The first airport hotel the gal experienced which was actually part of a terminal was Fairmont Vancouver Airport. There are lots of terminal-connected luxury hotels – think Sofitel at Terminal 5 at London Heathrow, but that one, owned by Surinder Arora, is a covered walk away. Dallas airport’s Grand Hyatt DFW, however, may be unique. It is owned by the airport, and it was built, integral with terminal D, in 2005. The result is a highly successful hotel that takes full advantage of being just an escalator up from Departures (and when you leave, Security is literally one minute from the bottom of the escalator down.
All 298 rooms have splendid views, and I do think that #840, the 120 sq m Presidential Suite, is one of the most thoughtful chairman-level layouts. The secondary bathroom has a full shower, and both washrooms have plenty of golf and other physical-exercise magazines. The main living room has a dining table big enough for small meetings, and it has an adjacent bar. The desk is really ‘chairman size’, with an 18-inch standing Mac. And, to help you make the most of the tarmac view, there is a most informative booklet – see the photo above. Another distinguishing point about this hotel is that it takes food extremely seriously. After giving my breakfast order, for instance, I was brought a pre-taste, with the chef’s compliments. Yes, a proper amuse, at 7.30 a.m. Here it is, a miniature steak and egg.
The chef, Jean-Claude Plihon, hails from Dinard and he has all the enthusiasm you imagine from a Breton and a Frenchman. He moved here, to Dallas, nearly ten years ago after 12 years with Fairmonts, in USA plus Barbados and Egypt. He is passionate about the best products, from wherever – he had just come back from a Valrhona chocolate event in France. Danny Downes, who heads the team of 12 who sell and market this hotel, says food is definitely a plus point when it comes to attracting business for the first time, and then to bringing them back. About half of those staying over are on leisure, primarily before or after a vacation (there are attractive seven- and 14-night carpark packages). The other 50% are here for meetings, in the hotel or in Dallas or Fort Worth.
People want to stay here for the rooftop gym, which is outstanding (Precor, with a pair of Pelotons arriving next week): the adjacent outdoor pool, says Danny Downes, is not such a draw. Obviously they stay here for the convenience of being right in the terminal. There is also the food. This luxury airport hotel’s main restaurant, Grand Met, is complemented by a morning coffee kiosk, with to-go, which cleverly morphs into a sushi bar at night. Room service is also memorable. Look at my simple salad, with protein on the side. Look at its presentation, and such extras as mini macaroons. And I was in heaven, able to look out and identify the planes taking off. NOW SEE SUITE 840, AND THEN SHARE A GYM VIEW