From 20th century opulence to mid-century motorhome hotels, Dallas offers history to those seeking a good night's sleep.
Posted on Nov 18, 2019 By Jennifer Simonson
Dallas has no limit of hotels to rest one's head. For those looking for swanky, modern digs, the W Hotel has got you covered. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will not go wrong with Hotel ZaZa's themed rooms and bungalows. But for history buffs looking for hotels steeped in the old-world grandeur of yesteryear, Dallas has five historic hotels left over from the last century.
The Adolphus Hotel
It only makes sense to start a list of best historic hotel with the grand dame of Dallas' historic hotels - The Adolphus Hotel. In the early 1900s city founders teamed up with St. Louis beer mogul Adolphus Busch to build a luxury hotel meant to attract high-class guests to Dallas. Almost 100 years later the hotel still stands as one of the city's most luxurious places to get some shut eye. The 422-room hotel is a maze of crystal chandeliers, velvet furniture, dark wood paneling, and heavy Flemish tapestries. One of the city's finest restaurants, The French Room, continues the lavishness with its domed ceiling painted with frescoes, hand-blown Italian Murano Glass chandeliers, honed marble floor and gilded Louis XVI style chairs.
If you are able to tear yourself away from all the 20th-century opulence there is plenty to do nearby. The hotel is snuggled among other historic buildings near several entertainment districts, the Arts District and the flagship Neiman Marcus store.
While The Adolphus Hotel takes the prize for most opulent historic hotel, The Joule wins for the coolest historic hotel in Downtown Dallas. Originally constructed in 1927 as the Dallas National Bank Building, the hotel's artwork steals the show. The revolving art installations start on the hotel's front lawn with Tony Tasset's three-story eyeball sculpture, continue in the lobby with Roger Hiorns' crystal-covered engine, and carry on through every nook and cranny of the hotel with extensive artwork includes pieces from Andy Warhol, Richard Phillips, Tony Cragg, and Adam Fuss. If that is not enough art for you, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Arts District.
What might be the coolest aspect of the hotel is the pool. The rooftop pool on the 10th floor juts out 8-feet over the edge of the building giving swimmers a bird's eye view of Main Street.
When the 29-story Magnolia Petroleum Company opened its doors in 1929 it surpassed The Adolphus as Dallas' tallest building. In fact, the building, which is now the Magnolia Hotel, was the city's first skyscraper. It held the title as the tallest building in Dallas until Gables Republic Towers came along in 1954 and knocked it off its pedestal.
In 1934 Magnolia Petroleum placed a red neon Pegasus on top of the building. The Pegasus still lights up the sky and eventually became the symbol of Dallas. Offices of former oil tycoons have been refashioned into a pet-friendly, chic boutique hotel.
History buffs are a 10-minute walk from the Sixth Floor Museum, Old Red Museum and Pioneer Plaza.
For almost a century this upscale hotel in the Oak Lawn neighborhood has been blending Southern hospitality with European grandeur. Construction crews built the Warwick atop what was once farmland in 1924. An architect whose work included the Dallas Municipal Building, Dallas Country Club and the Fair Park Coliseum designed the stately red-brick hotel.
The hotel's grand interior with its chandeliers, columns, and regal bronze fabrics is a far cry from the nearby techno-filled dance clubs. Transport yourself back to the Jazz Age as you sip a craft cocktail at the hotel's piano bar.
Drawing inspiration from California's popular motor court hotels, Charles Stevens Dilbeck designed the Belmont Motor Hotel in an Art Moderne fashion with an emphasis on horizontal lines, rounded corners, and stucco facades. Built on a hill in 1946 for $400,000, the hotel offered guests an unparalleled view of Downtown Dallas. It still does.
Today, the 64-room vintage hotel in a remote Oak Cliff location provides guests a laid-back atmosphere with an outdoor pool and a spectacular view. It is the perfect hotel to read a good book by the pool and chill.
Header photo credit: The Adolphus Hotel