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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.
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.
Celebrity Scoop / Hotel News / Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / Houston Hotels / Historic Hotels / Music Hotels / Texas Hotels / → All Tags
Nothing like a little celebrity appearance to make a hotel re-opening event really sparkle, and that's what happened last week when Sheryl Crow turned up at the Sam Houston (which used to be called The Alden).
The 100-room hotel recently completed renovation work on all guest rooms, suites, and public spaces (the rooms now "combine clean decor with contemporary touches," which is a good thing, since the hotel's been around since 1924!), and has spent the past month celebrating its grand re-opening. Meanwhile, Sheryl Crow has a new album coming out, and she was in town doing promo at a local radio station.
The opportunity was too good to pass up!
Oh no they didn't!
Marriott announced this week they'll open a third - yes, a third - hotel inside Houston's historic Humble Oil Building by converting 82 apartments into hotel rooms. A new 166-room SpringHill Suites, slated to open in 2015, will join the 191-room Courtyard and the 171-room Residence Inn already residing in the building.
Apparently, Marriott doesn't think three's a crowd. We have seen examples of two brands under one roof, but we can't come up with another site that houses three hotels of the same parent company. There will be 528 hotel rooms in total if you treat them as one conglomerate, but it's not even close to being the biggest dog in town. The Hilton Americas-Houston, for example, has 1,200 rooms.
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Last week we started a new weekly series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Cooking classes
What’s In: Creative classes
Not so very long ago, we realized that more and more hotels the world over were bringing in art concierges to help guide you through their hotel’s art collection, or to steer you in the right direction if you wanted to take in the local art scene or perhaps buy a couple of noteworthy pieces from local artistes. Well some hotels have taken this further and are hooking their guests up with local artists to give them a hands-on experience with the added bonus of giving you a pretty nifty souvenir to bring home.
Here are some prime examples:
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There's two exciting things about this place, though: first, it's going up in San Antonio's historic Pearl brewery, which was originally built in 1881 and was an actual, functioning brewery all the way up until 2001.
These days, the Pearl brewery is a 22-acre mixed-use development project that's being hyped as San Antonio's next big foodie destination, with a slew of great restaurants (Il Sogno Italian Osteria, NAO New World Flavors, Blue Box Bar), shops, an amphitheater, and even a CIA campus (that's Culinary Institute of America, not, like, government agents).
Second, the hotel will be designed by Roman & Williams, the creative geniuses who brought us the Ace Hotel (as far as we know, this will be their first project with Kimpton), meaning we can probably expect a lot of exposed ceilings and rich tile and wood textures.
Details are few as of now, though we're guessing Kimpton will play up the Pearl's 'reclaimed,' 'industrial' vibe, since that seems to be all the rage these days. We admit, the brewery's original smoke chimney (pictured), which is still intact, is pretty awesome, and is a unique design feature any hotel would envy.
Another reason we plan on checking into this hotel when it opens next year? Beer!
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It's 10:30am on a Thursday. Do you know what your New Year's Eve plans are? If you're anything like us, you'll wait 'til the last possible moment and hope everything comes together for a night of champagne guzzling merriment. Otherwise, here are 16 awesome New Year's Eve celebrations happening at hotels around the US. Here's to a drunken start to 2013!
MIAMI—At Anglers Boutique Resort, you can choose something quieter and more refined than Miami's usual bass-thumping circus. At the New Year's Eve Gala, there will be two seatings (a 3-course meal at 6pm, $100; or a 5-course meal at 9:30pm, $150)—though both will offer live music, a complimentary cocktail and champagne toast, and delicious Latin-inspired fare like dulce de leche pine nut-crusted rack of lamb, or stuffed dates and manchego cheese roasted pork loin. You'll even get to try out the Spanish "12 Uvas" tradition, where everyone gets to make 12 wishes on 12 grapes—then when the clock strikes 12, you pop 'em in your mouth to bring a year of good luck and prosperity! A DJ'd pool party will kick off after midnight.
SAN FRANCISCO—The Westin St Francis is where you'll find the city's largest hotel-hosted NYE event for the past 7 years, known as Passport to the World ($130). The attractions are almost too many to name, but here's the main gist: throughout the liquor-fueled evening, guests are encouraged walk from room to room, experiencing the music, fashion, art and performances of dozens of different cultures around the world. You'll see an 80s cover band, 15 international DJs, live art, stilt-walkers, taiko drummers, an Asian night market, and igloo-inspired cabanas (gotta show some love to the North Pole!). Best part, though? Drinks are included.
For 14 more ways to party, read on!
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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]
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Craving “Swans a Swimming” this holiday season? Well you’re in luck, as we’ve found eight Embassy Suites Hotels that feature mated pairs of Royal Swans swimming year-round in their atrium lobbies.
Real live swans? Yes! At first glance, their serenity is surprising—after all, they’re being kept in captivity. Yet these swans are happily coupled up and swimming to-and-fro in their lobby ponds without a care in the world. In fact, most of the day, they’re sleeping. With all that peace, elegance, and togetherness (they mate for life)--perhaps married couples should take notes!
We take a sweet look at the animal love stories:
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Built on a 17 acre tract of land outside of Marfa, TX, El Cosmico is more than just a hotel—teepees, yurts, and campsites are all available for guests to stay in. But on the hotel side of things, the site offers five funky restored vintage trailers, each named Vagabond, Branstrator, Royal Mansion, Imperial Mansion, and Kozy Coach (pictured above).
We think the spot is pretty much ideal for the kind of low-key, long weekend, artsy getaway we love, but later this month, the hotel/campground is hosting a "songwriter's retreat" that should prove irresistible to music-makers and -lovers alike.
Titled "Music Is A Family," (May 17-20), the retreat will offer musicians the chance to hone their songwriting skills, while enjoying a whole weekend of guitar-strumming in the desert and impromptu campfire jam sessions. Si, señor!
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Or is it the other way around...?
We didn't think it was possible to have a bad time at a revolving restaurant on top of a hotel, but one family in Katy, TX has found a way. Back In October, reports The Houston Chronicle, while dining at Spindeltop atop the Hyatt Regency Houston with her parents, a four-year-old girl got her foot stuck in the gap between the slowly-rotating floor and the window. A few panic-stricken moments ensued as they struggled to free her, but luckily the girl came away with her foot intact, and only a few lacerations. Scary!
The bad news? The family is now suing Hyatt for the incident, claiming the gap didn't have any warning signs, and that the hotel handled the situation badly.
Nevermind the untold legions of Best Westerns, La Quinta Inns and Econolodges that dot highways all around the country. A Texas-based hotel company is attempting to bring back the classic American motor court with a new brand of "ranch tech" properties that are modeled on the old roadside motels from the 1950s.
Which technically went out of style in the 60s during Eisenhower's Federal Aid Highway Act. But hey, that was fifty years ago, and who's to say Americans still can't be thrilled by a cool motel concept? The first of these, named the Lone Star Court, will open in Austin in 2013, and, appropriately, will feature live music, a fire pit, and a dipping pool.