Driftwood Hospitality Management (DHM) Acquires 480-Room Hilton Houston North and 390-Room Marriott Houston North in Texas

USA, Miami, Florida. November 29, 2018

Driftwood Hospitality Management (DHM), a North Palm Beach-based hotel management company, today announced its purchase of the 480-room Hilton Houston North and 390-room Marriott Houston North. All rooms and public space will be renovated at the Hilton the atrium lobby, and the food and beverage and arrival areas will be reimagined. The Marriott Houston North will go through a complete renovation as well. Both properties will be taking on these renovations under the management of DHM.

“Driftwood Hospitality Management has grown tremendously in the past couple years, and we are eager to expand our footprint across the state of Texas,” said David Buddemeyer, president of Driftwood Hospitality Management. “Houston is a primary market that's constantly evolving, and we're excited to see what this fast-paced culture will add to our portfolio.”

Hilton Houston North The 480-room, upscale full-service Hilton Houston North complex is comprised of two major components. A massive 40,000-square-foot atrium features the hotel's lobby, a Starbucks®, Vino bar, The Cafe restaurant, a business center and gift shop - all connected to 52,000 square-feet of meeting space. A 15-story, 183-foot tall hotel tower includes all guestrooms, an outdoor pool, 23 flexible function rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, full-service concierge, and local transportation desk.

The property is located within CityNorth, the leading business and retail campus in North Houston. Purchased by Lincoln Property Company, CityNorth comprises six architecturally distinct buildings with more than two million square feet of office and retail space combined. Plans are in place to spend $100 million on renovations and upgrades, enhancing CityNorth's reputation as the most desirable business location in Houston.

Marriott Houston North Located in the heart of Houston's thriving business district, this 390-room hotel features 20 function rooms totaling 15,990 square feet. The largest space, the Texas Ballroom, boasts 6,318 square feet of function space and can seat up to 700 guests. The hotel includes a central 12-story tower, adjacent to an eight-story tower with a detached two-story parking garage. The hotel lobby features a Starbucks®, breakfast buffet, refreshment bar, Drink Eat Network restaurant, fitness center, convenience stores, a concierge lounge, laundry room, business center and an indoor/outdoor pool.

Both of these additions to Driftwood's expanding hotel and resort portfolio are positioned in the heart of the “Energy Capital of the World”. Houston offers access to the largest port in the United States, the largest medical center in the world, Texas Medical Center, and the energy industry's corporate headquarters. With 18 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Houston, the city is home to more than half of the world's 100 largest, non-U.S.-based corporate companies. The city's economy is driven by energy, transportation, and healthcare, making it an ideal location for business travelers and company meetings and events. Guests who travel for leisure have an unlimited array of things to do, as well, such as the Downtown Aquarium, NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, The Houston Zoological Gardens, Cockrell Butterfly Tower, Theater District, San Jacinto Monument and Museum, Bishop's Palace, Six Flags Water World, FunPlex Amusement Park, Wet n' Wild Splashtown and Museum of Natural Science.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.