Be Well at Hotel Vesper, Houston

by Brook Benten on April 2, 2024 in Living Texas, Houston, Travels, Wellness,

The Galleria Area of Houston, also known as “Uptown,” offers the gamut of experiences for you to be well.

Wellness travel is today’s most desirable type of getaway. Globally, people are aging, chronic diseases are rising, and, according to Ophelia Yeung, a senior research fellow with the Global Wellness Institute, “mental unwellness has consumers changing values of why they are getting away.”

Some travelers specifically seek out wellness resorts. We have experienced bona fide wellness resorts and have plenty of stories on guided wellness properties. {Type a quick “Sensei” search in our search bar at and you’ll see two of the world’s top wellness resorts!} 

As any doctor, psychiatrist, trainer, guide, or guru will tell you, though, wellness is not a commodity. Wellness is experiential. That means, you can choose to experience it anywhere. I chose to Be Well in a brand new boutique hotel in Uptown Houston: Hotel Vesper.

Hotel Vesper

Hotel Vesper is the closest hotel to The Galleria Shopping Mall, without actually being inside the mall. This is an approachable hotel for the traveler who desires a notch above continental breakfast and several notches below valet parking. The 131-key hotel offers grab-and-go lobby snacks, a night bar/restaurant, and an intimate cafe. There’s a modest fitness center and if you stay in one of the boutique’s suites, you can enjoy a ride with Denis Morton and friends on your en-suite Peloton bike. (Everybody has a favorite Pelly instructor. Denis is mine.)

Hotel Vesper’s rooms and suites deliver plush bedding, low lighting, and quietness conducive to the cornerstone of well-being: sleep. Photo courtesy Hotel Vesper.


Vesper means the brightest star in the sky. The staff at this boutique hotel symbolize Vesper. From the warm greeting upon your arrival to a knowledgeable server at Cache Bar to a barista serving espresso your way, the staff really shine here. I’d like to extend a special gratitude-filled shout-out to the security guard who keeps an eagle eye on the parking lot at night. (On my trip, I moonlighted as the Easter Bunny. During my hasty 1 a.m. run to the car to fetch an Easter basket, you gave me peace, sir.)

Cache Cocktail Bar

Cache Cocktail Bar is more than a bar. It’s a wellness dining establishment. Photo courtesy Hotel Vesper.

Dinner is served at Cache Cocktail Bar. Seeing as how I don’t drink alcohol and my guest was my 7-year-old daughter, I didn’t know if this was a fit for us. The line from Sweet Home Alabama: “You have a baby!… In a bar.” came to mind. But not to fret. Hotel Vesper welcomes families. We weren’t the only hungry guests with wee ones dining at Cache Cocktail Bar. We really enjoyed a booth with velvet curtains. The curtains could be pulled together for 360-degree privacy. We enjoyed fresh salads filled with deep green lettuce, a perfectly poached egg, crunchy pistachios, sliced carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, red grapes, steamed green beans, paper-thin radishes, rosemary chicken, and green goddess dressing on the side. This was a welcomed change from what I’m accustomed to at hotel restaurants: iceberg lettuce with matchstick carrots and chicken reminiscent of that from a 7-11 cooling unit. 

Salads are nutrient-dense, rainbow-hued wise wellness choices at Cache Cocktail Bar. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.

With the arrival of our food, we closed the booth curtains and enjoyed a healthy meal, each other’s company, and smooth sounds of jazz music. The cacophony of other people’s conversations, what was going on behind the bar, clanking silverware on ceramic plates and all other sounds customary for a restaurant experience were far from us. To my surprise and delight, Cache Cocktail Bar ticked all boxes of a wellness dining establishment: quitness, pleasant lighting, fiber-rich food from the earth with high quality protein, kind service, affordability, and great company.

Close the curtain and enjoy your meal and company in peace at Cache Cocktail Bar. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.


Outside of wellness resorts, which home the gamut of fitness equipment (and often recovery tools, too), I see great disparity between and among hotel fitness centers. Some hotels select cardio equipment that most people are unfamiliar with, like Real Ryder bikes (bikes that lean side to side to simulate a real cycling experience) or Arc Trainers (a hybrid between a Stairmaster and an elliptical). If people don’t use these things back home, they’re not going to embrace the learning curve while on vacation. Most travelers want familiar equipment that is user-friendly right down to the “quick start” button. Hotel Vesper scores here. The boutique provides two treadmills, two ellipticals, and an upright bike. Quick Start and “go.” 

Another mistake boutique hotels often make is buying the right type of equipment, but getting it for as cheaply as possible. The budget brands cannot withstand high commercial use and lend themselves to “out of order” signs and frustrated hotel guests. Hotel Vesper offers top-of-the-line Life Fitness commercial cardio equipment. Each unit comes with televisions and scenic virtual courses for those who enjoy entertainment as they sweat. Photo courtesy Brooke Benten.

Strength is another area where many hotels get it wrong. Strength training is the top trend in fitness. Space is often wasted with a bunch of pin-placed equipment and cumbersome lifting stations. Every muscle in your entire body can be worked with bodyweight and a set of dumbbells. Simple! But all too often, I’ll approach the dumbbell rack at my hotel and find only weights up to about 12 pounds. That’s suitable for anchoring a piece of paper in the wind, but it’s not heavy enough for effective strength training. (Training for strength means using a weight you could onlylift 1-5 repetitions!) Hotel Vesper offers a wide weight range of urethane dumbbells, up to 50 pounds. Now we’re talking! That’s effective strength training and it’s racked and ready for you at Hotel Vesper.

No strength equipment is more useful, versatile, or valuable than the human body (but dumbbells would be number two). Photo courtesy Brook Benten.


You don’t have to go far to enjoy outdoor adventures outside of Hotel Vesper. The parking lot is spacious with low volume of through traffic. We found it to be a safe space to practice a little newbie bike riding.

The meandering front and back areas of Hotel Vesper’s parking lot make a contained space for new riders to practice bike riding- with very close parental supervision. Speed bumps add an extra “wee” factor. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.

Just next to Hotel Vesper is The Galleria Shopping Mall. ICE at The Galleria offers public skating hours seven days a week for under $20 with skate rentals for $5.50. 

Social and physical wellness abound at Ice at the Galleria, a stunning year round indoor ice rink located at the Houston Galleria in the Center of the Food Court. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.

Only 2.5 miles away from Hotel Vesper is the big city’s most renowned jogging trail: Memorial Park Conservancy. Memorial Park is Houston’s largest park. The trail system is welcoming to pets, walkers, and serious runners, alike. 2024 commemorates 100 years of Memorial Park Conservancy. I could give you 100 reasons to visit this park (baseball, golf, croquet, mountain biking, tennis, volleyball, pickleball, swimming, playgrounds…) but you only need one: it is where you go to be well in Houston. 

A three-mile loop around Memorial Park has been keeping me fit since 2003. Then, I was a graduate student in the Health and Human Performance Department at The University of Houston. Now, I’m setting an example for the next generation. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.

Wellness travel should be on your docket for 2024. It’s good for you. It’s good for everybody. But you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars at elaborate wellness resorts with a butler and day spa. Spas can sometimes have a deleterious effect on well-being: they convince already sedentary people that they need to move less. Science shows there are restorative benefits to just going on a walk. Walking is free and Westheimer Road, one block away, has some scenic sidewalks. You can spend a mere $169 per night (starting rate) and be well at Hotel Vesper in Houston, Texas.

Hotel Vesper is located at 1560 Hidalgo Street in Houston, TX. Online reservations may be made here, or call 712-621-8988.


Cover image courtesy of Brook Benten

Brook Benten is a wellness writer in Austin, TX. She is the author of “Sweat with Brook Benten,” and host of the More Than Sweat podcast. She is a wife and mother of two. The FIT Company Institute awarded Brook “Austin’s Fittest Fitness Professional” in 2012. She is currently training for the 2024 triathlon season. Follow Brook on Instagram at @BrookBenten.