It’s my never-ending parenting dilemma: The fun places for kids have mediocre food and drink, while the places we love to eat and drink don’t have much to entertain kids. For those in the same boat, I recommend a stay at the Hilton Anatole.
As a family of four with two young boys who get along much better outdoors but don’t have a pool, summers can be long, sweaty and frustrating. We are constantly looking for a friend’s pool to crash or a new experience where the boys can have fun and stay cool. The hotel, which is only a few miles from downtown Dallas, meets that need and more.
The huge Hilton Analtole Hotel is one of the largest hotels in the South (surpassed by the Dallas Sheraton in 1998), with more than 1,600 rooms. Developed by Trammell Crow as part of the Market Center complex, it is named after one of Crow’s favorite restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since Hilton took over management, the owner has invested $180 million in improving the resort. It sits on 45 acres in the Design District and is home to an extensive 1,000-piece art collection, hundreds of thousands of square feet of event space, a spa and gym, and several restaurants. and a water park. I had been to the hotel for a few galas and a work conference, but the experience as a guest left the family ready to return soon.
Jade Waters at the Anatole is more like a small water park than a hotel pool, and there are plenty of water attractions for all ages. Our boys are 2 and 4 so when we arrived in the afternoon they were fond of the children’s play landscape with sprayers, slides and a giant bucket that dumps a deluge on passers by twice a minute . We had to sit under this temporary waterfall dozens of times between floats on the lazy river, which runs past the pool bar with plenty of frozen treats and other adult drinks.
Between the pool bar and kid-friendly snack bar, there’s plenty to eat at Jade Waters, and plenty of shaded seating near the water makes for a relaxing afternoon close enough to watch the kids . I was able to talk to my eldest son in the waterslide which spills out next to the lazy river, although once was enough for him. I’m sure in a few years I’ll have to steer him away from the opportunity to slide down a waterslide and end up in a splash.
There are plenty of fun pools in town that serve food, but you usually have to settle for a greasy burger and lukewarm pickles, with soggy fries if you’re lucky. Luckily for Anatole’s customers, they can take their kids (hopefully exhausted and overpowered) to Anatole’s reimagined top-floor restaurant, SĒR Steak + Spirits. The restaurant oozes luxury, with not-too-loud live music, unrivaled 360-degree views, and cuisine to be savored by young sons and parents alike.
Executive Chef Richard Hoffman oversees The revival of SĒR with a dinner menu that is a creative mix of locally sourced steaks and well-imagined seafood dishes. During our visit, we enjoyed the New York Strip and the Tenderloin, which filled us to the brim when paired with truffle risotto, savory vegetables and parker rolls. We tried to satiate our boys with deliciously crispy fries and a luxurious mac and cheese, but they developed a demanding palate mid-meal and couldn’t get enough of the perfectly done steak.
Not sure I would recommend bringing two and four year olds to SĒR, but the staff was prompt and endlessly accommodating. We were surrounded by couples sharing intimate birthdays and party dates, and we weren’t always the quietest guests. Our eldest son made sure to walk around the restaurant mid-meal with Dad, and we were lucky enough to visit the bar and lounge (my eldest was there), and saw the room dining room, all with stunning views of the city.
The most impressive part of the meal was seeing Hoffman’s signature 7-pound beef shank, a beautiful cut of meat completed with homemade demi-glace, red chimichurri, barbecue sauce and garlic aioli. fresh citrus with horseradish. Get ready to walk away with great views, good times and delicious food.
After dinner, we returned to our rooms, satisfied and tired after a day of fun. It was just the break from our routine that we needed. In the morning we slept in and came across Counter Offer, where our boys filled a breakfast buffet with everything they could want and more.
So whether you’re looking for an adult to sip and swim with friends or your new crush, or a family looking to change up the usual weekend routine, Anatole has what you need. And while it’s only a few miles from vibrant nightlife and all that Dallas has to offer, you can stay at the hotel for fun, luxury, and delicious bites.
Will is the editor of CEO magazine and editor of D CEO Healthcare. He wrote about health care…