The New Look Sheraton Dallas

The 1,840-room Sheraton Dallas is the largest hotel in the Texan metropolis, yet there’s a sense of community, purpose and design sensibility that belies its enormity. Following a stunning $90 million renovation that wrapped this year, the hotel stands as a testament to the brand’s global revitalization. Furthermore, it was rated “2009 Best Place to Work” by Dallas Business, and it’s quite evident the employees’ happiness gives Sheraton D a competitive advantage that enhances the atmosphere, hospitality and quality of service.

“There’s no better satisfaction than walking around the hotel and being able to look everybody in the eye knowing you are doing the best you can to make this a great work environment,” says general manager Ray Hammer. “Beyond bricks and mortar, we want to be the warmest hotel in Texas.”

A home away from home and a dream for professional planners, Sheraton Dallas features 222 executive suites and 24 presidential suites, 10 of which are specially designed as hospitality suites. Off the lobby, The Link@Sheraton biz lounge is a throng of productivity, collaboration and fun with 32-seat docking stations, PC workstations, TV on PC workstations, free WiFi and remote printing. Mini-Links throughout the hotel extend the social energy and opportunities to be productive everywhere.

With a 4.55 out of 5.0 satisfaction score from planners, Sheraton Dallas knows how to serve its group business. The 230,000 sf of meeting space includes two ballrooms over 24,000 sf, each with equal size pre-convene function space. All meetings rooms are capable of 1 Gbps secured data rates with additional flex bandwidth on demand that can support up to 5,000 simultaneous wired internet users and 1,500 wireless users.

For upscale dining in a social setting, the Kitchen Table serves enchanting American fare comfort foods such as coffee rubbed short ribs and cedar plank roasted salmon. Another highlight, the Draft Sports Bar is a 4,500-sf, hi-tech multimedia entertainment activity bar where guests mix, mingle, play Wii, play pool and sing like a soul sister, ahem, in one of two private karaoke suites with liquid bravado provided by boutiquey beers.

A most delightful special touch is the Magic Cup for meeting planners. The stainless steel travel mug can be filled with all forms of non-alcohol beverages day or night from any of Sheraton’s outlets, as well as frozen yogurt. Big kisses all around.

Outside the Sheraton’s gracious doors, the 19-block Dallas Arts District boasts some of the slickest architecture and cultural facilities between the two coasts. Our group spent a lot of time wandering among the Dallas Museum of Art’s more than 23,000 pieces of art spanning 5,000 years. Look into this, the 370,000-sf museum is very receptive to group events.

A jewel within the District, The Margot & Bill Winspear Opera House is a 2,200-seat theater with excellent sightlines and phenomenal acoustics, as well as award-winning architecture with an impressive grand lobby, 60-ft glass walls and exceptional ease of movement. Later this year, the Annette Strauss Artist Square will open with a permanent open-air stage for events of all types. Then in 2011, the City Performance Hall opens with a 750-seat space for smaller productions. And all of these can be catered with the culinary genius of Wolfgang Puck Catering, located by the Renzo Piano-designed Nasher Sculpture Garden.

Lastly, it was Edna Woolman Chase, a past editor of Vogue who said, “I dreamed all my life of the perfect store for women. Then I saw Neiman Marcus.” You really want to visit the flagship NM store’s bright and beautiful shops, and the 6th floor Zodiac restaurant that caters to the who’s-who of downtown. It’s truly a gorgeous spot for celebrating special occasions, whether it’s lunch after a “Trends & Friends” fashion show in the store, or a chic private business event for up to 150 pax.