Best Building Makeover - 2007
Okay, so they were six months behind schedule, but it was worth it. No mere eye patch here. Developer Charlie Givens and partners have taken the city's premier Warwick Hotel and turned it into a mega-star. The grand opening on June 1 was so over-the-top, they had a live mermaid atop the entrance to wave in the bold names. (How she got up there is anybody's guess, but a ladder or crane must have been involved.) The Monarch restaurant is finally open and offering superb high-end comfort food; the rooftop pool sports shiny retro cabanas; and the rooms are right out of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, or maybe Captain Nemo's private quarters. Retro rock and roll never looked so hot.
Once again, Houston is a poor follower and the Hotel ZaZa in Houston doesn't come close to compraing with the Hotel ZaZa in Dallas. It's so out of place in the Museum District and the restaurant is horrid, doesn't even compare with the DragonFly. Also, staff hovers too much and the lighting needs some help. It would have been better if Kimpton would have taken it over the property, their hotels are great! Of course Houston doens't have one yet . . . . hmmm? Once again, behind the times thinking we're hip while but not even close!