One of the Best Hotels in North Texas Recently Upped Its Game
As one of Dallas’ few five-star properties (and the only one according to Forbes), The Ritz-Carlton is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in North Texas, and somewhere I’ve been aching to have a staycation since I moved to the city four years ago. After a three-million-dollar renovation of the 12,000-square-foot luxury spa took place earlier this year, I knew it was time to check in to the iconic Uptown spot and its longstanding restaurant. I packed my overnight bag and headed 10 minutes down the street to experience The Ritz for one night.
As soon as I walked into the lobby, with dim lighting, chandeliers, and a showcase table donning massive vases filled with red roses, it felt as if I was no longer in Dallas. I was on vacation. And the first thing to do on any vacation is head to the spa.
1. The Ritz-Carlton Spa
The entrance to the revitalized spa is truly breathtaking. A full-scale trellis hand-sculpted by local artist Larry Whiteley hovers over a sleek white and bronze reception desk. While waiting for your treatment, you can put your feet up in one of the updated relaxation lounges (complete with hot tea, lemon water, and snacks) or take a dip in the whirlpool. I had my second-ever facial that afternoon — a 50-minute custom treatment that made me want to indulge in facials far more often. Perhaps the Diamond Facial next time?
My facialist, Mallory, was understanding of my newbie status and took the time to explain everything she was doing. ESPA products were used for exfoliation and cleansing, and the scalp massage at the end was a highlight. My face felt completely restored (and smelled fantastic) when I left the treatment room.
2. The Ritz Carlton Dallas Rooftop Pool and Bar
On the second floor of The Ritz, the rooftop pool is a refreshing oasis in the middle of Uptown. I indulged in a watermelon frozé and empanadas while taking in the city views for a couple of hours. The menu is extensive for a pool bar and also includes salads, sandwiches, and desserts like homemade ice cream.
3. The Rattlesnake Bar
For a pre-dinner (or post) cocktail, head to The Rattlesnake Bar in between the lobby and Fearing’s Restaurant. The spot earns its name thanks to a striking rattlesnake sculpture that wraps around the entirety of the bar. (You can spot the menacing head on the very left side.) Make sure to try an Espresso Martini or Dean’s Signature Margarita, made with Reposado, Damiana Liqueur, agave nectar, and fresh lime juice.
4. Fearing’s Restaurant
Chef Dean Fearing’s namesake restaurant in the Ritz Carlton, Dallas is a must-try for dinner or breakfast. We dined in for both.
For dinner, start with the Southwest Sampler — it includes crab cakes, a barbecue short rib enchilada, and two-bite lobster tacos. Perfect for sharing, they split the dish into two separate plates for us. For our entree, we shared the Maple/Black Peppercorn Soaked Buffalo Tenderloin. I had never tried buffalo before and was surprised by how tender it was. It was served with jalapeño grits, greens, and a butternut squash taquito.
And when ordering breakfast, don’t miss out on the Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.
5. Walkability to Favorite Dallas Spots
After dinner, we took a five-minute walk to Klyde Warren Park and stumbled upon some live music by a Fleetwood Mac cover band. Beyond the Park, there is so much nearby, including the Arts District (Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Meyerson Symphony Center, etc.) And if you don’t feel like walking, just hop on the free M-Line trolley in front of the hotel.