Dallas Travel Guide
When you hear this phrase, "A warm, welcoming and inspiring space", what do you think of? Wherever you may be thinking of, it's most definitely not the security checkpoint at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Yet that is exactly what Springhill Suites by Marriott is attempting to do with the space.
Now, through December 31st, passengers in terminal 3's E18 security checkpoint will be able to gaze at relaxing artwork, lounge in comfy seating, double-check their travel documents in soft lighting and listen to music from SpringHill Suites' custom Pandora channels.
Dubbed the Springhill Suites Security Area, the space aims to mimic the hotel brand's own "calm, comfortable, relaxing and stylish spaces." And we have to say, that checkpoint in the photos below does look way better than our usual stressed out security zone. We just hope the zone will also work its magic on grumpy TSA workers.
Not traveling through DFW? Another Springhill Suites Security Area also just opened at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. Fingers crossed for LAX and JFK, and maybe MIA and SFO and ORD too?
[Photos: Springhill Suites]
Dream Hotels have made their mark in NYC but now they're dream of hotel expansion is taking them to Dallas.
Hampshire Hotels Management has signed a deal with the Dallas Dream Group LLC in Dallas to open a 128-room hotel in the city's Uptown district. The Dream Dallas will also have a 6,000-sq.ft. ground-level restaurant, a lofted pool deck and adjacent 14,000-sq.ft. lounge with killer views of Downtown Dallas. In other words, the Dream will be the same but the location has changed.
“We see huge opportunity in Dallas, it’s one of the most cosmopolitan and fashion-forward of Texan cities. I’ve always found it odd that there is such a relative vacuum of design-oriented, lifestyle hotel products there. “ Says Brendan McNamara SVP of Brand Development and Design at Hampshire Hotels, the parent company behind the Dream concept. “Dallas also offers up inspiration for a whole new twist on our design ethic. We are looking forward to turning some heads and shaking up the scene a bit… it’s what we do best.
The project will start construction in January and should be completed by winter 2015. Architecture group 5G Studio will do the design while Hyphen Construction Group, has been retained to build the project. We hope it's everything we dreamed it would be.
Remember the tooth fairy? That generous spirit who arrived during the night to alleviate the pain of losing our baby teeth with a few coins -- or paper, if we were really lucky?
The two Hotel ZaZas in Dallas and Houston remember her and are celebrating this year's National Tooth Fairy Day (um, that's August 22nd, didn't you know?) with a special dental-themed package.
Well folks, once again it’s Fantasy Friday and you know what that means. It’s time to steal a few moments to mentally check out of work (we know you are doing it anyway, it is Friday after all) while you momentarily imagine yourself enjoying a little slice of heaven.
For your daydreaming pleasure today, we bring you a package that has been put together by the Ritz-Carlton Dallas. As we all know they don’t do things on the small scale down in Texas, unless of course that less-than-large something turns out to be very expensive… in which case exceptions shall be made. So despite the immediate mental image of over-the-top extravagance that Fantasy Friday usually conjures up, this week we are highlighting a simple, $399 package – that can have you walking away with a very expensive little gift.
Keeping up with the trend is Kimpton's Hotel Palomar Dallas, who just launched a new "Travel Lite" wellness package. Among the offerings are: in-room yoga mats, loanable bikes, and, our favorite: a morning run with the hotel GM, Andrew Wright.
We were curious just what makes Wright such a good running buddy...so, we asked him. Here's what he had to say:
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Often times, when we plead our case for free hotel WiFi, we hear that setting up a network or upgrading an existing network is an expensive investment for hotels and in order to recoup the costs, they need to charge guests to use the WiFi.
Now, every hotel is different but there are plenty of hotels out there that have been updating their networks to provide faster speeds and more bandwidth to guests and they still aren't charging for WiFi.
For example, The Hotel ZaZa in Dallas which recently added a new fiber data network throughout the hotel. Hotel president, Benji Homsey, explained the reason for the network upgrade saying:
We designed this network with special attention to the increased presence of Apple iPad, iPhone and Google/Android users in conjunction with the typical laptop usage. We want every Hotel ZaZa guest to have the best, from coverage and access points to best of breed fiber data network to the newly installed bedside power docks in every room.
And the charge to access the internet? It's still totally free.
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The hotel, originally built in 1923, has seen plenty of stars through out the years; it was where Hollywood's movers and shakers stayed while visiting the Texas city. It has seen everyone from Elvis Presley, Judy Garland and Katharine Hepburn in its glory days, to Jessica Simpson and Lebron James more recently after a 2008 refurb.
The new owners, HEI Hotels, plan to update the lobby-bar with modern furniture and take advantage of the unique courtyard to attract Dallas' social-set to the Uptown area hotel. Already, the landmark Beaux-Arts building has changed the restaurant name to T/X, and serving up revamped Latin-American cuisine. We do appreciate when hotels give their properties a little love and spruce things up a bit, even when they're historical legends.
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The 42nd president of the United States, George W. Bush is getting his own presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the hotels are expecting to fill up because of it. Yes, differing political leanings aside, President Barack Obama and all living presidents will attend the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum tomorrow though the library officially open to the public the first week of May.
Word on the street is that both the Hotel Palomar and the Hotel Lumen (both Kimpton Hotels), which are within walking distance of the library, are sold out or close to it. And one hotel, The Holiday Inn Dallas, Central-Park Cities recently underwent a $9 million, year-long renovation to spiff up its offerings for the influx of library visitors (estimated to be about 500,000 a year.)
Texas pecan pie for room-service dessert? Yee-haw!
It seems the room-service debate will never go away. Some people call us suckers for succumbing to ordering it, others find it a life-saver in those wee hours when we’re feeling a bit peckish and don’t feel like going out on a food hunt.
But today we’re not debating whether it’s a good idea or not, we’re going to celebrate what we consider one of the most interesting in-room dining room menus we've encountered in a while, and since it’s near quitting time, it’s time for food porn, anyway.
This submission comes courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Instead of yawn-worthy, limp Caesar salads and uninspired burgers, this hotel is bringing the goods with a Lone Star State-twist. We’re talking chilaquiles with smoked short rib hash, mini-elk sausage corn dogs with Dr.Pepper barbecue sauce, “Sous Vide” beef tacos, and Texas pecan pie.
And there's more, so much finger-licking more, after the jump.
A recent guest spotted and photographed the above sign, which was mounted at the check-in desk of the Grand Dallas Hotel. In plain letters, the sign offers to compensate guests (in cash, instantly!) for writing positive reviews of the hotel on sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline and Travelocity.
The hotel, which, incidentally, only scores three stars on TripAdvisor (based on nine reviews), reacted promptly to an article posted on The Consumerist, who was tipped off about the sign by a reader who was actually staying at the hotel. Within hours, management had taken down the sign, explaining:
"This sign was posted by one of our front desk staff members while I was out of town for a few days. The team member was trying to go above and and beyond based on a staff meeting we had a couple of weeks ago where I asked the team to try and come up with some creative ways to encourage and get more user reviews for the hotel. "
Eye-catching? Yes. Creative? Not so much.
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Some of us are old enough (gulp) to remember the evening soap Dallas which began in the 1970s and ended in 1991. In it, that darn oil-rich Ewing family was always getting into trouble, but boy, did they live life to the fullest. However, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t remember the original show, you, too, can become a believer: We hear that the new version of Dallas has just been renewed by TNT for a second season.
To celebrate, The Fairmont Dallas wants you to try out the Ewing lifestyle with their "Dallas Oil Baron Experience” package. With the recent news of Larry Hagman's passing, maybe this is a way to let folks honor the 81-year-old actor's most memorable character, so we say, "go for it."
The package offers a minimum of two nights’ accommodation in a Fairmont Gold Room; access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge with its complimentary breaky and afternoon appies; a private tour for two of Southfork Ranch – the Ewing family’s abode; champagne; and a ride in a chauffeured BMW to Neiman Marcus for some shopping therapy. And because you’re special, you even get a signed copy of the Neiman Marcus Taste cookbook as a memento of your weekend of wealth.
Rates for the “Dallas Oil Baron Experience” package start at $469/night. Oh, and don’t forget your cowboy boots. The hotel doesn’t say they’re necessary, but if you’re going to walk the walk….
[Photos: The Fairmont Hotels and Resorts]
Now that the school-season is in effect, it seems fitting that Houston’s quirky Hotel ZaZa, in the heart of the city’s Museum District (and downtown central business region), linked with the Museum of Natural Science’s new Paleontology Hall and created a dinosaur of a discount package to go along with the towering Triassic installation in the hotel’s lobby.
Parents dropping of kids at top-dog Rice and Texas Southern Universities, those in town for Houston Texans football games, or people visiting for work can take advantage of this handsome deal. The Texas Triassic Tour Package includes:
• One night in one of the 300 luxury rooms
• Admission for two to the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Paleontology Hall
• Dinner for two the hotel’s Monarch Bistro
• Complimentary bottle of house wine with dinner at Monarch Bistro
• Complimentary valet parking nightly
• Complimentary daily internet access
Rates for this package begin at $249 a night (which is more than 40% off)
But wait, there's more!
But wait, there's more!