Zooming by the ZaZa Shaping Up by the Katy Fwy.

Reader Bayan Raji sends these pics of the new Hotel ZaZa as it nears completion deep in the superblock just east of Bunker Hill Rd. and south of I-10 in Memorial City. The design by Kirksey Architecture is somewhat reminiscent of the shape of the Hotel ZaZa in the Museum District, except instead of looking out onto the grand traffic circle around the Mecom Fountain and Hermann Park beyond, the double wings of this one will look out past a surface parking lot (shown in the foreground above) to the 20-lane-wide (including the feeders) Katy Fwy. To the west and south, the hotel is flanked by shorter parking garages; directly to its east (behind the construction fence pictured here) will be a green space reserved for live music and festivals.


At the top of the 159-room hotel building at 9787 Katy Fwy. will be 4 stories’ worth of apartments; the 10th floor of the 17-story building will be decked out with themed hotel suites. The hotel restaurant will be called The Tipping Point.

Photos: Bayan Raji

Rooms in Memorial City

23 Comment

  • What a boring exterior.

  • MetroNational: Proving that you can’t buy good taste.

    Maybe they will have a hand fishing themed room this hotel zaza.

  • It’s a building reminiscent of large housing projects in NYC.
    To add insult to injury, Metronational doesn’t appear to be even remotely trying to create/encourage a walkable so-called Memorial District. It’s all one big parking lot dotted with bland, square buildings.

  • Yikes…the exterior reminds me of a Hilton Garden Inn. Not something I’d expect from a luxury boutique hotel.

  • That’s an ugly building.

  • And to think I’m (just barely) old enough to remember when Katy Freeway at Gessner had no freeway yet…and no Gessner yet for that matter. And a little later Memorial City was nothing but a Sears and a smelly Weingarten’s.

  • I remember the days in Houston when Gerald Hines hired well known architects to design interesting, creative buildings. Those days are long gone.

  • Goodness, even luxury chains in Houston don’t even make an effort to look “luxury” as they do in other cities. Sad.

  • Echoes the building on Montrose, though, at least partially.

  • “even luxury chains in Houston don’t even make an effort to look “luxury” as they do in other cities”

    Well, if we’re going to be honest, Hotel ZaZa is a Dallas-based company.

  • I hope they don’t call it “Zaza” …. it’s more of a GagGag.

  • @shady heightster:
    Indeed, and it wasn’t just Hines hiring good architects. Other developers were commissioning buildings from top drawer architects like I.M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, and SOM.

  • “even luxury chains in Houston don’t even make an effort to look “luxury” as they do in other cities”
    Would this not have anything to do with the average Houstonians income in comparison to other such cities?
    The other zaza is definitely nicer, but way out of most all houstonians price range and is still surrounded by parks full of sleeping hobo’s & 30yr old playground equipment and crappy roads, to say the least.

  • Joel, I don’t think most Houstonians stay in hotels in Houston. It is people from other cities staying in our hotels. I doubt this hotel will be cheap – Hotel Sorella in City Centre charged $350+ per night last I looked. The complaint is that this hotel is ugly and it’s not an issue of money. Good design can be the same price to build as bad design.

  • What a horrible, bland, beige mess! How could this happen? What were they thinking?

  • I imagine ZaZa is only the operator for the hotel. Metro National owns and developed the property and the blame for the crappy architecture is squarely on them. They have pretty much ruined the Memorial City skyline with junk like Memorial Hermann tower, the Westin Hotel and Cemex building.

  • It reminds me of Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles where the richard ramirez the night stalker once stayed and where the the young womans body was found in the water tank that supplied water to the guests happened…not to mention all of the suicides that took place over the years.

  • Who the hell wants to spend time out at Memorial City anyway? What kind of tourist or business traveler planning a trip to Houston says “Oh Boy! This wasteland of parking lots and overpriced chain restaurants is exactly where I want to stay for a memorable Houston experience!”? Call me elitist but I seriously don’t understand the draw.

  • Just looked up that Hotel Cecil water tank story. Yikes!! Creepy stuff Courtney. Thanks though.

  • @shadyheightster Well, Hines did just wrap up two beautiful Class A buildings designed by Pickard Chilton…

  • @drew j—Yes they did. And they are nice. I just wish we had some other developers tell their architects to be a bit more creative. Houston development, as it has been said here before, tends to be driven by cost over design.

  • Kirksey is the architect-of-record for this project, not the designer. Yet another bullseye from Swamplot. Good job.

  • The pics are pretty blah, like beyond awful and terribly underwhelming… But, I wonder what the building looks like from the south face. I can’t help but think that the pics of this freeway-facing side are pics of the back side of the hotel and that Metro National will eventually develop the restaurant lot to the north that will “cover up” this side.

    That all being said, I agree that the location seems awful for a ZaZa – surrounded by parking garage views and equally underwhelming architecture. It will be a Garden Inn in 5 years.