Great find around SMU A review of Hotel Lumen - A Kimpton Hotel
I was in the Dallas area on business and decided to stay near SMU because I like the Highland/University Park area of the city. I was impressed with the hotel website, and found a really cheap rate on an obscure website unrelated to the hotel, so it worked out pretty nicely.
The website doesn't do the hotel justice. As you walk in, you immediately notice that style was key in the design/redesign of this hotel. Apparently it used to be a ramada. You would never have a clue. The staff does sit at chairs during check in and there are two chairs for you to sit at as well. Why in the world would people write that it made the staff seem lazy? It just seems smart to me. That being said, I received adequate service at check in that while professional, lacked any warmth or friendliness. That's fine with me though.
I booked a lux suite, which are all located on their fourth floor. There are four sets of three and each seems to have a different configuration. All but two seem to have balconies. And four of the twelve have bath tubs (mine did) and the tubs seem more like small swimming pools in their own seperate room (a very nice touch, and one that I longed for my partner to share with, though I was on business alone).
Overall, the suite was very nice. It was lacking a few things, however. Because of these things, I gave this hotel four instead of five stars. Here they are. The "kitchen" came with a full size refrigerator (very nice), a sink, microwave (very nice) and plenty of cupboards. It did not come with a light, silverware, condiments, plates, or anything else one would find in a kitchen. Are you supposed to bring your own plates? That's odd. Also, there was no wastebaket except for in the bathroom. Where do I put my garbage? I made my own with a plastic bag. And what's up with no light? It's also just a part of the living room, which I thought was weird and ugly. Obviously, the kitchen didn't do it for me. Also, they should have hung up another piece of art to make it a little more decorated. There was one piece that hung in the entire suite. Bleh...more art or something on the walls, please. And finally, the balcony had very cheap furniture. Although it overlooked a parking lot, the neighborhoods beyond were nice to look at and SMU was across the street.
Now for the good. The TV was a plasma on the wall and got tons of channels with good reception (though not HD). All the lights were on dimmers making mood lighting available. The bed was very comfortable and the closet space immense. The style of the room, other than the kitchen, was well done. The balcony allowing you to step out for fresh air was great. The neighborhood was fantastic, being across from beautiful SMU and being within beautiful University Park. It was walking distance to a row of restaurants and shops.
The shower was fantastic...amazing how powerful those three body jets were, and great how you could position them however you liked. There was shampoo and gel in containers mounted on the shower wall, but also extra amenities such as conditioner by aveda placed on the bathroom counter.
The bathroom had a heavy door to the right that opened onto the toilet and a huge soaking tub (no jets). It was very deep and was like a small swimming pool with just myself in it. There was no dimmer on the light in this room, which I found odd since this room would certainly benefit from mood lighting.
I ordered room service with mixed results. The staff were incredibly rude...without a doubt the rudest staff I have ever encountered for room service. Apparently, I was supposed to kiss their --- for them speaking to me. While initially this really ticked me off, I saw the manager of the restaurant later who was very nice, so who knows. I would never eat there again though. The food sounded great on the menu...really great. Maybe that was the problem, maybe I had gotten too excited for a relaxing meal after a long day only to be met with incredibly rude service and an incredibly mediocure, borderline disgusting meal. Well, not disgusting. I ordered the damn good fries, which were pretty darn good; the calamari which was too greasy but okay; and the portabella stuffed with three cheeses served with a tomato fondue, a complete joke of an entree. The main entree was inedible, and the rice that came with it had hard chunks in it. Gross. I felt like I paid $45 too much for dinner and to top it off, got spit on with the service.
You would think that I would have rated the hotel much lower, but I really enjoyed the sense of style here. Checkout was easy, although their computers were malfunctioning so I couldn't get directions to the airport. That being said, the checkout person was incredibly friendly and devoid of any attitude whatsoever.
I found it of little annoyance to only have valet parking, and the valet guys were always nice and professional. I have to admit, however, that I always like it when hotels allow self parking as well.
Even despite its lapses, I would highly recommend staying here.