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Houston’s cherished boutique hotel lands on prestigious ideal-of record

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In March, as CultureMap documented, Houston’s most cherished boutique resort unveiled a groundbreaking, $10-million renovation. As the estate’s Dan Zimmerman reported of La Colombe d’Or’s pristine update: “We touched all the things — but we also touched very little.”

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But now, the 1923 Beaux-Arts Montrose mansion is remaining heralded not for new touches, but as a substitute for its outdated attraction in a prestigious checklist. La Colombe d’Or has just landed on Smithsonian Magazine’s roundup of America’s five “most invincible” accommodations.

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“It’s worth remembering that America’s most well-known resorts have survived crises other than COVID-19,” notes the list’s creator, Tony Perrottet. “The hospitality industry has had to adapt to wars, financial spirals, radical manner changes—and of course, other, even far more devastating epidemics—each of which compelled somersaults that give new this means to the modern buzzword ‘pivot.’”

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Indeed, La Colombe d’Or’s proprietor and founder, the gregarious and simply charming Steve Zimmerman, draws substantial praise for adapting to Houston’s mercurial financial state and issues.

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All through the disaster that was the 1980s oil crash, Zimmerman cooked up a intelligent notion: The lodge would run an “Oil Barrel Particular,” and  Zimmerman put a serious barrel of oil in the foyer with a laptop or computer on best where by attendees could check out the day’s rate, the tale notes. “It obtained down to $9.08,” tells Smithsonian Magazine. “I was losing my fanny at lunch time! But it was worthy of it.”

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Zimmerman, never ever just one to lose out on a public relations and internet marketing chance, shortly observed himself in newspaper tales from New York to Tokyo and Berlin.

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The crash story was a boom an early admirer was Television set news legend Walter Cronkite, who was charmed by the little resort and its quirky historical past, for every the story.

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Contemporary off the Oil Barrel specific excitement, La Colombe d’Or promptly grew to become Houston’s boutique halt for visiting celebs, from Peter Jennings to Bishop Tutu and Madonna, all charmed by the more than 400 artworks, good sculptures in the backyard, assorted “Gallic bric a brac” — and maybe most, by the chatty Zimmerman himself.

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Other legendary inns joining La Colombe d’Or on Smithsonian’s coveted listing are San Francisco’ Fairmont Resort, New York’s Mohonk Mountain House, Miami’s Biltmore, and the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

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“We’re quite humbled to be involved in Smithsonian Magazine’s 5 of America’s Most invincible Inns with other iconic national accommodations which include Roosevelt Resort and The Biltmore,” Zimmerman tells CultureMap.

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“The 100-calendar year background of the mansion at La Colombe d’Or, originally owned by Walter Fondren Jr. of Humble Oil, has fared many disaster together with the crash of oil, a number of hurricanes and floods and a global pandemic and will proceed to be an iconic resort and landmark for the town of Houston for quite a few many years to come.”