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Historic AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown Opens, Brings Back Mid-century Modern back Into Style

Wednesday, August 07, 2019
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HOUSTON–AC Hotel Houston Downtown (AC Houston) is now open and accepting reservations
for rooms and special events.

The historic, 10-story hotel is located in the heart of downtown, at the corner of Rusk and Main, and connects guests to the city’s companies and entertainment with multiple sport venues, such as Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park, the Theater District and the Discovery Green Park within a walking distance. Located at the intersection of two light rail lines, AC Houston also provides guests with easy access to the Texas Medical Center, the Museum
District and Reliant Center.

The hotel is the first AC in Houston and only the third in Texas. Developed by NewcrestImage, the hotel is an adaptive reuse of an historic 1914 building in downtown Houston, originally commissioned by famed Houston entrepreneur, Jessie Jones, and designed by Alfred Finn as the headquarters of Gulf Oil. Since then, the building has been home to the National Bank of Commerce and most recently served as The Houston Bar Center.

The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, as an example of a 1960s modernist building. It has undergone a meticulous mid-century modern renovation to coincide with AC Houston’s opening, including restoration of the marble and Granux exterior and the marble-clad, ground-floor lobby. The hotel’s customized interior design and furnishings reflect minimalistic European-style, including guestrooms with
“floating” furniture and public space featuring wood and stone finishes accented by chrome, and millwork imported from Verona, Italy.

Blending European roots and Texas friendliness with thoughtful service and modern mindset, the hotel offers 195 rooms on 10 floors. Fully-equipped rooms feature elegant design and comfort for both leisure and business travellers, while in-room desk and ergonomic chairs, complimentary high-speed Internet, WiFi and charging ports make business travel easy and productive. Guests can stream from their devices directly to the wide-screen,
HDTVs with premium channels.

The food and beverage experience at AC Hotel Houston Downtown begins at check-in for guests, where bite-sized pâte de fruit-flavored with Campari or Aperol, for example, are offered as a welcome amenity.AC Kitchen, a multi-functional space with the look of a high-end residential kitchen, offers a European-style breakfast with sweet and savory Spanish egg tarts taking the place of traditional eggs. Prosciutto and other cured meats freshly sliced on a Berkel slicer, French croissants, fresh fruits, cheeses, muesli, yogurt, fresh Nespresso coffee and more are also available. Designed to easily transform from breakfast service to a multi-functional table, the area will accommodate coffee service, wine and cheese tastings, and other special culinary events. For those on the go, a local selection of artisan snacks is available 24-7 at the AC Store. The hotel also will feature an 1,100-square-foot Starbucks café, with streetside and lobby entrances, opening later this fall.

At the AC Lounge, guests and locals alike can indulge in tapas and handcrafted, Texas-inspired cocktails by mixologist Alex Luna, including the hotel’s signature drink, The Chaplin – a black & white take on the classic Old Fashioned and a nod to the Zoe Ballroom’s past as a silent movie theater. Other beverage options reflect AC brand’s Spanish heritage, including the iconic gin and tonic, and the nightly porrón tradition, where Cava is passed
around in a unique vessel to create a communal experience among fellow travelers. The lounge will also feature weekly activations, providing a springboard to local artists and artisans.

Corporate and social groups will gather for luxury events and onsite catering at the 3,600-square-foot Zoe Ballroom, which has been restored to its original 1914 design, retaining its classic barrel-vaulted ceiling. The space was originally called the Zoe Theater, opening in 1914 and showing silent movies.

“We are very proud to debut the AC by Marriot in Houston with our unique property. The restoration was a labor of love and we hope that business and leisure travelers and Houstonians alike will embrace our property as a new downtown destination to stay and socialize,” said General Manager Jon Craven. “From check-in to check-out, we
want to indulge our guests with all the amenities and services they’ve come to expect, in an environment reflective of AC brand’s Spanish roots and Houston’s distinctive energy and laid-back vibe.”
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