Where to Hit the Hay
After a long day of shopping, eating out, or wrangling cattle (although the latter may not be ideal for everyone visiting the Lone Star State), Dallas offers a wide range of accommodation options. Unfortunately, the city is not very backpacker-friendly, and there are no hostels to be found. If you’re hard pressed for cash, consider the always-reliable motel options strung out along Dallas’ major highways: I-35, LBJ-635, and I-75. One of your best bets is the La Quinta Inn at 4440 N. Central Expressway (214-821-4220), which is inexpensive and in a great location.
Along with the standard multitude of boring, characterless hotel choices available in most U.S. cities, Dallas has many unique accommodation choices. Again, it is always beneficial to stay as close to downtown as possible, or anywhere inside the 635 loop. Numerous luxury hotels line Dallas’ streets, many offering room service, restaurants, bars, spa treatments, and glamorous interiors.
For a look inside the life of a typical Dallasite, try a Bed and Breakfast. It’s the best way to feel right at home… and get a home-cooked Texan breakfast!
The following accommodations illustrate a wide range of choices, from the simple and affordable inn to the extravagant luxury hotel.
$ = Average room price is less than $100
$$ = Average room price is $100-300
$$$ = Luxury accommodations
Terra Cotta Inn
Although this small inn is located just outside the 635 loop, it’s convenient to the highway and not far from Dallas’ mammoth-sized Galleria mall. The Terra Cotta is a welcome alternative to the similarly priced motels in the area. With its small inn feel and free continental breakfast, the inn has a slight European aura.
Hotel Santa Fe
This hotel was empty for much of the 1990’s, but it has reopened, offering excellent accommodation rates in an unbeatable location. Located directly across the street from Mockingbird Station, the Hotel Santa Fe has quite a colorful history. Back in the 60’s the hotel opened as the Dallas Hilton Inn, playing host to Elvis and Bob Hope in its 10th-floor nightclub. With the 1980’s bustle, competition was fierce, and there was little room for an “inn” along Dallas’ busy central expressway. The hotel finally closed in 1991, leaving a stranded, odd-looking piece of architecture empty in a high property-value area. When it reopened in 2000 as the Hotel Santa Fe, few people flocked to its opened doors. However, it’s gaining popularity, luring in visitors with its cheap rooms and rich history.
The Southern House B&B
One of the few B&Bs in the city, the Southern House is in uptown Dallas, convenient to the Arts District and McKinney Avenue shopping and eating. It’s possible to walk to downtown from this location and explore the city on foot. The B&B has three rooms, all with downtown views and private baths. For the price, you can’t get much better than this. Ask for “The Room With a View.”
Opened in December 2002, this brand spankin’ new gem is one of the most unusual hotels in the area. ZaZa is located in the Arts District, and no wonder. Their rooms are “an exotic personal home designed for you” with “rainforest” showers and balconies with downtown views. While the cheapest rooms are elegant and resemble urban lofts, for a bit more green, try one of the “concept suites” instead. Each room is themed with its own individual style. The Bohemian Suite is French-inspired with a Moulin Rouge-esque design. Honeymooners can’t resist the Erotica Suite with a tub that opens to the room. The Out-of-Africa suite has mosquito netting over the bed and primitive art on the walls. With 13 of the these concept suites to choose from, it’s amazing guests make time to visit the Za Spa or Dragonfly restaurant on the premises.
Hotel Crescent Court
Reminiscent of 19th century Europe, the Crescent’s unusual boomerang shape can be seen from miles around. Located just off McKinney Avenue in the heart of uptown, the hotel’s sense of grandeur seems almost overwhelming. You almost expect oil tycoons to be walking around in diamond-covered boots. With it’s own spa, restaurants, galleries, shops, and incredible views, there’s really no reason to leave the hotel’s marbled walls.
Mansion on Turtle Creek
Named one of the world’s Top 100 Hotels by Travel + Leisure magazine, the Mansion was once the home of a Texas cotton magnate. Built in 1925, the Mansion is located in Turtle Creek, one of Dallas’ ritziest neighborhoods and home to the city’s elite. With beautiful tree-lined streets and private parks, visitors might forget they’re in one of America’s largest cities. The hotel feels like a private residence in 16th century Italy. If the price of room doesn’t break your bank account, have dinner at the Mansion’s world-famous restaurant.