At last week's grand opening soirée, the Medical Center's new InterContinental Hotel lived up to its name: local officials and foreign dignitaries alike turned out for the ritzy ribbon cutting to toast the recently completed 21-story luxury tower.
China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were all represented on the guest list. Those consul generals were joined by civic leaders like Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, State Senator Larry Taylor, City Councilman Mike Knox, and Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack.
The March 14 reception also saw remarks from business leaders like InterContinental Hotels Group Americas CEO Elie Maalouf and Medistar Corporation founder Monzer Hourani, among others. Medistar, the Houston real estate developer with a medical focus, owns the hotel. With its 354 rooms and 37 suites adjacent to TMC—the largest medical complex in the world—the four-star hotel will presumably attract the scores of regular visitors to Houston's world-class hospitals.
There's also an outdoor pool, medical suite, cafe and lounge, premium fitness center, 18,000 square-feet of meeting and event space, and Safina restaurant and bar—the latter was prominently displayed at the grand opening party with a show-stopping ice sculpture and seafood display. Safina also provided other Mediterranean-inspired fare like chicken kabobs, Keftedes (Greek meatballs), and tabbouleh. A red carpet led guests to the ballroom, transformed with an elaborate floral wall and live orchestra music from Virtuosi of Houston.
The Med Center's InterContinental joins the 200-plus in the hotel group already located in more than 60 countries worldwide. It's also physically connected to the recently completed Latitude Med Center apartments, a 35-story building home to 375 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units and penthouses. Latitude is the first residential community of its kind in the city to offer micro units, which average 445 square-feet (though some are as small as 330 square-feet) and were designed with TMC employees—like traveling medical professionals—in mind.