Cosmopolitan Dallas has so much to offer for a weekend trip or even a mid-week staycation. Here are some travel tips for three Big D locations, all doing a good job of practicing clean and safe COVID pandemic practices.
Lunch at The Biscuit Bar
A Dallas husband and wife opened The Biscuit Bar and now have five locations around the metroplex including: Fort Worth, Arlington, the SMU area, Deep Ellum and the Boardwalk at Granite Park. This is a great location for brunch or lunch, keeping you filled up all day. There’s no going low carb here, where they love gluten and love for you to enjoy every bite. Just enjoy and work it off later.
How To Biscuit Bar
First, choose from 18 different loaded biscuits, among them the Rough Night, offered with six (!) kinds of meat (southern fried chicken, burger patty, ham, turkey, pulled pork and crispy bacon) plus tots, cheddar and house-made sausage gravy.
One of the most unusual biscuits is the F.A.B.B., short for fig preserves, arugula, bacon and brie. Or, for devotees of retro TV Westerns, there’s the HOSS, with southern fried chicken, bacon, jack cheese, house-made gravy and honey butter. (Fun fact: Dan Blocker, who played Hoss in NBC’s “Bonanza,” was born in De Kalb, TX.)
Adding a side of their (tator) tots? Then you’ll be choosing from 4 styles, including Taco tots, which fittingly come with melted house-made cheese sauce, taco meat, pico de gallo and sour cream. Feeling festive? There’s the Holiday Style tots—-brown sugar, pecan streusel and toasted marshmallows
Lastly, pick from 3 desserts: Biscuit nuggets (their delicious version of a beignet), Nanner Pudding and Hot Chocolate Biscuit. Add a drink from their taps bar (iced tea, soda or even a cocktail), and you’re set!
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas for your Great Escape
Just before the pandemic hit, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas received the ultimate Forbes five-star rating, at the time the only one in Texas. (Since then the Post Oak hotel in Houston has also received it.) They’ve worked hard to achieve this rating with small details, paying a critical eye to things that might go unnoticed with other brands.
At The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, they are seeing corporate travel come back at this stage of the pandemic. They also have a great local following at their spa. (Midweek, I enjoyed a 50-minute relaxation massage in a calm setting which felt pandemic-free.)
Opened in 2007, the hotel sits between two residence towers that cater to the affluent of Dallas. The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, which boasts the largest ballroom in Big D (but will be the second largest when the Thompson Hotel opens soon), is situated in a beautiful part of Uptown with a trolley that runs nearby, surrounded by various museums and other outdoor activities available to guests.
Try a suite staycation package (they’re currently offering a host of deals) in one of their eponymous suites offering a large living area situated between two bedrooms.
Highlights of this five-star-everything property include the lobby (pictured at the top of this article), which they treat like a living room with a gorgeous display of flowers greeting you upon entry. A beautiful blue chandelier, the signature piece for Ritz-Carlton hotels, hangs in the first hallway, perfect for Instagram opportunities.
Renowned Dallas chef Dean Fearing’s restaurant (aptly called Fearing’s) is open Tuesday through Sunday nights with some outdoor dining and occasional live music offered. The Rattlesnake Bar, open each evening, caters to millennials and young Dallas investors, but anyone can enjoy. With a cool vibe, there’s a menu of small bites like a gourmet burger and a plate of nachos, to pair with your favorite local beer on tap, a great glass of wine or a signature cocktail. As throughout the hotel, they pay attention to small details. When our trio ordered the hamburger, it came split into three even pieces with the accompanying fries also split.
Room service offers friendly customer service and a delicious lunch, such as the warm turkey club with french fries. Other tasty in-room dining menu items include a burrata salad and crispy salmon.
Health & Wellness
The heated pool requires reservations on the weekend but it can be blissfully quiet during the week. In the fitness room, sanitizing stations and wipes were everywhere. Cardio machines featured full technology gym set up including logins for YouTube, Facebook, the Internet and games.
Small packets in the room provide antibacterial wipes and other sanitized features for your safety and sanitation. A detail in a property that takes details to heart.
Lunch at Rosewood‘s Mansion on Turtle Creek
Recently named the #1 Hotel in Texas by Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice awards, the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek has recently gone through a major renovation to update the entire hotel, from lobby to rooms. The restaurant is housed in the original mansion where the library provides cozy dining. The original dining room has been transported into an intimate bar.
Or, you can dine out on the terrace with a beautiful view under the shade of large trees. (Pro tip: Sample their amazing customer service… If you’re chilly on the terrace, they will bring you a freshly laundered shawl.) Try their signature tortilla soup, crab cakes or a tender filet of steak, soft as butter.
There’s a great deal of history in this property, dating back to the 1920s when Texas cotton baron Shepard King, hailing from Waxahachie bought it. Tennessee Williams wrote his famous play, Summer and Smoke, here. Then President FDR visited for just a weekend, causing them to add an elevator for his use. The property is 10,000 square feet and just under 5 acres in one of the most beautiful parts of Dallas.
The restaurant and bar have the original European floors, columns, and fireplace mantle, and doors plucked from the Kings’ European travels. Throughout the mansion, you experience styles inspired by their travels around the Mediterranean.
In 2020, the restaurant celebrated its 40th anniversary. The hotel, which opened a year later in 1981, celebrates its 40th this year. They debuted their new rooms in October 2020, which added an amazing upgrade in style and sass. I visited years ago and the renovation was palpable on this trip.
This Dallas icon features 142 rooms with 16 suites. Rooms span 450 square feet, with a very calming residential feel. My favorite features of the new guest rooms (which run around $400-$450/night) are the damask on the walls, the comforting carpet and the beautifully arranged bookshelves.
Cover: The luxurious lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Courtesy photo
A lover of great food and lux travel, Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. Hear her “Weekend Trip Tips” on the statewide NPR show, Texas Standard.