Where to Stay in 2024
Headington’s personal art collection is always on rotation in the Joule lobby. Recent highlights include colorful oil paintings by art luminaries such as Paul Mogensen and Richard Phillips, and a 6-foot mirror designed like a Time magazine cover that hotel guests can pose in front of. Headington also brings in temporary site-specific installations, like the Texas-born Hass brothers’ 9-foot furry beast sculpture called King Dong, which sat in the middle of the lobby for several months. “Not only is the hotel in the heart of downtown, but it also borders the arts district,” says Headington’s art adviser, John Runyon. “Having the Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art right there set the bar really high.”
Judging from his art selection, Headington has a sense of humor. Walk out the hotel’s gold-framed doors onto Main Street and you’ll see a 30-foot bloodshot eyeball also owned by Headington on the lawn across the street. Called The Eye, the fiberglass sculpture by Tony Tassett has become a downtown Dallas Instagram landmark. According to the concierge at the Joule, it’s also a punny retort: When Headington wanted to build on the site, city officials said his plans would be “an eyesore” and denied permitting. Now the sore eye of downtown Dallas watches over his hotel—testimony that sometimes art is the best response.
Rooms start at $375/night.
1530 Main St., Dallas.
Art hotels aren’t just beautiful places to stay; gallery-worthy artwork is chief among their amenities.
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The Harwood District’s first boutique hotel juxtaposes eclectic and thoughtful cultural elements. There’s Japanese art and architecture, a Swiss-Texas name, a Moroccan-style rooftop pool, and even a secret library bar connected to an underground club named after Salvador Dalí’s pet ocelot, Babou. —Cynthia J. Drake
Rooms start at $625.
2575 McKinnon St., Dallas. 469-405-1911;
Eclectic rooms and outdoor spaces splashed with vibrant murals add up to a treat for folks looking for something beyond the basic hotel room. With more than 1,300 works of art, the hotel offers something curious—and highly Instagrammable—behind every nook and cranny. —Cynthia J. Drake
Rooms start at $189.
1011 S. Akard St., Dallas. 214-273-3000;
Vinyl spins ’round the clock in this hotel lobby oozing with swagger. Hotel Dryce is quite simply a vibe. And as the first boutique hotel in Fort Worth’s rapidly expanding Cultural District, the Dryce offers deep discounts to single and budget travelers in economy rooms, plus a complimentary welcome beverage—Cynthia J. Drake
Rooms start at $130.
3621 Byers Ave., Fort Worth.
The Middleton Hotel
A shipping container hotel that opened in Graham’s town square in 2023 gave artists, many from Texas, a gallery space to fill with their original works. “We wanted something unique, and we wanted it to be a kind of cultural hub for this community,” owner Matt Hughes says. One artist is assigned to each room, and a QR code gives visitors more information about the artist.—Cynthia J. Drake
Rooms start at $125.
509 Fourth St., Graham.
Inn on Lake Granbury
This adults-only B&B overlooking Lake Granbury is secluded and romantic but within a short walk of the historic downtown square. Cozy rooms offer lake views, steam showers, and heated bathroom floors. Enjoy delivery of complimentary wine and appetizers each evening.—Cynthia J. Drake
Rooms start at $275.
205 W. Doyle St., Granbury.