The luxurious and iconic Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International is located in Houston, Texas, in the MD Anderson Cancer Center treatment complex. This upscale hotel offers a unique blend of amenities that will make your overnight stay for medical care both comfortable and convenient.

The History Behind Rotary House International

In the late 1950s, Dr. R. Lee Clark’s visionary idea transformed the support system for cancer patients in Houston. As the director of MD Anderson, he dreamed of creating a special place in the Texas Medical Center—a haven for patients and their families who traveled from long distances and needed overnight accommodations. This dream took its first steps toward reality in 1959 when M.D. Anderson acquired the Mayfair apartment building, repurposing it to welcome outpatients. This gesture marked the beginning of what would become a compassionate legacy in patient care.

As the 1960s unfolded, the concept evolved into the Anderson Mayfair Hotel. Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Houston recognized a similar need among its members and set up additional accommodations in the area. This synergy between the Rotary Club and M.D. Anderson laid the groundwork for an even bigger dream.

The result? The Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International is a tribute not just to its namesake—a revered Houston native and former United States Secretary of Commerce—but to the spirit of generosity and kindness that defines the city of Houston.

Today, with 322 rooms, the Rotary House provides not just hotel accommodations but also a comprehensive support system through the Patient Guest Relations services. These service providers bridge clinical care with the needs of patients and their families, ensuring their cancer journey is met with understanding and assistance. Beyond the essentials, the Rotary House offers community spaces for rest and rejuvenation, including a gift shop, a pool, and a restaurant, embodying a home away from home atmosphere for patients and families during their most challenging times.

This story is a testament to what can be achieved when compassion, vision, and community come together.

Where Do MD Anderson Patients Stay?

The Rotary House International Hotel is ideal if it’s your first time for appointments at MD Anderson if you have early morning appointments, or if you want a stress-free stay close to your appointment locations.

You cannot reserve a room at this hotel until you provide the patient’s medical record number. For this reason, if you are being treated at MDA, the Rotary House Hotel is an ideal place to stay. Since MD Anderson owns the hotel, it caters to the needs of the patient. Marriott manages the hotel, but Marriott points cannot be earned (or spent) at this hotel.

The hotel is physically connected to the MD Anderson Cancer Center complex. So whether it’s stormy outside or steaming hot, it’s easy to walk a few minutes to the clinics via the enclosed walkways. Portions of the walkways even have a golf-cart-style shuttle service along the route.

A Place to Make You Feel at Home

When you arrive at the Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International, you will be greeted with warm hospitality and a welcoming atmosphere. There is a separate check-in desk in the main lobby, exclusively for first-time visitors.

Overview of the Room Types at Rotary House International Hotel

Standard Rooms

These cozy and intimate rooms feature a king bed or two queen-sized beds, perfect for solo travelers or couples. With soft lighting and elegant furnishings, these rooms provide the ultimate comfort for a relaxing stay. Some of the standard rooms have a kitchenette option with a refrigerator for storing snacks or medications. Every room has a sharps container in the bathroom.

Suites

Suite at Rotary House International Hotel in Houston Texas
Bedroom in King Suite at Rotary House International in Houston Texas

The hotel offers spacious suites with separate living areas and dining spaces for those seeking more space and luxury. The suites also come equipped with a mini refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker for added convenience.

Accessible Rooms

Rotary House International also has accessible rooms, with features such as roll-in showers, lowered countertops, and grab bars to accommodate guests with mobility challenges.

Additional Amenities at the Rotary House International Hotel

Rotary House International Hotel goes beyond the norm to ensure your stay is as stress-free as possible. The hotel boasts a 24-hour fitness center furnished with the latest equipment. Although there is complimentary wifi in each guest room, the fully equipped business center is invaluable. Here, you’ll find printing services and full internet access with privacy for productive work efforts.

Additionally, the hotel simplifies travel around the city with complimentary shuttle services to nearby medical facilities, shopping, and popular attractions, ensuring you have access to the locations that you need without the worries of city traffic or parking headaches.

We’ve stayed at the Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International Hotel multiple times, and each experience has been exceptional. We’re attracted to this location due to, well, the location. It is such a comfort to be able to park in the self-parking garage and either walk or take the complimentary shuttles to most of our appointments and activities. The rooms are meticulously clean, and the room service attendants are very cognizant of our “do not disturb” requests.

Dining and Cuisine at Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International

Food lovers are in for a treat at Rotary House International. The hotel features the on-site Apicius restaurant, offering a variety of delicious and innovative dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Apicius Restaurant

Apicius is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a creative culinary experience. It offers a full buffet for most meals and features seasonal a la carte menus. The culinary team doesn’t hesitate when presented with special dietary requests. The menu has seasonal adjustments, but customer favorites like the Chicken Pot Pie seem to be available throughout the year.

image of chicken pot pie entree at Apicius Restaurant, Houston, Texas
Chicken Pot Pie

Restaurant hours
Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Apicius Restaurant Breakfast at Rotary House International © Gwyn Goodrow
Breakfast Burrito
Hearty Cowboy Pie Entree at Apicius Restaurant © Gwyn Goodrow
Cowboy Meat Pie
Chicken Quesadilla at Apicius Restaurant at Rotary House International © Gwyn Goodrow
Chicken Quesadilla

Apicius Lounge

Apicius Lounge provides a casual setting for cocktails, conversation, and light snacks. It is a great spot to relax and enjoy a glass of wine or draft beer while catching a game on the mounted televisions.

Retail Food Outlets at Rotary House Hotel

Fuzions offers self-serve frozen yogurt with more than 40 different candies, fresh fruit, syrups, and sauce toppings. Start with your choice of yogurt flavor(s) and mix or match as you wish. Add a few toppings, then weigh your personal creations on the self-check scales. Pay by credit card, and you’ll be on your way in a few minutes.

Market Best, located at the skywalk connector to the Main Building, offers hot items for breakfast and lunch. Market Best also has a complete selection of packaged convenience foods, to-go packaged foods, and any toiletries or personal care items you may have forgotten.

Amenities and Services at Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International

At Rotary House International, it’s clear that the top priority is the comfort and convenience of medical travelers and their companions. The hotel offers various services and amenities, including:

Shuttle Services

As mentioned earlier, the hotel provides complimentary shuttle services (wheelchair-equipped) to nearby medical facilities for guests with appointments or procedures. Medical appointments have priority, but the shuttle drivers will cheerfully deliver guests to nearby attractions like the Houston Zoo, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, restaurants, and local shopping areas.

Business Center

While each room has complimentary wifi service, there is also a business center with Internet access for guests who may need a more private space for work or meetings.

Fitness Facilities

The first-floor fitness center includes a variety of equipment, including a Stairmaster, treadmills, weight machines, and dumbbells. The pool in the adjacent room is open for guests to enjoy throughout the day. It’s beautifully decorated with plants and artwork. Pool lifts are available, but no lifeguards are on duty. Swimmers are responsible for their own safety when using the pool and fitness facilities.

The Quiet Room

On the second level, the quiet room is an enjoyable community gathering area where you can participate in a jigsaw puzzle, read provided books, or watch the aquarium activities. Use your room key for access to this rejuvenating space.

Laundry Services

The coin-operated guest laundry is a welcome convenience for some travelers. It has several washers and dryers, a large table for sorting and folding, and a sink for hand washables and stain treatments. Others prefer the same-day dry cleaning service that is available upon request at the front desk.

Money Services in the Hotel

The automatic teller machine (ATM) is located on the 2nd floor near the snack shop and gift shop, near the enclosed sky bridge that leads to the Main Building of MD Anderson.

MD Anderson Patient Relations Department

At the heart of The Rotary House Hotel’s commitment to providing a supportive and nurturing environment for its guests, the on-premises Patient Relations staff play a pivotal role. These courteous and understanding professionals deliver a suite of special amenities at no additional cost.

Located on the hotel’s lobby level, the Patient Relations room is a hub of assistance and support. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

In addition to these services, the hotel distinguishes itself with special touches that cater specifically to the medical needs of its guests. One such facility is the on-site Diagnostic Laboratory Center operated by MD Anderson, conveniently located within the Rotary House International, right in the Patient Relations area on the lobby level. This center provides a crucial service for patients who need blood drawn for testing, offering its services from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. By integrating these medical services within the comfort of the hotel, The Rotary House Hotel gives guests convenient access to essential health care needs.

Even more, the patient relations area has a conference room and a health library with valuable literature for research. There are DVDs, puzzles, and board games that overnight guests can check out and take to their rooms for entertainment with family members or caregivers.

Experiences and Activities

The Atrium on the ground floor level is a relaxation space with lots of seating. The entire area comes alive with musical performances at the grand piano.

The skywalks are two connection points from Rotary House to MD Anderson Main Building. You’ll want to plan for a trip to the top-level observation deck in the Main Building. See a panoramic view of Houston from this top floor, where there are armchairs to relax in and quiet perspectives.  

Getting here is an adventure in itself, though. In the Main Building, locate the F elevators and go to the 22nd floor.  Then, take the special elevator that accesses the 24th floor.

The history of the MD Anderson Cancer Center is showcased in the area known as The Historical Hall, which is located near the main lobby or “Aquarium” entrance area. This section is dedicated to preserving and presenting the rich history of the institution, from its inception to its current status as one of the leading cancer treatment and research centers in the world. Visitors and patients can explore exhibits, photographs, and documents that tell the story of MD Anderson’s founding, its evolution, and its contributions to cancer research and patient care.

Restaurants in MD Anderson Main Building

Cafe Anderson serves cafeteria-style meals with hot entrees, a salad bar, specialty grills, and sandwiches. There is a limited-menu Chick-fil-A station that is open on weekdays and Saturdays.

Cafe at the Park has grab-and-go food selections, Starbucks drinks, and Smoothie King smoothies.

Nearby Attractions

Hermann Park, located just a 2-minute walk from the hotel, is a verdant oasis of 445 acres that offers attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. As one of the city’s most cherished public spaces, the park is packed with activities, sights, and things to do that reflect the diverse culture and natural beauty of Houston.

Here are some of the key attractions at Hermann Park:

Houston Zoo

One of the park’s most visited attractions, the Houston Zoo is home to thousands of animals from all over the world. The zoo focuses on education, conservation, and providing a fun, engaging environment for its visitors. The exhibits are well-maintained and the walking paths are easy to navigate.

McGovern Centennial Gardens

Centennial Gardens Water Feature © Gwyn Goodrow
Centennial Gardens Skyline © Gwyn Goodrow

This beautifully landscaped area includes a variety of thematic gardens, such as the Rose Garden, the Arid Garden, and the Woodland Garden. The centerpiece is a 30-foot garden mount offering panoramic views of the park. It’s a circular ramp that winds into a tight circle at the top before opening onto a pavilion area that looks out to the gardens and skyline beyond.

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Offering free performances from March through November, this outdoor theater hosts a range of productions, including concerts, theater performances, and dance shows, all set against the backdrop of Hermann Park.

Hermann Park Golf Course

This historic 18-hole golf course is suitable for golfers at all levels of expertise and offers a scenic setting for a day outdoors.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science

Although technically adjacent to Hermann Park instead of in the park, this museum is easily associated with the park experience. It features an extensive collection of natural science exhibits, including dinosaur skeletons and rare minerals. The butterfly center was closed for renovations when we visited.

Outside, pause to observe the impressive sundial art piece, a nod to ancient methods of marking time using the sun’s position. This functional piece of art not only demonstrates the basic principles of astronomy but also connects visitors with the celestial dynamics that dictate our perception of time.

Positioned just across from the museum, Hermann Park’s lively play area buzzes with the sounds of active children, offering a mental contrast between the museum’s contemplative nature and the grassy park’s uplifting spirit. This juxtaposition enriched our experience and gave us time for reflection while touring in the heart of Houston.

The Hermann Park Railroad

A favorite among children, this mini-train offers a two-mile, 20-minute ride around the park, providing a fun and relaxing way to see many of its attractions.

Hermann Park is a cultural and recreational hub in Houston. It provides a lush, green space where people can connect with nature, enjoy the arts, and participate in recreational activities. For us, it was a meaningful time to connect with nature and take a break from the cancer treatment appointments.

Parking at the Rotary House International Hotel

Arriving at the Rotary House on Holcombe Blvd feels like the beginning of an experience that is thoughtfully designed to welcome you with ease and comfort. As you enter the driveway, you’ll notice the valet service. You’re encouraged to temporarily park your car here and proceed to the lobby for check-in, a simple process that marks the start of your stay.

Once you’ve registered at the guest services desk and have your parking and room keycards in hand, there are a few actions to reach the self-parking garage. Driving through the valet parking lot, you’ll approach a gate that senses your arrival and opens automatically. A second gate leading into the multi-level parking garage grants you access with a quick swipe of your parking keycard.

For direct entry to the building, the fourth floor of the parking garage is your target; it connects directly to the second floor of the hotel building. If you find yourself parking on a different level, there’s no need to worry. The garage elevators will transfer you to the fourth floor, where you can easily walk into the building. Inside the hotel, clear signage will guide you past the Fuzion’s frozen yogurt store and Apicius Restaurant towards the room-access elevators located across from the restaurant.

Tip: Use “Joe’s List” for research about area hotels and options for free and deeply discounted rooms for medical patients in Houston. From that site, use the link provided to book your first Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International reservations. www.joeshouse.org

Final Thoughts about our stay…

This hotel is focused on MD Anderson lodging for patients. You’ll see people with IV poles or wearing medical bracelets. Medical bandages are the norm, and elevators handle everything from giant stuffed animals to post-surgery wedge pillows, walkers, and wheelchairs. What may seem out of place in most hotels is not out of place here. It just feels like we’re all in it together.

We’ve discovered that the Rotary House is more than a place to stay; it’s a sanctuary of support, reflecting the heart of Houston’s medical community and the enduring spirit of those it serves.

Have you recently stayed at the Rotary House International? We’d love to hear from you! Sharing your experience can provide invaluable insights and support to others navigating their cancer journeys. Whether it was the comfort of your room, the convenience of the amenities, or the warmth of our staff that made your stay memorable, your story is important. Your insight could be the guiding light for someone in their time of need.

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