Hotel of the Week: Kengo Kuma Designs an Art-Filled Retreat in Dallas, Texas
Worldly elegance meets relaxed Southern charm at Hôtel Swexan, a 22-story property filled with dazzling works of art
On the north end of downtown Dallas, a new 22-story mirrored tower glimmers in the Texas sun. Hôtel Swexan, which opened over the summer, marks the third Kengo Kuma–designed building in the city’s Harwood District and the first hotel project for Harwood International’s Barbier-Mueller family. (The moniker is a playful tribute to their blended Swiss-Texan heritage.)
In the outdoor porte-cochere, a sea of mesh chains undulates overhead. The renowned Japanese architect envisioned the entry as a tribute to Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller’s privately owned Samurai Collection, located next door. The space is the only museum outside of Japan dedicated to samurai armor.
In addition to a series of framed Hermès scarves that were specifically designed for the family by Aline Honoré, other artworks from the archives are sprinkled across the property. In the lobby bar, a picture of the Matterhorn hangs over an antique French fireplace, while at Stillwell’s, cowboy hats and ranching motifs set the stage for a menu of locally aged Akaushi beef from their in-house HWD Beef Program.
Floor-to-ceiling windows create sunlit sanctuaries in each of the 134 guest rooms, with their sumptuous beds, soaking tubs, and mini bars stocked with French wines and Toblerone chocolates. Most special are the eight uniquely appointed suites celebrating the family’s worldly travels to Japan, France, Switzerland, and Morocco. The resulting experience is a one-of-a-kind melding of refined worldly elegance and relaxed southern charm.
Guests will also enjoy the hotel’s wide-ranging amenities and public spaces, from a cozy cigar lounge to an expansive fitness club featuring wet and dry saunas, a cold plunge, and a large outdoor patio for yoga and daily programming. On the roof, a 75-foot pool overlooking the city separates the Mediterranean bar, Pomelo, from Léonie, a light-filled bistro blooming with green plants.
Most unexpected, however, are the spaces on the lower level. Grab a craft cocktail in the double-decker library, with its walls of classic books, framed samurai objets, and antique maps, before a night of dancing at Babou’s. The sexy lounge and night club, which is named after Salvador Dalí’s pet ocelot, is an intimate hideaway that transports all who enter far beyond the Lone Star State.
See more photos of Hôtel Swexan below.