Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dallas for a Day - Part One

Actually it was a couple of days, but it went by quickly.

I can sum up Dallas this time of year in one word: HOT. That doesn't really cover it accurately, but it's the best I can do. Strangely enough, those who live in the area don't seem to be bothered by it. Despite the heat, it was still a fun place to visit.

From my area, the drive to Dallas is uneventful. It's flat and mostly interstate. I've not found a great way to drive there that doesn't require you to take the interstate most of the way. You can see the transition from lush plants to sparse as you head west on I-30 across Texas. Within a short time you stop seeing houses tucked among the trees and the ranch gates start to appear along the roadsides.

This wasn't my first trip to Dallas but the first time I've stayed in the Uptown Arts District. It's a very trendy sort of area, LA done in Texas style. Compared to LA, there's a slightly slower pace, and plenty of southern hospitality to greet you.

The Hotel Zaza is a prime example of this sort of atmosphere. If you like to lounge by (but not in) the pool while sipping a drink, this is your place. The decor overall is elegant yet sensual. Lots of dark colors pared with cool earth-tone tile. The Shag-a-delic suite was groovy baby, yeah! Complete with purple shag carpet, lava lamps, Austin Powers movie posters and a working disco ball, it lived up to the name.

My honest opinion: It wasn't worth the price. If you have no intention of being in your room until 2 am, you're probably ok. If not, this room is situated in a nook on their limited-access 4th floor placed above the pool area. It makes for a great view of the front lobby area where you can watch the flow of various interesting cars, but the music from the bar is loud enough you really don't need a radio in the room. The service from the staff was for the most part prompt and very friendly, although room service did arrive considerably later than planned one evening. If you can get a room that does not face the front of the hotel, I would recommend it. Overall, I think the hotel would be an interesting break from the usual as a place to stay if you're traveling with friends who are night owls or want to spend an evening socializing with a client.

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