We’ve been on a mission recently exploring a handful of different AC hotels to get a sense of what this hotel brand has to offer.
While in Dallas we decided to try out the AC Hotel Dallas Galleria, a fairly new hotel that opened up in 2018.
In this article, I’ll give you a complete review of the AC Hotel Dallas Galleria and tell you everything you need to know to prepare for your stay.
Table of Contents
We were in Dallas exploring and chronicling sites related to the JFK assassination and after staying at the Hilton Fort Worth wanted to also get a feel for another AC Hotel so we found this one in the Dallas Galleria area.
We paid cash for this booking which was $132 per night and earned a total of 6,120 points for this stay with Titanium status factored in and the ongoing Marriott promotions.
I value 6,120 Marriott points at around $47, so that’s about 18% back on the base room rate which wasn’t a bad return.
Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!
Location overview: Dallas Galleria
The AC Hotel Dallas Galleria is found about one block away from the Dallas Galleria.
The Galleria is a huge mall modeled after the (larger) Galleria in Houston.
The glass vaulted ceilings in both malls are a nod to the historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy (which is very close to the Park Hyatt Milan).
The Dallas Galleria (officially referred to as “Galleria Dallas”) is home to around 200 stores and restaurants, an ice rink, and also the Westin. It’s a big mall but it’s not as big (and some say not as nice) as the NorthPark Center also located in Dallas.
Something interesting about the Galleria in Dallas is that the cost of constructing it in 1982 was at least $400 million (~$1+ billion in today’s money).
This made it one of the most expensive projects of the year only behind Walt Disney Epcot Center.
Opened in 2018, the AC Hotel Dallas Galleria is a dual-branded hotel with the Residence Inn.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of dual branded hotels because they create unnecessary friction and confusion for many guests.
For example, I saw a few guests who were very confused about the complimentary breakfast situation and were directed to go back to the Residence Inn side.
Parking & check-in
This stay was part of a road trip around Texas so we decided to park our Jeep on-site which would cost us $24 per day.
The parking garage, which is accessible via your room key, is connected to the hotel building and one entrance feeds into the Residence Inn and another entrance on the other side opens to the AC Hotel. You can enter through either entrance though because they all are connected to the lobby.
We checked into the hotel around 4:45pm so there was no need for early check in.
During check-in, the staff was pretty professional and there were no issues.
After check-in we turned our attention to the hotel lobby which I thought was a pretty beautiful area.
There are some really nice light fixtures that create a very modern look and feel.
One area of the lobby was surrounded by sectional couches and had an oversized Connect Four game to help pass time.
Other areas were just perfectly suited for lounging around or getting work done in the open spaces the AC is known for.
Much like the W, I’m a big fan of the AC Hotel scent “Between the Woods” that is pumped/sprayed throughout the hotel. It’s a perfect blend between luxury and earthiness and it just never gets old.
We had a pretty basic king room during our stay.
One of the drawbacks of the AC that I have noticed so far is that they don’t have a lot of variety in terms of rooms and upgrade options. If you’re looking to get bumped up to a beautiful one bedroom suite this may not be the brand to look for.
The bed was the classic AC design with floating headboard and USB and power outlets on each side. The AC is pretty consistent with giving you plenty of charging ports for your devices near your bed which is really nice.
One side had the thin AC phone which I love the sleekness of but don’t enjoy giving up speakerphone for sleekness.
One thing I really loved about the room was the mood lighting underneath the furniture. It added a really nice touch to an otherwise minimalist room full of neutral tones.
The workstation was in the corner and consisted of a very basic set up with a lamp and some power outlets. Nothing too fancy.
On the other side of the room was a sofa along with a coffee table that could be rolled anywhere.
A large window let in a lot of natural light, but on the second floor we did not have much of a view.
The closet area had the typical AC Hotel smart fridge, coffee maker, and safe. Something a little different was that this fridge had two water bottles and two glasses inside, which was a nice little surprise.
Another area where AC hotels shine, in my opinion, is the bathroom. In this room the bathroom was bright, clean, and modern with plenty of counter space.
I am a big fan of the dual AC shower heads.
Nothing is better than a hot waterfall shower raining down on your head after a long day of traveling.
AC hotels use the refillable Korres amenities in the shower which can be annoying when they are not properly maintained but the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are pretty high quality.
The bathroom also had the typical European style, square toilet with a dual flush button.
As much as AC properties market their European feel it often surprises me that they don’t offer bidets. I personally think that would give it the full European “touch.”
One of the highlights of staying at an AC hotel is definitely the breakfast.
It’s a beautifully presented “European inspired” breakfast with large tasty croissants leading the way behind sliced prosciutto, cheeses, and varieties of quiche.
You’ll also have a fair selection of other breakfast items including breakfast tarts and fresh fruit such as cantaloupe, pineapple, and berries.
They also had some cereal if you were looking for something a bit more traditional such as Cheerios or Froot Loops. Juices and yogurt are also available.
It’s an $18 breakfast but if you are Platinum or above you can get a $10 daily credit for you plus one person in your room that you can use towards breakfast making the price much more manageable.
The only drawback to the breakfast was the server opening up the breakfast area.
She was pretty indifferent to me when I asked about breakfast opening up and it felt pretty clear that she did not want to be there….
Another unique offering by the AC is the bar and tapas experience.
They had a nice little bar area serving up all of your traditional drinks but the AC also has a signature gin and tonic served in a glass “scientifically shaped to optimize the aroma.” We gave it a shot and it was very refreshing.
We also put in an order for tapas.
Each AC hotel may offer something a little bit different in the tapas department but generally you can find things like cheese and meat selections, warmed olives, and fries.
We went with the artisan cheese platter which came with some meats and bread. We thoroughly enjoyed it and I would recommend trying out the tapas experience.
In the middle of the courtyard there is a nice pool area where you can find several chairs surrounding the pool to relax on.
It’s also a great spot to head out to during cool evenings.
They had the fire pit running at night and Disney movies getting projected on a screen one night and on a wall the other night. It was just a pretty cool feature that I really liked about the hotel.
The fitness center was a little bland compared to some of the other AC hotels I’ve stayed at but was still very well equipped.
You’ll find treadmill, bikes, a stairmaster, and elliptical along with a few other machines.
In terms of free weights, you should have everything you need for a good dumbbell and kettle bell workouts.
Overall, this was a pretty solid hotel stay. I really loved the property itself and thought that it was well designed.
We weren’t able to enjoy any kind of great views and the service was lacking at times so it was far from a perfect stay. But if you are looking for a solid mid-tier hotel when staying in the Dallas Galleria area this would be a great option.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.