Review: Thompson Hotel Dallas

Review: Thompson Hotel Dallas

NAME: Thompson Dallas
LOCATION: Dallas, TX, USA
DATE: January 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Easily one of my favorite Hyatt hotels in the US, with beautiful room decor, exceptional service, and great restaurants
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We’re living in hotels full-time at the moment. In this post I wanted to review the Thompson Dallas, where we stayed shortly after opening in late 2020.

This hotel is special to me for a few reasons — it was my first Thompson stay (and caused me to fall in love with the brand), it’s the single hotel we’ve spent the most time in, and it’s also the property that made us feel comfortable living in hotels even during coronavirus.

Booking the Thompson Dallas

Our motive for staying at the Thompson Dallas was more about the hotel than the city, at least initially — it was a brand new Hyatt, the hotel looked beautiful and had large suites, it was reasonably priced, and we had never spent much time in Dallas.

We stayed at the Thompson Dallas for several weeks, and our paid rate was ~$200 per night. It goes without saying that when you multiply that out it’s not exactly a cheap cost to “rent” a place. However:

  • With World of Hyatt’s promotion late last year I was earning 20.5x World of Hyatt points per dollar spent (this includes the 4x World of Hyatt points for paying with the World of Hyatt Credit Card), plus 1x AAdvantage miles per dollar spent, which I value at a ~34% return
  • Since this was a new property at the time, I was earning an additional 500 bonus World of Hyatt points per night, which I value at an incremental return of ~$7.50 per night
  • I’m working my way towards lifetime World of Hyatt Globalist status, so I apply a discount to any Hyatt spending (in terms of mental accounting), since it gets me closer to that goal, which has permanent, tangible benefits
  • The Thompson Dallas has one of my favorite Globalist breakfasts of any US hotel, so you’ve gotta place some value on having a great breakfast included every morning
  • And while this applies at virtually all hotels, Ford is a travel agent, so gets a commission on hotel bookings

While this hotel could have also been booked through Hyatt Privé for extra perks, that eligible rate was significantly higher, so just booking the cheapest available rate was the best option.

Redeeming points at the Thompson Dallas

For context, the Thompson Dallas is a Category 6 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night here costs 25,000 World of Hyatt points, which is steep. I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so redeeming points here would be the equivalent of paying ~$375 per night, by my valuation. In this case paying cash for the stay was the better value by far.

Even if you’re not a Hyatt loyalist, earning World of Hyatt points can be pretty easy. In addition to being able to earn World of Hyatt points with the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review), you can also transfer over points from Chase Ultimate Rewards.

I would note that paid rates at this hotel have gone way up in recent months — it seems like this hotel now sometimes retails for $400+ per night.

Thompson Dallas location

The Thompson Dallas is located in the Main Street District in Downtown Dallas. The hotel takes up the bottom portion of The National Building, which is a 52-floor skyscraper. The building contains the 219-room Thompson, 324 apartments, and 37,000 square feet of office space.

While the building itself is old, the interior has been completely redone, as the building only reopened last year.

Downtown Dallas isn’t the most beautiful city center out there, but the area and city grew on me — the city has some charming areas, and in particular there are some nice areas in the suburbs. More than anything I just found people in Dallas to be ridiculously friendly, so that was nice.

Thompson Dallas exterior

Thompson Dallas check-in & lobby

The Thompson Dallas’ lobby is located on the ground floor, and can be accessed directly from the street.


Thompson Dallas entrance

The Thompson’s lobby is mesmerizingly beautiful, with plenty of seating and cute shelf displays to the sides of the path that leads to the front desk.


Thompson Dallas lobby


Thompson Dallas lobby


Thompson Dallas lobby seating


Thompson Dallas reception

Our check-in process was efficient and friendly. Even though I hadn’t used a Globalist suite upgrade award, we received a proactive upgrade to a corner suite (at least I believe that’s the suite type we had).

Thompson Dallas suite

The Thompson takes up the first 20 floors of The National building. There are different elevators depending on whether you’re going to the hotel or apartments, so to get to the hotel rooms you take the first set of elevators, located behind a glass door.

Thompson Dallas lobby

There’s also a second lobby area just next to the Thompson lobby — this is for the apartments.


Thompson Dallas lobby seating

We were assigned room 1421, located on the 14th floor.


Thompson Dallas elevators

Our suite was a great size, and it quickly became apparent that this would make a great home base for a while. Inside the entrance was the large living area with a couch and a chair, and then a console across from it, which included a desk and the TV.


Thompson Dallas suite living room


Thompson Dallas suite living room


Thompson Dallas suite living room


Thompson Dallas suite living room

The minibar display was beautiful — while many hotels have cut minibars recently, this one had a full selection of drinks and snacks.


Thompson Dallas suite minibar


Thompson Dallas suite minibar


Thompson Dallas suite minibar

There was also an Illy in-room coffee machine.


Thompson Dallas suite in-room coffee machine

The hotel generously had a nice welcome amenity waiting for us, consisting of a charcuterie plate and a bottle of sparkling water.


Thompson Dallas suite welcome amenity

There was a corridor separating the living area from the bedroom and bathroom, and this had both a good size closet and even a seat in it.


Thompson Dallas suite connecting room

I love Thompson’s bedroom design, which seems to be consistent across properties. The room had an uber-comfortable king size bed, and then a chaise by the window.


Thompson Dallas suite bedroom


Thompson Dallas suite bedroom

The bedroom had a view of the city.


Thompson Dallas suite view

Winston seemed to constantly be staring at something outside… I couldn’t quite figure out what.

QWinston

The bathroom was between the living room and bedroom, and was huge. Inside the entrance to the bathroom was a sink, and across from that was a vanity.


Thompson Dallas suite bathroom


Thompson Dallas suite vanity


Thompson Dallas suite bathtub

Then there was a large walk-in shower with rainforest shower head. While the shower looked great, this was my one criticism of the hotel (and the brand overall, since I noticed something similar at other properties) — I wish the shower actually had a door that closed.

For whatever reason the water didn’t actually become hot (it became lukewarm, I’d say), and then without being able to keep the warm air inside the shower, it tended to get pretty cold when showering.


Thompson Dallas suite shower

Toiletries were from D.S. & Durga, and specifically the Bowmakers scent, which I quite liked, though I found the bottles as such hard to use (it was hard to squeeze out the liquids).


Thompson Dallas toiletries

Then there was a partitioned off toilet, which was across from the shower.


Thompson Dallas suite toilet

All things considered our room was awesome, and we couldn’t have been happier — it was comfortable, quiet, cozy, had fast internet, etc.

Thompson Dallas pet friendly

The Thompson Dallas is truly pet friendly, which I love. First of all, the hotel doesn’t just allow dogs, but also doesn’t charge anything extra for them. That’s nice enough as is, but on top of that the hotel provided amenities for Winston, like a bed, a food and water bowl, and even some treats.

Some hotels charge a ton of money to bring your pet and then don’t even include any amenities, while this hotel offers dog amenities without even charging for their stay. Winston gives the Thompson two thumbs up.


Thompson Dallas dog amenities

Winston loved the Thompson (don’t you dare even look at his red ball)

Thompson Dallas Nine at the National

Nine at the National is the Thompson;’s restaurant that is located on the ninth floor, and it serves breakfast and lunch. The restaurant is beautifully designed — it has a bar, some couch seating, several dining rooms, and there are even some tables outside.


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National bar

Thompson Dallas Nine at the National


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National seating


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National seating


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National outdoor seating

In addition to having breakfast here every morning (either dine-in or take-out), we also had lunch here some days, given how convenient it was.

The lunch menu read as follows:

We enjoyed the kale caesar with chicken, chicken orzo soup, and country club.


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National lunch


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National lunch


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National lunch

Thompson Dallas breakfast

As mentioned above, breakfast was served at Nine at the National. Thanks to my Globalist status we could just order whatever and it was taken off the bill at check-out. I’m not sure if there’s a formal limit, but if there is, we didn’t reach it.

It’s worth noting that there’s complimentary coffee at the bar, should you want to pick up a cup before or after having breakfast.


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National complimentary coffee

The breakfast menu read as follows:

I can’t even begin to say enough good things about the breakfast here. To drink I usually had coffee, though I also tried some cappuccinos and lattes.


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast

The tumeric latte in particular was great.


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast

The breakfast at the Thompson was really great, and portions were massive, for better or worse (everything is bigger in Texas, I guess?). Over time we worked our way through the menu, including the vanilla bean yogurt, avocado toast, the Turkish skillet, the American breakfast, and the sandwich.


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast

The avocado toast and Turkish skillet were my favorites.


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast

Hopefully the below picture does justice to the portions here. What, you don’t eat your everything bagel sandwich with a side of five fist-sized potatoes?


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast

Okay, and if I’m being honest we may have also tried the sourdough pancake and the pastries. Of course it was a sacrifice we made just for you guys — purely for research!


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast


Thompson Dallas Nine at the National breakfast

Seriously, the breakfast here was excellent, from the food to the service.

Thompson Dallas Catbird Restaurant

Catbird is located on the 10th floor of the Thompson, and it seems to have quickly become one of Dallas’ hottest restaurants, as reservations here book out weeks in advance.

We had drinks here one evening (they have a nice outdoor patio), and we enjoyed our time.

Thompson Dallas Catbird


Thompson Dallas Catbird

We also had room service from Catbird one night — this is the only room service the hotel is offering for dinner at the moment due to coronavirus, and it was brought in a bag. The food was fantastic.


Thompson Dallas Catbird room service

Thompson Dallas gym

The Thompson Dallas’ gym is located on the ninth floor, and it’s the most incredible hotel gym I’ve ever seen. It’s massive, and has brand new equipment. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


Thompson Dallas gym


Thompson Dallas gym


Thompson Dallas gym


Thompson Dallas gym

Thompson Dallas pool

Also on the ninth floor is the Thompson’s pool deck. It’s a nice pool, though wasn’t exactly popular in winter. I’m sure this place will be popping off in summer.


Thompson Dallas pool


Thompson Dallas pool


Thompson Dallas hot tub


Thompson Dallas pool seating

Thompson Dallas service

A hotel is ultimately only as good as its people, and that’s an area where the Thompson shines. This hotel has more friendly and professional staff than I can possibly name, from the bellmen, to the front desk, to the servers in the restaurant. I simply can’t say enough good things about the people working at this hotel, because they were all so professional.

Now, I should acknowledge:

  • The hotel was so empty during our stay, and I’d guess that many nights occupancy was in the single digits
  • The hotel was also new, so perhaps they were especially well staffed and had people to ensure service was great; conversely, service is sometimes especially bad at new hotels, so I guess it can go both ways

So yeah, I have nothing but great things to say about the service, and for that matter the hotel being so empty is also what made us so comfortable “living” there, since we felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Bottom line

The Thompson Dallas was a fabulous home base for a few weeks — the hotel is physically awesome, with gorgeous rooms and an incredible gym, and the restaurants were excellent (in particular the breakfast).

I’d stay at the Thompson again in a heartbeat (and for that matter depending on when our new home is ready we may be returning here for an extended period again, assuming the price is right).

If you’ve stayed at the Thompson Dallas (or another Thompson property), what was your experience like?

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  1. Merrick

    @Coleslaw Almost every hotel. Run it like an RFP process. Say you’ll guarantee at least 30 room nights and you want a rate that’s eligible for WoH benefits and points. You can also ask for things like laundry, F&B discounts, parking, etc

  2. Coleslaw

    @Merrick, I’m also (partially) living in hotels with quite a bit of flexibility on location. Do you have any recommendations on hotels that are willing to negotiate / offer a good “long term” rate?

  3. Merrick

    Are you taking advantage of hotel stays in Texas of 30 nights or longer being tax exempt? That makes living in hotels much more economically viable. Varies by state (31 days in CA, 90 in DC, MD, and VA, 180 in FL). As someone also living in hotels I’ve had good luck getting substantially lower rates by getting long stay quotes from several properties and then negotiating with a reservations manager.

  4. TheboyWanderz

    What a lovely write up Ben....it was a pleasure meeting you and your crew over your stay and hopefully we will be able to welcome you back in the future! Very excited to follow your travels to other Thompsons set to open this year and also your post on mom-son trip to Big Sur. Good luck on Lifetime Globalist, but seems like you are making killer progress!

  5. Coleslaw

    Not all Thompsons have Pelotons. But, in theory, you can check here :

    https://hotelfinder.onepeloton.com/en

    It’s not always very reliable - tends to underreport but useful if you’re choosing between otherwise equal properties in close proximity.

  6. Alex Diaz

    Loving that all of these Thompson properties seem to have Pelotons in their gyms. I will go out of my way to stay at hotels with these bikes!

  7. AW

    Great review. Compare the Thompson to that nasty Four Seasons Brickell. I know where I'd rather spend my money.

  8. Christopher

    I stayed at Thompson Dallas just back in late January for a weekend getaway. I'm from Fort Worth so it's a quick drive over. We had a great time. The stay was excellent. Booked on a Prive rate and they upgraded us to the same room you had Lucky.

    I agree on the shower, very annoying not having a door. The rest of the room was fantastic.

    The one major con we experienced...

    I stayed at Thompson Dallas just back in late January for a weekend getaway. I'm from Fort Worth so it's a quick drive over. We had a great time. The stay was excellent. Booked on a Prive rate and they upgraded us to the same room you had Lucky.

    I agree on the shower, very annoying not having a door. The rest of the room was fantastic.

    The one major con we experienced was in the lobby. We were leaving on a Saturday night and they had a mobile bar and band setup right in the lobby walkway. The staff were masked and observing COVID guidelines but the guests definitely were mask-less and of course having a few drinks wandering all over the lobby. The lobby walkway is fairly narrow with all the couches so we had to wade through these people to get outside. Now, of course, in Texas we have been pedal to the medal for a while now on reopening and going maskless.

    Overall, the hotel is gorgeous and service is excellent. And, Lucky, I would disagree with you on one point. Downtown Dallas has changed dramatically over the last ten years. The skyline is quite gorgeous at night and fun to watch the themed LED's on the buildings. But, being from Fort Worth I am biased, we're much more fun west of Dallas haha.

  9. Mike

    The Dallas Thompson is an exceptional stay, and the restaurants there are way above average. Breakfast is indeed fantastic; Catbird's brussel sprouts will delight even the biggest brussel sprout hater, and the staff are exceptional.

  10. Pam

    Next stay burn some Hilton points down the street at the new Halls Arts District hotel. Is a Curio & simply lovely.

  11. TravelerMSY

    Love the Thompsons! Stayed there recently on a fairly cheap one night Prive rate, so it was an excellent deal. Got the same suite, which was over and above policy for Prive. The Joule down the street has a similar modern vibe and pricing, if you’re *gasp* not loyal to Hyatt.

  12. Squat Rack

    How do you do laundry staying at high-end hotels all the time?

  13. David

    @Ben
    Hotel looks amazing, and that was a generous upgrade. Do you mind sharing how many nights this particular stay was? Generally hotels don’t seem to give great upgrades for long stays.

  14. Jason B

    It feels great to see your hotel reviews again.

  15. Omar

    The most impressive hotel gym I've seen is the Four Seasons Ritz in Lisbon (I wouldn't recommend the actual hotel but the gym was outstanding).

  16. Coleslaw

    Thompson is one of the few large hotel chain brands that’s really built themselves a truly distinctive style. After you’ve stayed in one or two of them you immediately recognise pictures / when you walk into a Thompson, especially in the room decor (without actually using the same
    Cookie cutter decor you’d see in like a Hyatt Place).

    I agree on the DS & Durga toiletries - they used to come in these...

    Thompson is one of the few large hotel chain brands that’s really built themselves a truly distinctive style. After you’ve stayed in one or two of them you immediately recognise pictures / when you walk into a Thompson, especially in the room decor (without actually using the same
    Cookie cutter decor you’d see in like a Hyatt Place).

    I agree on the DS & Durga toiletries - they used to come in these square bottles that were incredibly frustrating to get the contents out once they were <1/2 full. Then they switched them out more recently for these cylindrical bottles... which are still really hard to get the contents out AND now also difficult to open if you’ve got wet hands!

  17. Quo Vadis?

    Great review, interesting to read one about a new Thompson property.

    I, too, remain puzzled regarding the trend of missing shower doors. Is that a blatant cost-saving measure (to not pay for or have to maintain a swinging or sliding door) or a subtle attempt to get guests to limit their shower time (in order to avoid large puddles on the floor outside the shower)?

    Tumeric lattes, interesting. Medicinal coffee?

  18. Will

    Clem I was about to say the same thing! They must have had to get some type of gym insurance for that cause I have never in my life seen I squat rack but I wish in the future more hotels would do this.

    Also lucky like someone else asked im curious how your choosing to travel with Winston ?

  19. madgoat

    Great review and you've certainly turned me on to the Thompson brand. It's refreshing to see barbells and power racks in hotel gyms! They've certainly nailed down many of the details.

  20. Clem

    It looks gorgeous, but I gotta say that the single most impressive thing I'm seeing is a squat rack at a hotel gym! I have never seen that before hah!

  21. Stuart

    That's odd about the shower as I had the exact same situation at the new SAT Thompson two weeks ago. I asked the desk to look at it but it never got hot the entire time I was there. That lobby is much more inviting compared to SAT though.

  22. ovacikar

    The turkish skillet is missing "sucuk", i would rather call that a shaksouka with feta(?).

  23. tuotuo

    Winston want a new phone with 5G.

  24. nate nate

    Did you ever try getting the hotel tax waived for stays over 30 days? Exact rules and stay length differ by state.

  25. Roberto

    “Downtown Dallas isn’t the most beautiful city center out there”

    I completely disagree, but I guess it’s because I’m a Texan from the DFW area. It has one of the most beautiful skylines of any city. The LED lights are amazing.

    I’m sure you ventured out and have been to most of these places I’m listing below, but If you do come back, be sure and check out Trinity Grove, the Bishop Arts district, Uptown/Katy...

    “Downtown Dallas isn’t the most beautiful city center out there”

    I completely disagree, but I guess it’s because I’m a Texan from the DFW area. It has one of the most beautiful skylines of any city. The LED lights are amazing.

    I’m sure you ventured out and have been to most of these places I’m listing below, but If you do come back, be sure and check out Trinity Grove, the Bishop Arts district, Uptown/Katy Trails, & Deep Ellum. If you have a car, venture out to the Legacy Hall area (or 121/DNT) because it’s one of the fastest developing area in the country.

    Fort Worth is a whole different world (my preferred city). Downtown, West 7th, and Magnolia have some of the coolest places in DFW without the homelessness of Downtown Dallas. The Stockyards are pretty cool if you want to see the Texas stereotype to a “T”.

  26. Nick

    Couldn’t agree more about the gym!!

  27. Ari

    You should have told me you were there! I was there for a night last month (or maybe earlier this month). Aaron made the Prive reservation. Oh well. Another near miss. You have only met my mother so far like a decade ago (she swooped in at a moment's notice and eclipsed with but a mere UA paper SWU from Ari's 1K account what which would have otherwise been your private LH F cabin from...

    You should have told me you were there! I was there for a night last month (or maybe earlier this month). Aaron made the Prive reservation. Oh well. Another near miss. You have only met my mother so far like a decade ago (she swooped in at a moment's notice and eclipsed with but a mere UA paper SWU from Ari's 1K account what which would have otherwise been your private LH F cabin from FRA to SEA).

    By the way, I spent the night before that in the Thompson San Antonio (on points--forgive me Aaron/Ford) and they were also really great on service. Recommend you try SAT Thompson out next time instead of Dallas if you are game--also SAT is way cooler than Dallas and the views were pretty good (not like HKG, but not much is). If you get to SAT, be sure to have a meal at Supper at Hotel Emma. And shop at Larder at Hotel Emma-- awesome place!

    --Ari

  28. Pk

    Are you flying or driving across the country during your life in hotels phase? I presume you’re not subjecting Winston to an airplane hold after they closed the emotional support loophole? Or are some airlines more humane for Winstons

  29. Abidjan

    Well impressed, thanks Lucky. Downtown Dallas has changed so much for the better over the recent years.

  30. Paul

    Does this also count as a business expense?

  31. Chatter

    Them sure are some Texas sized breakfast tatoes!
    Oh and beautiful hotel too.

  32. Ryan

    Great review as always, and I love to see my town being represented here! Actually, judging by the Xmas decorations and since you said you were there for weeks, we may have overlapped when my family did a staycation there on December 20th. I would have loved to say hi had I known!

    Quick nitpick - you said the toiletries are Bowmaker branded, but actually the brand is D.S. & Durga out of New York....

    Great review as always, and I love to see my town being represented here! Actually, judging by the Xmas decorations and since you said you were there for weeks, we may have overlapped when my family did a staycation there on December 20th. I would have loved to say hi had I known!

    Quick nitpick - you said the toiletries are Bowmaker branded, but actually the brand is D.S. & Durga out of New York. The scent's name is Bowmaker, and I believe this is a scent exclusive to the Thompson Hotels.

    Finally, I totally agree about the shower. I was cold after mine! They should work on their water heaters for sure.

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Merrick

@Coleslaw Almost every hotel. Run it like an RFP process. Say you’ll guarantee at least 30 room nights and you want a rate that’s eligible for WoH benefits and points. You can also ask for things like laundry, F&B discounts, parking, etc

Coleslaw

@Merrick, I’m also (partially) living in hotels with quite a bit of flexibility on location. Do you have any recommendations on hotels that are willing to negotiate / offer a good “long term” rate?

Merrick

Are you taking advantage of hotel stays in Texas of 30 nights or longer being tax exempt? That makes living in hotels much more economically viable. Varies by state (31 days in CA, 90 in DC, MD, and VA, 180 in FL). As someone also living in hotels I’ve had good luck getting substantially lower rates by getting long stay quotes from several properties and then negotiating with a reservations manager.

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