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Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

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Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

Hi everyone!

I've been lurking on Trip Advisor on and off for years, but really need some advice - I hope you can help me!

I'm taking my mom to the International Quilt Festival next month. She's ALWAYS wanted to go and I FINALLY can help make that happen.

I'm somewhat familiar w/ Houston in that I've visited a few times. I THINK that since the festival is at the convention center (near downtown) that a good area for us to stay might be the Galleria area (Sage, Post Oak, etc.) as I'd like to stay in the nicest hotel I can afford (hopefully less than $100 a night, but I can go higher if I need to) BUT comfort is important, too - I don't want a stuffy, too expensive hotel that doesn't have any "homey" comforts.

My mom actualy likes to sleep in a comfortable recliner at home and I'd LOVE to find a hotel w/ a comfy chair/recliner, but have no idea how to do that!

I like the idea of some of the things that come at the LESS fancy hotels sometimes - like a fridge and a microwave, or free continental breakfast. I hate paying a fortune for parking, too. But at the same time, I don't want to take her to a so-called bargain hotel that's full of bedbugs and is deep in the hood!

Admittedly I've been looking at hotels like the Hyatt Summerfield suites and Drury Inn because they are more "homey" and comfortable looking - but I wish I could know that they'd be SAFE, quiet, and clean. I don't know if I should just try and get something with a higher star rating so that I can make sure it's not a fleabag motel...

Does anyone have any advice or tips on a GOOD deal for the money? Did you pay more than $100 a night for Houston (but not too much more!) and feel it was TOTALLY worth it? Did you find something for less but wish you could tell everyone you know how awesome it was? Do you think the Galleria area is a GOOD idea or a BAD one (i.e. would you suggest ANOTHER area?)

I REALLY appreciate it - you've no idea!!

-Sarah

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

The Galleria is not really that close to the Geroge R. Brown convention center. The GRB is on the east side of downtown, and the Galleria is about 7 or 8 miles west of downtown. The Quilt Festival is huge and overwhelming. If your mother wants to go back to the hotel and rest for awhile, it would be much better to be closer, i.e. downtown area. The Hilton Americas is the closest hotel (just a block away), and it is very nice. It may be out of your price range, however, and quite possibly is all booked up. The Quilt Festival is one of the biggest events held in Houston and hotel rooms will be at a premium. Lots of people from out of town come to it every year and make reservations way in advance.

In short, I think the closer to the GRB, the better. And you'd best book your room asap. I don't know how good a deal you'll be able to get since well-located rooms are really at a premium during this event. Have you checked out downtown hotels and/or motels on TripAdvisor for reviews?

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2. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

I was going to suggest the Hilton as well, or maybe the Inn at the Ballpark or The Magnolia. I think a downtown hotel would suit you better than the Galleria if the quilt show is your main focus.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

Based on your requirements Gallerai area would be the best (Sage / Post Oak area). A place like Staybridge Suites, LaQuinta, Hampton and the ones you have mentioned. All DT - parking will be expensive as will the room rate. It sounds like you will have a car - so transport will not be an issue - that said you will have to pay when you come to the convention center. Room rates of the ones mentioned are in the $100 range - maybe a little more due to the convention. All hotels / motels in the Galleria area are safe and never heard anything bad. One bad thing about the Galleria area is the traffic - avoid the morning rush hour and the afternoon / eve rush hour.

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4. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

Thanks for your suggestions.

I was thinking that the Galleria area wasn't TOO far away and we could get a better deal and a nicer hotel if we expanded our search area a bit. Not as far away as Sugarland or the Woodlands (!!!), but just by a few miles.

Do you really think it's too far from the convention center? She may want to be able to go back to her room and get a nap during the day, so closer is nice BUT I was planning on coming to get her whenever she wanted me to (for lunch, etc.)

I wasn't planning on going to the festival - it's her thing and she's happy to do it on her own. I want to be there whenever she needs me though! But downtown isn't that safe anyway, is it? I wouldn't want her walking alone there and would rather come get her. Not to mention I bet parking at hotels downtown is a fortune!

Any other areas you'd suggest or do you think it's just better to look at downtown? I can find some hotels that, while not adjacent to the convention center, are nearby (downtown and Rice university area)...

I do appreciate it!!! Right now I'm in a whirlwind of LUXURY or VALUE...!? DOWNTOWN or NEARBY ENOUGH?! It's driving me crazy!!!

-Sarah

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5. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

Rush hour traffic on weekends in the Galleria area or only during the week?

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6. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

Still getting used to how this forum works (I'm used to being able to go back and edit my posts in other forums; can't do that here!)

Kingwood - I didn't see your response when I posted my reply (#4), so hadn't read your opinion yet. However, obviously, I did when I posted #5.

I wanted to add that YES, we will have a car, so transportation isn't going to be THAT bad other than traffic.

I was just hoping to find something PERFECT (ha ha - aren't we all?!) I just want this to be fun for her.

I did see that some of the NICEST hotels had "complimentary car service" - I've never seen that before and wonder if that would be something I should consider (i.e. she could call the car and have it come get her + bring her to the hotel if I'm too far away to get her promptly). However, that's pretty much only at the 4+ and 5 star hotels. Some of the bidding sites have decent rates on 4 + 5 star hotels (around $125 or so a night) but you don't know what you'll get and I'm sure it doesn't include parking.

SIGH!

I personally like the Galleria area (not the mall actually - it's huge and expensive!) but the adjacent area with those huge silver metal rings/street signs... they're so pretty and the area is just nice IMO. I'm not as familiar w/ downtown, though I'm sure I could learn (and will have to to get her to the quilt festival.)

I'm just at such an impass and I'm making myself crazy with all these questions; I keep second-guessing myself. I appreciate the input from those who KNOW Houston...!

-Sarah

Texas
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7. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

I feel safe downtown now; I can't say that was the case a few years ago. It used to be that you would come out of a theater performance and run for your car, and the streets would be empty. Now there's a lot of restaurants, hotels, clubs, etc. downtown and even a new park - it's really been revitalized with the building of the new stadiums and the train system.

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8. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

swampfox, have you looked at the website for the festival? There are a number of official host hotels, and there are--or were, since there were a limited number or rooms--discounted rates for the festival. The best hotel by far, especially since you mention safety comcerns and your mother's need to rest, is the Hilton Americas. There is even a covered walkway to the GRB.

I would absolutely not stay in the Galleria area unless you yourself have plans in that area while your mother is at the festival. The traffic is awful, which is especially a problem for you since there is the possibility of having to make multiple trips during the day.

How many days do you plan to be in Houston? If you're just going to the festival for one day and money is a big concern, you might also stay somewhere on the east side of town (assuming you're driving from Louisiana), drive in to the festival, and then stay in the same place a second night before making the drive back.

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9. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

Thank you guys!

Yes, I have looked on the website for the festival and I have a catalog w/ program info.

I didn't realize that I would be able to bring her until fairly recently (about 2 weeks ago), but have been going through some things that were keeping me busy; I feel bad that I didn't know/try sooner to get a good room.

I didn't see anything available at the Hilton Americas, but I didn't try VERY hard; I will go and check it out. It looked to be over $200 a night on avg and I figured I could do better if I found something else and was just her taxi (hey, the woman gave birth to me - it's the LEAST I can do!) :o)

I plan on doing some shopping and walking around; I just thought I'd like the Galleria area for that. I usually go to Houston w/ my best friend/sister-in-law (who might also be able to come this time) and we usually go to the Highland Village shopping area, Ikea (LOVE IT!), and various other shops around Houston (sometimes Rice Village area, sometimes Westheimer/Galleria area, any Marshalls we can find, etc.)

I don't need to be near where *I* want to be because I will be driving. My mom isn't a drive-around-an-unfamiiliar-city kind of gal, but she's not a hike-10-blocks-to-my-hotel kind of gal either, so I need to be able to get her when she needs me to within a reasonable amt. of time, but I figured I'd be able to get to her w/in 20 minutes or so on a weekend if I just didn't stray TOO far (i.e. Katy, the Woodlands or Sugarland)

I don't know... Do you guys think I blew it w/out getting a room at the Hilton Americas no matter the cost?

!?!?!?!?!?

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Mom's Birthday trip - Quilt Festival - Ideas?!?!

I am basically repeating myself - but my opinion is that staying near the Galleria is the best option taking into consideration your requirements. Yes the Hilton is a better choice but at more than double the cost! A room at Hilton is $250+ plus parking (plus tax). If you are going to drop her and pick her up then parking is not an issue. Week-end the traffic is not that bad plus there are more than one way to get to downtown from Galleria. It is about 8 miles - about 10 min, - 20-25 mts with traffic.

Study a map - can take Westheimer to Louisiana to DT or 59 to DT. Coming to get her for lunch / nap is not that big a deal.