It’s all about location. That’s what Alan Naul, president of hotel developer Javelin Group, had to say about the new Canopy by Hilton Dallas Uptown, which Javelin owns. It's the first Canopy to open in Texas.
The 150-room hotel officially opened July 9 at the corner of Cityplace West and Oak Grove, near a number of local shops and restaurants. Naul, a native of Dallas, said the hotel heralds a new chapter for the Big D. Naul has been able to watch the destination transform from a quiet, subdued town into a city with much to do.
“Dallas has evolved over the past few years, but for 25 years or so it has been a suburban market,” Naul said. "When I first started my career, my office was downtown. We rarely went out to eat then, and there wasn’t a lot going on. All that’s changed.”
According to Naul, Hilton was attracted to Uptown Dallas thanks to the city’s investments in mass transit. The Canopy brand places great emphasis on local experiences and integrating with the community, and the new Dallas property is no exception. Naul said the hotel’s residential feel is set to be its biggest differentiator in the market, as is its compact footprint and connection to public transportation.
“Our perception of hotels, as travelers, continues to change,” Naul said. “More and more younger folks use mass transit now. We needed less parking overall because of the hotel’s location as well.”
A lot of hotels like to throw around phrases like “residential appeal” and “local sensibilities,” but the Canopy by Hilton Dallas Uptown actually is making good on the promise. For one, the hotel participates in Hilton’s Paws in the Neighborhood initiative, which provides hotel guests’ dogs with a welcome gift and a dog bed for the night, and more.
“At Canopy by Hilton Dallas Uptown, we are also offering a 24-hour pass to Mutts Canine Cantina, which is located across from the hotel,” said Gary Steffen, global head of Canopy by Hilton. “The dog-friendly restaurant and dog park is an exciting extension to our Paws in The Neighborhood program, inviting guests and their dogs to enjoy the local neighborhood."
The property also offers Upside, a rooftop lounge offering views of the Dallas skyline. The lounge includes a separate ground-floor elevator accessible from the hotel’s sidewalk. Naul pointed to Upside as the kind of business that Dallas has been missing out on, and something that could elevate the hotel going forward.
“A lot of our competition is in traditional, larger business hotels that are in business-focused locations unconnected to neighborhoods throughout the city,” Naul said. “That’s the biggest difference with this property. Those hotels lack a more intimate feeling.”
Though it just opened in July, the Canopy by Hilton Dallas Uptown was one of the first Canopy hotels to begin the development process. Naul said his team worked with Hilton to finalize a concept for the property, with the goal of creating a residential-focused hotel always at the forefront.
“We have a small footprint, and we share it with a high-rise residential building and a lot of retail space,” Naul said. “Managing all of that in the planning stages—and now that we’re open—was a challenge, but that is what makes the hotel a draw for guests!”
Opening: July 9, 2018
Number of Rooms: 150
General Manager: Jeff Pope
Owner: The Javelin Group
Management Company: Aimbridge Hospitality
Opening Obstacle: As one of the first Canopy by Hilton properties to be developed, the team behind its construction had to work closely with Hilton to define what the Canopy brand was seeking to become while simultaneously building a hotel that would fit in with Dallas’ hotel market. Naul said Hilton worked with The Javelin Group every step of the way, assisting with the creation of the brand even though the hotel would not end up being the first to open. “[Hilton] had an amazing concept that we saw when we visited their headquarters, and they did an amazing job of working through all the major issues that come with creating a new brand from scratch,” Naul said. “We found that as we were trying to adapt their concepts to our parcel it was a challenge, partly because of the brand’s residential character.”