Day Trips

The Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas is one grand lady that has received more than just a face lift

Day Trips

The Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas is one grand lady that has received more than just a face lift. Reopened in March, the 85-year-old hotel north of downtown has returned to the elegance it was once famous for.

In "Day Trips," No. 722 (April 15, 2005), I wrote that even though I enjoyed my stay at the Stoneleigh, it was a bit threadbare and had lost some of its luster. A $36 million renovation was supposed to revive the onetime Uptown hot spot. "It will be interesting to return in a couple of years to see if the old hotel has lost its character," I said in conclusion three years ago.

When it opened as the Stoneleigh Court Hotel in 1923, the 11-story, concrete fireproof building was touted as the most modern building in Dallas and the tallest hotel west of the Mississippi. Not only did it rent rooms by the night, but the apartments on the upper floors were occupied by wealthy Dallasites. Guests and residents were treated with air-conditioning, maid service, a parking garage, and the hotel's own radio station.

Over the years, the property went through a succession of owners and remodeling. By 1985, the number of suites had increased from 135 to 158 as the apartments were divided. My room in 2005 was one of the last to have a separate bedroom, living room, and kitchen.

After the recent renovation, the number of rooms increased to 170. My former room had lost its kitchen and gone was the mismatched furniture. It still has space enough to spread out, but now the furnishings are modern and stylish, with just a hint of the art deco era. I love the way the tall windows can flood the room with light. I stayed on the floor with the Elvis Presley Tribute Suite, named after one of the hotel's many famous guests.

In addition to the guest rooms upgraded with flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet, and spacious bathrooms, the first floor had a makeover that maintained the charm of the Great Gatsby era. In the evenings, the lobby becomes a part of the bar. The dining room has become a high-end Italian food restaurant. They have also added a wide variety of services in the basement spa.

The new Stoneleigh Hotel has been repositioned into a boutique hotel competing with other hotels in the neighborhood such as Hotel ZaZa, W Dallas, and the Ritz-Carlton. Even with the high level of service and comfort, the Stoneleigh's rates begin at $249 compared to $300 or more at the nearby alternatives.

The Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa is located at 2927 Maple Ave., a block from Turtle Creek and the Katy Trail hike-and-bike path. Room rates range from $245 to $600, with special spa and vacation packages available. For more information, call 800/921-8489 or go to www.stoneleighhotel.com.

899th in a series. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips" 101-200, is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Stoneleigh Hotel, Dallas, Stoneleigh Court Hotel

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