HOUSTON—Sotherly Hotels Inc. is rebranding the Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown hotel to The Whitehall, returning the hotel to its original name. On April 14, following a $5-million renovation, The Whitehall will become the second property in the Williamsburg, VA-based Sotherly Hotels’ portfolio of independent hotels.
The Whitehall was built in 1963 and designed by Welton Becket and Associates. According to the design firm, the hotel was the embodiment of the “Total Design” concept, in which the firm assumed responsibility for all aspects of the hotel’s identity, including engineering, interiors, furniture, fixtures, landscaping, signage as well as the silverware, menus, matchbooks and napkins in the hotel’s restaurant. Many of the original aspects of Becket’s midcentury design remain, including the spiral staircase connecting the first and second floor public spaces and the white Italian marble flooring.
The majority of the renovation focused on upgrading the hotel’s finishes and amenities. According to the hotel, The Whitehall of today marries modern amenities with postmodern and classic 1960s revival architecture style in its renovated accommodations and public spaces.
The 259 renovated guestrooms feature luxury amenities, such as hardwood flooring in all rooms; complimentary WiFi throughout all public and meeting spaces; and eco-friendly spa toiletries. Plus, the interior features modern seating, a full-length dressing mirror, updated window treatments and wall coverings and all-new bedding.
Among the hotel’s highlights is the addition of a permanent in-house art gallery on the second floor. According to Sotherly, the gallery will feature works by students and alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The gallery is made possible through a partnership between Sotherly Hotels and SCAD.
The property has an outdoor rooftop pool and sundeck, 24-hour fitness center and nearby dining.
Additionally, The Whitehall is a member of Historic Hotels of America, a collection of 275 historic properties defined by a commitment to maintaining authenticity, sense of place and architectural integrity.