Imagine that during your long flight, Hilton, where you mostly stay, sends you an email that they are "revising" their club points program to "more accurately reflect current conditions" and that during that same flight, you get another email from Omni, where you rarely can stay, that your status has been upgraded. That sets the stage for this:
I rent a car, drive to the Omni Mandalay, where there is free covered and convenient parking, walk into a truly luxurious lobby, check in, and go to my room. When I open the door, it's an honest to goodness suite, like with big rooms, windows on multiple walls, two televisions, and furniture I'd have at home. The bath has luxury towels, separate tub and shower, as well as a complete set of amenities.
I feel certain this is not the average room in that hotel, but no matter. The entire hotel is a delight. There is lush landscaping, an extremely well equipped fitness center, good restaurants, extensive meeting facilities and a staff to die for. Other than my room, I do not believe I ever touched a door. Everyone from the doorman to the hotel manager was on duty and out front. No request unanswered or delayed. Frankly, for the conference rate we paid, I'd have expected an average Hampton (no offense, they're nice in their own way).
Also nice is that you can access the fitness center without going into the public areas of the hotel. In addition to the typical equipment, there are full spa services available.
If there is a downside, the room showed a little wear (not much), but the bed was very comfortable. The work desk was good, but the desk chair was upholstered and not adjustable, making the work surface hard to reach comfortably. There were plenty of plugs, but they were scattered around the room, and so were my gadgets.
The air conditioning was well sized to the room, so there were none of the typical hot/cold cycles that make sleeping so difficult. I slept soundly the entire week, which is unusual for me.
The location is in a community clearly developed according to a master plan and also pretty new. It is attractive, but lacks character. The Irving Convention Center is a mile away, walkable, but the sidewalks end abruptly requiring walking over prairie land. These empty spaces surely will be developed someday. There may be some noteworthy restaurants in the area, but they aren't obvious.
I did not have time to take photos of the grounds or common areas, but they are lush.
If Omni is trying to win my business from Hilton, they certainly know how to do it. Thanks!