Smart Stay

Hilton Anatole

by Hillary Richard
Hilton Anatole / Atrium II Jade Pavilion
by Hillary Richard

It’s true: Everything really is bigger in Texas. The sprawling Hilton Anatole has more than 600,000 square feet of event space (indoors and out), a jogging track, 11 ballrooms, eight restaurants and bars, 79 meeting rooms, and a seven-acre sculpture garden. The real standout, though, is arguably its unbelievable art collection -- one of the largest and most unique of any American property. We checked into this most un-Hilton-like outpost, and here's our report.

What’s New: A lot. An upscale, resort-style pool area is opening in mid-May of 2016. This $15 million, three-acre complex will have a leisure pool, a family pool, luxury cabanas, a new outdoor restaurant, and a 16-seat swim-up bar. The design of the pool area will echo the hotel’s massive Asian art collection.

Best Feature: The hotel has incorporated its ancient artifacts and one-of-a-kind sculptures into all of its nooks and crannies in an organic, non-ostentatious manner. The Hilton Anatole is as much a museum as it is a hotel; visitors can wander around and admire the artwork themselves, or they can take a guided art walk through the two atriums, tower, and outdoor sculpture park. A lot of this is due in part to the fact that the Dallas-based Crow family, who built the hotel, continues to run much of the show here. The museum quality pieces -- everything from a spectacular Wedgewood room with a giant vase from 1855 to an 8,000-pound marble statue of Gandhi -- are hand-picked from their personal travels. You'll see their avid interest in history, too, in items like the two original pieces of the Berlin Wall in the atrium and the giant propeller from the RMS Lusitania in the sculpture garden.

The Rooms: There are 1,606 guest rooms on 27 floors (including 127 suites), all decked out with modern amenities like high-speed WiFi and movies on demand. The rooms are large and built for both comfort and work, thanks to amenities like the Hilton Serenity Beds and large desks with ergonomic chairs. There are plenty of luxurious touches, like Peter Thomas Roth bath products and expansive closets.

The Food: There are plenty of places to eat and drink at the Hilton Anatole, but the standout is SER on the 27th floor. This sophisticated steakhouse with white linen tablecloths serves dinner and finely crafted cocktails by floor-to-ceiling windows with great city views. Downstairs, Media Grill + Bar is a pub-style sports bar with a nightly disco; the Gossip Bar serves coffee and pastries by day with martinis and wines at night.

Who Will Love It: The Hilton Anatole is more than the shiny, chic, modern space it first appears to be -- and certainly more than a typical big-chain hotel. History buffs and art lovers will appreciate the expansive art collection, while fitness enthusiasts will enjoy the outdoor track and the 80,000-square-foot Verandah Club -- which encompasses the gym, a spin studio, and a brand new pool, and hosts classes like barre and kickboxing. Spa-goers will love V-Spa, also located within the Verandah Club, and the relaxing seven-acre sculpture park. Really, just about anyone willing to thoroughly study the map they receive from the concierge will find something to pique his or her interest.

Who Might Not: With several entrances and 1606 rooms, this isn't a cozy boutique hotel. Travelers who are accustomed to quiet inns may not appreciate such a large space.

Rates: Rooms start from $99 per night.

Nearby: The hotel is centrally located in Dallas’ Design District, which is near hotspots like Downtown Dallas and the Entertainment District.

Getting There: Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) is 17 miles away; Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) is five miles away.