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1100 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002, United States

Opened in 2004, the 23-story Magnolia is the least designed of the downtown boutique hotels, with spacious and sunny guest rooms but a lobby with chartreuse velvet sofas and oversize floor lamps that look a bit out of date. Erected in 1923, the grand Corinthian-pilastered limestone building faces the gorgeous 1893-era Christ Church Cathedral and began as the headquarters of the Post-Dispatch (when Houston, like many other booming cities, was home to several daily newspapers). The only evidence of its original function is a curiosity in the lobby: a wooden letterpress, converted into a wheatgrass planter. The overall feeling here is very urban, partly because of all the skyline and freeway views, and partly because of the preponderance of serious-seeming business travelers.

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Magnolia Hotel

Opened in 2004, the 23-story Magnolia is the least designed of the downtown boutique hotels, with spacious and sunny guest rooms but a lobby with chartreuse velvet sofas and oversize floor lamps that look a bit out of date. Erected in 1923, the grand Corinthian-pilastered limestone building faces the gorgeous 1893-era Christ Church Cathedral and began as the headquarters of the Post-Dispatch (when Houston, like many other booming cities, was home to several daily newspapers). The only evidence of its original function is a curiosity in the lobby: a wooden letterpress, converted into a wheatgrass planter. The overall feeling here is very urban, partly because of all the skyline and freeway views, and partly because of the preponderance of serious-seeming business travelers.