I felt like swimming this weekend. I checked prices to some local water parks and then thought about the crowds and the noise and wondered if it would be worth it.
Then, a lightbulb went on over my head and I started to ponder other options. Eventually, I was on Priceline and wound up getting the Fairmont Dallas Hotel for about the same price as 2 inexpensive waterpark tickets. So I could swim, get my tan on, AND stay in a cool hotel.
The Fairmont is located in the Arts District in Downtown. Aside from the lobby entryway, this hotel does not look impressive at all from the outside – think dull, drab, brown, 1950’s Eastern European Communist apartment building. BUT, once you step inside, you realize pretty quickly that you are on to something quite special.
Immediately, you notice the artwork. A stag sculpture in the lobby catches your eye and you have to evaluate it for a good 10 minutes to appreciate what is going on aside from what originally attracted you to it in the first place.
The Fairmont Dallas has an Artist in Residence program. There is a studio on the property where different types of art can be created. The invited artist lives on the property, works in the studio and in exchange leaves an original piece of art created while in residence. The pieces they have acquired so far are impressive, to say the least.
I have never seen such a talented and helpful hotel staff assembled as I did here. It was as if their teamwork was in perfect synchronicity to make me comfortable and happy, every single time they saw me.
We had breakfast at The Pyramid Restaurant in the hotel. I am usually not much on buffets. If all buffets were like this one, I would be Buffet Girl, Super Fan #1. The spread was not as vast as something you would find in say, Las Vegas. This was a much smaller scale, but EVERYTHING they had was fresh, the appropriate temperature, and beautifully offered. The pastries were made that morning, the chicken sausage was perfection, my God – that French Toast . . . The chef came out to ask me if I liked the hot sauce. I told him it smelled wonderful but I had not tried it yet. He had just made it this morning. When I did give it a try, it tasted just as good as it smelled and I found myself going back to see what else they had out that I could put hot sauce on. They came out to see if we wanted something that wasn’t being offered and they would make it for us. I was already spoiled rotten and we hadn’t even been to the room yet.
The room was great. We had a view over the pool, a nice big bathroom, the bed was SO comfortable, and a large TV with cable and pay per view movies was going to be put to good use after an exhausting day of fun and relaxation.
After dropping our stuff off in the room, we got ready and hit the pool. Located on the terrace level, the pool is surrounded by palm trees, buildings, and big sky. The pool depth ranges from 3 ft – 9ft. I can’t recall the last time I saw a hotel pool with a deep end like that. There is a bar, you can order food off the Room Service menu and they have floats of all shapes and sizes. I had my eye on a giant unicorn, but then this kid got it and then 4 drunk ladies and since I just had a buzz, I thought it was a way more magical moment for them to be riding that unicorn, so I let it go and grabbed the shark floatie instead.
The only drawback I can think of is the construction site of a parking garage across the street, so sometimes the loud noises echoing off the buildings was a bit deafening. This is no fault of the hotel, but it was still very noticeable.
The Terrace Level hosts another cool program the Fairmont participates in. There is a company in the DFW area (they even have their own zip code) that places beehives on certain properties. When they collect the honey from these hives, they put it all together and then each property gets a portion of the communal local honey. The Fairmont uses this honey in their restaurant along with all the herbs, 5 kinds of squash, strawberries, raspberries, peppers, and tomatoes they also grow on the Terrace Level.
After dinner, we returned to the pool for Dive-In Movies. Two big screens are set up above the pool and you can swim and watch family friendly movies. They offer popcorn and hot dogs and with the Dallas skyline lit up around you, it makes a memorable evening.
I slept a solid 8 hours without getting up for the first time in over a year.
It was time to leave and I was a little bummed because this stay was so enjoyable. I thought my ‘vacation’ was over, but as I pulled out of the drive, our valet had left us freshly baked Texas shaped cookies in a little package with a bow by the gear shift. I love the little things.
Dallas, Texas, 75201