For my 30th birthday celebration my wife & I stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. I originally booked our stay direct through Marriott but ended up changing the reservation to go through American Express's Fine Hotels & Resorts collection. This new reservation through Amex was for a King Bed Room on the Club Level (which actually ended up costing less than booking a standard Guest Room direct through Marriott!) and included the following perks:
- Early Check-In at Noon
- Late Check-Out at 4pm (upon availability)
- Complimentary Enhanced Internet
- $100 Spa Credit
- $40/person Daily Breakfast Credit
- Possible Room Upgrade (upon availability)
The valet and check-in process was seamless and every single person I dealt with within those first few moments was incredibly professional. One neat little aspect of check-in I'd like to highlight was the margarita cart that was positioned near the front desk. All arriving guests are served signature margarita shooters - a small variation of the full-size margarita that is served at the hotel's very own Fearing's Restaurant. They were delicious! A nice touch, indeed.
On the outside this Ritz-Carlton doesn't look particularly luxurious or noteworthy as the hotel and residences are located inside of a relatively old building. This building definitely has an old-time Dallas/Fort Worth look to it, and I loved it. Charming on the outside and luxurious on the inside. The property, both inside and outside, was maintained very well and was on-par with the brand's level of excellence in all things, not just service.
Since the holidays are in full-swing you can imagine how nicely-decorated the property was. This included a life-size gingerbread house that had a little shop on the inside. If memory serves this was the first year the property has done the gingerbread house.
My wife & I spent about 2 hours at the pool on Sunday. While simple, this Ritz's pool is also quite lovely and is big enough to actually be considered a swimming pool - some upscale hotels and resorts claim to have a "pool" but in reality only have a plunge pool, at best.
Lotions available for pool-goers
My wife & I spent quite a bit of time at the lounge, which was arguably our favorite aspect of the property. Awesome food at all hours of the day/evening, a good variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and excellent service. We made approximately 8-10 separate visits to the lounge, from quick snack-runs to coffee breaks, all the way to an hours-long dessert, wine & game session deep into the night. While the Ritz is an amazing property all-around, it will be very difficult to book non-Club Level for future stays.
So far I think this room has been my favorite yet. It truly felt like we were living in some sort of luxury high-rise in Manhattan as it was very spacious, well-appointed, and had a lovely classic-luxury feel to it. I especially enjoyed the bathroom as it was quite large. Note: Due to some formatting issues when importing the photos to Insiders some of my bathroom photos were lopsided. I chose to exclude those.
Since my wife & I had a substantial credit to spend on breakfast we decided to explore our options at Fearing's Restaurant. The Sunday morning breakfast buffet was in full-swing when we got down to the restaurant and I quickly started plundering the wealth of options before me. The food quality certainly met my standards and I left quite content.
My wife had already expressed a desire to get a haircut long before we actually booked our stay the Ritz. That being said when she discovered the spa had hair stylists and that we had a $100 spa credit, she was all-too eager to make an appointment - and that she did! For 8am on a Sunday morning, bright and early. The spa graciously brought their hair stylist in early that morning just for my wife, and she just could not stop talking about kind and sweet the stylist was.
As I alluded to earlier every hotel employee we interacted with was pleasant through-and-through. And I mean everyone. My wife & I were particularly blown away Robert in the Club Lounge, as well as two of the hotel's private car drivers, Richard and Ben. Regarding the drivers, my wife & I had a birthday dinner at Reunion Tower and required the services of the hotel's cars for both drop-off and pick-up. Both times we had separate drivers and both times we got out of the car with smiles on our faces as each guy was just so chill, courteous, and personable. They really seemed to enjoy their jobs and they also seemed to have taken a liking to us, which made it all the better.
My wife & I didn't have a single experience or interaction at the property that gave us pause or garnered a concern. Even when I failed to confirm we actually had 4pm check-out (it's subject to availability and not always automatically applied to the reservation) and learned the hard way that we didn't when our key cards stopped working at 2pm, the lady at the front desk was all-too accommodating by activating the late 4pm check-out and issuing us new key cards. The service, the amenities, the club lounge, the location, all of it was amazing. So lovely was our experience that my wife & I already agreed to make staying at this Ritz-Carlton an annual tradition. May it be so for many, many more years.