Houston’s Marriott Marquis gets the prize for Most Inspired Amenity in advance of Super Bowl LI in the Bayou City in February: a $12 million 530-foot-long lazy river in the shape of Texas.
The hotel, which is scheduled to open in December, lit up the rooftop river at night for the first time last week.
It’s a one-of-a-kind thing, Jay Marsella, director of marketing for Marriott Marquis, told KHOU-TV.
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“The owners wanted something different. They wanted something that made a difference in a big city — something that no one else had,” he said.
“You’re not going to see a Florida-shaped pool in the state of Florida, because they don’t care as much as Texas cares about their state,” Marsella told the station.
It’s well-established that Texans love Texas, and tend to mold, bend, draw, paint and plaster the shape of the state wherever it’ll fit, as The New York Times’ Houston bureau chief recently recounted.
The lazy river at the Marriott Marquis is something Houston can capitalize on long after the Super Bowl.
The river winds around the entire state, from the Panhandle down to North Texas, out east toward Louisiana, down to Houston and the border with Mexico, back up and west to El Paso, where it appears to disappear off the edge of the building and features views of the park below through an underwater window, according to the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Marriott Marquis is easily the largest hotel opening ahead of the Super Bowl, the Houston Chronicle reports, and will serve as headquarters for the NFL and teams of media. The $370 million facility features 1,000 guest rooms, an infinity pool along with the lazy river, a 5,000-square-foot spa and 5,000-square-foot fitness center, two restaurants, several bars and a café, 100,000 square feet of meeting space with two ballrooms and an open-air pavilion.
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