It doesn’t get much hotter than the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List, and the Thompson Dallas was the only property in the city to make the 2021 cut, one on a list of just 69 from around the world. (Two Austin venues made the list, too. Read on for those.) The Thompson Dallas opened in late 2020 in The National on Akard Street, a historic building that underwent a $460 million preservation project, and was the brand’s first-ever move into the Lone Star State. Conde Nast cited features including the properties expansive all-weather space (two acres’ worth!), Catbird Bar and spacious rooms “with Mad Men-meets-urban-cowboy décor” as some of its best assets.
Meanwhile, the city that loves keepin’ it weird got two properties on this posh roster, these being the Commodore Perry, which began its life in 1928 as the country home of Nannie Lewette “Lutie” and Commodore Edgar Perry (now part of the Auberge Resorts Collection) and was upgraded and reopened in 2020, and the Hotel Magdalena. The latter opened last fall and at 89 rooms is the largest hotel flying the Bunkhouse flag.
Dallas hotelier Mark Wyant has put Galveston’s Hotel Galvez in the renovation crosshairs. Wyant purchased the property, built in 1911, and is planning an impressive makeover while staying true to the venue’s history and design. Its name-change is official, though; henceforth, the property will be known as the Grand Galvez Resort & Spa.
There’ll be meeting space that embodies space in Houston soon as Live Nation and the OMA announced design plans for The Terminal, a 5,000-capacity performance venue slated to open in November. The complex will feature both retail and dining elements, as well, as it breathes new life into the fringes of the city’s downtown. Live Nation, which operates Houston’s House of Blues and Bayou Music Center will release the Terminal’s first lineup later this summer.
There’s a boutique makeover going on in San Antonio’s St. Paul Square as investors are putting $5 million into the former Best Western Plus Sunset Suites Riverwalk, looking to transform the dated property into what will become the trendy and boutique Aiden Hotel. Slated to open in October if all goes as planned, guests will enjoy new rooms along with the resurrection of a cool basement speakeasy that operated here during Prohibition.
Brand new in Sugar Land, a modern culture hub called Art Museum TX, dedicated to presenting Texas-based contemporary art via events, exhibitions and education. Newly launched at press time the 4,000-square foot facility will serve as a colorful new venue for visits and events.
Virtual Becomes Actual: 3 Tips
Things are picking back up, event-wise, but what about all the plans you made during the pandemic-spawned down time? Did you make those connections? Get that certification? Now’s the time to keep those promises before you’re back up and running at full speed. Online learning is more popular than ever but what are some best practices for getting the most out of what you (and your wallet) have signed up for?
- Accountability matters. Set goals at the outset of your course sand track them regularly. Much like a fitness goal, making a pact with a friend/colleague to do it together can help keep both of you on track.
- Nix distractions. These days it’s all too easy to fall headlong into the 50-foot hole of your smartphone. Whether working online or in a book (old-school recommended if possible!) set aside the remotes, silence your notifications and focus on study. If working from home, get the domestic tasks done before settling in, and if you’re not alone, find a place in the house where you can concentrate without getting pulled into something else.
- Remember that virtual IS actual. Just because the seminar or series is online doesn’t make it any less real and there’s a fine line between flexibility and procrastination, so set a date with yourself to get the work done. It can even help to clean up and dress as though you’d be going somewhere! Treat it like something for which you’d show up in person and knock it out!