Heights House Hotel open after $3.5 million transformation to former Astro Inn
First boutique hotel in the Heights makes its debut with poolside cabanas, good vibes and Houston’s hottest hotel bar
Grand Opening and pool day passes slated for June
Following a $3.5 million renovation to the former Astro Inn, the Heights House Hotel is now open at 100 W. Cavalcade St. Located in the historic Brooke Smith neighborhood, the three-story vintage exterior-corridor hotel is the only boutique hotel in the Heights.
Conveniently situated less than 10 minutes from Downtown Houston, it features 133 rooms with free parking; a 7,500-square-foot ground-floor courtyard that features a pool with cabanas, patio green space with lounge furniture and canopy with covered outdoor seating; and hotel bar and restaurant, Space Cowboy, serving tropical cocktails and island comfort food from acclaimed chef Lyle Bento.
The two-acre property was purchased in 2019 by local business owners Jivar Foty and George Giannukos. Foty’s Rise Construction has completed a nearly year-long renovation — which included a complete interior gut, improved insulation, new roof, exterior additions and energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the property — transforming the rundown motel into a vibrant, first-of-its-kind destination in Houston for staycationers, business travelers and poolside revelers alike.
“The Heights House Hotel is a trendy and quirky hotel that offers an experience like no other in Houston,” Foty said. “We are one of the few vibrant, colorful, boutique hotels in the city, and the only hotel in the Heights community. We’re targeting people who want to have a good time, with good vibes. We want to become a local hangout, the place to stay for visitors of Houston, and the go-to hotel for business travelers.”
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to put my fingerprint on the landscape of the city and the Heights neighborhood,” Giannukos said. “It’s exciting to create a place that future generations will enjoy and recognize as a landmark in the community. Art and beauty doesn’t need to be expensive. We wanted to create a beautiful space full of art and color at an accessible price.”
Heights House Hotel is marked by bright colors throughout. A 36-foot neon sign, constructed by Giannukos’ Accent Sign and Awning Company, greets visitors upon arrival. Mid-century modern privacy brick around the courtyard matches original mid-century ornamental metal columns on the hotel’s balconies. The original A-frame of the lobby was preserved, with a new “Good Vibes Only” mural that overlooks the pool and courtyard. Artists Sergio Aguilar and Jose Kontos of Monterrey, Mexico, painted the mural, along with a striking 1,500-square-foot installation on the hotel’s south facade that nods to Houston’s “Space City” culture.
Rooms start at an affordable $100 per night on weekdays. The hotel is dog friendly with a pet fee. Room furniture sourced from the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas includes Simmons Beautyrest visco elastic memory foam mattresses, down feather pillows, retro mini-bar fridges and mid-century modern globe lighting. Each room features a 55-inch flatscreen TV, high-speed WiFi and eco-friendly toiletries. Select rooms can be connected for large parties, and room service is available from Space Cowboy.
The hotel’s pool is slated to open in June, with day passes for non-hotel guests starting at $20. Poolside service from Space Cowboy will be available. Heights House Hotel plans to keep an active event calendar with poolside DJs, yoga on the lawn and themed parties for Halloween, New Year’s Eve, Cinco de Mayo and other holidays. The hotel will cater to Houston’s hospitality industry professionals with special early-week rates on Mondays and Tuesdays. Space Cowboy — led by beverage director Greg Perez and chef Lyle Bento of Night Moves Hospitality — is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week, with plans to open at noon starting on May 30.
With an emphasis on boutique hotel hospitality, Heights House Hotel offers contactless check-in and two-way SMS messaging to keep guests engaged throughout their stay. General Manager Marrissa Selby (formerly of Hotel Zaza Houston) and Guest Relations Manager Marlene Shunnarah ensure that each guest receives a welcome call prior to arrival and personal attention during their visit, including the option to decorate rooms for special occasions. Themed room packages will be available for girls’ getaway weekends, boys’ night out and more.
The property features three separate event spaces. These include the interior lobby and bar area, outdoor canopy and lawn, and the pool and cabana space. Each can be rented separately or together to host community and business events, as can the entire property. Other amenities include outdoor games, electric scooter and bike rentals and an IV bar by appointment.
Located just a few blocks from the METROrail Cavalcade station, with protected bike lanes providing easy access to the Heights neighborhood, the hotel is accessible from IAH Airport in less than 20 minutes and a short drive from downtown, the Heights Farmers Market and historic Heights 19th Street shopping district. The hotel has established a partnership with White Oak Music Hall, located 1.5 miles away, to provide discounted show tickets for guests and complimentary rooms for out-of-town music acts.
Heights House Hotel is poised to be Houston’s most buzzed-about staycation spot and summer destination. Reservations are currently being accepted and can be made directly on the hotel’s website, https://www.heightshousehotel.com/, or by calling (713) 869-7121.
ABOUT HEIGHTS HOUSE HOTEL
Purchased in 2019 by investors and real estate developers Jivar Foty and George Giannukos, the former Astro Inn has reopened as the Heights House Hotel at 100 W. Cavalcade St., Houston, TX 77009. A vibrant take on a vintage exterior-corridor hotel, the property includes a pool with cabanas and lounge seating, tropical bar and restaurant Space Cowboy and a 7,500-square-foot courtyard. A complete interior and exterior renovation included hand-painted murals, contemporary decor and furniture sourced from the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel aims to serve the local Heights community, as well as hospitality industry professionals, tourists and business travelers.
For more information, visit https://www.heightshousehotel.com/.
Photos by Dylan McEwan