The Rosewood Mansion Concierge shares his pro tips for spending time in Dallas
It’s Concierge Confidential, a series in which we uncover a city’s best-kept secrets from people who specialize in the field: long-time concierges at the city’s swankiest hotels.
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek opened in 1980, but its life began in 1925 as an opulent private estate with Italian Renaissance-influenced architecture. Located on a Tony strip in Uptown, the property has 128 spacious rooms and 15 even larger suites, as well as a famous restaurant and bar. Over the years it’s been home to countless presidents, royals, heads of state, actors and musicians, so whether you’re booking a room or stopping in for dinner, you’ll be in good company. And if you need help or have a special request, Mary Stamm will be there to help.
Stamm worked at The rosewood mansion for 38 years, including 31 as the hotel’s head concierge. During her tenure, she’s heard it all and she knows the city inside out. Below, she shares her pro tips for enjoying your time in Dallas, from enjoying great coffee and tacos behind the scenes to visiting under-the-radar museums and driving race cars. .
Inside hook: What’s in the hotel that most people probably don’t know about?
Mary Stamm: We are one of the few hotels in the country, and the only one in Texas, to have a relationship with Lexus. Every year we select two cars that we can offer to guests – right now we have an LC500 coupe with a roaring engine and a hybrid SUV. Customers can take a car wherever they want, and we will also create driving experiences, if they want to drive to the countryside or elsewhere.
Beyond these cars, what’s a unique service offered at Rosewood Mansion that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else?
Everyone here in Texas loves margaritas, so we developed a margarita class. This is subject to availability, but we can set up a private lesson with our bartenders. It includes cocktails, appetizers, and even a margarita book.
What’s the best place to grab a coffee in town?
I like Ascension Cafe, which started here in Dallas. The original sits on Oak Lawn in the Design District and has just undergone a redesign. They brought the most expensive coffee maker of the day to Dallas. I also like The Earth. We have so many great little independent cafes in the city.
And the breakfast?
Our breakfast at the hotel, fingers in the nose. Breakfast is my favorite meal and I think ours is one of the best in town. The juices are fresh every morning and the Irish bacon we use is really good. It’s such a great experience.
What’s the easiest way to get around town?
Dallas has several options. We work with a car rental company who will deliver the cars to the property. We also have an on-site car program that can take guests within five miles of the hotel. But Alto is a local ride-sharing company that’s really nice, and Uber and Lyft are also available in town. Walking is also an ideal way to get around in certain areas.
What is the misconception that visitors have of Dallas?
People are always surprised that there is so much to do here. The shopping is amazing, as are the museums. It’s hard to follow new restaurants — every time I turn around, there’s something new. It’s also a great event destination, with plenty of sports and concerts.
What is a unique experience in Dallas that you would recommend to visitors?
Go to a Cowboys game in AT&T Stadium is truly a fantastic experience. Everyone should do it at least once – even if we lose, it’s still fun. You can also drive a racing car on the Texas Motor Speedway.
How about a staple food?
Definitely Mexican and Tex-Mex. There are great chefs here and especially female chefs who are leading the way. The cook at Jose [Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman] was named Best Chef Semi-Finalist at the recent James Beard Awards.
Taco Lounge Gun at Deep Ellum serves tacos all day, but they also have an eight-course tasting menu in the back room that you must reserve. The chef and his mother cook.
What is the best neighborhood for walking and eating/drinking?
There’s a part of Lower Greenville that’s super interesting right now, so I think it’s a really good option. Shoyo is a great Japanese place. There is an amazing place for ice cream, Botolinoand a Nick Badovinus restaurant called desert runner with a large interior space and patio. And Flameswho does a bakery in the morning and then a tasting menu in the evening.
Where is a good place to exercise outside?
I love walking Lakeside Drive in Highland Park. You can park and then walk along. You will see ducks and geese and beautiful houses, and cross a beautiful bridge. I also like the Katy Trail. You can walk the trail and stop at Katy Trail Ice House to take a drink. I also like to walk around the SMU campus.
What’s an under-the-radar cultural institution worth visiting?
My favorite is called The warehouse. It’s in North Dallas, and it’s the contemporary art collection of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. It’s not always open, so you have to follow it online to find out when you can go. They also have a few conferences from time to time.
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