TX Travel Guide

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JW Marriott Kicks Off Austin Hotel Boom Tomorrow

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 110 E. Second St. [map], Austin, TX, United States, 78701
February 12, 2015 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Let superstition be damned: Marriott Hotels is taking Friday the 13th head on by opening its JW Marriott Austin tomorrow. The largest JW Marriott in the United States (1,012 guestrooms) and second largest in the world (largest being the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, because everything is bigger in Dubai), there are some dazzling stats that come with its size, but we’ve mostly focused on its walk-up burger window.

A King or Double-Queen Room is still available from $299 a night on opening day, of which the website currently only displays the above artist impression. We like the factory-style rolling doors that return in the headboard design, with the rest showing an expected subdued mix of blues, greys, whites, and browns.

The 1,000+ rooms on East Second Street are only the beginning of a highly-concentrated hotel boom for Austin, with another 1,400 rooms arriving within blocks of the JW Marriott. First up is The Westin Austin Downtown, now scheduled for July 16th on East 5th – a relative lightweight with only 326 rooms. It is making good on its promise of a 2015 opening though, which cannot be said of The Fairmont Austin, now pushed back to 2017, half a decade after it announced its 1,000+ room hotel.

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Another Art Deco Gem Will Join The Autograph Collection Late Next Year

February 10, 2015 at 4:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

The owner of a gorgeous Art Deco building in Downtown Fort Worth is eager to convert it to a 165-room hotel, specifically an Autograph Collection hotel. It is not a done deal yet, as there are many a design hoop to jump through, but things appear to moving forward, with an anticipated opening in late 2016.

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If You Text Them, This Hotel Will Place a Pic of Nic Cage On Your Pillow

January 29, 2015 at 10:40 AM | by | Comments (2)

A few years ago, hotels began texting their guests during their stay. Often the texts usually come from the concierge desk to follow up with information about a request. Other times, it comes from the front desk, updating the guest on whatever they might need out of the room.

But at the Hotel Indigo San Antonio Riverwalk, the concierge and the front desk teamed up on text to get the guest whatever they wanted, which turned out to be various pictures of Nicolas Cage.

You can read the hilarious text message exchange on Imgur. It all started when the hotel welcomed the guest to the hotel and told them to text if the guest needed anything. To which the guest replied:

Can I please have a framed pic of Nic Cage in Conair on my bed by 6?

Strange wish granted.

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The JW Marriott Austin Will Have a Walk-Up Burger Window When It Opens Next Month

January 12, 2015 at 5:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

The JW Marriott Austin is set to open on February 13 and when it does it will be the largest JW Marriott in North America and the second-largest JW Marriott in the world with just over a 1,000 guest rooms.

That's all fine and good but we are far more excited for the planned Burger Bar on Congress restaurant, which is actually a walk-up food truck-style window . Burger Bar on Congress will be open at lunchtime and in the early evening and will serve the holy trinity of burgers, hand-cut fries and shakes.

Right now, we see no other reason to eat anywhere else when staying at the JW Marriott Austin but the hotel does have a few more restaurant options should you be sick of burgers. (Never!)

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Yee Haw, The Dallas Cowboys are Opening an Omni Hotel

November 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Across the pond, in Manchester, they are building Hotel Football, exactly what it sounds like--a hotel devoted to the national pastime of football. Now, in Dallas, they are building the American version of Hotel Football--The Omni Frisco Hotel, which is being built in partnership with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Omni will have 300 guest rooms, meeting space, ballroom, several restaurants and bars, and a rooftop pool deck. It will be adjacent to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and Frisco's Multi-Use Event Center, which are already under construction (That's it on the far right in the photo above.)

No word on whether the rooms will be decked out in Cowboy gear but we can probably expect an "Ultimate Fan" suite, or two.

While the Cowboys won't be playing at their headquarters on game day, they will be using the spot as their training facility. The headquarters will also the team's administrative offices, coaches' offices and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Ding, ding, ding!

The Omni Frisco, which will be the fifth Omni Hotel for the Dallas/Fort Worth-area, will break ground later this spring and should open in early 2017. Let's hope the Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl that year. No pressure, though.

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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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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]