One of my favorite things to do is stay the weekend in a hotel. Why? It’s a break from your everyday routine. It’s being pampered. It’s worry-free. It’s adventurous. It’s cheap (well, usually). It’s fun.
I’ve stayed at most hotels in Dallas. Anytime I know that I’ll be drinking in Dallas on the weekend, I get a hotel. It’s easy, usually cheap and always a nice staycation. I got the chance to stay at Marriott City Center off of North Pearl Street while they hosted an event for travel journalists. This Marriott recently unveiled its $14.5 million redesign in early 2012. The eclectic Texas design was developed by award-winning Duncan Miller Ullman Design, who is well known for their work at Hotel Zaza. The lobby had a Texas touch with a chair shaped as a cowboy hat, lassos above the check in counter and pictures of plants on the wall. It wasn’t overboard country, but had the perfect Western flair.
The hotel offers 22,000 square feet of adaptable and technologically advanced meeting space that includes 11 breakout meeting rooms with wired and wireless internet. It also features the largest U.S. Marriott concierge lounge with a variety of communal, private, business and relaxation seating areas, complimentary beverages and snacks, Wi-Fi, apple computers and TVs.
One of my favorite things about the Marriott is their Suites. The Marriott City Center has five different suites; Presidential Suite, Plaza Suite, Americas Suite, Pearl Suite and King Junior Suite. My favorite suites were the Presidential and Plaza. The Presidential Suite was in a class of its own and much larger than most apartments found in Dallas. One of the best touches is the Chihuly piece hanging in the living area. The Plaza Suite wasn’t as large but seemed to go on forever because of the layout of the room. It would be great for a family traveling with children.
While staying the weekend at Marriott City Center, I took full advantage of Centric, the upscale restaurant located on the ground floor of the hotel. Centric features a Texas eclectic menu by Executive Chef Yoni Heredia, with fresh ingredients sourced from local producers including Dallas’ Mozzarella Company, Jimmy’s Food Store and the Dallas Farmers’ Market. I ate a few meals at Centric, and all were beyond delicious. The food and service exceeded expectations. I enjoyed a Brazos Valley Parmesan Battered Chicken Breast with wilted organic arugula, capers & tomatoes on top of mashed Yukon potatoes. A lady across the table from me who ordered the Grilled Center Cut Filet said it was the best that she had ever had. That’s a big statement to make, but I had a bite and she was right. I highly recommend the Filet with the Parmesan Chicken coming in with a close second.
The stylish yet casual bar at Centric features local and regional flights of beer, 20 wines by the glass, and fresh squeezed cocktails such as the “Texas Blues,” made with muddled blueberry, mint, Bicardi Limon and lavender scent. The Texas Blues was a crowd pleaser and perfect summertime drink. The bar menu includes gourmet burgers, sliders, sandwiches, flat breads, and appetizers which are perfect for a quick pre-theater bite or to enjoy during a game on the bar’s wide-screen TVs. After getting in from a late dinner, I noticed the bar being packed with people enjoying the night and having a good time.
Marriott City Center truly outdid themselves. The rooms were newly renovated, Centric provided more than enough to eat and the service was impeccable. If you’re looking for a hotel to stay in Downtown Dallas, check out Marriott City Center.