by Sarah JF Braley | August 20, 2019

The 195-room AC Hotel Houston Downtown has debuted in the heart of the city, a corner property that is on the National Register of Historic buildings for its modernist architecture from the 1960s.

Actually dating back to 1914, the structure has been restored to feature a number modern elements from its 1960s renovation while paying homage to its earlier incarnation with the refresh of what once was the Zoe Theater (which showed silent movies) and now is the 3,600-square-foot Zoe Ballroom. The hotel's signature cocktail celebrates the building's early days in a black-and white take on the Old Fashioned called the Chaplin, as both the Zoe and Charlie Chaplin's career were born in 1914.

This is the building's first time as a hotel. The 195 rooms are pure 21st century, featuring desks with ergonomic chairs, complimentary high-speed Internet, WiFi and plenty of charging ports. Guests can stream from their devices directly to the HDTVs.

The property offers the brand's signature F&B outlets, AC Kitchen and AC Lounge. The restaurant has the look of a high-end residential kitchen and serves a European-style breakfast with options such as sweet and savory Spanish egg tarts, prosciutto and other cured meats freshly sliced on a Berkel slicer, French croissants, fresh fruits, cheeses, muesli, yogurt, fresh Nespresso coffee and more. The kitchen also will host wine-and-cheese tastings and other culinary events. The menu at the AC Lounge features tapas and handcrafted, Texas-inspired cocktails by mixologist Alex Luna. The AC Store sells grab-and-go snacks, and the Starbucks café in the lobby will open later this fall.