Choose-your-own itinerary for one heck of a Montrose staycation

By | July 14, 2014

The journey is not always better than the destination, despite the inspirational quotes that say otherwise. A prime example would be a staycation — where all the fun parts of the vacation are right at your fingertips, and all the hassles of air or car travel are nonexistent. An ideal itinerary exists, all without having to leave the boundaries of Montrose, with plenty of places to stay, relax, dine and drink. Pick and choose from the options below to create your own perfect Montrose staycation.

Credit: Roan Mattews of

La Colombe d’Or / 3410 Montrose Blvd.
If escape is what you seek, La Colombe d’Or is the perfect haven. In the heart of the neighborhood, this 1923-built mansion is elegant, refined and full of history. Its five, one-bedroom suites in the main building will make you feel like a visiting dignitary with plenty of space to spread out and relax. After check-in, you may not want to leave the property. In addition to the rooms, Restaurant Cinq on the first floor is an excellent choice for fine dining (lunch or dinner), whether or not you’re a guest of the hotel. Art lovers would be remiss to skip the in-house gallery with works from well-known artists that represent a wide range of styles.

Additional cozy quarters:
Modern B&B for a stay that feels like home, but with a built-in chef-prepared breakfast each day.
Robin’s Nest has three separate properties with eclectic decor and a quaint feel.

Alira Boutique Spa & Salon. Credit: Roan Matthews of

Dharma Skin Spa / 1520 Welch St.
There are plenty of places to get a great massage in Montrose, but pampering your skin can be just as relaxing. Dharma Skin Spa offers facials using natural products with ingredients like algae, plant extracts and essential oils. An appointment is required, and the spa is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Alira Boutique Spa & Salon / 1619 W. Alabama St.
If you’d like something that isn’t only skin-deep, try Alira. A well-rounded list of services includes various massages, hair styling, body scrubs, body wraps, facials and more.

The sushi bar at Uchi. Credit: Roan Matthews of

Dining Out
All that relaxing may work up an appetite, so you need to be prepared. It’s not easy choosing from the diverse concentration of restaurants in the neighborhood.

The most important meal of the day:
La Mexicana beckons with its hearty Mexican breakfasts like migas, huevos rancheros and on weekends, their famously good menudo. Each morning begins with a 7-9 a.m. happy hour with discounts on mimosas, bloody marys and margaritas.
Common Bond for world-class croissants and pastries.
Brasil for an artsy atmosphere, great coffee and creative dishes.
Blacksmith for serious coffee and simple, but satisfying breakfasts.

So fresh and so green, green:
Bowl for build-your-own salads, sandwiches, soups and thin-crust pizzas.
Radical Eats for vegetarian and vegan fare.

Meat and greet:
La Casa del Caballo for both upscale Mexican dishes and hearty cuts of beef.

Variety is the spice of lunch (or dinner):
Canopy for upscale plates that satisfy a range of palates.
Nippon for sushi and traditional Japanese food.
Katz’s Deli for New York-style sandwiches and thick milkshakes.
Max’s Wine Dive (dinner only, aside from a Friday-Monday brunch service) for comfort food on steroids paired with approachable wines.

Uchi for modern plates, small bites, fresh seafood with Japanese influences and sake.
Underbelly for in-house butchered meats, local produce and the “story of Houston food.”
El Tiempo 1308 Cantina for margaritas, fajitas and Tex-Mex heaven.
Mark’s American Cuisine for a romantic, upscale meal in a converted church.
Mockingbird Bistro for a civilized lunch or dinner and one of the best happy hour deals in Houston.

Credit: Roan Matthews of

Rather than listing the abundance of amazing locally owned stores in Montrose, here is one block of the neighborhood where all you have to do is find a parking space and hop on the sidewalk for plenty of retail therapy. In the 1600 block of Westheimer (between Dunlavy St. and Mandell St.), there are more than enough stops to satiate even the most avid of shoppers. Warning: you must have stamina to do it right.

Just a sampling of places you’ll come across:
Wish Boutique for reasonably priced women’s clothing, shoes and accessories.
Buffalo Exchange for vintage and used clothing (where you can bring in items you don’t want for store credit or cash).
Blackbird Trading Company for new and gently used clothing.
Nonno for Asian-inspired fashion.
Duo for trendy men and women’s clothing.
Pavement for buying, selling or trading used clothing.

Anvil Bar & Refuge. Credit: Julie Soefer, courtesy of Clumsy Butcher

Unwinding from such an amazing day might take a while, and a few adult beverages. Since you’re staying in the neighborhood, it’s ok to indulge — just be sure to call a cab if needed, the fare won’t be much at all.

Anvil Bar & Refuge is not only a Montrose favorite, it’s frequently listed among some of the best cocktail bars in the nation.
Rudyard’s has a good beer selection, great burgers and some of the best music and comedy shows in town.
Agora offers cozy nooks to curl up with a loved one, a book and a glass of wine.
Rosemont Social Club is the place to be for cocktails with panache and a rooftop patio that’s hard to resist.
Bacchus for light bites and sipping wine on the patio.

3 responses to “Choose-your-own itinerary for one heck of a Montrose staycation”

  1. Tina Zulu

    Boheme is my go-to bar. When I’m there I feel transported to a place far, far away from home, but right at home if you know what I mean.

  2. That is not a picture of the Colombe D’Or. It’s the Link Lee house on the University campus.

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The Montrose Management District
board workshop meeting scheduled for April 3
has been postponed indefinitely.