The Rosewood Mansion Concierge Shares Her Pro Tips for Spending Time in Dallas
Mary Stamm has 38 years of luxury hotel experience. You’d be wise to listen to her.
This is Concierge Confidential, a series in which we learn about a city’s best-kept secrets from people who specialize in exactly that: long-serving concierges from the swankiest hotels in town.
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek opened in 1980, but its life began in 1925 as an opulent private estate with architecture influenced by the Italian Renaissance. Situated on a tony strip in Uptown, the property has 128 spacious rooms and 15 even bigger suites, plus a celebrated restaurant and bar. Over the years, it has housed countless presidents, royals, heads of state, actors and musicians, so if you reserve a room or stop in for dinner, you’ll be in good company. And should you need assistance or have a special request, Mary Stamm will be there to help you.
Stamm has worked at The Rosewood Mansion for 38 years, 31 of them as the hotel’s head concierge. During her tenure, she’s heard it all, and she knows the city inside and out. Below, she shares her pro tips for enjoying your time in Dallas, from scoring good coffee and back-room tacos to visiting under-the-radar museums and driving race cars.
InsideHook: What’s something about the hotel that most people probably don’t know?
Mary Stamm: We are one of the few hotels in the country, and the only one in Texas, that has a relationship with Lexus. We pick out two cars each year that we can offer to guests — right now we have a LC500 coupe with an engine that roars and a hybrid SUV. Guests can take a car wherever they like, and we’ll also create driving experiences, if they want to drive out into the country or elsewhere.
Beyond those cars, what’s a unique service offered at Rosewood Mansion that you probably won’t find elsewhere?
Everyone here in Texas loves margaritas, so we developed a margarita class. It’s based on availability, but we can set up a private class with our bartenders. It includes cocktails, appetizers and even a margarita book.
What’s a great spot to get coffee in the city?
I love Ascension Coffee, which started here in Dallas. The original one is on Oak Lawn in the Design District and has just gone through a redesign. They brought the most expensive coffee maker at the time to Dallas. I also love La La Land. We have so many great small and independent coffee shops in the city.
How about breakfast?
Our breakfast at the hotel, hands down. 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 multiple options. We work with a car rental company that will deliver cars to the property. We also have an in-house car program that can take guests within five miles of the hotel. But Alto is a local rideshare company that’s really nice, and Uber and Lyft are also available in the city. Walking is also an ideal way to get around certain areas.
What’s a common misconception that visitors have about Dallas?
People are always surprised that there is so much to do here. The shopping is incredible and so are the museums. It’s hard to keep up with the new restaurants — every time I turn around, there’s something new. It’s also a great events destination, with lots of sports and concerts.
What’s an only-in-Dallas experience that you’d recommend to visitors?
Going to a Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium is really a fantastic experience. Everyone should do that at least once — even if we lose, it’s still fun. You can also drive a race car on the Texas Motor Speedway.
What about a must-try food?
Definitely Mexican and Tex-Mex. There are some great chefs here and particularly some female chefs who are leading the way. The chef at Jose [Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman] was named a semi-finalist for best chef in the recent James Beard Awards.
Revolver Taco Lounge in Deep Ellum serves tacos all day, but they also have an eight-course tasting menu dinner in the back room that you have to reserve. The chef and his mother do the cooking.
What’s the best neighborhood for walking around and eating/drinking?
There’s a portion of Lower Greenville that’s super interesting right now, so I think that’s a really good option. Shoyo is a great Japanese spot. There’s an incredible gelato place, Botolino, and a Nick Badovinus restaurant called Desert Racer with a great interior and patio space. And Carte Blanche, which does a bakery in the morning and then a tasting menu in the evening.
Where’s a good place to get some exercise outdoors?
I love walking on Lakeside Drive in Highland Park. You can park and then walk along. You’ll see ducks and geese and beautiful homes, and cross a wonderful bridge. I also love the Katy Trail. You can walk on the trail and stop at the Katy Trail Ice House for a drink. I also love walking through 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 know when you can go. They also have some lectures occasionally.
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