How to Visit Houston Like a Movie Star
From private shopping salons to a $400 steak, we found experiences fit for the city's most discerning visitors.
If everything's bigger in Texas, then everything's flashier, too. Luxury awaits in cosmopolitan Houston, where an international vibe offers A-list opportunities to dine, shop, eat and explore in the energy capital of the world. From being whisked away to a private shopping salon at Dior to a perfectly prepared steak priced at $400, we found experiences fit for Houston's most discerning visitors.
1. Stay in a three-story hotel suite
Downtown's luxury Hotel ICON has accommodations fit for a celebrity—and plenty of them have stayed here, including Tilda Swinton. Their tri-level presidental suite has an entertainment area that accommodates up to 40 of your friends, and a rooftop terrace offering very-VIP panoramic views of the city skyline.
2. Take a $750 shot of whiskey
Whiskey bar Reserve 101 was the first establishment in the U.S. to get a bottle of Glenmorangie's Pride 1978. Aged for 19 years before being extra-matured for 15 years, it's the longest process ever clocked by the famed Scottish brand in terms of aging. Since only 700 bottles were made, it's the city's most expensive pour.
3. Get fitted for the Oscars
Beloved local bespoke shirtmaker Hamilton is the go-to for red carpet looks for dapper gents like Neil Patrick Harris, who wore a Hamilton tuxedo shirt when he hosted the Oscars last year. The shirts have graced the bods of other leading men (James Franco, Robert Duvall) on magazine covers like Vanity Fair, and is the preferred brand of plenty of politicians and performers. Book a private appointment to have a dress shirt custom-cut to even the pickiest specifications (like pocket shape and buttonhole size).
4. Shop in private at Dior
Only top customers can access the secret salon on the upper level of the brand's new stand-alone boutique. The uber-luxurious fitting room and private shopping area is outfitted with Alex Turco ceiling panels and Laurent Chauvat end tables. The store is part of River Oaks District, a shopping center so exclusive the valet drivers use an app system to bring your car to where you finish shopping, so you don't have to walk back to the original drop-off spot.
5. Order a Billonaria margarita
Million-dollar deals are toasted with the La Billonaria margarita at Picos, an authentic Mexican restaurant. For a stiff $75, Herradura Selección Suprema Extra Añejo is blended with Grand Marnier Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire (which is aged 150 years) and fresh lime juice—served straight up or on the rocks.
6. Avoid the paparazzi like Beyoncé
The Galleria's Louis Vuitton has an unmarked entrance for its A-list customers and it's rumored that Beyoncé has used it to access the luxury goods during visits to her hometown of Houston.
7. Eat a $400 steak
Serious meat eaters know the Kobe strain of beef from Japan will set you back a pretty penny, and at locally owned white tablecloth Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, one cut in particular is priced at nearly $400 a pound.
8. Do a $1,500 cleanse
An hour outside of town, Deer Lake Lodge is a high-end wellness spa that makes the most of the nature that surrounds it. Their Harmony Package is a semi-fasting weekend that includes an open system colon hydrotherapy treatment without the use of drugs, and a two-night calming stay in a cabin with a fireplace. Also included: access to the "fasting lounge," detox cocktails, a customized regiment of supplements, raw food classes, yoga, meditation and use of the infrared sauna.