Stoneleigh Hotel offers a jet-set getaway in Dallas
As the weather cools off, head down south for a retreat for the senses. A host of haute hotels have risen the heart of Dallas. Of all the new options, the most impressive is surely the Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa.
The grande dame, located in the bustling but still bucolic Uptown area of Dallas, opened as a residential hotel in 1923 and was, in the 1930s, embellished with a penthouse and interior styling by the lauded Dorothy Draper firm in New York. The Stoneleigh stood as a center of glamour and the arts for decades, becoming a residence for people like theater maven Margo Jones and a favorite stop for a wideranging guest list including Jack Benny, Katharine Hepburn, Oliver Stone, Andy Warhol, and Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
Because the Stoneleigh occupies a most desirable patch of real estate, her gradual fade from glory seemed both sad and scandalous. A yearlong, $36 million redo, however, has transformed the worn old gal into a stunner that’s both sophisticated and sexy. And while you can find other classy models right in the neighborhood – the Crescent Court and the Ritz-Carlton come to mind – the Stoneleigh stands apart as a place whose legacy has long involved fashion and grace.
Book a weekend stay and see for yourself.
LUXE, AND THEN SOME: The Stoneleigh is a showplace that would be at home in Beverly Hills or New York’s Upper East Side. Acclaimed design firm Forrest Perkins played up elements of the original art deco styling, reviving its energy with new color and the occasional modern tweak that enhances rather than clashes: witness, for example, bold teal, cinnamon, aqua and ivory patterns to complement dark chocolate mahogany furnishings and platinum detail, all highlighting original crown and door moldings and enormous windows, along with fantastic tiny tiles in the bathrooms.
You’ll find pampering touches, including free Wi-Fi connection, 24-hour concierge service and room service, and free fitness studio use; in your room, an iPod docking station, Baronessa Cali olive luxury bath products, a high-def flat-screen TV, a laptop safe, a giant closet and a lighted make-up mirror.
INDEED, IT’S HARD TO THINK OF WHY YOU’D LEAVE YOUR ROOM: Of the 170 units, 57 are huge studio suites that offer a king bed at one end of the room and a sitting area with sofa at the other, separated by a large double-sided dresser topped with a TV console that swivels for viewing on either side. Penthouse suites, which open onto a sprawling rooftop terrace, were given a new polish by the illustrious designer Carlton Varney. If you don’t book one, ask if they’re open for a peek; a glimpse of the 500-year-old English oak paneling once belonging to William Randolph Hearst is a jaw-dropping sight.
SPOILED IN THE SPA: One terrific reason to wander from your room is to spend a morning or afternoon in the chic new spa, which offers everything from skin and body treatments to hair and nail services and steam/sauna rooms.
Dozens of a la carte choices exist, but it’s difficult to pick just one. If you have a lot on your schedule, opt for the Day Dreamer, which includes a cucumber body treatment and a 25-minute massage of back, neck, scalp or shoulders. Those on a more leisurely schedule can choose the “Urban Detox” deep-cleaning facial, a three-hour affair ($290). For men, this includes a skincare treatment, deep-tissue massage and manicure ($255). But the ultimate is the Dorothy Draper Sweet Escape, a six-hour event that gives you a Jet-Setter Recovery Rx aromatherapy massage, geared toward anyone familiar with travel fatigue; a body sugar scrub and body butter wrap; 80-minute facial; and an aroma therapeutic, hot-paraffin mani-pedi combo ($625).
Overkill? Perhaps, but we’d love to book it.
WHEN EVENING FALLS: Wander downstairs and take a seat where the sleek, color-dappled lobby unfolds to the magnificent bar. Big, artful light fixtures and streamlined furniture give this spot a heady feel. Libations include a Bollatini, a blend of Ketel One vodka, vermouth and a jalapeno-stuffed olive; or a Bolla lemonade, made with Patron silver and lemonade, garnished with fresh jalapeno and cucumber, both perfect alongside nibbles like tuna carpaccio and bruschetta topped with prosciutto and Parmesan. Save room for dinner from chef David Bull, whose star rose at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, where he was designated a best new chef by Food & Wine and where he won a James Beard Award nomination. At Bolla, his departure into urbane Italian cuisine, Bull’s wide-ranging menu includes first-course options such as heirloom tomato salad or beef tartare; second-course diversions such as roasted sea scallop with spinach and brown butter or risotto primavera; entree selections include veal cheek piccata with preserved lemons or charred beef tenderloin.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: If you’ve set aside a long weekend, you can wander nearby for all manner of distraction. Listen to a great jukebox, shoot a game of pool and nosh on a killer burger (do get the chipotle mayonnaise) right across the street at the Stoneleigh P, a legendary watering hole; walk a few doors down the street for a sensational bone-in rib-eye with truffled mac and cheese at Nick & Sam’s (ask for a table in Willie’s section); or shop for antiques at Uncommon Market, an easy walk around the corner.
WHAT: The Stoneleigh
WHERE: 2927 Maple Ave., Dallas, Texas
RATES: Nights at the Stoneleigh begin at $240, but good summer packages include the Summer Suite deal with a night in a studio suite with a bottle of bubbly for $265, and the Honeymoon Extravagance deal includes the studio suite stay, champagne and strawberries, brunch for two and spa treatments for two, from $519.