Hotel ZaZa, Houston
Boundary-pushing boutique Hotel ZaZa’s location is seriously good. It lies close to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the shimmering façade of the Contemporary Arts Museum (CAM), and the spouting jets of Mecom Fountain. The ZaZa has spacious guest rooms drenched with natural light and sliding glass doors that open onto balconies, some with lounge-like leather furniture and photographs of celebrities covering the walls. And there’s hardly a bad view in the house, whether looking south, over the verdant expanse of Hermann Park and Rice University, or north, toward the downtown skyline. The small-but-sexy pool is one of the city’s best and lively doesn’t begin to describe the restaurant and bar Monarch, with a patio set above the swirl of traffic, where conversation sparkles into the night.