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August may feel like the Sunday of the summer, but it doesn't have to be all back-to-school and autumn leaves just yet...especially in Houston. We have another couple of months of warm weather so why not delay the inevitable with a mini escape, such as a weekend staycation at one of the city's most luxurious hotels? Hotel Zaza offers guests convenient access to Hermann Park, renowned Houston museums and an array of world-class restaurants in nearby Montrose and West U. The hotel itself is a site to see with a modern, luxe vibe, sexy decor and a weekend pool scene that will truly melt your popsicle.

Stay

Hotel Zaza
5701 Main St., 713-526-1991, hotelzaza.com/houston

Three hundred and fifteen posh guest rooms and suites are spread out over 12 floors, each offering guests every comfort of the Zaza lifestyle. A feast for the eyes, the corridors and rooms are decorated in bold colors and whimsical prints with a fierce focus on intriguing art and photography. Set apart in many ways from other area hotels, Hotel Zaza boasts a pet-friendly environment and welcomes furry family members to join you during your stay. Personal touches like a Butler's Pantry on each floor welcoming guests to enjoy complimentary coffee every morning and afternoon delights of sweet treats in the lobby only add to the charm. Having hosted celebrities of every variety, the team at Zaza understands how to not only provide a comfortable stay, but a memorable one.

Considered the crown jewels of the Zaza brand, the Magnificent Seven are the hotel's lavish over-sized suites located on the 12th floor with sweeping views of the city. Larger than most apartments and furnished with all of the amenities like luxurious living areas, gourmet kitchens, and whirlpool tubs, these dream like suites give new meaning to the term staycation. Each one wildly different, the Magnificent Seven were designed with a unique theme in mind and are genuinely one-of-a-kind. Suite themes include Rock Star, Black Label, Tycoon, For Your Eyes Only, Fatal Charms, Bella Vita, and It Happened One Night.

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Chef de cuisine Jonathan Wicks serves modern Southern fare at Monarch.

Eat

Monarch Bistro & Bar
5701 Main St., 713-527-1800, hotelzaza.com/houston/monarch

Though opting for in-room dining is a popular choice to maximize time in the luxurious guestrooms, guests can explore the hotel's in-house restaurant the Monarch Bistro & Bar, a stellar dining destination for guests and locals alike. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, the restaurant welcomes guests to enjoy indoor dining or an enclosed, all weather-proof patio facing Hermann Park. Indulge in chef de cuisine's Jonathan Wick's modern Southern fare, including lamb lollipops, roasted sea scallops and a Black Hill Ranch bone-in pork chop, and an extensive list of beer, wine and refreshing craft cocktails. Through the first week of September, Monarch will be participating in Houston Restaurant Weeks benefiting the Houston Food Bank, allowing diners to enjoy a three-course dinner for $45 per person. The Monarch Bar, stylish and chic, is open late daily and is the go-to spot within the hotel to sip and savor cocktails. An intimate, yet exciting space it is no wonder where the night will lead you.

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Relax

Refresh Pool

While Houston is still in the scorching hot zone of the summer, Hotel Zaza invites guests to truly take advantage with one of 19 bungalow rooms and villas facing the pool, including the themed Love Shack suite. Complete with furnished balconies, these very private poolside rooms offer guests a very different experience than staying in the main tower. On weekends, most of the action at Zaza centers around the Refresh Pool located on the second floor of the hotel. Whether it's playing life-size Connect Four, a game of ping-pong or just working on your tan while listening to the hit playlist chosen for the weekend, the scene is every bit the relaxation one expects on a weekend getaway. The poolside bar serves up pitchers of mimosas and sangria along with providing guests a full-service food menu. With not a care in the world, guests tend to stay at the pool for hours enjoying refreshing extras throughout the day such as towels and ice-cold popsicles passed around by hotel staff.

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Play

Hermann Park
6001 Fannin St., hermannpark.org

If you have had your fair share of splish splash for the summer, there is plenty to do in the way of land just walking distance from Hotel Zaza. Steps from the hotel's main lobby in Hermann Park are some of Houston's most popular destinations, from Miller Outdoor Theater to the Houston Zoo. Child-friendly and in close proximity of one another, there are no shortage of things to do to fill your weekend. Stroll around the rose garden hand-in-hand with your sweet. Take in the sights and sounds of the park with your kids during a paddle boat ride or better yet, cover more ground on the train. With over 400 acres of lush landscape, there is plenty of ground to cover and much natural beauty to explore.

If you are a native Houstonian like me, I'm sure somewhere in your childhood home you have faded photos of yourself and your family in Hermann Park, perhaps even on a paddle boat or in front of the famous Sam Houston statue. For this reason alone, a staycation in Houston's scenic Museum District will be a special one. Factor in a Zaza experience, and you have a fabulous end to a sizzling hot summer.

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