When my husband’s job bid him to Dallas for a working weekend, I jumped at the chance to learn more about the city but also tempered my expectations of what I would find. And in my initial research for hotels, I was a little disappointed with how few affordable options had the personality that I was hoping to find. Until, I came across the Belmont Hotel.
Nestled on a North Oak Cliff hilltop, the Belmont Hotel is a historic motor court hotel with a vintage flair. With only 64 rooms, the hotel offers cool comfort in a design-inspired destination. While your parents might have avoided this area growing up*, the Oak Cliff neighborhood is now an ideal location just outside of downtown with fabulous views and the happening Bishop Arts District nearby.
Rooms here are minimalist, quaint and without pretension. The hotel is not a first-class luxury stay and the throwback style does come with unrefined edges, but there is a hip sensibility and style that is a welcoming retreat from a big box hotel. This is not a glam hotel experience, but there is a lot of character and charm. Plus, it is close enough to the action of Downtown with enough distance to be away from it all.
For our room, we upgraded from a standard room to a suite. It appeared that the suite updates the structural relic of 1940s travel by combining two smaller rooms from its motor court days. One room housed a king size bed and a tub, while the other housed a sitting room, TV, and bathroom with shower. Furniture was modern, with a simple style. Landscaping around our suite included native plants with a Southwestern flair.
Though we did not bring suits to swim, the property has a lovely pool with one of the best views of the Dallas skyline. In addition to the pool, there is the Bar Belmont and SMOKE restaurant. All together these three elements make the Hotel Belmont a destination for tourists and locals alike. It is also a popular wedding and party destination. During our two-night stay, one evening there were late night revelers – but it was not enough to disrupt our stay. Still, it is something to be aware of when booking a room.
In reading reviews, the other common complaint was about parking. We opted to pay $15 per day for valet, but there is an option for free parking in a lot behind SMOKE. It is not a paved lot and there is a bit of a walk to the rooms. While some wrinkle their nose at paying to park, it is a convenience worth paying for in my opinion. If needed, the hotel offers golf carts to deliver luggage.
Our stay was brief and filled with some non-vacation obligations, so we did not get to take advantage of all the amenities that were offered. I am most disappointed that we missed out on SMOKE. SMOKE is an extremely popular restaurant offering authentic Texas barbecue that relies on, well, smoke for their flavor. It’s known for being some of the best dining in Dallas, and has reasonable prices to boot. Additionally, we did not take advantage of the free passes to the neighboring gym. It looked very nice and if we had been more disciplined then I think that is a great service to offer.
All in all, I think we have found our go-to hotel for any future visits to Dallas. We were not only impressed by the hotel, but the city itself. In fact, this visit was so much fun that it might just turn this Houstonian into a Dallas fan.
For rates and reservations, visit http://www.belmontdallas.com/
* I shared this article with the Belmont Hotel and received this clarification: “Actually the Belmont was quite the rate in it’s day. The neighborhood didn’t decline until the late 60’s when I-30, adjacent to the hotel, opened as a tollway with only one exit between Dallas & Ft Worth. That was a death sentence for many businesses along Ft Worth Avenue. Fortunately things are popping back and your generation is able to take advantage of the revitalization of many old motor courts.”