About two weeks before Hurricane Harvey I toured the Omni Houston Hotel with the Houston Food Blogger Collective.  We loved our tour and I actually wrote my review while holed up during the storm.  I never shared the post though because I soon learned that the Omni Houston took on several feet of water and would be closed for renovations.  Over a year later and $30 million in renovations, the Omni Houston is back open with a whole new look. Just last weekend, our group went back for a tour and I gotta say I love the new Omni Houston Hotel even more!

The Lobby

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The most noticeable changes come in the lobby. Gone are the 80s marble counters.  Now the lobby has a modern look with sleek black and white countertops and moss backdrops.  There is also a touch of Texas with the lobby furniture.  Another lobby highlight, the large moss wall fitted with old school binoculars.  A peek inside of the binoculars will take you on a historic Houston home tour.

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The lobby.

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The other lobby highlight, the little store off to the side of the check-in desk.  There you can purchase a Gucci purse and basic Sundry items like peanuts.  It’s a cute little store an clearly has something for all budgets and tastes.

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These flowery astronauts can be found near the ball rooms on the main floor.

The Restaurants

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The famous Noe Grill is gone and in it’s place we now have the La Reserve Whiskey Lounge and Birdies Cafe & Bar.  Let’s start with the cafe. Here, guests can grab a quiet brunch or lunch in a relaxed setting.  There is also a bar that was pretty full during our visit with guests watching sporting events and chatting.

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La Reserve Whiskey Lounge

Now, lets talk about my favorite space in the Omni, La Reserve Whiskey Lounge.  So here is the thing, a lot of the hotels in the Galleria area have great restaurants that they would love for the locals to frequent.  La Reserve is one of the few that I can really see myself circling back to.  Designed like a man cave, the space is dark and decorated with heavy leather sofas, books and old school lamps.  There is a large bar (more on that below) and a couple of sections that can accommodate about 15 people.  In short, this space is gorgeous and homey.   You could rent out a section for a small party or even rent out the entire space.

The Food and Drinks

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I appreciated little touches like this. The entry between Birdies and La Reserve.

We spent the most time in the La Reserve which is probably why I liked it the best.  Here we also sampled their drinks and bites.   Our drinks were prepared by professional mixologists who made a point to show us just why they should not be called bartenders.  Some of the signature cocktails even included marking the ice cubes with the Omni symbol! For my cocktail, I went for the fruity Bee Hive which was divine.

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For the food, they brought out small bites for us to sample as well as the full size dishes.  Several of us asked if they could make those food platters for a party and the chef told us he would be happy to! These items can be found on the La Reserve menus and/or the Birdies menu.  We tried the mini smash burgers, lobster wedge salad and an array of baos.

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I typically don’t care for wedge salads, but the lobster and dressing on this made were great!

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The bao trio

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The Smash Burger has a brioche bun, fried egg and onions. It really is a good burger especially when you remember it is bar food!

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Another shot of the burgers.

The Rooms

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The rooms have not undergone a major renovation just yet, but they are still very nice.  The Omni also has a kid centered suite that is perfect for birthday slumber parties.  It connects to a regular room for the adults.  Our hosts noted that it is currently under renovation, but should be back in business soon.

The Takeaway

The hotel still features the famous Black Swan Night Club (second oldest club in Houston) and the Mokara Spa & Salon.  If those were reasons for you to visit the Omni add the newest additions to the list as well.  La Reserve is a great bar period, that just so happens to be in a hotel.  For those who do not live in Houston, the Omni Houston is located in one of the best areas in Houston, the Galleria and features all of the amenities you want in a great hotel!