right here, with this tour of 12 Houston hotels that are tailor-made for unforgettable weddings.
The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
Set on 18 wooded acres in the heart of the Galleria area, The Houstonian is a true Houston institution—it’s also one of the city’s most beloved wedding locations. And with good reason: Not only does The Houstonian’s Grande Ballroom accommodate up to 500 revelers in sumptuous style, but the hotel’s iconic rustic touches make for a truly Texan wedding setting.
Planning a more intimate affair? Prepare to fall in love with The Houstonian’s Manor House, which offers “unique residential charm,” or the Juniper Room, with a “partially covered patio that allows for outdoor activities such as after-dinner scotch-and-cigar lounges,” notes director of catering Lisa Hopkins Barry.
As for your reception feast, guests will go gaga for the hotel’s signature “gourmet comfort foods,” which include fried-chicken-and-biscuits, mac-and-cheese, and decadent doughnuts—“the new cupcake!” says social catering service manager Evangelia Anagnostopoulos.
Omni Houston Galleria Hotel
“We provide a staycation/destination wedding experience,” notes Gary Baumann, director of catering and conference services for the Omni Houston Galleria, where you’ll find everything you need for a destination wedding at a destination that is only minutes away from home.
For wedding ceremonies, the glass-enclosed Palm Court offers a lovely swimming pool view that instantly whisks guests away from the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the hotel’s doors. Post-ceremony dining and dancing take place inside one of the Omni’s three beautiful ballrooms, which range in style from classic elegance to modern chic. For late-night partying, the Black Swan nightclub—which recently underwent a $2-million renovation—serves up cocktails and killer beats, on property, into the wee hours. And since a resort is not a resort without a fabulous spa and salon, the Omni also features Mokara—an oasis of serenity, and the perfect spot for a massage, facial, mani-pedi or elaborate bridal updo.
Westin Galleria Houston + Westin Oaks Houston
With two adjacent properties to choose from, Westin makes Galleria-area weddings a very attractive prospect for hotel-seeking couples. But it’s the Westin Galleria and Westin Oaks’ celebration cuisine that really seals the deal, says complex director of catering sales Joao Gomes: “While most properties in the city of Houston are equipped with their fair share of prominent features, what stands out at our hotels is our award-winning executive chef, Steve Caruana.” The chef and his expert team are adept at everything from kosher to culturally specific South Asian specialties, and are eager to work with wedding couples to customize the menu of their dreams.
That menu is most often served in the Westin’s Galleria Ballroom—“the grand jewel of the Galleria,” Gomes says—with 12,400 square feet of flexible event space, and 16-foot-tall ceilings hung with dazzling chandeliers. “This space is highly customizable and the perfect fit for all momentous occasions,” he adds.
Hilton Houston Post Oak
Housed in a building designed by famed architect I.M. Pei, the Galleria-adjacent Hilton Houston Post Oak offers “the best of both worlds—classic and contemporary,” says director of catering Margery Reinheardt.
And with its recently completed multi-million-dollar renovation, this well-appointed property is better suited to welcome wedding guests than ever before. A beautifully redesigned lobby, restaurant, lounge and pool area, now complement event spaces such as the Grand Ballroom, with room for up to 750. This opulent space, featuring Louis XIV-style crystal chandeliers, gold-leaf accents and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, is a favorite for South Asian weddings, which also take advantage of the hotel’s exceptional international catering capabilities.
With its ample size, the Grand Ballroom offers one additional distinctive feature: flexibility. “Most of our ceremonies utilize a section of the ballroom that is then transitioned into reception space while guests enjoy the cocktail hour,” Reinheardt says. “This allows the host to stretch their budget by reusing decor items from the ceremony in the reception design.”
Hyatt Regency Houston Galleria
New on the city’s cosmopolitan hotel scene, the Hyatt Regency Houston Galleria has a sophisticated, minimalist style that is ideal for the “Texas-modern bride,” says social catering manager Emily Tolbert. She points to the Regency Ballroom’s “gorgeous, raindrop-style chandeliers and graphite-swirl, linen-less tables” as the ideal foundation upon which to build the wedding of your dreams, for up to 450 of your nearest and dearest.
As for what’s hot in weddings at Houston’s hot new hotel? “Projecting a favorite video, photo slideshow or live Instagram feed directly onto the ballroom wall is our very favorite of all upcoming wedding trends!”
JW Marriott Houston Downtown
Chic, contemporary, and optimally located to take advantage of all that downtown Houston has to offer visiting wedding guests, the JW Marriott Downtown is a superb choice for couples with a taste for urban luxury. The hotel’s event spaces—Picasso, Van Gogh, and the charming Monet—all key on the JW’s artful vibe, and can accommodate weddings ranging in size from a handful of guests to 400 loved ones.
For truly intimate events, senior catering manager Cherie Jacob points to the upper level Carter room, with its 15-foot-high white-stone-façade fireplace, majestic stained-glass windows, gold-leaf ceiling and original Art Deco chandeliers. “It’s as if you are taking five steps up…and walking back 100 years in time,” she notes.
Whichever JW room you choose for your wedding revelry, you’ll enjoy “our personalized wedding packages,” Jacob says, “featuring modern cuisine that not only inspires the palate, but also reminds you of just how powerful and memorable a meal can be.”
Hilton Americas Houston
It’s central, it’s supersized (up to 2,000 wedding guests can sit for dinner in its largest ballroom), and with floor-to-ceiling views of Downtown’s Discovery Green, the Hilton Americas Houston is exceptionally scenic, as well.
“With the largest hotel ballrooms in the city, we have become the most-sought hotel in Houston for large Indian weddings,” says the Hilton’s Tere Perry, who adds that the property also staffs a wedding catering manager who specializes in South Asian celebrations.
Among the Hilton Americas’ most popular wedding spaces for weddings of all cultures, the second-floor Ballroom of the Americas features Murano blown-glass chandeliers that lend intimacy and opulence to the expansive room. Perry notes that this space is the perfect place for live entertainment, choreographed dance performances and hanging dessert tables—all of which have been wildly popular at recent Hilton Americas weddings.
Doubletree Greenway Plaza
Conveniently located adjacent to West University and River Oaks, and minutes away from the largest shopping center in Texas, the Doubletree Greenway Plaza is a prime wedding spot for couples expecting lots of out-of-town guests. Visitors can stay at the hotel, play in the surrounding neighborhoods, and, on the big day, hop an elevator to the 20th-floor Plaza Ballroom, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer dazzling city views—the perfect backdrop for a haute Houston wedding, notes social catering manager Edna Valdes.
An added bonus: The full-service Starbucks located in the hotel’s lobby means guests don’t have to brave the outdoors, the morning after the big day, in search of a restorative triple- shot macchiato.
Hotel ZaZa Houston
Chic, sleek and most certainly unique, Hotel ZaZa is a Museum District gem. Original works of art by famed local and nationally recognized artists fill the walls of the hotel’s common spaces, while distinctive furniture, decor and props give ZaZa’s theme suites their popular appeal.
But it’s the hotel’s curved Phantom Ballroom that draws couples seeking the perfect combination of swank-meets-sexy for their special celebration. “With floor-to-ceiling windows and custom chandeliers, the Phantom Ballroom features magnificent views for an elegant wedding day,” notes associate director of catering Lisa Hudson.
What’s more, Hotel ZaZa offers wedding couples “exclusive use of the beautiful property to take their engagement, bridal portrait and wedding-day photos”—a pretty sweet deal, considering that the hotel’s chic lobby and gorgeous pool area are perfect backdrops for stunning pics.
Magnolia Hotel Houston
The Magnolia Hotel’s lounge, staircase, Texas nuances and rooftop pool, make it one of the most photographed hotels in Houston, and the perfect place for wedding portraits.
Besides its paparazzi-worthy status, the Magnolia boasts two of the hottest wedding spaces in downtown Houston. For ceremonies, couples love the Magnolia Grand Ballroom, with its exposed-bulb ceiling and intimate feel. Sophisticated receptions take place in the Lounge, where interchange-able furniture options range from formal to funky.
Considering the Magnolia for your magical day? Make sure to inquire about the hotel’s nontraditional reception-seating options, whimsical dessert stations and local craft beer bar packages, all of which bring a unique, custom touch to big-day festivities.
Royal Sonesta Houston
“The hotel’s central location puts visiting overnight guests in the heart of one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, with top shopping, dining and entertainment within walking distance, and outdoor recreation at Memorial Park just minutes away,” notes Royal Sonesta director of special events Ed Boden.
Add to that 50,000 square feet of freshly remodeled event space, an atrium-like entry area, and chef Peter Laufer’s internationally influenced fare—favorite reception items include made-to-order sushi, gazpacho shots and gourmet snow cones—and you’ve got a superb setting for the wedding celebration of a lifetime.
For all-in-one convenience and timeless style, book the Legends Ballroom, which can be divided into distinct spaces for ceremony and reception, and features an 18-foot-high ceiling for a notably grand feel.
The Tremont House, A Wyndham Grand Hotel
Housed in a building that dates back to 1879, The Tremont House is the only hotel located in the heart of Galveston’s historic Strand District. For Houston couples seeking a destination wedding that does not require air travel, passports, or even a full tank of gas, the hotel’s proximity makes it a perfect choice—while its refined, vintage ambiance and jazz-era touches lend it a swank Southern feel that sets it apart from blank-slate event venues.
For receptions of up to 140 guests, the hotel’s Sam Houston Room, featuring exposed brick walls and plantation shutters, is ideal for dining and dancing. For larger ceremonies, there’s Hotel Galvez & Spa, Tremont’s seaside sister property, whose sprawling Centennial Green is a favorite for outdoor ceremonies before heading back to the The Tremont Ballroom, with room for 500, to celebrate in style.
With its distinct Mardi Gras vibe, it’s only natural that The Tremont House cater to wee-hours fun. “Late-night snacks are always a crowd favorite, notes senior catering sales manager Angie Westhof, citing gourmet popcorn bars, French toast sticks and homemade pop-tarts—“yes, pop-tarts!”—as after-party favorites.