The year was 1982. The Lakers were the NBA champions and Herschel Walker of University of Georgia won the Heisman Trophy. There was war in the Falkland Islands. E.T. was at the top of the box office while 60 Minutes and Dallas were the most popular television shows. In downtown Houston, Four Seasons opened its doors on April 15, 1982.
Thirty years later, the Giants are the Super Bowl champions and The Artist won the Academy Award for Best Picture while The Big Bang Theory is the nation’s most popular television show. Back in downtown Houston, Four Seasons has completed a USD 25 million renovation and is stronger than ever.
“Four Seasons is proud to have been a big part of downtown Houston for the past 30 years,” says General Manager Dirk Burghartz. “In fact, to say Four Seasons had great foresight 30 years ago in choosing an isolated site within the sparsely populated eastern end of downtown, for what at the time was the second Four Seasons location for the city, is now clearly a major understatement.” Today, the Hotel is in the centre of a 12 acre (4.85 hectare), USD 122 million Discovery Green park, the USD 170 million Houston Pavilions complex covering three city blocks with 360,000 (33,445 square metres) square feet of retail and 200,000 square feet (18,580 square metres) of office space and booming residential towers. Four Seasons own growth and expansion came just recently in the form of a USD 25 million, five year renovation.
Travellers looking for a quiet respite in the heart of downtown Houston are pleased with the new look and feel of the restyled guest rooms and suites. With a fresh, clean design, the new guest rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Houston boast all the modern conveniences with interior features and finishes that define the fashion-forward hotel industry today. The acclaimed San Francisco-based design firm BAMO guided the Hotel through the renovation by creating custom-designed furniture and one-of-a-kind abstract artwork designed specifically to reflect the Hotel’s downtown, cosmopolitan setting. A resort experience in the heart of a bustling city, Four Seasons has the only outdoor, resort-style pool that meshes the dynamic urban setting with exotic materials such as Turkish travertine tile.
In 2012, both the Ambassador and Governor Suites are undergoing a major renovation that will be completed in May. The interior design expands upon the visual standards established with the renovations of the Lobby, Spa and guest rooms. These concepts reflect the identity of Houston as a cosmopolitan city and an international centre for business and the arts. “We’re a major player for Houston’s luxury hotel market,” states Burghartz. “And with that comes the responsibility of innovating new ways for the Hotel.”
Within the past couple of years, Houston gained nationwide recognition as an up-and-coming food lovers’ city. Restaurants with celebrity chefs are popping up everywhere and the Hotel’s onsite restaurant Quattro has certainly made its mark. Executive Chef Maurizio Ferrarese has brought modern, ingredient-driven cuisine from his native Italy, expanding the scope of Houston’s exciting food scene. Vinoteca is the restaurant’s wine bar that offers 25 wines by the glass with an array of small bites and a menu featuring dishes of USD 19.00 and under.
To celebrate the Hotel’s 30th Anniversary, the founder of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Isadore Sharp, made a visit to Houston. He was thrilled to see the Hotel so vibrant and relevant all these years later. What he enjoys most is walking through all the departments and meeting his employees, some brand new and others that were here thirty years ago to open the Hotel with him. “Seven employees have been with us for thirty years and dozens more between fifteen, twenty and twenty five years. It is their dedication, intuitive service, love of people and of Houston that has allowed the Hotel to stay successful all these years” says Dirk Burghartz.
In honour of its Anniversary, Four Seasons Hotel Houston has some great offerings. Starting April 15, 2012 and running for 30 days, the Hotel is offering 30 percent off the famously comfortable mattresses found in its guest rooms. The Spa will increase a 60-minute treatment by 30 minutes on a complimentary basis, and Quattro has a three-course prixe fixed dinner for USD 30.00.