The W Dallas Victory is so-named because it is to be a part of the latest future failure of Dallas big money real estate conniving, Victory Park, yet another new Dallas urban development. Positioned to the north of Downtown Dallas a few hundred yards away from the American Airlines Arena, the hotel will be connected to the arena via what I can only describe at this point as what appears to be an enormous, spiffy, amplified, visual motion outdoor Thunderdome, which is still under construction. Mind you, when I open my Dallas pro steel cage fighting franchise, it will be located in the Thunderdome, or else I will take my fighters to Fort Worth. Save for the hotel itself, the hotel complex is also unfinished in sections, but it looks it is going to be nothing more than the usual Dallas pre-fabricated urban neighborhood of fabulous chain stores and restaurants. For example, the W Dallas supposedly has condos in it too, but I have no f*cking idea where they hid them.
As is par for the course in Dallas, the hotel tower is itself an instant architectural wonder. Obviously, some Texan with big balls thought this baby up. It is a stunning 32 story dick of a high-rise overshadowing anything else in the area, all angled and curved in a "look at me asshole" fashion. The rooms are nice and comfortable, in that nice kind of boring minimalist way, which seems to be the W's standard motif. And most critical, the air conditioning is totally bitching. I got my room down to 63 degrees, when it was over 100 outside. People, this is a critical detail often overlooked in the fourth-sweatiest city in America. For that reason alone, you should stay here at least once. I was promised a skyline view, but I think the dogs threw them off. Instead, I was treated to this wonderful view of the Dallas County Correctional Facility (foreshadowing? Probably). But I didn't mind. There are plenty of places at this hotel to take in the more scenic view.
SERVICES AND AMENITIES:
The pool is half-way up the tower, on the 16th floor, but open to the outside, and like the rest of the complex it is visually stunning. Need I tell you it's an infinity pool? Snooze. Nonetheless, it's quite pretty, with amazing Dallas skyline views. The Larry North gym on the 17th floor looks like any other crappy hotel gym. No wonder the Ghost Bar's owner works out at Gold's Gym (yeah assholes, I do know people who know people.)
The lobby area is quite stunning, and seems to be a more visually pleasing homage to the ever-changing, multi-colored lighted pylons greeting you as you drive into Los Angeles International Airport. Never once before have I thought that those ugly bastards would be emulated, anywhere, ever again, but there you have it. The lobby features its own bar, The Living Room, which is quite nice, if $13 house chardonnay is in your budget. Didn't bug me, coming from LA, but the majority of the people were flipping out over drink pricing. Not that it slowed down any of them.
There is some fancy restaurant in the lobby named Craft, but I couldn't be bothered with it, because I had two guests with me who demanded room service, Lela, the slutty dachshund, and Jeff, the Boston Terrorist. Much to my chagrin, they drew way too much attention to us on our walks through the lobby, but at least got we got comped on the Pampered Pet Package-- cute dogs are an asset, people.
Unlike early reports, room service prices didn't seem overly outrageous to me for a luxury hotel, and I'm still trying to figure out how that dude managed to spend $50 on breakfast, unless it was for two. Mine was comped of course, because I was still drunk at breakfast, AND with two loveable dogs in bed with me, it works every time. Food rating: standard hotel mediocre. There's the usual over-priced mini-bar stuff, including the saddest looking stuffed toy bear I've ever seen (what is it with fancy hotels and stuffed animals nowadays? - barf-city). Then there are some W twists, like the "sensitivity kit", which includes two condoms and a dab of lube. How thoughtful, but this is Texas you morons. Every night, every one of us Texas men needs at least a f*cking dozen, extra-large, platinum-lined Trojans and a big tub of Crisco -- just some friendly advice, you dolts.
After watching the best gay porn ever made (the first 25% of Brokeback Mountain) on the sweet, big flat screen TV, I met up with my sister in the lobby to go to the "exclusive" Ghost Bar, which has its own elevators whizzing you straight to the top. This being a reasonable hotel, because I was a paying guest, I was on the VIP list for two-- who would have thought-- I didn't think hotel guests were allowed in the hotel bars anywhere. On the way down to get Sis, I encountered a male prostitute in the elevator, which is a first for me in Dallas. How did I know? Hey, I'm not stupid enough to think some muscled-up, visually stunning twenty-something twink is just that interested in eyeing my old geezer crotch. Too bad I was sober. A few hours later, and I would have invited him up to partake in the Brokeback Mountain package.
And as is the norm for Texas, everyone involved with this enterprise is overwhelmingly sweet and helpful, even the staff of the headlining Ghost Bar (weird, I know). It takes some getting used to after dealing with bitches the likes of Amanda Scheer-Demme in my adopted hometown, Hollywood. I mean, a security guard apologized to me when I tried to infiltrate the Ghost Bar's VIP area. Generally, I'm used to getting a taser, Jack Bauer-style, when I get caught pulling that trademarked stunt. Suffice to say, it completely confused me. But that's Texas -- it's a weirder mix of attitudes, styles, and politics than you might think.
As for female hookers, we didn't actually see any, unless you count the Ghost Bar's cocktail waitresses, so the hotel must have been shooing them away. Friendly note to Ghost Bar: Never underestimate the power of hookers as a draw. Without the whores, you are losing valuable style points in your competition with Vegas. The Ghost Bar space is pretty non-descript, except for the amazing views and the outdoor terraces overlooking Downtown Dallas.
Because they seem to be so fixated on L.A. at this hotel, my best guess is they were trying to copy the Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip. You know, that stupid 60's mod shit like shag carpet and egg-pod chairs that are so like 5 years ago. Throw in some completely generic, non-challenging hip-hop for dancing, and that's about the extent of the exciting Ghost Bar.
The Ghost Bar does earn big style points for being nicely integrated with customers of all races and ethnicities, which is damn weird for Dallas. So whatever else I think of them, they earn a big kudo for that bit of forward thinking. Bottom line, my sister and I got smashingly drunk on our monstrously strong drinks (the norm for Texas), and we ended up having a great time, just running around the club and conducting our own private beauty pageant amongst the friendlier-than-need-be cocktail waitresses.
Of course, you've already seen a sneak peek at the uniforms of the Ghost Bar's cocktail waitresses. And mind you, they are ghastly. Mr. Blackwell would be dead 3 seconds after eyeing one of these honeys. Which isn't to take away from how genuinely sweet and solicitous all these young girls were to us. I felt sorry for them, having to dress in those garters and crotch-revealing mini-skirts. Even worse, how could you walk in those Frankenstein disco boots for 8 hours a night? Those girls kept up a good front though, even though they all must have been writhing in pain, so they're all right with me. On the other hand, the rest of the Ghost Bar and hotel staffs were all dressed to the nines, in very striking, muted, well-tailored shirts, slacks, and dresses. Obviously, the uniform designer started off strong, but had slipped into a meth hangover by the time he got to the Ghost Bar cocktail waitresses. And hotels, take note: when your employees know they look damn good in their assigned clothing, they perform accordingly.
Last thing I remember, I woke up in bed, still drunk, with two dogs, and getting comped a free breakfast right before checkout. So I have no complaints. A good night was had by all. As for the Whenever, yeah it could use some work, but the staff more than makes up for their service lapses with great hospitality and comps out the ass when they goof up. I have so many W trinkets floating around my Dallas loft now, I may open an Ebay store.
I know, the only reason anyone ever comes to Dallas is to make a connection at the airport, but this hotel is definitely worth a visit, should it be in your budget. The W Dallas Victory is many things, but cheap ain't one of them. Whatever.