Hotel Ylem

Hotel Ylem

THE SHORT VERSION

A cozy spot with no pretense and a lot of heart, Hotel Ylem is a great for extended stays and low-key lounging.

Scene

A feel-good spot with a warmhearted mission

At Hotel Ylem, feeling good feels great. With its immersive “Y-lanthropy” mission on display both inside and out, it’s not just an inviting space to spend a few nights, it’s an inviting space, period. Personal touches are everywhere, from the grand mural on the front exterior, featuring work from marine conservation artist Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee to the note from “Mom” near the china cabinet in the lobby. 

Guests are encouraged to leave handwritten notes on one of three “wishing trees” near the grand staircase, leaving messages of hope and kindness for one another and themselves. Inspirational quotes and colloquialisms cover the chalkboard-coated front desk. A sense of warmth blankets the whole property, welcoming guests with open arms.

Though it’s stylish enough to feel modern, the overwhelming energy is inviting, which is an important vibe to nail considering the hotel’s proximity to the Texas Medical Center. Its convenient location is ideal for those in town for treatments or visiting loved ones in medical facilities up the road. The hotel offers specialized medical rates, so do call before you book if this is the case.

Location

Off the beaten path

It may be removed from the heart of the city on the south side of town, but the location still offers easy access to major landmarks. Before you hit the best things to do in Houst0n, here’s what’s in the immediate area:

  • The Texas Medical Center is a five-minute drive from Ylem and home to the world’s largest children’s hospital as well as the world’s largest cancer hospital. Ask about their complimentary shuttle service to avoid parking garage fees.
  • It could be a blessing or it could be a curse, depending on your reason for visiting, but NRG Stadium and Park is the closest attraction. The stadium and complex hosts the Houston Texans home games, special events and the annual Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo every spring. 
  • The Museum District is a quick drive up Main Street, with opportunities to discover a huge array of culture, art, science and more. Looking for a free option? Check out The Menil Collection, where admission is always free.
  • Hermann Park and McGovern Centennial Park are two of Houston’s grandest public spaces, popular with locals and tourists for their beauty and spaciousness.
  • A destination all its own with 300 acres of old-growth trees, Rice University is also home to the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace. It’s meant to be experienced about one hour before sunrise or 10 minutes before sunset, with each light display unfolding naturally for approximately 40 minutes through the specially designed structure, using only the magic of the sky and sun above. Note it’s not open to the public on Tuesdays. No reservations necessary. 

Rooms

Standard but stylish

Ylem’s mission might be less-than-standard for a hotel, but the rooms fall in line with common options found at popular chains (not surprising given its former incarnation as a Holiday Inn). However, the design is a step above, comfortably modern with features like funky fixtures, retro-inspired mini refrigerators and unique art above the headboards with phrases like, “dear bed…” answered above the adjacent queen, “…I love you.” 

All rooms include private bathrooms with shower/bathtubs, a workspace, high-speed Wi-Fi, coffee maker with espresso pods, KEYPR tablets (a digital concierge), mini-fridge, microwave and flat-screen televisions with DirectTV.

King or Double Queen Room

Fairly standard layouts for both a king or two queens comfortably sleep up to two or up to four people, respectively, inclusive of all the above amenities as well as a tufted armchair.

King or Queen Suites

For those looking for extra room to spread out, these options (which are limited) include an additional sitting area.

ADA King

Lowered counters and a roll-in shower with a grab bar make this room more accessible.

Amenities

Accessible and artistic

In addition to all the in-room amenities mentioned above, comfort is easy to come by at Ylem. Overall options for guests include a sundry shop, art available for purchase (18% of each sale is donated to charity), free shuttle service, free Wi-Fi, complimentary coffee, free and easy parking, an Astroturf-outfitted fitness center, business center, meeting rooms, laundry, a small library with seating overlooking the lobby, elevators and free breakfast. 

Accessibility features are braille-coded exits, accessibility ramps, elevators, braille-coded elevator, accessible tub, roll-in shower and visual alarm, telephone and doorbell alerts.

Pets are not allowed, but late checkouts are. 

Food & Beverage

Delivery is your friend

At the moment there is neither food nor beverage available in the hotel bar, Esperanto. It’s closed until further notice according to staff. However, you’ll find plenty of local and national chain restaurants nearby and within walking distance, but if something more unique is on your mind, head into the Rice Village area — a quick 13-minute drive — where you’ll find a plethora of bars, restaurants and retail.Closer in, check out Dimassi’s, a Mediterranean buffet, Golden Krust, a Caribbean franchise or Jollibee, another franchise known for Filipino-style fried chicken.