TX Travel Guide

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Howdy, Dude: Hard Rock to Open in Texas at an Indoor Ski Resort

October 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Move over Dubai. Americans will now have a much easier way of skiing indoors. They will simply just need to fly to Texas.

The newly announced Grand Alps Village development for Grand Prairie, Texas will have an indoor snow facility on-site. Here's what is expected inside:

This expertly designed facility is 1,220' in length, 570' wide and just under 300' tall featuring the longest indoor ski run in the world. Multiple ski runs accommodate beginner, intermediate and expert skiers, and thrill snowboarders with an Olympic half pipe and snowboarding course. The snow center includes a snow play area, snow tubing, tobogganing, a luge track and a winter wonderland for kids of all ages.

Accompanying the indoor ski resort will be the Hard Rock Hotel Dallas-Fort Worth, a 300-room hotel with a rooftop pool complex, a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness center and tons of music memorabilia throughout. Construction will being in January and the hotel is expected to open by January 2018 with 86 of its hotel rooms expected to overlook the indoor ski resort.

At first glance, this might seem like a random sort of move for Hard Rock but when you consider how family-friendly the brand has gotten recently, it makes sense. Having recently announced theirHard Rock Roxstars Kids Program, this indoor ski resort hotel is the perfect follow-up move for appealing to the family travel market.

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Werk It: JW Marriott Houston Downtown Shows Off New Glam Uniforms

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 806 Main Street [map], Houston, TX, United States, 77002
September 9, 2014 at 1:52 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's Fashion Week in NYC but down in Houston, Texas there's another fashion show of sorts taking place. The JW Marriott Houston Downtown, opening later this month, has just unveiled their new uniform collection for hotel associates (aka employees).

The seriously stylish collection was actually inspired by the 104-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building, which was Houston's first skyscraper and which now houses the luxury hotel brand. A custom blouse print even features a photograph of the building taken in 1910.

David Peck USA designed the men's and women's line which features classic silhouettes for the ladies in the form of pencil skirts, structured jackets, sheath dresses and blouses with neckties and chiffon panels and for the men, neutral tones with splashes of bright blue and peridot and some dandy accessories like bow ties and suspenders. Both the women's and mens lines features custom, hand-woven and fair trade tweed in several pieces.

“Traditional uniforms can mask individuality so we wanted the JW Marriott Houston Downtown associates to stand out and feel confident,” David Peck said n a statement. “The fashionable designs we’ve created empower the associates, both as individuals and as a team, to provide the guests with a quality of service guests that has become synonymous with the JW Marriott brand around the world.”

Take a look at these uniforms, if you can even call them that. They might just be the best ones we've seen yet. Even better, David Peck USA locally manufactured and custom tailored the women's line and used garments from a local shirt maker and menswear manufacturer for the men's line. #keepingitlocal

Now, we just hope these uniforms hold up after a few months of wear.

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The Night Hotel Dallas Was Only Just a Bad Dream

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  Site Where: 2645 L.B.J. Freeway [map], Dallas, TX, United States, 75234
August 25, 2014 at 2:15 PM | by | Comment (1)

A while back we had heard that Dream Hotels was dreaming about a Dream Hotel for Dallas but we had no idea that Dream's sister brand, Night Hotels, creeped into Dallas seemingly overnight.

Yet, this Night Hotel may have been more like a nightmare.

A reader tipped us off to the recent reviews on TripAdvisor and they are horrifyingly bad. Since American Airlines seems to be using this hotel as a place for displaced/delayed passengers, the reviews have come fast and furious. Here are two that are still fit to print:

Walked into the room, two of the light fixtures were non operational, room was dark and the air conditioner was so noisy that I would have needed ear plugs. Windows were beyond filthy. I turned around, walked to the front desk and tossed them my keys. I asked to be given a ride back to the airport immediately and was. The guy at the front desk asked if I was going to catch a late night flight so I told him "yeah, something like that".

I did not feel safe at this hotel. Their shuttle took forever to arrive at the airport, took 2 calls to find out where they were, and was so old and rickety I couldn't talk on my cell phone. The lobby night club attracts an unsavory crowd and people are lurking around everywhere. The halls are dark. The front desk is covered with graffiti and the staff couldn't answer basic questions. My room furniture was covered in vinyl upholstery with lights around the bed. Everything is painted black. The bathroom needs a total make-over. Somehow they thought I'd be fooled by a new shower curtain.

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The Hotel Palomar Dallas Two-Steps Away from Kimpton, Grabs Hilton for a Do-Si-Do

Where: 5300 E Mockingbird Ln [map], Dallas, TX, United States, 75206
August 8, 2014 at 1:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hotel Palomar Dallas, once known as one of the Best Boozy Hotel Bars (thanks to the tiki bar downstairs) as well as a much better alternative to the nearby W Hotel and the scene of Nicki Minaj's suitcase meltdown, is no longer a Kimpton Hotel.

As of Wednesday, the property was sold to Thayer Lodging Group who have renamed the hotel The Highland Dallas. The will be managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts with the intention of having the hotel put into Hilton Hotels new yet very mysterious Curio Collection. According to the Dallas News, the hotel will be the first "selectively hand-picked" Dallas-Forth Worth hotel in the collection. Interestingly, when the building that housed the Hotel Palomar first opened in the 1960s it was known as the Hilton Inn.

Already, the Palomar is gone from the Kimpton website yet we couldn't find a new website for the Highland, except for a mention on Curio. That will probably be forthcoming. In the meantime, you Kimpton Karma kids can stay at the Hotel Lumen near SMU.

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When One Hotel Door Closes, Another Door Opens...At Least Until 5pm

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  Site Where: 555 S. Lamar [map], Dallas , TX, United States, 75202
June 24, 2014 at 6:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've been loving the growing trend of 24-hour hotel stays and when we discovered that it even made its way to Las Vegas at The Palms, we listed it as one of our 5 new things to try. No more racing around at 11:45am to gather all our crap together, in fear that security guards would be waiting for us at 12:01pm.

But alas, VegasChatter reports that The Palms has suspended the program after a mere three months.

We reached out to a Palms representative for updates and were told that, after a three-month run, the 24-hour checkout policy has been suspended as they assess the results.

Hopefully, the results are good and the service will come back into play.

That said, when one door closes, another door opens and this time, that hotel door is open until 5pm at the Omni Dallas. The hotel has a new "Sleep In On Sunday” package that lets guests check out at 5pm on Sunday. The offer also gives them $20 credit towards either the hotel's Mokara spa; at Collections, the totally awesome retail store or at the hotel's restaurants and coffee shops.

Rates for the package start at $219 a night. Use code PKGSUN to book.

[Photo: Omni Dallas]

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Wake Up With John Wayne At Hotel Derek

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2525 West Loop South [map], Houston, TX, United States, 77027
June 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

Derek's pool

Ever fantasized about waking up with a celebrity? Actually, that hardly needs a question. We know you’ve done it, and we all know how that fantasy goes. Hotel bed, rumpled sheets, pillows shmooshed and a glass of champagne on the table. Shower running and the dulcet tones of singing to themselves under the water, acting as your sweet alarm clock.

Ok, so we can’t exactly make that happen, but we can get you part of the way, by telling you about the Hotel Derek in Houston, which has none other than John Wayne delivering its wake up calls.

And no, “Rise and shine sleepyhead, it’s time to giddy up and get those feet on the ground,” may not be the romantic arousal you were envisioning, but you can’t have everything, plus John Wayne strikes us as the type who’d have enjoyed a bit of flirtatious banter.

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You'll Never Guess One of The Most Popular Items in This Hotel's Minibar

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  Site Where: 800 Sorella Court [map], Houston, TX, United States, 77024
March 12, 2014 at 4:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Nope, it's not a Snickers bar or a can of Coke. It's actually hand sanitizer.

The Hotel Sorella, a 255-room luxury hotel in Houston, discovered that the 25-count box of single-use, b4 antibacterial hand sanitizer disposable gel outsells nearly every other item in the minibar. The only two things people take more are, funnily enough, vodka and water.

The $6 product is obviously a good thing to grab for when guests leave the hotel room and hit the city streets (Just so you know, there is soap in the bathrooms too. Lol.) But the hotel says it's actually the bigger purpose of the b4 sanitizer that gets people to buy. b4 donates half the profits from the sales to children-focused charities of The Midway Foundation. And that's one minibar purchase we can't feel guilty about.

Rates at Hotel Sorella start at $169 next weekend for a traditional king room.

[Photo: Hotel Sorella]

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The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas Has an Entire Wing For Your Entourage

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2121 McKinney Ave [map], Dallas , TX, United States, 75201
February 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas but the saying couldn't more true with the suite offerings at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Instead of giving its VIP guests the penthouse or the presidential suite, the Ritz is now giving them an entire wing of the hotel to occupy.

Called The Ritz-Carlton Suite Privacy Wing, the exclusive area includes the largest suite in the house--the 2,385-sq.ft. Ritz-Carlton Suite which has killer views of the city--along with four additional connecting rooms and suites, as well as a dedicated private main entrance, a nearby access staircase, a service elevator and keyed elevator access. The wing can sleep up to 16 people and gives each guest access to the Ritz-Carlton Club lounge.

Total cost? "Only" $7,500 a night.

Peep the Ritz-Carlton Suite and the wing's floor plan below!

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A Soccer Player Gets Traded for Hotel Rooms

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  Site Where: 320 Bonham [map], San Antonio, TX, United States, 78205
January 10, 2014 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

This soccer team so badly needed a place to stay they traded a player for hotel rooms.

That's what happened with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League who traded Walter Restrepo to the San Antonio Scorpions for a "a transfer fee." According to the NY Post, that transfer fee actually ended up being hotel and transportation arrangements for the Strikers to play San Antonio this summer.

Now, thanks to Restrepo, the Strikers and their coaches and medical staff can stay at The Crockett Hotel for free, instead of having to pay about $169 a night for each room, saving them in total about $4,056.

The Crockett is designated a Historic Hotel of America and is located right on San Antonio's Riverwalk. The rooms are pretty basic but the place does have free WiFi and complimentary breakfast. Yet we noticed rooms starting at $109 a night and not $169. We hope the Strikers didn't get ripped off. Also, we hope that player doesn't take this transfer too hard. And hey, there's always The Bachelor!

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Four Seasons Austin Has Gone to WhoVille This Holiday Season

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 98 San Jacinto Boulevard [map], Austin, TX, United States, 78701
December 2, 2013 at 6:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

The Four Seasons Austin got a jump on the holiday decorations last week, when they unveiled their Dr. Seuss-themed Gingerbread WhoVillage, a gingerbread replica of the town of Whoville from How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Conceived by the hotel's pastry chefs back in August, the WhoVillage features a Mt. Crumpet, Cindy Lou Who's house, a giant Town Center Christmas Tree, a Welcome to Whoville Sign and a train that looks like the Grinch's stolen bag of toys.

All in all, the village features ten houses made entirely out of edible materials (each one also takes the team of pasty chefs about 30 hours to construct.) Additionally, each house is sold to a sponsor and the proceeds are donated to the Seton Shivers Cancer Center. Sorry, we don't think sponsors can eat the house until the display comes down on January 1st.

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Springhill Suites Is Making Security at DFW Airport Relaxing. Yes, Relaxing.

October 21, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

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]

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Dream Hotels To Open Next in Dallas

Where: McKinney Avenue [map], Dallas, TX, United States
October 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM | by | Comment (1)

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.

[Photo: HotelChatter]