HOUS May 2013 : Page 76

76 | THE LOOP | STAYCATION Destination: Houston! Get away—but don’t go far—and find the style and substance of a city the world’s jet-setters are finally discovering. | By the Editors | The Frolicking Fashionista Why not spend a whole weekend in Houston’s retail wonderland, the Galleria and nearby Highland Village, where there’s plenty of new to see and do—and buy! STAY. Check in at the Royal Sonesta (2222 W. Loop S., 713.627.7600), which this summer undergoes a massive face-lift. Chill out by the rooftop pool, then grab a gal pal and head down to the hotel’s restaurant. Fuel up for a shopping spree with a feast featuring meats from 44 Farms, a new partner of the hotel’s. Th ink skirt steak with avocado, lobster and grapefruit. If you buy dinner for two, you can book one of the hotel’s warmly furnished rooms for just an additional $44. DO. Hit the Galleria and get this party started. Check out Carolina Herrera ’s (713.627.0049) fl owing frocks, and go by the revamped Louis Vuitton boutique (713.961.2643) for its pre-fall line of embroidered handbags. If your staycation hits at the right time, preview David Yurman’s new collection at Neiman Marcus (713.621.7100) during a trunk show on May 9. Th e mall’s neighboring Highland Village includes Anthropologie (713.840.9428), which has hopped across Westheimer to a bigger, newer store; a J.Crew will also move in soon. Pop across the street to Valobra Jewelry and Antiques (713.961.4500) for jewelry crafted from rare stones. EAT. Recharge with lunch on the see-and-be-seen terrace, or sink into one of the cream-hued booths, at Highland Village’s third-fl oor Up restaurant (3995 Westheimer Rd., 713.640.5416). It off ers a three-course prix fi xe menu including hazelnut-crusted Scottish salmon salad with grilled pineapple, and, for dessert, a macaron sampler with fl avors like rose and lemon. SHOP tIll YOu DrOP clockwise from just above: New David Yurman bling, a look from carolina Herrera’s fall collection, the lobby of the royal Sonesta, Highland village’s up, a spring cocktail at Philippe, and a bag from louis vuitton’s pre-fall line DRINK. Nearby Philippe (1800 Post Oak Blvd., 713.439.1000) pours new spring cocktails—the perfect pick-me-up after a long morning of retail therapy. May we suggest the Method to Her Madness, with absinthe, gin, Riesling liqueur and lemon, best enjoyed on a tufted leather banquette in the downstairs lounge? RELAX. Continue the self-indulgence nearby at the Spa at the St. Regis (1919 Briar Oaks Ln., 713.840.7600), which off ers the new full-body Energizing Spirulina Experience treatment. After some downtime in the dry sauna—a perfect time to decide if you want that Louis bag in crimson—, the treatment begins with a salt scrub followed by a live algae wrap. A hot stone massage with fi rming body lotion completes the experience. continued… | May 2013

The Loop Staycation

The Editors

Destination:Houston!<br /> <br /> Get away—but don’t go far—and find the style and substance of a city the world’s jet-setters are finally discovering<br /> <br /> The Frolicking Fashio<br /> <br /> Why not spend a whole weekend in Houston’s retail wonderland, the Galleria and nearby Highland Village, where there’s plenty of new to see and do—and buy!<br /> <br /> STAY. Check in at the Royal Sonesta (2222 W. Loop S. , 713.627.7600), which this summer undergoes a massive face-lift. Chill out by the rooftop pool, then grab a gal pal and head down to the hotel’s restaurant.Fuel up for a shopping spree with a feast featuring meats from 44 Farms, a new partner of the hotel’s. Th ink skirt steak with avocado, lobster and grapefruit. If you buy dinner for two, you can book one of the hotel’s warmly furnished rooms for just an additional $44.<br /> <br /> DO. Hit the Galleria and get this party started. Check out Carolina Herrera’s (713.627.0049) flowing frocks, and go by the revamped Louis Vuitton boutique (713.961.2643) for its pre-fall line of embroidered handbags. If your staycation hits at the right time, preview David Yurman’s new collection at Neiman Marcus (713.621.7100) during a trunk show on May 9. Th e mall’s neighboring Highland Village includes Anthropologie (713.840.9428), which has hopped across Westheimer to a bigger, newer store; aJ. Crew will also move in soon. Pop across the street to Valobra Jewelry and Antiques (713.961.4500) for jewelry crafted from rare stones.<br /> <br /> EAT. Recharge with lunch on the see-and-be-seen terrace, or sink into one of the cream-hued booths, at Highland Village’s third-floor Up restaurant (3995 Westheimer Rd., 713.640.5416). It offers a three-course prix fixe menu including hazelnut-crusted Scottish salmon salad with grilled pineapple, and, for dessert, a macaron sampler with flavors like rose and lemon.<br /> <br /> DRINK. Nearby Philippe (1800 Post Oak Blvd.,713. 439.1000) pours new spring cocktails—the perfect pick-me-up after a long morning of retail therapy. May we suggest the Method to Her Madness, with absinthe, gin, Riesling liqueur and lemon, best enjoyed on a tufted leather banquette in the downstairs lounge?<br /> <br /> RELAX. Continue the self-indulgence nearby at the Spa at the St. Regis (1919 Briar Oaks Ln., 713.840.7600 which offers the new full-body Energizing Spirulina Experience treatment. After some downtime in the dry sauna—a perfect time to decide if you want that Louis bag in crimson—, the treatment begins with a salt scrub followed by a live algae wrap. A hot stone massage with firming body lotion completes the experience.<br /> <br /> The Posh Pedestrian<br /> <br /> The last place vacationing Houstonians want to be is stuck in a car. Valet your ride in Downtown’s trendy Market Square and forget it! This getaway is about fancy footwork.<br /> <br /> STAY. Th e Hotel Icon (220 Main St., 713.224.4266), a century-old bank-turned-hotel, mixes deco grandness with Texas charm. Its Line & Lariat resto, with highback chairs upholstered in cowhide, updates local tradition with dishes like South Texas Antelope. For a romantic spin, do the “Kiss and Tell” package, which includes breakfast in bed.<br /> <br /> DO. Th e B-Cycle bike share program makes it a breeze to navigate the area without a car. Rent bikes by the day from 10 different racks nearby, including one in Market Square. If you’re missing autos—and your timing is right—the Art Car Parade rolls through Downtown May 11, putting more than 300 wild car creations in gear; VIP passes are available. Other nearby cultural events include doings in the Th eater District, where the Alley’s Th e Elephant Man takes center stage this month.<br /> <br /> EAT. Stroll across the street to just-opened Batanga (908 Congress St., 713.224.9500) for tapas like ropa vieja, a sweet potato hash with poached eggs, and sips on the huge patio. Or try Sunday brunch— think apple-pecan waffles—at nearby gastro-lounge Hearsay (218 Travis St., 713.225.8079) under a crystal-dripping chandelier.<br /> <br /> DRINK. New philanthropy-and-fun-focused Original Okra Charity Saloon (924 Congress St., 713.237.8828) is located next-door to Batanga, offering a vast menu of craft beers and mixed drinks. Its barrel-vault ceilings recall and old church. Around the corner, at new Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar (308 ½ Main St.), a hip crowd gathers on the second-floor terrace.<br /> <br /> RELAX. Your feet deserve a little extra TLC this walkable weekend. Th e nearby Rice Hotel’s Sunset Body Works (909 Texas Ave., 713.223.5900) secondfloor spa offers pedi-pampering, like a paraffin-wax foot dipping and massage, or the deluxe pedicureand- reflexology special. Hotel Icon guests who want services closer at hand might tap intimate in-house Balance Day Spa (832.667.4466), which offers couples massages and in-room services.<br /> <br /> The Art Fan<br /> <br /> Grab your shades and sunscreen and hunker down in the Museum District, blooming with both colorful culture and beautifully landscaped garden spaces.<br /> <br /> STAY. The Hotel ZaZa (5701 Main St., 713.526.1991) is a good option not only because of its racy baroquelite style, but also its ideal location for culture cruising.Plus, its Monarch restaurant—spring dishes include cheese grits smothered with shrimp creole—serves on a terrace overlooking the Mecom Fountains. Pending availability, guests can upgrade to the next available room type for a dollar and receive a $100 ZaSpa credit.<br /> <br /> DO. The Menil Collection (1533 Sul Ross St.,713. 525.9400) is almost as world-famous for its park-like setting as its art. Stroll the oak-shaded grounds, and go inside to see what’s on display. This month: Byzantine art from the fourth to 15th centuries, and the semi-abstract work of the late Bay City, Texas artist Forrest Bess.<br /> <br /> EAT. You must have a picnic in Hermann Park, which turns 100 next year. For a fee, close-by restos will deliver picnic lunches—including Picnic (1928 Bissonnet St., 713.524.0201). Its pimento cheese on homemade bread is a good bet. Benjy’s spinoff Local Foods (2424 Dunstan Rd., 713.521.7800) will also pack your lunch; duck confit on wheat with Brie sounds good. Want a show with dinner? Upcoming shows at the park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre include HGO’s La Bohème.<br /> <br /> DRINK. Belly up to the bars—yes bars, plural, as there’s one inside and one out—at new Brooklyn Athletic Club (601 Richmond Ave., 713.527.4440), where outdoor games like croquet are served up, as are classic cocktails. There’s an artisan mint julep, and a curated selection of 25 tap beers, including brews by local Eighth Wonder. Beer shows up on the food menu, too, as mussels steamed in Southern Star Blonde Bombshell ale appear along with a killer burger.<br /> <br /> RELAX. Luxuriate by the famously fun pool at the ZaZa, where PYTs in skimpy swimsuits make a splash—and where fruity cocktails flow. Or skip the scene and hang in a private poolside cabana, where the in-house ZaSpa offers a unique menu of services customized for going au naturel in nature. The Frankie & Annette, for example, is a couples massage with shea butter. The Bahama Mama is a tropical pedicure with a coconut-sugar scrub.

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