In their ambitious 2002 top-to-bottom redo, the owners of the Hotel Icon went for a dramatic baroque look, with velvety, tasseled interiors swirling with reds and black and gold in one place and silver, sky blue, and yellow in another. The Icon occupies the city’s first tall building, the 12-story 1911 Union National Bank, and the original steel and brass vault doors hang imposingly behind the front desk. Steeped in Houston history, the hotel seems fashionably haunted, especially when you step off the elevator and face a plush corridor carpeted like a vintage movie palace and guest room doors painted blood red, but the Icon’s ghosts are as friendly as their taste is amusingly over the top. Stylish amenities include extras like bath butlers who will fill your deep claw-footed tub, fresh flowers, and Molton Brown products.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.