My Top 5: Hotel Derek GM Shawn Gracey

Photo credit: Julie Soefer

Every week, My Top 5” features a different enterprising Houstonian who shares his top five personal favorite things about living life in the Bayou City. Today we hear from Shawn Gracey, general manager of the recently renovated, award-winning Hotel Derek, situated just inside the Loop on Westheimer by the Galleria. 

My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston

by Shawn Gracey

  1. Sur La Table – For someone who has boundless appreciation for the culinary arts, Sur La Table has become a favorite place to explore with my gorgeous, yet culinary-challenged wife. The interactive cooking classes give us fresh cooking techniques to try at home, not to mention it’s BYOB which definitely keeps it lively.
  2. Top Gun Range – We live in Texas after all! To embrace our Houston lifestyle, my wife and I venture to the Top Gun shooting range, which will inevitably turn into a competition over who has the best shot.
  3. Memorial Park – Jogging each morning before work has been a longtime tradition for me. Recently, I’ve had a lot more company – and fun – on the track with the hotel’s new “Jogging with the GM” early morning runs.
  4. Flying Saucer in Sugar Land – The scene is cool and a fun place for people watching, and it’s become my go-to spot to enjoy the craft beer movement. My current favorite is Shiner Bock.
  5. The Galleria Ice Rink – Watching my two young daughters skating on the ice is one of our favorite family activities, especially during the holiday season or in the blazing summer.

About Shawn Gracey

With an eye for style and a heart for hospitality, Shawn Gracey is not only Hotel Derek’s general manager but also the property’s biggest enthusiast and out-of-the-box thinker. In just over a year at Hotel Derek, Gracey has seen the hotel through an extensive multi-million dollar renovation of the guestrooms, lobby and completely overhauled the service atmosphere, creating a fun, hip and modern vibe at the Galleria-area’s only boutique hotel. The hard work has paid off as Gracey and his team recently celebrated the hotel’s recognition as a Forbes Travel Guide Four Star property for the first time in its 10-year history. Gracey’s team has more exciting stuff lined up for the hotel in 2014, including major restaurant news and a soon-to-be-revealed three-story outdoor movie wall.

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