My recent trip to the USA was in part to attend a blogging conference, held at The Joule Hotel in Dallas, Texas. As I do when I’m attending any conference, I choose to stay at the hosting hotel to make getting around easier. It allows me to keep focused on the job at hand rather than wasting time on traveling to/from the venue multiple times a day. After spending 4 days and 3 nights at The Joule Hotel I’m happy to share a review of my stay.
Housed in a refreshed 1920’s landmark building sits The Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas. From the outside it looks like many other luxury-boutique hotels. It has a bell desk out front with lots of lovely young men to help you with transport and your bags. They used words like y’all and ma’am which gave me a real Texas experience but that’s where the ‘western’ stigma ends. Entering the hotel you immediately feel the arty, eclectic vibe that is carried throughout the hotel. It feels like you’ve walked into a live art installation. Piles of books and one-off ceramic creations sit atop an extremely long wood dining table, surrounded by a mix of wooden chairs. Behind it your eyes are drawn to the massive rotating gears that hide the front desk. To the left an entry to the restaurant, CBD Provisions, is tucked away and to your right is the bank of elevators.
Checking-in is a breeze and the staff were attentive even though dealing with hundreds of conference-goers. The bellman even waited with me while I got my room key and then escorted me while carrying all my bags. He explained to me all the little features of the room before leaving me to enjoy some peace and quiet, which I definitely needed after a 14hr flight.
One floor above the lobby is the conference and function rooms. The dedicated floor has everything to cater to special events, including a large grand ballroom and other large rooms that can be divided into smaller ones. On level 5 there is an outdoor function area called “Joule Terrace”, accessible through it’s own glass elevator rising above Main Street. We had one of the conference lunches in the terrace’s climate-controlled pavillion and it was absolutely beautiful. Perfect for a wedding!
The Joule also houses an ESPA-branded spa, a fitness centre and a rooftop pool with a glass-front that cantilevers eight feet beyond the hotel’s structure. Unfortunately I didn’t get to enjoy any of these delights as I was too busy with the conference but what I heard from other hotel stayers made me very jealous.
160 guestrooms and suites fill The Joule Hotel, divided into 9 categories ranging from Demi Joule up to the luxurious Penthouse. While the layout between each of the rooms may vary slightly, they do all feature an entryway with black Merbau wood floors, separate dressing room/wardrobe, black & white photography on the walls and all the creature comforts you would expect from a luxury hotel.
On of my favourites is the mini bar curated with locally-sourced selections, many of which were vegan! Even though I couldn’t personally get myself to the ESPA Spa I did get to delight in some of their products as they supply the bath amenities. Bergamot, jasmine and cedarwood scented shampoo, conditioner and body wash were especially delightful, and added to the relaxing experience of the rainforest showerhead. Lastly, my absolute favourite part of the room was the bed. OH MY LORD the king size bed was ridiculously amazing. Unfortunately they use down pillows and comforters so that’s a fail but it was the 300-thread-count Frette sheets and supportive mattress that won me over.
Free morning newspapers, an iPod docking station, 47″ HDTVs and Apple TVs, along with complimentary WiFi are just a bonus that makes your stay all the more comfortable.
There are two dining options at The Joule, excluding room service.
CBD Provisions is the main restaurant that caters to local clientele as well as the hotel. It’s described as a modern Texas brasserie serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The decor and design is modern with an atmosphere best described as sophisticated-casual (I made that up), meaning it has a high-class feel that is equally suitable for casual drinks or an important business meeting. I was only able to dine once at the restaurant but my dinner there left a very good impression. The staff were attentive and friendly, they didn’t scoff at my mention of being vegan despite the menu only having a few salads suitable to my needs. I asked if they could make me something more substantial for dinner (I felt like something hearty) and they whipped up a delicious pasta with their house-made rigatoni, fava beans and assorted mushrooms.
At the rear of The Joule just next to the entry/exit on Commerce Street is Weekend Coffee. The name is perfect for this place because it’s the ideal pit-stop for a fresh cup of coffee and a freshly-baked pastry. Each morning conference goers were filling the place to get their caffeine fix but I enjoyed it for their freshly squeezed orange juice. As The Joule is a pet-friendly hotel you get to see a lot of adorable pets wait outside Weekend Coffee while their owners get their drinks. It’s a great hang spot for an animal lover.
Downtown Dallas isn’t a bustling, crazy CBD like what I’m used to Sydney, Australia. It’s a lot quieter and even in peak-hour there is barely a traffic jam. It’s quite a pleasant experience after coming from a place like Sydney.
The Joule Hotel is located in the centre of it all. Across the road they are currently hosting an incredible sculpture known as The Eye. It eerily looks like an exact replica of a human eyeball but on a massive scale. This is just one of the many art pieces you will find in downtown Dallas, and just a short stroll from The Joule will find you in the Dallas Arts District.
If shopping is more your thing, and we all know it’s mine, you may find yourself standing outside the flagship Neiman Marcus department store. It’s just two buildings down from The Joule Hotel and frankly it’s way too convenient for shopping addicts like me. Essential stores like CVS and most of the major banks are all within a 1 block radius. There are major shopping centres just a quick drive away, but once again I did not have time to visit them. I recommend Uber for getting around (and for every city it’s available in) or you can use the complimentary car service provided by the hotel.
You have a wide choice of restaurants and eateries close to The Joule. I enjoyed a delicious pub-style mexican feast at Sol Irlandes – Mexican Chop House. The dishes are massive so be warned if you aren’t used to American servings. The guy behind the bar laughed at my dismal effort to finish a burrito (I barely got through a quarter but it was the bigger than a newborn baby).
The Joule Hotel is located at 1530 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 75201, USA.
Have you been to Dallas? Does this sound like a hotel you’d like to stay at? Let me know by commenting below!