A Work of Art: How the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District Blends History, Art, and Culture into Your Hotel Experience

by Martin Ramirez on August 11, 2023 in Travels, Dallas/Fort Worth,

“A work of art” is how we commonly, and endearingly, refer to the extents of human imagination in many things. It could be what is on a canvas, a plate, or a musical note. It can be as small as a light fixture or as large as a towering monument. But it isn’t what just looks pretty, or luxurious, or modern. A work of art inspires, reflects, and intertwines beauty in everyday life, no matter how small or how grand. The JW Marriott Dallas Arts District hotel, located at 800 North Harwood Street and right in the epicenter of the robust cultural arts scene in Dallas, pays homage to this idea that where you sleep, what you eat, and what you experience should be in itself a “work of art.” 


The ground lobby and bar provide a welcoming environment, whether you’re here for a weekend or dropping by on lunch. Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

A Jewel Box of Fine Art

Brought to you by the design giants of HKS Inc. and Looney Associates in collaboration with hotel developer Sam Moon Group and DPR Construction, this new addition to the Marriott Bonvoy’s global portfolio of 31 hotel brands includes 267 rooms, three signature restaurants, two lobby spaces, a well stocked fitness center, and over 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. While this sounds like standard specs for a hotel, what makes the JW Marriott uniquely different is that it weaves details of Dallas artistry into every fiber, corner, and inlet of the building. The JW Marriott achieves this through their principles of prioritizing the mind, body, and soul. You’ll see this first as you enter the lobby where the hotel presents themes of the arts district intertwined into every detail. Stacked marble at the entrance brings about an essence of piano keys; you can almost hear the soft notes played by the visual spectacle. Subtle gold inlets are seen in the lobby and will reverberate throughout the hotel from guest rooms to the meeting spaces. The staff, too, is amazing and helpful, charming each visitor with that Texas charm we’ve been known to have. Be sure to at some point have a drink at the ground level cocktail bar–aptly named 800 North for the hotel’s address at 800 North Harwood Street. 

The JW Marriott houses plenty of original works done by local artists. Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

In the 11th floor sky lobby, a museum-esque space immerses you as you are greeted by a brass and metal installation created by Dallas-based artist Chris Judy. This physical display is an ode to the local arts district, reflecting sheet music, delicate harp strings, and the chandeliers of the Winspear Opera House. 

A starry night awaits you at Vincent’s. Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

A Van Gogh Worthy View

The visual experience continues out at the mid-air pool and deck that features stunning views of downtown Dallas as well as the hotel’s Arts District neighbors. Here, you can enjoy signature cocktails at Vincent’s Sky Lounge, a nod to Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night. The chic space offers spectacular wrap-around views, more inspiring art, and a 40-foot ceiling that protects guests and visitors from the extreme heat of the summer. So, while temperatures can average an all too common 102 degrees, you’ll comfortably enjoy the outside view with little to no regard to the sweltering heat. 

Sleep in art,luxury, and comfort at any of the JW Marriott’s artfully designed rooms. Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

Approachable Luxury in Each Room 

With breathtaking views and more nods to the Arts District, the JW Marriott continues to prioritize their body, mind, and spirit principles throughout each room. Each room uniquely features its own vinyl themed wallpapers, reflecting the deep music roots of the district. Notes of gold are present in the light fixtures and are complemented by calming wood tones to inspire a certain “approachable luxury.” Also, within the JW Marriott Dallas Arts Districts’ 267 guest rooms are nine guest suites aptly named Museum Suites for their prime views of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Margarett’s seasonal menu and ambient environment offers a unique experience that will leave you wanting more. Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.

Honoring the Past While Feeding the Present

Three elevated dining venues are available to guests and visitors, each equipped with its own artistic flare which ties back to the surrounding community. You can’t go wrong with either of the aforementioned 800 North and Vincent’s Sky Lounge, both are great options for drinks and dinner. However, you must stay and indulge in the culinary artistry that is Margaret’s, a three-meal ranch-to-table restaurant located on the 11th floor. Named after the memory of Margaret McDermott, philanthropist and longtime supporter of Dallas’ fine arts institutions, Margaret’s features stunning views of the city, a 30-seat bar, and a seasonal menu designed by Executive Chef Jonah Friedmann, who was named “Rising Star Chef” at the 2022 CultureMap Dallas Tastemaker Awards. This luxurious and intimate setting will not disappoint as it indulges all of your senses, from the beautifully designed open kitchen layout to the savory aromas of entrees beckoning your stomach’s desire. Pair the locally sourced Beef Carpaccio smoked tableside with a local beer or wine. Or try the irresistible 72-hour Hickory Smoked Prime Bone-in Beef Short Rib served with house barbecue sauce and Texas jalapeño elote. These not-so-subtle nods to the identity of Dallas will dance on your taste buds, invigorating an urgency to come back and indulge more. Be sure to plan your next birthday, anniversary, or graduation party here as Margarett’s houses a 28-seat private dining room with astonishing views of the Arts District. 

An easy 5 minute stroll takes you to the Dallas Museum of Arts for opportunities to take shaded selfies. Photo courtesy of Martin Ramirez.

A Unique Dallas Experience

Unbeknownst to many, the JW Marriott is located in the largest contiguous urban arts district in the United States. Within walking distance of the hotel’s doors are the city’s top cultural attractions, including the Dallas Museum of Art, Winspear Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center, Crow Museum of Asian Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Majestic Theater, and Moody Performance Hall. So, while you’re here, prioritize your mind, body, and spirit by reflecting on any of the hotel’s 20+ original artworks spread throughout the public areas. Spend a little quiet time in one of their serene spaces where soft upholstered seating in meditative colors and textures offer a brief escape from the urban rush hour or the busy workday. Have a beautifully designed and tantalizing meal at either of the JW Marriott’s dining options before taking a stroll to any of the nearby cultural attractions. Here, you can be inspired, which is what a work of art should do. 

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit JW Marriott Dallas Arts District.


Cover photo courtesy of JW Marriott Dallas Arts District

Martin Ramirez is a brisket-eating, Shiner-loving, road-tripping enthusiast of all things Texas. This Dallas-born writer / adventurer is ready to take his ‘78 El Camino to find the best in food, fun, and fitness throughout the Lone Star State