2020 has been quite the year, right? We’ve been doing everything from home since March — Adrian and I both transitioned to working full-time from home, the kids were homeschooled for a few months last spring but thankfully transitioned into virtual school this fall, and all trips have cancelled for the rest of the year. A change of scenery was much needed!
After lots of careful consideration and late-night conversations, Adrian and I thought a staycation would be a great way for us to recharge and renew after a strenuous last few months. I did quite a bit of research seeking out a destination that had extensive safety measures in place, respected social distancing in all regards, and would allow us to stay mostly in our little family bubble yet still have the luxurious escape of a real vacation. And so it was decided: a weekend at The Ritz Carlton, Dallas!
A Warm Welcome: Settling Into Our Room
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas definitely knows how to make a first impression. From the moment we pulled up, we were warmly greeted by staff that helped open our car doors and unload our bags. Adrian and I were provided with a shot of Dean Fearing’s famous classic margarita after checking in and let’s just say it was the perfect way to kick off our stay! A bellman then escorted us to our rooms and even upon entering our room, we found a fresh tray of cookies, macarons, fruit and wine to celebrate our arrival.
We chose to stay in a Deluxe Suite, which I highly recommend if you’re travelling with a family. At 1000 sq. ft, the layout provides for an expansive master bedroom and master bath, along with a spacious living room lounge area that also included a sofa bed. I especially loved the fact that the suite allowed for separate rooms; it was perfect for giving us a bit of privacy after the kids went to bed to enjoy a glass of wine and enjoy the city views!
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas knows that the difference is in the details, so I couldn’t help but appreciate the little touches in the hotel room that made it stand above the rest. From the in-mirror bathroom TV and the massaging shower head to the in-room Nespresso coffee and tea station, there was no shortage of amenities that made our stay as comfortable and luxurious as could be!
Our Family Staycation at The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas
A Dip In The Resort Pool
Our first stop after we settled into the room, the pool! We’ve had some crazy weather the past week with unexpected bouts of rain and highs only in the 70s, but thankfully by the weekend it warmed right up again to the 90s and it was perfect pool weather! Reservations are currently needed for the pool and provided in 3-hour time slots to uphold social distancing. We booked ourselves a cabana right around lunchtime, enjoyed some poolside dining, and took a dip with the kids in The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas outdoor pool!
The pool at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is salt water, a fact that I greatly appreciated as salt water is easier on skin. As a mom, it’s also comforting to know that there’s one less chemical that can potentially irritate my kids’ skin and/or eyes. The deepest that the pool went was about 4.5 feet, which was perfect for both my kids and me (only 5′ tall over here! 😆).
We also booked ourselves a cabana for our pool time, and I highly recommend especially if you have little ones! The shaded sofa sectional was perfect for letting us lounge as we pleased and ultimately take a break from the sun. We took the opportunity to order some poolside dining, and while the menu had a wide variety of options including salads, sandwiches, and even ice cream, it was almost a unanimous vote for cheeseburgers all around! I did add in a seasonal fruit plate to the mix and in addition to the fresh watermelon and berries, there was also a mini banana bread Bundt cake and lemongrass yogurt that were delicious!
And finally, I had to take advantage of the pool bar! No vacation is complete without a mojito in hand and for me, it instantly let me flip the switch and get on vacation mode!
Things To Do
Klyde Warren Park
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is located in the heart of Uptown Dallas, making it super convenient to explore while you’re at the hotel. We decided to take a short 10-minute walk over to Klyde Warren Park after we cleaned up from the pool and it was a great way to enjoy some outdoor time with the kids! The park itself is unique in that it’s located on top of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and is literally a beautiful 5.2 acres of greenspace in the midst of an urban cityscape. We had hoped to get a snack at some of the food trucks that regularly park alongside Klyde Warren, but the park ended up being a little too crowded for our preference and we ended up turning around quite quickly.
McKinney Ave Trolley
Another great way (and probably my favorite way!) to explore the Uptown neighborhood is via the McKinney Avenue Trolley. This vintage trolley is completely free and actually stops directly in front of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas hotel to then take you down the historic McKinney Avenue. The trolley still has that 19th century streetcar vibe and it’s such a throwback to the past that my kids and I all love!
If you love museums, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is also a short hop away from some of my favorites such as the Nasher Sculpture Center as well as the Dallas Museum of Art (where Adrian and I actually got married!).
Feast at Fearing’s
I was probably most excited about dinner as I had made reservations at Fearing’s, a top restaurants in Dallas and one that I hadn’t been to since my bachelorette party over 9 years ago! The restaurant offers 7 dining room options with both indoor and outdoor seating available, and everything was well-spaced out to allow for social distancing. I packed myself a new dress to wear for the occasion but made sure not to go overboard when it came to dressing up — Fearing’s actually doesn’t enforce a dress code and makes a point that people should feel comfortable to “come as you are.” I feel like we’ve all appreciated being a little more casual in 2020 so this was definitely exactly what we needed! 🙋♀️
Despite the casual attire, Fearing’s is top notch when it comes to food. Chef Dean Fearing has a namesake for creating bold flavors and a “no borders” cuisine; the menu spans the globe with its options such as chicken fried Maine lobster, Thai-inspired gulf snapper, and even glazed antelope with rabbit enchiladas.
We kicked it off with drinks first and ordered Dean Fearing’s famous classic margarita, featured both in BuzzFeed and also included in Dallas’ Margarita Mile.
For appetizers, we went with a bone marrow dish that was on special as well as the Lone Star Mosaic. Adrian and I both discussed how we each grew up eating bone marrow at our own family tables (Adrian is Hispanic and I’m Chinese), but now bone marrow becoming a dish that is “dressed up” to serve at some of the fanciest restaurants in town! Out dish was flavorful, savory, and absolutely delicious — a must try especially if you’ve never had bone marrow before!
The Lone Star Mosaic, on the other hand, looks like literal artwork with it’s display of delicately sliced fish and meats dressed in cilantro oil and topped with tapioca balls. This was hands-down one of the best dishes we enjoyed as each bite was like a flavor explosion!
For our main entrees, Adrian ordered the maple black peppercorn buffalo tenderloin while I chose the pan-seared gulf snapper. Both were delicious, but if there’s one tip I can give you, it’s SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT. The banana pudding was absolutely amazing!
Nightcap on the Patio // Rattlesnake Bar
Right next to the Fearing’s restaurant is Rattlesnake Bar and funny anecdote, when I first shared on my Instagram stories that I was at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas hotel for the weekend, I received messages stating that I had to check out the bar! (Y’all are definitely my people! 🤣) Rattlesnake Bar is arguably one of the most popular hotel bars in Dallas and recently opened up their outdoor Fearing’s Patio. The space has gorgeous large oak trees that provide a beautiful setting to sit under. Live music is continuing as part of their summer series and available on Friday and Saturday nights 7-9:30 pm — come early as there is limited seating!
Getting A Morning Workout In
I started off the next morning with a visit to the fitness center on property at The Ritz Carlton, Dallas. Immediately, I was blown away by just how big the space was as well as the variety of equipment offered in a hotel gym. The space was well lit and spacious, with ample cardio machines situated alongside almost floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Uptown Dallas. From a Peleton bike to treadmills that allowed you to watch YouTube videos, it was just what I needed to motivate myself and run a quick 1.5 miles before breakfast.
If you’re looking for weight training, there were also several stations that allowed for working compound muscles such as a squat rack, a Smith machine, as well as a fully stocked dumbbell area.
Breakfast in Bed
After my quick morning cardio burst, I was definitely ready to enjoy some room service! I had been eyeing their in-room dining menu since the day before and loved that they had something for everyone in my family to enjoy!
First up, French-press coffee and fresh squeezed juices. I ordered a green juice for myself and orange juice for the kids — I always love juicing but hate the cleanup so I took advantage of both while on vacation!
I only recently discovered Chilaquiles maybe 5 years ago, and it is hands-down one of my favorite brunch dishes ever. The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is known their their amazing take on Southwestern fare and both Adrian and I agreed, the Chilaquiles Rojos were some of the best we’ve had!
I usually keep it pretty simple when it comes to breakfasts especially when I’m travelling. I have a weird soft spot for muesli as it’s like a comfort food for me and get excited when I see that it’s offered. I love the creamy texture, and the mixture of nuts, fruits, and berries always hits the spot!
Relax & Restore at The Spa
And finally, I knew I had to take a moment to unwind at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas spa before checking out! The spa is known for highlighting the healing elements of water and has an incredible relaxation lounge as well as semi-private whirlpool. The steam room and sauna are currently closed as a safety precaution from Covid-19, but excited to check those out once they open. I definitely recommend arriving early to your spa treatment to enjoy some of these extra amenities!
It’s been a good 9 months since my last facial so I booked myself the 50-min Hydrating Natura Bisse Vitamin C Facial. After the last few days in the sun, my skin was craving some extra TLC and vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant that actually restores vitality to sun-damaged areas. The experience was pure bliss — everything felt super safe and my skin just soaked up the treatment. Natura Bisse is a luxury skincare line that I will also be keeping my eyes peeled out for as I loved the silky feel of their products that gave me that boost of hydration yet didn’t feel greasy or heavy at all!
Bring The Little Ones
If you’re also curious about bringing your kids, we found everything to be incredibly family friendly and never at any point did we feel uncomfortable even with our little ones at age 5 and 8. The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas actually has a Ritz Kids program which provided them with an activity folder upon arrival. Inside, there was a scavenger hunt (my kids loved it, truly!), stickers as well as coloring pages. All dining had kids’ menu options available and even kids’ cups to avoid any spills. At the pool, we met another family with 3 young kids around the same age as ours, and it was the perfect way to let them have their fun while the adults could relax on our own for a bit. During checkout, Dylan and Mei literally asked if they could just stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas instead of going home! 😂
on me: Julia Jordan dress (XS) | Amazon buckle sandals
on Mei: Pippa & Julie Odette Star Rainbow Dress | Amazon hair bows | Old Navy Cat Ballet Flats (similar)
on Dylan: Pokemon tee | pull-on cargo shorts
Can you tell my skin is still glowing from my spa treatment in this photo above? ✨ We had the most incredible staycation at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas hotel and I couldn’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for a safe escape from reality. The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas really knows how to balance luxury and elegance without feeling too stuffy and it was just the retreat that we needed to leave feeling refreshed and reinvigorated! We definitely left with some incredible memories and had an amazing getaway in our own city.
One last note: did you know that The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is the first Forbes Five Star Hotel in Texas? Be sure to check out the current Stay Longer, Experience More special happening right now at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Rates start at $269 for 3 nights and $255 for 4 nights — book now to save your spot!
Have you done a family staycation before? What did you do? Let me know in a comment below!
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Thank you to The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas for the complimentary staycation.
All opinions are honest and my own and I truly appreciate your support that makes this blog possible!