As we arrived at the Magnolia, we couldn’t help but feel what it must have been like in Dallas in its oil-boom heyday. This city is personified by a magnificent red, neon Pegasus, the flying horse, crowning Dallas’s first ever, Gatsby-esque, 1920’s skyscraper in the heart of downtown, formerly the headquarters of the Magnolia Petroleum Company, now home to this boutique hotel.
Whilst this property had charm in bundles – its suites are certainly large for a major city, each boasting a fully working kitchen – for us it teetered somewhere between retro-vintage and requiring an upgrade. We swung between loving the Eighties vibe, wood paneling, throw cushions and dark carpets, to wondering if the coffee maker in ‘Bobby Ewing’s bachelor pad’ had seen any action since it was first fitted. Some parts of the hotel had been updated with contemporary design features, but there were some things that needed a bit of TLC, considering new, glitzy properties are opening in the city and the downtown area is going through a renaissance and rejuvenation. However, we love properties with a sense of place and potential. With a little more finesse, the Magnolia could be spectacular.