Who else loved the big style, big hair and big drama of the original Dallas series and the reboot of the 2010s? For those in the know, Dallas, Texas is an affluent city with high-end style and art at the core of its culture. Recognized as one of the most sophisticated art collector markets in the world, Dallas is the place to go when you want to see some of the hottest art exhibitions in the country. It also has an impressive number of hotels adjacent to fine dining, fine shopping and world-class art collections. And, of course, cool interiors that could be straight out of design magazines. Dallas is an upscale town with galleries rivaling New York and London, so I set out to find some of the coolest hotels in the city for style and culture lovers.
8 Coolest Hotels in Dallas for Style and Culture Lovers
Art meets history in downtown Dallas
As I stepped into the recently renovated The Adolphus in downtown Dallas, I could see why the building has been one of the city’s iconic luxury destinations since 1912. Once the tallest building in the state, the lobby still retains the early 20th century elegance of rich velvet chairs, dark wood paneled walls and deep brown herringbone patterned wood floors.
The reception desk is accompanied by a small library where it’s not unusual to find guests browsing magazines next to warm golden light from turn-of-the-last-century light fixtures. But I didn’t visit The Adolphus just to sit in the lobby (although that’s a destination in itself). I was there to attend one of the hotel’s “salons”—a gathering of local artists to discuss topics such as creativity and inspiration. The hotel has been hosting these events, which are free to the public, since the renovation in 2018.
Held in a small sitting room fittingly called “the Salon,” which is filled with unexpected art pieces, the event and the space has become one of the can’t-miss places in downtown Dallas. The dark wood paneled Salon sits in a small space between the lobby and the hotel’s famed fine dining hotspot, the French Room.
If you’re a guest here, you’re in luck because you’ll be staying in one of downtown’s most well-appointed rooms. With high-end furnishings and luxe bedding, you’ll be starting any Dallas adventure with a good night’s sleep and a hot shower in a European-style bathroom with glass shower stall and chrome and porcelain sink. When you’re ready to leave this oasis, head downstairs to people-watch on a plush sofa in the Salon. It’s easy to see why this hotel became one of the hottest spots in the city to hear local artists talk about their inspiration. And if there isn’t a scheduled salon during your stay, The Adolphus also offers one of the best spa experiences in the city.
The Adolphus, Autograph Collection
Funky, pet-friendly Dallas arts hotel
Only a short distance from the Adolphus, the city’s former opera house has been transformed into the funky-yet-modern Hotel Indigo. Walking through the front doors, cool modern grays and funky black stair railings dominate the lobby. It’s not unusual to see guests walking their pups on leashes or carrying pets in small handbags, as this is one of the few luxe hotels in Dallas that welcomes pets.
Splashes of red and gold in the lobby add a hint of drama and serve as a reminder of the operas that were once performed here. If you’re a late-night snack aficionado, you’ll appreciate the snack and beverage area next to the shiny polished silver elevators. Head into the adjacent business center or the lobby-level bistro and you’ll be able to lounge in modern black and white furniture while looking out through purple drapes to watch the traffic passing on the street.
The funky Deco feel extends into the hotel’s rooms, where you’ll find large-scale graphic accent walls and deep, jewel-toned accent pillows. This offsets the clean, modern, minimalist feel of the rooms and bathrooms. If you have a suite, the rich fabrics used in the lobby and accent pillows will extend to sofas and chairs in your suite. Bathrooms are European-style (think glass shower stalls) with shiny, black sinks that bring the drama you’d expect from a former opera house.
Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown - an IHG hotel
Artsy experiences in downtown Dallas
Hotel ZaZa has quickly become one of the most recognizable hip hotel brands in Texas. It’s also a favorite spot for staging photo sessions, whether for personal use or for fashion and luxury brands. The hotel group has locations in Dallas, Houston and Austin, and each is known for tongue-in-cheek themed rooms with an ultra-funky vibe. The Dallas location is smack in the middle of downtown, making it an Instagram favorite for locals and tourists alike.
The Dallas location features rooms like “Rock Star” where you can sleep in luxury digs while being surrounded by lithographs of the world’s greatest rock gods, or “Crouching Dragon” with its Asian-inspired silk textiles, teak accents and plush red furnishings. The Asian influence doesn’t stop with Crouching Dragon, though.
The Dragonfly restaurant, housed inside the hotel, is a local favorite for American cuisine with an Asian twist. The menu runs the gamut from 16-ounce ribeye steaks to the restaurant’s signature lobster roll. Instagram these stylish meals in the restaurant itself, on the patio, or even in the pool area where parties are held nightly. Between the rooms, the restaurant, and the pool, there are seemingly infinite funky spaces to create your own IG-worthy photo shoot. There’s even a “photo loft” you can use as the backdrop for your brand or product. If you’d like to experience multiple rooms, you can request different rooms over a multiple-night stay.
Classic Dallas charm
Slightly north of downtown you’ll find a gem in the heart of Dallas—the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a converted Texas mansion and experience old-school Texas hospitality, this is the hotel to visit. Driving into the round stone driveway, you’ll find yourself immediately transported back to the 1920s when the mansion was built. The towering Thomas Pheasant-designed home hosts more than 140 rooms in classic Art Deco style.
The hotel is currently undergoing a complete remodel that should be complete in early 2020, but you’ll still find the rich, creamy luxury of upscale furnishings and classic interior design in the hotel. To further your Texas cultural experience, the mansion has started hosting “A Sense of Dallas”—a two-day event for two guests where you’re provided with bespoke cowboy hats, tickets to a legendary ranch, authentic Dallas barbecue, and tickets to other cultural events depending on the season.
If you’d rather explore Dallas culture on your own, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is located near the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meyersen Symphony Center, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Winspear Opera House.
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Water park and Asian art in the heart of Dallas
It might seem like an unlikely combination, but the Hilton Anatole is a 45-acre hotel with a full water park and an Asian art collection that’s nearly second to none in the Dallas area. Located about a mile from the Dallas Design Center just north of downtown, the hotel opened the JadeWaters resort pool water park to complement its extensive outdoor Asian sculpture collection.
JadeWaters has two 180-foot slides, luxury cabanas, a special area for kids and a lazy river where you can get into an inner tube and drift along for hours … or until you feel the sting of a sunburn.
After you’ve enjoyed the park, or one of three pools, check out the jogging track and multiple sports courts. You’ll also find complete panoramic views of downtown Dallas from the hotel’s top-rated Ser Steak and Spirits restaurant. Hilton Anatole is more of a resort than a hotel, and when you step onto the lush grounds you may decide to spend your entire trip enjoying the arts and outdoor amenities at the hotel rather than traveling to other areas of Dallas.
Up-and-coming Dallas arts scene
Located just south of downtown, the trendy Nylo neighborhood has become one of the most popular areas to enjoy the up-and-coming art and food scenes. Canvas Hotel Dallas is less than a mile from the center of Dallas, and it’s right in the heart of Nylo. Canvas has become known for its rooftop infinity pool overlooking downtown—considered arguably the best rooftop pool in the city, so expect to find a crowd and lots of energy nearly any night of the week. The building has a modern, industrial vibe, but the rooms are colorful and funky. This mix of bright, bohemian colors in the rooms means the space doesn’t feel as cold as many modern industrial-style hotels.
Canvas Hotel Dallas
Luxe design just outside Dallas
Not everyone has business in the center of Dallas. For visitors outside the city center, NYLO Dallas Plano takes the Nylo neighborhood vibe to the nearby upscale Plano neighborhood. NYLO is a former industrial space that has been transformed into a loft-style hotel with an outdoor pool and garden. Rooms are ultra modern and industrial, sleek and stylish like rooms out of the latest design magazines. If sitting by the pool and admiring the design isn’t enough, the hotel offers free shuttle service to nearby upscale shopping areas. If you’re traveling with pets, this is another pet-friendly luxe Dallas hotel.
NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
Upscale art and dining in Dallas
Finally, north of downtown, the Highland Dallas is renowned in the city because of its highly upscale location next to Mockingbird Station and for being home to Knife Restaurant (led by four-time James Beard award winner Chef John Tesar). In addition to the location and restaurant, you can have some of the highest of the high-end luxury hair services and spa treatments at Exhale Spa and Salon Pompeo, both housed in the hotel. These have both been perennial favorites among Dallas style elites. Try a Microdermafusion facial in the spa or schedule a poolside or in-room massage. And, yes, Salon Pompeo has a full bar, so you can sip a cocktail while getting your blowout.
As if that wasn’t enough, after your spa or salon treatment you can lounge in the Highland infinity pool, overlook the Dallas sprawl, and order poolside service from the restaurant.
One of the major draws of all of these hotels is they’re all close enough to take advantage of the Dallas Arts District, where you can take in an opera or a symphony, visit the world-renowned collection at the Dallas Museum of Art, or take a stroll through the district and take one of the many tours offered before dining at one of the district’s four-star restaurants.