We are really blessed to live in such a big state that has so much to do. It’s easy to plan a quick weekend trip to any one of the big cities here in Texas. In August, we did just that. We wanted to take a weekend away as a family and decided a trip up to the Big D – Dallas – was just the thing.
Eight years ago we moved from the Dallas area to Austin and with the exception of a few visits to see family or friends, we hadn’t been back as a family to be “tourists”. Truth be told, after living there for so long, we felt like there wasn’t much to see or do that we hand’t already done. I couldn’t be more wrong.
So we booked a room at the Hilton Anatole and off we went for the weekend!
Hilton Anatole Hotel
The Hilton Anatole is located right on Interstate 35, near the heart of Downtown Dallas. It has a perfect location for all things to do in the DFW metroplex, as it is not complicated to get to – just a simple exit off the highway. Frankly, I’d rather not stay downtown, as the one-way streets and parking can be challenging. The Hilton Anatole is easy to get to and had ample parking when we visited.
It’s very close to many great family attractions. One of the best, hands-on science museums in the country, the Perot Museum of Nature & Science, is minutes from the hotel. You can immerse yourself in a rainforest at the Dallas World Aquarium and cheer on your favorite knight over dinner at Medieval Times, both right down the road from the Hilton Anatole. Not to mention all the other great things there are to do in Dallas.
But back to all the reasons we enjoyed our stay at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.
The rooms at the Hilton Anatole are very spacious. We stayed in a one bedroom suite that was perfect for our family of 5. We had 2 double beds in the bedroom and the separate parlor room featured a queen size murphy bed that was hidden so well, we almost called to get a new room thinking we didn’t have enough beds. We had 2 bathrooms – each with a shower. And the room featured the Hilton Serenity bed – a custom made mattress and box spring made by Serta with plush, high-grade linens. Let’s just say we “sunk” into our beds and got an excellent night of sleep.
It is a large hotel with multiple stories, however, we never waited too long for an elevator or felt like it was loud. It was quite to opposite. With a corner room, we felt very quietly tucked away where we never heard any hallway noises – and it was a Saturday night.
Being a large convention hotel, the hotel offers many great amenities. The Verandah Club features tennis courts, fitness center, spa and outdoor pool. My daughter and I had mom & me pedicures at the V Spa on Sunday morning and it was a relaxing way to start the day. The V Spa also offers facials & massages.
The pool was a happening place to hang out for the afternoon, with a swim-up bar and outdoor grilling. During the summer, the pool features dive in movies for the family. There were also lawn games set up when we visited – croquet & volleyball – a great way to play with your family.
We also really enjoyed walking through the 7 acre Sculpture Park that is nicely shaded by the Anatole’s room tower. Despite it being August, we found it to be pleasant to walk around the trail (that doubles as a jogging track) and see the goldfish in the pond, stop to sit on a bench, and enjoy the many pieces of art.
And speaking of art, the Hilton Anatole has an impressive Art collection (over 1000 pieces!) scattered throughout the hotel. Huge pieces that dominate the lobby and indoor walkways make you stop and admire. You can download walking maps of all the pieces on display and take a bit of an Art Scavenger hunt.
There are several dining options from casual to formal. We enjoyed breakfast at the Terrace – an American-style buffet in an open atrium. Starbucks coffee and grab-and-go snacks are available at 2 different locations. And I would love to visit again and plan a date night at Ser Steak & Spirits on the 27th floor – I bet the view is amazing.
I was fascinated that the Hilton Anatole is home to Geppetto’s Marionette Theater. This theater presents marionette puppet shows most weekends and I was lucky enough to catch the owner when we stayed to learn more. The group is made up of young adults & students who are passionate about storytelling and hey work hard to bring this unique form of entertainment to the Dallas area. Most shows are adapted children’s storybook classics, when we were there, they were just finishing a run with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. If you can, plan to catch a show- it looks adorable.
Summer At the Anatole: Memorial Day – Labor Day
This summer, the Hilton Anatole featured special events for families with dive in movies at the pool, pool side grilling and specials on hotel stays. Look for these events to be back next summer.
Sparkle: Christmas At the Anatole
Last Holiday season, the Hilton Anatole debuted Sparkle: Christmas at the Anatole that featured ice skiing, storytelling, Santa visits, and puppet shows. I was most impressed with this even as prior to designing it, the hotel asked a panel of KIDS what they would like best in a Holiday experience. They took notes and developed Sparkle and it was a big success. Back again in 2015, be on the lookout for the fun to begin just after Thanksgiving.
We found our weekend in Dallas was a great get-a-way and the Hilton Anatole was not only a great location but ideal for family fun.
Disclosure: My family & I were invited to stay the weekend at the Hilton Anatole. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.