Historic Lancaster Houston Hotel Completes $10-Million Renovation
Houston – April, 2014 . . .The historic Lancaster Houston Hotel, a 93-room boutique hotel in the heart of the Downtown Houston Theater District and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, has staged a $10-million renovation. The extensive re-design encompassed the hotel’s lobby and meeting spaces, all guest rooms and suites, and incorporated significant technology and core mechanical upgrades.
“We are proud to refurbish this gem of a property that my great-grandfather, Michele DeGeorge, built as The Auditorium Hotel in 1926 and that reopened as The Lancaster in 1983,” said Charles (Charlie) M. Lusk III, CRE, CCIM and president of The Lancaster Houston. “This hotel has been in our family for 88 years and is the only historic hotel in Houston owned and operated by descendants of the original developer,” Lusk said.
Plans included opening up The Lancaster lobby to the surrounding downtown streetscape and introducing more natural light. “We have created a lobby that is a more active gathering space that flows into the reception area, meeting space and The Bistro restaurant,” said Lusk.
The Lancaster’s fresh new interior design echoes classic American styling with a bow to the hotel’s Theater District location. The décor utilizes men’s suiting fabrics with a rich palette of color and materials with luxurious accents and furnishings, including premier bedding and bathroom fixtures and fittings by WaterWorks, making The Lancaster the first and only Houston hotel to offer this prestigious brand of plumbing accoutrements.
The hotel provides the latest technology with Wi-Fi in all public spaces and guest rooms, 55-inch smart TVs and projectors in the meeting rooms for Skype/virtual meetings and in-room 42-inch flat screen TVs. It is one of the first hotels in Houston to install VingCard room locks, the latest electronic system by Signature Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID), where keycards are intuitive and not inserted into the lock. All guest rooms and suites have safes and mini-refrigerators and VIP guest rooms have smart TVs with Internet access. The windows are sound proofed to provide the most quiet hotel experience possible.
The Lancaster, which earned a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark designation in 1984, was accepted into the prestigious Historic Hotels of America (representing the Jazz Age) in 2010. It is located at 701 Texas Avenue at Louisiana Street, across the street from Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts and the Alley Theatre and mere blocks from the Wortham Theater Center and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts as well as City Hall and the US District Courts.
Gensler, the international design, planning and strategic consulting firm, served as the project interior designer, with Dwyer Interiors designer Charlene Lusk Dwyer serving as a consultant.
The Lancaster’s restaurant, The Bistro, is renowned for its power breakfasts, business lunches and pre-theater dinners. Other hotel highlights include concierge service; a hosted 5-6 p.m. wine hour to ease a guest’s day of traveling, touring or business meetings. Complimentary limousine service is offered within three miles of the property, which covers the Downtown and Midtown Houston areas.
“We welcome our guests with an unscripted personal touch that gives a nod to ‘Old World’ sensibilities. First-time visitors and repeat return guests frequently tell us that staying here feels like coming home to an extended family,” said General Manager Brenda Anderson. “Guests are taken by The Lancaster’s warmth and charm. We’re Southern hospitality at its finest – elegance laced with down-home comfort.”