The La Colombe d’Or French Experience
If the recent summer hit flick ‘Midnight in Paris’ fired you up for a French vacation but your budget does not allow, come along to the Villa Hotel La Colombe d’Or right here in the heart of Montrose, just a few blocks away from the Museum district, for a mini French soiree and the best part is they are now offering special summer packages.
This summer everyone seems to be in love with Paris and with Bastille Day around the corner French love is in the air.
Juxtaposed to the Texas notion ‘big is better’ La Colombe d’Or boasts being one of the world’s smallest luxury hotels and a Houston landmark embracing the true European style. The hotel has now proudly entered its 30th anniversary with the completion of an extensive renovation and restoration under the direction of Dallas-based Vision Design.
Originally built in 1923 by legendary wildcatter W. W. Fondren, known for founding Humble Oil, which later became Exxon, the ‘Fondren Mansion’, as it was then known, was purchased by Steve Zimmerman in 1979. A year later, Zimmerman debuted La Colombe d’Or, initially comprising just the hotel and restaurant.
The focal point of The Grand Salon pavilion is the exquisite ballroom, featuring 300 year old wood panels from the French country chateau of Count and Countess Greffulhe. The pieces were acquired from another Houston oil icon, John Mecom.
My experience was most definitely grand at this mansion style one and two bedroom apartment suites clustered around the lush courtyard, strolling around in my little black dress sipping champagne. The hotel might be small but has a character of its own taking you down memory lane, walking around by the lobby to check out the grand mahogany staircase, shimmering in a warm glow, reflected from the gilded ceiling showcasing a large display of contemporary art.
Interesting splashes of color accent the library. A perfect harmony of new and old throughout the mansion’s public spaces, beginning with the inviting front porch. What sets the hotel apart other than its residential style living experience is the art gallery.
The establishment of the La Colombe d’Or Art Gallery by Steve Zimmerman and Ed Bodde in 2003 set the perfect tone of Zimmerman’s passion for and the marriage of fine food, fine wine and fine art. The Gallery Collection is exciting and eclectic with its wide range of styles with numerous European artists.
The next day started early with a quick stop across the street for some American starbucks, a walk around the neighborhood and then lunch at the hotel’s Restaurant CINQ – a reference to the five senses. A true afternoon delight as Executive Chef Jeramie Robison prepared a scrumptious five course lunch while Dan Zimmerman talked about some of the celebrity guests of La Colombe d’Or. I was excited to have dined at the royal hotel that has welcomed the likes of Bill Clinton to Madonna.
The lunch menu started off with a cool watermelon salad which was served with heirloom tomatoes, vine-ripened watermelon, herbs, pure luck feta drizzled with rice wine vinaigrette. The Jumbo Lump Crab Tower with avocado, tomato, marinated cucumbers, and citrus. A great way to stay cool when it is 100 degrees outdoors.
Chef Jeramie took it up a notch and prepared the perfect pan seared Chilean sea bass served with jasmine rice, roasted peanuts, caramelized ginger, curry nage with soy glaze. The ravioli with foie gras definitely did the wonders.
Overall a splendid experience with royal hospitality. For summer special packages contact 713-524-7999 or log onto www.lacolombedor.com.
The photo journey below is a perfect way to express the grandeur of La Colombe d’Or Vila Hotel and photographer Roswitha Vogler [email@example.com] beautifully captures the moods of our lifestyle journalist Ruchi Mukherjee through these pictures.
- White and Gold Sari: ELAN Couture
- Little Black Dress: Ann Taylor
- Accessories: PRADA
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Watch the video for the La Colombe d’Or experience.