Thompson Hotels checks into newly restored Dallas landmark

by | 13 Dec 2020 | Design

A spectacular new Thompson Hotels property has opened as part of the US$460 million redevelopment of the First National Bank Tower, with help from the likes of Todd Interiors, Interiors Ltd and Merriman Anderson Architects.

The impressive 219-room property pairs the historic George Dahl-designed building with the Thompson Hotels brand’s carefully considered curation of art, entertainment and cuisine. We take a look inside.

Personifying Dallas

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has just announced the opening of the latest addition to its lifestyle hospitality brand Thompson Hotels at 205 N Akard Street in Dallas. The property’s 219 rooms, which include 52 suites and two penthouse suites, are accompanied by a pair of destination restaurants: Nine at The National and Catbird.

“Modern-day Dallas represents a global destination for culture, gastronomy and entertainment, and Thompson Dallas personifies the evocative spirit and refined edge of one of the Lone Star State’s most sophisticated cities,” said Steve Shern, general manager of Thompson Dallas. “This is a historic moment for Dallas, and we are proud to welcome guests, World of Hyatt members, customers and the Dallas community to experience Thompson Hotels’ unparalleled guest experience.”

In addition to housing the hotel, The National plans to accommodate a variety of influential organisations such as Downtown Dallas. The hotel is located alongside The National Residences, which encompasses 324 luxury high-rise apartments.

An exceptional design team

The interiors of this restored building have been brought to life by Caroline Todd of Todd Interiors and Cindy Zelazny of Interiors Ltd. Merriman Anderson Architects, the architect of record for the restoration, also collaborated on the interiors.

The National was originally designed by the architect George Dahl, who was behind a number of Dallas’ landmark buildings. It’s now been sensitively restored while retaining historic elements of the original design, from the brass-inlaid wood panels that line the walls on the ninth floor to the 17,555 hand-cut marble panels, sourced from the same quarry as the marble used for the Parthenon, on the exterior.

The hotel has been furnished with more than US$2 million of art and furnishings personally selected by Todd from internationally recognised galleries and art fairs such as Frieze London. Its art collection, for example, includes David Yarrow photography, paintings by David Bates and JD Miller, and sculpture by Raul Mourao.

An elevated lifestyle experience

The gastronomy of Thompson Dallas is led by culinary director Jeramie Robinson, who formerly worked for Uchi and The Rosewood Mansion in Turtle Creek, and director of restaurants, bars and events Jonathan Geffrard, who previously spent 12 years with Hillstone Restaurant Group.

Full-service restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar Catbird is located on the tenth floor of the hotel. For this dining spot, chef de cuisine Preston Paine, who was most recently chef de partie for Eleven Madison Park in New York, creates small plates to go with the bar’s creative cocktails. The interiors here integrate deGournay wallpaper, a rooftop trellis in a lush courtyard overlooking the pool, blue agate marble countertops and a black petrified wood marble fireplace.

Meanwhile, Nine at the National – located on the ninth floor – offers indoor and outdoor breakfast and lunch menus.

The hotel’s spa and fitness centre, which is aiming to make its debut in January 2021, has two acres of indoor and outdoor space on the ninth floor with a resort-style pool, outdoor deck and bar and private cabanas. Facilities here range from hot and cold plunge pools to a yoga lawn, golf simulator and Peloton bikes.

Additional amenities at the hotel include a pet concierge and grooming centre, the Ten Dero barbershop, a floral design studio and workshop, and sprawling event space. The National Ballroom takes over what was the original fourth-floor lobby of The First National Bank; this 14,000 sq ft space is decorated with 24 chandeliers and offers unobstructed views over the city from three walls of 20-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows.

The hotel celebrated its opening with a series of special events, including the debut of fine-art photographer David Yarrow’s Texas Series exhibition and the opening of Texas bootmaker Lucchese’s new downtown retail space, which is located inside the hotel.

In 2021, the Thompson Hotels portfolio is set to almost double in size with the openings of Thompson San Antonio, Thompson Savannah, Thompson Buckhead, Thompson Hollywood and Thompson Austin. The debuts of Thompson Denver and Thompson Houston are expected to follow closely behind.

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