Whenever you see a picture of downtown Dallas, it invariably includes Reunion Tower, the 561-foot observation tower topped by a lighted sphere looking over the city. Adjacent to that is the hulking silver structure housing the Hyatt Regency Dallas; sleek and shiny outside, cool and comfortable inside. And a treasure trove for history buffs interested in The Big D. (Feature photo of the Hyatt Regency courtesy of Hyatt.)
Though our “world headquarters” is in the greater Dallas area, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stay at the recently updated Hyatt Regency for an event. Although we typically don’t stay at Hyatt properties, for no particular reason, that is sure to change after this stay! We could easily have saved some money and driven to the venue but, as it turns out, it was easily worth every (fairly modest) cent.
Let’s start with check-in. Being locals, we arrived very early and approached the desk to see about storing our luggage until our rooms were ready. The front desk staff was very friendly and, much to our surprise and delight, we were promptly checked in. Since we were so early, we took advantage of the time, heading upstairs to drop off our bags and explore our digs for the week! Our first impressions: This place is big, and the rooms are fantastic!
Our rooms faced downtown Dallas. The modern décor was very tasteful and drew attention to the fantastic view, complete with a chaise at the window where you could comfortably take it all in before drifting off for a quick nap. The room was very clean and well maintained. The furnishings added to the tidy, uncrowded appearance, allowing the coffee maker and amenities to be tucked out of sight rather than cluttering a tabletop. The bed was soft and very comfortable, and the workspace was well situated. One thing we’ve noticed – and enjoyed – at the few Hyatts we’ve stayed in is the ability to plug your laptop into the TV. While we don’t use it frequently, it’s great to be able to sit in bed with a wireless keyboard and work away…on the off chance that you just happen to travel with a wireless keyboard. (And if you do, Rob #1 will be surprised to not be the only one!)
Our favorite amenity – free Wi-Fi – was announced with a small note on the desk, along with a note from our housekeeper. Both were much appreciated, but free Wi-Fi was a benefit of our room rate for the event and is not a standard amenity. Typically, it would have cost as much as $14.95/day, which we believe is outrageous. We firmly believe free Wi-Fi should be offered by every hotel as an amenity as basic as soap, shampoo and a bottle of water.
The lobby and restaurant areas are very open and welcoming. Being a convention center hotel, the lobby level also serves as entry to the larger meeting/ballrooms. Upstairs, the mezzanine hosts the lobby bar and restaurants, along with many smaller meeting rooms along a maze of corridors. Don’t be afraid to meander down those hallways – they feature photos and stories of Dallas luminaries throughout the area’s long history. Guest rooms also begin on this level, and you’ll find access to the pool and fitness facility. While the pool is rather small, there are large terraces that invite you to lounge about perfecting your Texas tan. The fitness room is well equipped with freeweights, machines and aerobic equipment, along with loaner headsets by Bose.
The Hyatt Regency is in an historically important area of Dallas. While many are aware that Reunion Arena stood nearby (longtime home of the Dallas Mavericks) and assume the tower was named for the arena, there’s actually a rich local history which is well documented with photos and displays throughout the hotel. Near the front entrance is a long hallway inviting visitors to amble through a photographic history of Dallas from its 1865 inception into the new millennium. It’s definitely a highlight of the hotel, and a good destination for any visitors to the city.
As hotel bars go, Monduel’s – where the big Texas star is – does a fine job. We got into a great discussion about local brews with the bar guys, and they do serve some Texas beers – including Deep Ellum IPA – but having nothing from Fort Worth’s Rahr & Sons seems like a miss. They also serve Tx Whiskey, the main component of the tasty Texas Sour. Dining in the hotel restaurants is also good. Our recommendation is breakfast at Centennial Café, a nice Italian dinner or pizza at Parrinos, and java all day at the Coffee Post. The staff at all of them is great, and service was top notch. However, a highlight is a trip to the adjacent Reunion Tower, topped by Wolfgang Puck’s revolving restaurant Five Sixty. From the lobby, an escalator leads down to another level of meeting rooms (with more local history on display), an underground passageway to Union Station train terminal (more on that later), and the entrance to the Tower. Actually, two entrances: one to the GeoDeck viewing platform, which is a high-tech attraction of its own; the second to Five Sixty. Both should be on your short list of sites to see while here.
While the hotel seems to be on the edge of Dallas, it’s actually a great base location to tour Texas’ largest metro area. As mentioned earlier, an underground passageway connects the hotel to Union Station, served by Amtrak, the Trinity Railway Express (or TRE) which links Dallas with Fort Worth and can get you to/from DFW Airport*, and DART light rail, which serves Dallas and surrounding communities. It makes getting to many regional highlights easy and affordable. Downtown Dallas is within easy walking distance, and many well-known (and some infamous) neighborhoods are a short drive or cab-ride away.
We were extremely pleased with our stay at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. We enjoyed the newly renovated rooms and public spaces (especially the Coffee Spot lobby snack bar, which serves java all day!), and absolutely loved the history lessons. The staff was always helpful, pleasant and thoroughly professional. The one word of warning I’ve heard is to check for conventions before you book a room. The hotel has more than 1000 rooms and more than 150,000 square feet of meeting space, so it does cater to conferences and meetings. The event we attended seemed to be the only thing going on at the hotel, and we were merely a few hundred people. Reportedly, larger functions can cause long lines and delays, as they would anywhere. Based on our experience, the Hyatt Regency Dallas certainly earned its four-star rating and then some!
More pictures from the Hyatt Regency Dallas:
*DART’s DFW Station platform opens August 18th, allowing direct access from DFW Airport’s Terminal A to the city center. Currently, riders can connect from Terminal A via shuttle bus to the TRE trains at Centrepoint Station. (Note: TRE trains do not run on Sundays.)
Disclaimer: This review was neither solicited nor compensated. We did attend an event at the hotel, but not affiliated with or sponsored by the hotel, at an event-only rate. Opinions expressed are solely our own. All photography by TravelLatte.net unless otherwise noted.