Living the Life of an Oil Tycoon
The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas’s only five-star hotel, appears consistently on the very, very short list of America’s top accommodations. Check in here and you’ll feel just like Sheppard King, the Texan oil and cotton baron for whom this Italian Renaissance-style pink-stucco mansion was first built in the 1920s.
King lost his shirt in the Depression, paving the way for his home to be converted into a luxury hotel where the stratospherically rich can revel in the privilege and refinement of a bygone era, with impeccable snap-to service that still retains a healthy dollop of Texas conviviality. A more contemporary tower of guest rooms and suites was added to the hotel later.
Just as famous as the hotel is its eponymous restaurant, which first appeared on the gastronomic radar when the daring, Kentucky-born Dean Fearing (known for having helped pioneer Southwestern cuisine) took up residence.
Many cookbooks and awards later, Fearing is still creating a sensation with his much-copied tortilla soup and signature lobster tacos. The hotel’s 24-hour room service menu is the same as that of the restaurant, but it’s worth the effort to leave your exquisitely appointed room to spend an evening in the gorgeous restaurant and adjoining bar, housed in the original mansion. The award-winning 12,000-bottle wine cellar is in the former owner’s silver vault.