There are lots of good things about the Palomar -- pleasant lobby, comfortable rooms, great location right across from the SMU campus -- but the management and staff seem to think being cool is a substitute for being excellent. This is not just a waste of energy and resources; it also detracts from the quality of the experience. I could do without the zebra-patterned bathrobes, the shampoo and lotion whose tubes are unreadable because they come in colors ranging from off-purple to bright orange with lettering in similar colors, and the jarring elevator music (not quite rap but might as well be).
The staff are friendly enough, but in my several stays I've encountered a few male staff members who seem to think customers like to be addressed in the same jaunty and over-familiar tone that has been adopted in recent years by 23-year-old call-in customer service representatives. ("Mr. William Faulkner? Hope you're having a super day, Bill. How can I help you today, Bill?")
An obsession with coolness often goes hand-in-hand with a tendency to be self-congratulatory. When I checked in on my most recent visit, the reception desk employee told me I was in a "one-bedroom suite". But my surprise and gratitude were fleeting, because when I got to the room it turned out to be a perfectly ordinary hotel room with just enough room for two beds, a desk, and a television set. I have encountered many hotels that will call a room a "junior suite" if it has an extra little corner or two, but this is the first time I've heard a room called a "suite" with no modifier and no extra corner. In fairness, I don't know whether it's the hotel's policy to call all of its rooms "suites" or whether this was just an exaggeration or a mistake on the part of the individual employee.
On top of all this, the standard rates at the Palomar are in the same range as much nicer and more traditional hotels -- Hiltons, Sheratons, even the Intercontinental -- and there seem to be better discount/promotional rates at the other hotels.
On the good side, all Kimpton hotels give you free internet if you join the Kimpton frequent traveler program, and the Palomar has free wine and hors d'oeuvres in the lobby from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
I may well stay at the Palomar again if I need to be very close to SMU. Despite some of the irritating details I've discussed in this review, it's a perfectly good hotel. But I'd be far happier if they would tone down the attitude, and even happier if the prices were better.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Palomar Dallas
- Hotel Palomar Dallas Kimpton
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Palomar Dallas is a luxury boutique hotel centrally located in the upscale Park Cities neighborhood near downtown Dallas. Distinctly Dallas, this sophisticated sanctuary adjacent to Central 214 restaurant, puts you near the city’s best shopping and dining and minutes from destinations like Southern Methodist University, North Park Centre and the American Airlines Center. This beautifully appointed Kimpton Hotel stylishly evokes the expansive Texas landscape while cradling you in comfort. ... more less
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