When I was a child, my favorite professional football team was the Dallas Cowboys. I can’t even begin to tell you where this came from, since I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio nearly 1,200 miles away. I loved cheering for Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin as they won multiple Super Bowls in the 1990’s. My parents even took a detour on one of our family vacations to let me tour the old Texas Stadium before it was replaced.
Having traveled so much as an adult, Dallas doesn’t hold my attention like it once did. Nothing has changed about the city, certainly not in a bad way, it just doesn’t hold quite as much glamour or appeal when you have seen so many other places. We were on our way to see a client and so a quick overnight here made sense as we were coming from a stop at the Aloft Tulsa Downtown. While our final destination was only an hour or so further, we wanted to stay at our favorite boutique hotel chain.
Regular readers will know that Kimpton Hotels quickly became my favorite boutique hotel chain after we joined their loyalty program in early 2015. We took advantage of our Platinum Elite status with IHG Rewards Club and asked for a status match to their Inner Circle tier. I had never stayed at a Kimpton Hotel before, but I have heard the most amazing stories from people who have and wanted to experience it for myself. I’ll admit to being skeptical but they overcame that.
So this is how I found myself in Dallas, headed to the Hotel Lumen in an attempt to keep that Inner Circle status for another year.
Hotel Lumen is located slightly north of the downtown area, in the Highland Park area of Dallas. It is perfect for college related stays as it is literally right across the street from Southern Methodist University. Our GPS, coming from Tulsa, took us south to the entrance which was on the right hand side of the street. If you are coming from downtown Dallas to stay here, the hotel will be on your left hand side. The driveway is pretty narrow and suitable for only two cars side by side.
As you pull in, there appears to be no visual indicator as far as where to stop for valet parking. You can clearly see the outside tables of the restaurant but the hotel entrance itself is not clearly visible from the driveway. With no staff standing outside and no signs, we overshot the parking area and had to back up. Not a big deal for us, but perhaps there should be some kind of a sign for valet parking that says stop here? Regardless we were out of the car and unloading our luggage after a brief misstep.
Once you step foot into this property, it immediately becomes clear where the name Hotel Lumen came from. Floor to ceiling glass windows make up a majority of the lobby area and that allows an abundance of sunshine to cover the entire property during the daylight hours. Once in the front door you will proceed directly ahead and to your right where the staff is waiting to get you into your room. We had a basic room reserved and requested an upgrade when we arrived.
As an Inner Circle member, our request was granted and we were moved to a suite on the top floor of the hotel. Before you rush off to your room though, take some time to walk down the halls slowly and marvel at the amazing artwork that is all over the Hotel Lumen. Paintings, photographs and statues are located around every corner.
As we stepped into our room, the first thing we saw was a small kitchenette with a full size refrigerator. Needless to say, this instantly made our stay better since we do our best to eat a diet of almost exclusively organic food. When we travel and stay at hotels without kitchens, we always come prepared with items that can be heated up quickly in a microwave. One day I will write a review of our amazing refrigerator we keep in the back of the Jeep. We couldn’t eat as healthy as we do without it.
To the right of the entrance was a small working desk following by a long ‘L’ shaped couch that was very comfortable and doubled as a sofa bed for Sarah. A large flat panel television was available here along with some storage for longer stays. A separate bedroom was quite spacious with a large king size bed. A spacious bathroom was attached here and featured a walk-in shower on the left hand side as well as a huge tub on the right hand side. Bridging the two together was a room with a countertop area.
Finally, our room included a balcony that overlooked the swimming pool area. There was a couch outside to relax and the weather was perfect for doing so. Unfortunately we were running late and it was dinner time, so we headed right downstairs to see what the hotel offered. We found out almost immediately that although the restaurant is directly attached, it is not owned by Kimpton as many of their other restaurants are. I can’t say this is a downside but no need to ask for your Inner Circle benefit here.
We were promptly seated and service was excellent throughout the meal. Sarah had the Shaved Ribeye French Dip and I enjoyed Contrast of Pork. Both choices were excellent and I would highly recommend them to anyone who dines at Front Room Tavern. As is my normal practice, I asked our server for his recommendation of a good local beer. He told me that the Deep Ellum IPA was one of their most popular but he made me promise to let him know if I didn’t like it. I agreed and it ended up being very good.
He insisted that I sample a second though, when I couldn’t assure him that the Deep Ellum IPA was one of the best I had ever tasted. When you travel as much as I do, it can be compared to watching nearly every movie that comes out in the theaters. Can you honestly name your number one movie of all time after seeing so many of them? The same goes for me, I can’t even begin to imagine what my favorite beer of all time would be. He wanted to make sure I was satisfied though and so he brought me a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter which was absolutely delicious and on the house. It was a very kind gesture but in the end just a little too sweet to have a second one.
We were preparing to order dessert when the manager of the restaurant walked up to our table with a Salted Caramel pot de creme. Turns out that even though the Front Room Tavern is not owned by Kimpton, they went out of there way to make sure I had an Inner Circle benefit regardless. This was it, a complimentary dessert. It was a great end to a fantastic evening as we all headed back upstairs to our room, full and satisfied.
The rest of the night was uneventful and we had an excellent night sleep. For those who stay here longer or have a chance to explore the other amenities, Hotel Lumen offers the outdoor pool we mentioned above as well as several cabanas surrounding it. There is also an onsite fitness center open 24/7 as well as private car service that will take you almost anywhere you need to go within a three mile radius of the hotel. This was definitely a nice perk even though we didn’t take advantage of it.
Overall we would highly recommend this hotel if you are staying in the Dallas area. While it isn’t the most convenient property if you have business in the downtown area, it is very convenient if you are visiting family at Southern Methodist University or don’t mind driving a little to get where you need to go. While we enjoy staying at these types of properties once in awhile as a family, I would not necessarily call this a family friendly hotel. The staff certainly welcomes children, but it isn’t the focus of the property.
So the next time you are in the area, make sure you join Kimpton Karma Rewards and check out the Hotel Lumen.
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.