Social Good Travel

Hotel Ylem: A Feel-Good Staycation for the Soul

Photo: Hal Brock

It’s often rare to come across people “living to work” and not working to live, especially with a purpose. We face the pressures to climb the ladder, earn a solid income, face the daily grind to make ends meet and more. Few people have the courage and conviction to make their work reflect their life’s purpose—few people are like the Dalwadi family who founded Hotel Ylem, a socially conscious Houston hotel that gives back in so many ways.

When Hotel Ylem invited me to attend a Blogger Sleepover, I was excited to get some R&R time with my friend Shalanda and be pampered for an evening. When I took a closer look at the opportunity and learned about the impact Houston’s new hotel would soon make in the community and world, I felt honored to be in the company of the chic hotel’s passionate founders. The recently renovated Hotel Ylem has been built with love, care, and authentic generosity. Jay and Kapila Dalwadi, along with their children – Manisha, Amisha, Sheetal and Sumit, have owned a hotel property in the past but truly sought to make Hotel Ylem their own, embedding compassion and charity into every detail imaginable.

What’s in a Name?

I can pour over the hotel’s impeccable style and irrevocably cool design, but let’s start with the name that drew me. When my friend Sarah had mentioned Hotel Ylem to me in a message, I kept pronouncing the name COMPLETELY wrong! Hotel yalem, hotel yell-lamb—you can imagine. Ylem (pronounced eye-lem) means the initial substance of the universe from which all things come from—for the Dalwadi’s this means water and mother. It’s the beginning of everything, an appropriate moniker for the Dalwadi’s fresh new concept. You guys know I’m a writer and word nerd, so I LOVE this sentiment.

Now that I’ve defined Ylem, let’s talk about the “Y-lanthropy” features. I am a huge fan of social good brands and strive to share companies that give back. This has always been a part of me, even before starting Cup of Charisma. I even missed an entire band performance at a music festival because I was so excited to talk to the volunteers at a Krochet Kids booth! I love brands that do good and make you feel good in the process. One of the most compelling features of Hotel Ylem is its many charitable components.

Cocktails for You, Water for the World

charity: water holds a special place in the hearts of Hotel Ylem’s founders, so much so that they donate to the cause wherever possible. Their goal is to sponsor a water project every year, allowing an entire community in remote parts of the world to have access to clean, safe water. This sounds like a big feat because it truly is! For those unfamiliar, charity: water is a non-profit organization that supplies clean water to developing nations—a necessity that a staggering 663 million people do not have. Water shouldn’t be a luxury, so Hotel Ylem has made the decision to donate 100% of the mini bar proceeds and 9% of Bar Esperanto (the cutest lobby bar) purchases to the cause. Rest assured that your mint julep can make a difference thousands of miles away.

Hotel Ylem even have a charity room rate, which allows guests to opt in to give $10 of their nightly room rate to charity: water!

Photo By: Hal Brock

Décor for a Difference

Aside from vintage-style trunks to contemporary brass accents, the hotel rooms are a creative’s playground. The clean design, fun artwork, and eclectic vibe are forces to be reckoned with. The walls reverberate with imagination and tenacious exuberance. The colorful throw pillows are from CB2, Crate & Barrel’s modern and charitable interior company which partners with Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry; GLSEN and Characters Unite, and Creativity Explored (an organization supporting artists of all abilities…an important cause to me, too).

Before resting your head on a comfy CB2 pillow, turn your typical nightly routine into a not-so-typical pamper session. Lather soaps will leave you feeling squeaky clean and purposeful since the natural ingredients are not just good for your skin, but for your soul. LATHER which partners with Clean The World,, The National Headache Foundation, AbilityFirst, Sundara, and Hotel Ylem recently struck up another amazing partnership with Clean the World, in which they will donate all of unused soaps to be recycled and distributed to save the lives of those in need and prevent hygiene-related deaths in impoverished countries.

‘Grammable Gratitude

Cerulean blues and verdant greens swirl together to create a stunning mural of an ethereal-looking woman gracing the presence of Main Street. Hotel Ylem is picturesque locale and will soon be prime real estate for local artists. Plans for the lobby, which has been curated to evoke an artsy and elevated aesthetic, will include an art gallery by local artists with 18% of profits going to charity: water, helping the struggling countries and local talent in one fell swoop!

Photo by Hal Brock

Vacations are Great. Supportive Staycations are Even Better!

One thing I love to do in Houston is find a way to disconnect when I’m not working on my three jobs! I’ve enjoyed finding gems in Houston, but something that is beyond rejuvenating is a staycation. Being treated as a guest, changing up your environment, and relaxing without the urge to do the laundry or start chores makes a huge difference for me. If you’re not from here, Hotel Ylem is a short distance from NRG Stadium and a prime location to stay. If you ARE from Houston, you can’t go wrong supporting a local business who gives back to YOUR community, too… in a relaxing and ridiculously great way.

Hotel Ylem continues to expand on its charitable giving by purchasing all paper goods from Lighthouse Louisiana, an organization that helps create jobs for people living with disabilities. I’ve told you all about my nephew Jaeden, who has Down syndrome, and how much these types of programs can change a life. Hotel Ylem gets 5-stars in my book for making this a priority! They also allow employees to get paid a full eight hours to volunteer in the Houston community.

Whether you live in Houston or not, it’s great to see a company incorporate both national and local philanthropy efforts in so many elements of their business. I can’t wait to visit again and see the impact Hotel Ylem makes.

Learn More:

Hotel Ylem

8080 Main Street

Houston, TX 77025

(713) 665-4439

This post was sponsored by Hotel Ylem and all opinions are my own. Thank you to the brands and readers who make Cup of Charisma possible! 

Outfit Details: Dress // Shoes // Floral Clutch // Sunglassess (similar)


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