PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas September 2023

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Page 61 of 179

Inside HAR WOOD International's NEW Flagship Hôtel SWEXAN H ôtel Swexan, the striking new tower at the corner of Moody Street and McKinnon, doesn't look like any Dallas hotel you've seen. Part Swiss, part Texan and designed by the famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (who's also responsible for the neighboring twisted Rolex tower), the mirrored exterior both blends into the landscape and reflects it. With 22 stories and 134 rooms, Hôtel Swexan is owned by the Barbier-Mueller family, developers of the ever-growing Harwood District. As this is a privately owned hotel, the property, refreshingly, isn't restricted by the standards a typical hotel group might impose. "The hotel industry doesn't actually follow the trends, they follow the norm," says Harwood International director of design Melinda Clark. "I think what's so amazing about the Swexan is that we had the chance to do something new." The Swexan design team spent years refining what a modern hotel should be. The result: European-influenced high- ceilinged rooms that feel sumptuous and intimate, with a majority of the square footage devoted to large, luxurious baths. Honor bars replace mini bars, and there are ever-changing artworks from the Barbier- Mueller family collection. "When you're trying to do something new, you get a lot of push back," Clark says. "Now that it's all coming together, people see what we're doing." The hotel's interior architecture is inspired by a classical 19th-century Parisian residence turned hotel, with comfortable and elegant furniture and fireplaces on every floor. Just past the towering 1750s French carved limestone fireplace in the lobby lies the restaurant Isabelle's, which serves up both an elegant afternoon tea and a stealth martini at night. Léonie, a lush emerald-hued restaurant, offers a satisfying power lunch with a magnificent view. And at rooftop pool bar Pomelo, guests lounge in vintage Moroccan-style daybeds with cocktails and sushi lollipops in hand. Swexan's signature dining spot is Stillwell's, a showcase for Harwood Hospitality's premium beef program (sourced from the group's proprietary herd of prime-grade cattle) paired with hard-to-find wines. The interiors meet the culinary moment — a slick mid-century atmosphere that subtly nods to Texas with a touch of leather and horsehair. In both style and substance, late-night lounge Babou's may be the most distinctive offering. Named for Salvador Dalí's infamous pet ocelot, the interiors are fittingly wild, marked by lush textiles, fringe, and glittering disco balls. An unassuming bookcase leads to The Library at Babou's, a boîte with a spiral staircase and the cozy vibe of rows of vintage tomes. And then there's Golightly, a private social club accessed through a hidden speakeasy door near Stillwell's. Hôtel Swexan, 2575 McKinnon St., By Caitlin Clark. Photography Kathy Tran. The lobby of Hôtel Swexan, with a view into Isabelle's Pomelo at Hôtel Swexan The rooftop pool at Hôtel Swexan; architect Kengo Kuma Isabelle's Hôtel Swexan lobby 60

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