Downtown Houston Hotel to Reopen with New Name, Restaurant

The Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown will reopen next month with a new name, look and restaurant.

The hotel, at 1700 Smith St., is undergoing $5 million in renovations that are slated to be completed April 14. The Crowne Plaza will open that day under its former name — The Whitehall.

The 259-room hotel was purchased by Virginia-based Sotherly Hotels Inc. (Nasdaq: SOHO) in 2013 for more than $30 million, according to a statement. Renovations started the following year and include improvements to guest rooms, meeting spaces, the lobby and the restaurant.

Brazos, the current restaurant in the hotel, will reopen as Edgar’s Hermano, led by chef Sylvia Covarrubias. The restaurant will serve a combination of southern and Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as feature a new bar.

The Whitehall Hotel was built in 1963. Maryland-based MHI Hotels, the predecessor to Sotherly Hotels, bought The Whitehall in 1999 after it had been closed for 10 years. The hotel then underwent a $25 million redevelopment and reopened as the Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown in 2001.

Hotel growth in Houston is expected to slow down in the coming years, and developers are taking advantage of the time re-evaluate and renovate their properties.

Several other downtown hotels are under construction, and others are undergoing renovations.