"This is the end of a long journey," said Craig Hall on December 3, cutting a red ribbon draped across the free-standing lobby staircase of his newest gem, the Hall Arts Hotel. "It's got a lot of soul. A lot of hotels are bland and not unique: we have 28 different room types!"
It not only has soul, it is the prolific Dallas-based developer’s (and his wife, Kathryn’s) newest masterpiece, the very first luxury hotel to grace the Dallas Arts District. Perched at the corner of Ross Avenue and Leonard Street, the 183-room, 10-story luxury hotel is right across the street from Pritzker Prize-winning architecture and celebrated arts venues.
The hotel is the first part of a $250 million development that includes a luxury high-rise condo tower next door expected to epitomize luxury living in Dallas. The HALL Arts Residences are expected to open in spring of 2020.
The passion for art is woven into the DNA of the property. Hall Arts Hotel offers a diverse collection of impactful, thought-provoking works of art celebrating established and emerging talents.
Hall Arts Hotel is not just another well-crafted luxury boutique hotel. It is a showplace for a collection that the Halls, avid modern art collectors, personally approved.
And to truly let the art be the focal point, HKS architects kept the backgrounds, from walls to furnishings, soft and neutral. Where there is no neutral, there is floor-to-ceiling glass brimming with sunlight.
The art was collected in a collaboration with Virginia Shore, former chief curator of the U.S. Department of State’s ‘Arts in Embassies’ Program, and Dallas’ revered art advocate (and HALL Group private curator) Patricia Meadows, for the commissioned pieces, some of which are yet to come.
Collection highlights are evident right at the front door. A vibrant overhead sculpture of ruby-hued tambourines hangs at the hotel entrance and over the seating area, the reds so vivid I asked if it was perhaps a holiday sculpture. It is not. It is Lava Thomas’s “Resistance Reverb: Movements 1 & 2,” a nod to the historical use of tambourines by protestors and advocates during times of activism including the Women’s Marches (and another reason why I loved it).
An ethereal, delicate light installation overhead in the dining room, called Ellie’s after Craig Hall’s late mother, is Spencer Finch’s “Asteroid,” said to visualize Finch’s experience of nature. Ellie’s takes inspiration from Napa Valley, where the Halls own their famous winery, offering coastal dishes and farm-fresh ingredients. Perched on the second floor, with a black grand piano on a platform, Ellie’s Restaurant + Lounge is the property’s main dining facility for breakfast, lunch, dinner with live music and entertainment five nights a week.
A sculpture near the elevator called 6302 Spoons, 2012, by Najla El Zein consisted of metal spoons depicting a nasal-like shape made me want to touch. Spoons!
But wait until you walk into the 2,500 square foot Grand Ballroom (able to accomodate 250 people) for the most vivid, soft floral wall of art by Clare Woods, The Right Kind of Boy by Clare Woods.
There are 28 types of rooms, each inspired by the Dallas Arts District. Designed by HKS Architects with interiors by Bentel & Bentel, the rooms are sophisticated and luxurious with padded leather headboards that extend behind the side tables, soft tones, beverage centers, huge showers, vessel tubs in the larger suites, luxe towels tucked under dual master sinks, Natura Bissé bath products by La Bottega, and lush king beds made up in Frette linens.
Even the keyless entry is unique and artistic.
The guest rooms and hallways feature local photographs that showcase vibrant scenes of the Dallas Arts District, which were compiled by Meadows following the conclusion of the Arts District’s ‘Through the Lens’ photography competition. The images were selected and compiled into a beautiful coffee table book titled “Through the Lens: Dallas Arts District,” from which all sales proceeds will go back towards the Dallas Arts District Foundation’s grants fund, which provides grants to local arts organizations to program throughout the district.
It’s a district bereft of life – without a ticket, there’s no reason to be there. Besides theater traffic, the only activation comes from the occasional outdoor event or wayward food truck from Klyde Warren Park. With hotel guests, all the art, and Ellie’s filling up with chatter and music, well, there is your life!
Crescent Hotels and Resorts is operating the hotel, which has already had its soft opening. HALL wines from St. Helena and Rutherford are already being poured at the reception desk. Crescent is an award winning, nationally recognized, top-3 operator of hotels and resorts operating over 100 hotels, resorts & conference centers in the US and Canada. Crescent also operates a collection of legendary independent lifestyle hotels and resorts under the Latitudes Collection umbrella. The new HALL Arts Hotel is also the only Dallas hotel qualified to be a member of Leading Hotels of the World, a portfolio of luxury hotels focused on pampering guests with amenities and services, “united not by what makes them the same, but the details that make them different.”
A version of this story originally appeared on CandysDirt.com.