With two lavish locations, plus a third coming very soon, and modern ambiance, Thompson Hotels are taking Texas by storm.
This expanding luxury franchise has been planting its properties around the United States, and has branched into three major Texas cities: Dallas, San Antonio and Austin (coming in January). Each is rich in art and tailored to guest preferences, and are created with the integrity of the surrounding community in mind and made to fold in seamlessly.
This is upscale luxe with a familiar kind of comfort. From modern decor to the historical integrity of the locations, Thompson is creating community-embedded hotels.
Arriving off the bustling streets of downtown Dallas, you enter into a beautiful refined lobby, that has the style of an upscale home store with hallways that are like art galleries. The vibe is posh. The king suite is spacious with a large bathroom, impressive liquor cabinet, small sitting area and separate bedroom with large windows looking out on downtown Dallas.
The Thompson Dallas takes up the lower part of a building that has sat on this property for decades, formally the National Bank building. The bottom 20 floors are the Thompson Dallas while the rest of the floors, up to the 49th, are residential space.
One of the hottest reservations to land in Dallas is dinner at the Monarch on the 49th floor. Dinner at Monarch starts with a complimentary glass of sparkling champagne before you head up.
First-class fare is the Monarch’s specialty. Guests can start off with a signature cocktail, like The Duchess – made with Grey Goose vodka, passion fruit, the Spanish liqueur Licor 43, lemon and bubbles – paired with a starter like vegetable crudites and hummus. The entrees are the real stars of the show. The Monarch’s selection ranges from house-made pastas and salads to cooked-to-perfection steaks, chicken and seafood.
If you are looking to really treat yourself, then look to The Royale, deemed the best of what the Monarch has to offer. With a title like that, the meals do not come cheap, but you pay for what you get. The Royale’s selection includes the Butcher’s Reserve – the restaurant’s finest and locally-sourced cuts of steaks and chops. The 45-day, dry-aged Tomahawk is one of the more expensive items on the menu, but it delivers on flavor and texture.
Is seafood your preference? Then the Monarch has live Alaskan king crab on The Royale menu. This option costs a pretty penny, but that is because of the limited supply and the craftsmanship in the cooking and serving of this dish.
The menu does have some less extravagant options, but with high-end dining comes high-end prices. This is the place to go for a special occasion because it is an experience, not just a meal.
A weekend getaway is incomplete without a nice breakfast or brunch, and Nine at The National is a hot spot. Fill up with a hearty breakfast sandwich with a side of potatoes and fresh berries – a classic sweet and savory breakfast combo. Brunchers can sip on tasty specialty cocktails or opt for a traditional mimosa to pair with your favorite menu item.
Other Thompson Dallas amenities include a beautiful rooftop (9th floor) pool, a large fitness center and a spa available for booked services.
Thompson San Antonio Riverwalk
Sitting in stark contrast to the old El Tropicano Hotel, across the street in downtown San Antonio, is the new Thompson San Antonio Riverwalk. What used to be a drab parking lot is now a designer hotel on the famed Riverwalk. The entire building is pet-friendly, with floors 1-11 being the hotel and floors 12-19 condos.
The comfortable yet chic lobby is known as “the gallery,” with curated artwork and intentional design. The entire hotel has a masculine vibe to the interior design with brown leather features (the lobby staircase features customized leather cushions). Even in the rooms, the motif has a natural (dark brown) color scheme with signature leather items such as the fold-up luggage rack, the bed’s backboard paneling and the chaise at the foot of the bed.
The guest suites have a unique bathroom configuration, with the bathroom set off the master by just a sheer curtain, a large tub in the center that almost appears to be in the bedroom, and a toilet/shower stall combo.
My favorite thing about the hotel — it’s a simple pleasure — are the refresher stations on each floor; an ice machine with both still and sparkling water refill stations to fill your own water bottle, thereby reducing waste. (And you’re not paying $9 a bottle for your water!) Next to the station, you’ll find complimentary fresh fruit.
The fourth floor Cenote pool deck, open 9am-10pm daily, is where you’ll find a small pool and chic loungers with a view of the city. Other hotel amenities include a fitness room on the fifth floor and the Thompson Spa. The spa includes a nail salon, relaxation room, five treatment rooms to enjoy everything from a hydrafacial to their signature Lucid Awakening body treatment ($160 for a 50-min). With this treatment, you’ll enjoy a relaxing massage that works on the lymphatic system, boosting immunity and rubbing out all the stress at the same time. Make time to detox in the eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna for a full day of relaxation.
The Moon’s Daughters is a top-floor cocktail and appetizer experience. Order from tasty Mediterranean-inspired dishes to share. You can’t go wrong with the Artichoke Hummus (full of feta and olives, served with house-made warm pita bread), the Crispy Meatballs stuffed with a cheddar curd, or the house-made Feta Burrata with honey-dipped marcona almonds. Enjoy a variety of beautiful cocktails or delicious wine and plan to spend a few hours.
Landrace is the signature restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Treat yourself to the bird’s-eye view at their chef’s counter where you can view their “Grill Works.” 90% of the menu utilizes the wood-fired grill, from the warm Grilled Caesar Salad to the Spinach & Basil Gnocchi with a smoked mushroom bolognese, topped with grilled chicken. The bread service comes with an usual smoked butter; the Hopi Blue Corn Hushpuppies are a luxury and the Berkshire Pork Chop is a crowd favorite. Save room for the Fried Peach Handpie featuring Fredericksburg peaches.
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Cover photo courtesy Thompson San Antonio
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She can be seen on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips, in addition to her long-running “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard.