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Who Needs the Ritz When the Stoneleigh's Weeks Away From Its Reopening?

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It's almost over. The Stoneleigh Hotel sends us this p.m. a press release announcing the near-completion of its renovations -- which cost some $30 million, making it, says the release, "one of the largest historical renovations underway in Texas." OK, if you say so. (By the way, the Stoneleigh blog yesterday posted a link to an article about the night Elvis Presley stayed there in 1956.)

But this is perhaps the most significant item of note: Hotel publicist Leah Ekmark tells Unfair Park that Stoneleigh anticipates opening in late fall and can start accepting reservations on October 1. And the redo won't cost you much: She says, "room rates will be in the mid-$200s." In related news, the Food Network this week has been airing the Iron Chef episode in which the Stoneleigh's new kitchen help, David Bull, squares off against Bobby Flay. The full release is after the jump. --Robert Wilonsky

Historic Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa in Dallas Undergoes $30 Million Dollar Renovation

Former stop for the stars enters second age of splendor in revitalized district

Dallas, TX August 22, 2007 – In one of the largest historical renovations underway in Texas, The Stoneleigh Hotel and Spa -- Dallas’ first residential high-rise and a society scene hotspot for Hollywood stars -- is being carefully restored to her lofty position as the epitome of glamour and sophistication in boutique hotel luxury.

Scheduled to reopen in late Fall 2007 with enhanced comfort and amenities, The Stoneleigh is being restored to maintain her historical integrity and 1930’s-era art deco splendor.

First opened in October 1923, The Stoneleigh is listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Historic Hotels of America.” Its $30 million worth of restoration is being undertaken in consultation with The Texas Historical Society and the National Register of Historic Places. First built for a mere $1.5 million, The Stoneleigh was once the tallest hotel west of the Mississippi, hosting stars from Judy Garland to Tom Cruise as well as noted playwrights.

The Stoneleigh’s revival is taking place under the talented eye of world-class hotelier, Jeff Trigger, whose talent has transformed such notable hotels as downtown Austin's The Driskill Hotel and Dallas’ The Mansion on Turtle Creek and The Adolphus Hotel.

Saving history & revitalizing Dallas

“We’re proud to be restoring this historic Texas jewel, especially at this exciting time for Dallas,” said Jud Pankey with Prescott Realty, co-owner of the hotel. “There is a new era of splendor for The Stoneleigh with the revitalization of downtown with arts, parks, entertainment and sports now enlivening in-city lifestyles. Our historical work will only further enhance that area.”

The renovation includes extensive exterior work as well as the construction of an adjacent lavish 21-floor luxury high rise with one-, two- and three-bedroom custom homes and penthouse suites surrounded by elegantly landscaped gardens, a courtyard and pool.

Maintaining integrity, adding modern luxury

Many of the hotel’s original materials are being retained with the goal of staying true to the hotel’s original facade and interiors (including renowned designer Dorothy Draper’s art deco touches; Draper was recruited from New York City in the 1930s and helped turn the hotel into a coveted showplace.)

While embracing the legacy, new changes are bringing The Stoneleigh up to modern luxury comfort standards, providing guests an unrivaled hotel stay.

Unusually spacious guest rooms

By retaining the original layout of guest rooms and hallways, The Stoneleigh will once again treat visitors to unusually spacious guest rooms. As a nod to the 30s, two Historic Suites are being recreated and brought to modern standards including kitchenettes with leaded glass, restored porcelain fixtures and furnished with period electric lights, fans, and telephones. Tribute Suites are also being created to memorialize some of the celebrities and luminaries who stayed there.

Enhancing popular bar, top chef’s kitchen

The legendary Stoneleigh bar, known as the watering hole for some of Dallas’ most influential people, is being expanded and repositioned along the Maple Avenue side of the hotel lobby. The bar will offer guests the choice of a relaxed indoor atmosphere or an outdoor terrace experience.

The hotel’s new signature restaurant will feature the cuisine of Chef David Bull, an Iron Chef Challenger and 2007 James Beard nominee for “Best Chef in the Southwest.”

Creating a luxury spa

Also to be unveiled in the fall will be plans for the lavishly revamped Stoneleigh Spa, a serene 5,200 square foot sanctuary offering private and couple’s treatment rooms, wet treatment rooms, salon, and a fully equipped fitness center.

Committed to history

Before the major work began, some had advised The Stoneleigh executives to avoid the time, effort and expense of a historic redo.

“Many told us to tear the hotel down, but we already knew she was an irreplaceable gem,” said Jud Pankey, president of Prescott Realty Group and co-owner of The Stoneleigh. “We concluded she deserved a chance to be luxuriously restored and to resume her legendary role in Dallas.”

“We look forward to welcoming The Stoneleigh’s future guests with the best of modern luxury and comfort in a uniquely historical place of splendor.”

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