Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Roland Frasier: Four Seasons Houston Review

Hi, Roland Frasier here..

I had a chance to visit the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston recently on my way back from the SuperJVSummit in Tampa, Florida, and I have to say it was a decent, but not remarkable hotel.

It's located in or at least connected to a multi-building shopping center that leaves quite a bit to be desired. The center means well and has great potential, but the stores are not well-kept and with the exception of one national bookstore chain, a pair of Starbucks and a Dress Barn, I had never heard of any of the curious array of store tenants.

The area around the Four Seasons is downright scary. We walked from the hotel to a run down Macy's about 3 blocks away, and even in that short distance, we had to change course to avoid several burly homeless men aggressively asking for money. It felt as though we had a huge "ROB ME" sign pasted to us!

In the hotel, the Quattro resaurant, which received one of the best Zagat ratings in Houston, proved to have very good fare, despite being one of the more expensive places I have had the pleasure of eating lunch.

The food and service were good, which held true for room service, the spa, the front desk and the rest of the hotel as well.

The rooms are older and could use a facelift, but they are decent. All in all, I would give this hotel a 5 by Four Seasons standards. Having had the pleasure of staying in quite a few hotels in this chain, it is important to note that "average" for Four Seasons is probably a 7 or 8 when you consider all hotels.

With a little love, a makeover/remodel and a new location in a more interesting part of town (maybe the Galleria area?) the hotel could be much more worthwhile to visit. Next time in town, in December, I plan to try Hotel Zaza.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Adventures in Foreign Dining!

If you have never enjoyed the delightful cuisine of Amsterdam, you really must give it a try if you are ever here. I am currently visiting and am reminded of some favorite little spots near Dam Square in the heart of the Central City.

There is a delightful bakery, a fabulous kebab place (with killer falafals too) and an awesome New York Pizza place, all next to the Grand Krasnapolsky hotel here.

I just wanted to say, these are all great little hole in the wall places you should try if you find yourself in this most interesting city!