OOnly a few months after its official reopening following major renovations and the birth of the neighboring Hines building, La Colombe d’Or won Smithsonian magazine as one of the five most resilient / venerable hotels in the country. The famous national magazine nicknamed La Colombe d’Or one of its hotels Invincible.
Built in 1923 as a private residence, converted into a five-bedroom hotel by Houstonian Steve Zimmerman in the early 1980s, and having survived the subsequent oil crash in the mid-1980s, La Colombe d’Or joined the ranks of leading hotels rise from their ashes literally and figuratively.
“It’s worth remembering that America’s most famous hotels have survived crises other than COVID-19,” Smithsonian writer Tony Perrott written. âThe hospitality industry has had to adapt to wars, economic spirals, radical fashion changes – and yes, other even more devastating epidemics – each of which has forced somersaults that give new meaning to the word at contemporary fashion “pivot”.
The challenge that found the Montrose hotel business in the big leagues of the survivors was the collapse in oil prices and the resulting filth of business in the hotel and accompanying restaurant. In an effort to attract customers, Zimmerman offered a three-course prix fixe lunch for the price of a barrel of crude. It was a public relations sensation, drawing the hotel’s national attention.
Today La Colombe d’Or is back better than ever thanks to an infusion of cash and the talents of a renowned architect / decorator Lauren Rottet.
âWe are very honored to be included in the Smithsonian Magazine Five of the most invincible hotels in the Americas. . . “ Zimmerman tells PaperCity. “The 100-year history of La Colombe d’Or mansion, originally owned by Walter Fondren Jr. of Humble Oil, has seen many crises including the oil crash, multiple hurricanes and floods, and a pandemic. global and will continue to be an iconic hotel and landmark for the City of Houston for many years to come.
Share the Smithsonian magazine the projectors of emblematic hotels with second if not third acts are The Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, which survived the 1906 fire; Mohonk mountain house in New York’s Hudson Valley, which persisted during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic; The Biltmore, Miami, who survived the âGreat Miami Hurricaneâ of 1926; and the Hollywood roosevelt (where the first Academy Awards were held), which flourished during the Great Depression thanks to actor Errol Flynn’s smuggling activities into the hotel.
The article is an entertaining read that includes the colorful history of the five properties.
âFor years, I’ve been known as the man sitting in the library, telling stories over a glass of rosÃ© and looking at Montrose Boulevard – pretending it’s the Mediterranean,â says Steve Zimmerman. “It is wonderful to be recognized for something more than this and we are delighted that customers experience La Colombe d’Or.”