The Christmas tree at the Adolphus
I recently made the trip downtown to the Adolphus hotel for my first-ever dinner at The French Room and to meet the restaurant’s darling — and talented — new chef. (More on that later.)
It was the week after Thanksgiving, and the beautiful historic hotel was all done up in holiday decorations — the classic kind, with not an ounce of trend or kitsch in sight.
It was, from our first step into the valet and reception area, perfection. Wreaths and garland decked the walls inside and out, and the faintest scent of pine hung in the air.
The best was yet to come.
But first, a preface: I am, decidedly, a sucker for well-executed Christmas décor — especially when it comes to Christmas trees.
Admittedly, I’m a classicist, here. No multi-colored lights — glow-y golden or soft-white lights are just fine. Color palette should remain crimson and rich pine-tree green. Maybe a bit of gold or bronze or a tinge of silver.
And while I understand the urge to go faux (allergies, fire safety, and such), to me, fake trees will always seem the epitome of cheesy. I even balk at the prettiest of flocked trees, which inevitably take on a fake — though, if done right, very chic — vibe.
But, back to the Adolphus.
We rode the escalator upstairs to the main lobby, which was alive with trendy types — a welcome sight and the first time I had seen such a buzzy scene, here, since this new space reopened a year-ish ago.
All were cozied up by the fireplace (charcuterie plates not far from hand) or snug in a lounge chair with a magazine or book in hand. Some swilled cocktails at the bar, while others flirted date-night style in the French Room Salon.
It all felt very cosmopolitan. Was this New York? San Francisco? For it didn’t feel an ounce like Dallas.
Those top brass at the Adolphus and at Swoon (the creative studio charged with redesigning the hotel’s lobby not long ago) should feel mightily proud of the space they’ve created and the crowd that now flocks here.
Anchoring the stylish lobby was a temporary, stop-you-in-your-tracks piece of décor. “Wait!” I told my date, who passed right by en route to The French Room. “Look at this tree!” I said. “I think it’s the best I’ve seen in Dallas!”
Indeed, the Adolphus installed a radiant, perfectly decorated tree in its lobby. At first, it caught my eye for its effortless ornaments (not too many; not too few; and a perfect twinkle of evenly arranged lights) and for its soaring height — it nearly reached the ceiling!
I went up to the tree and rustled its pine needles between my fingers. My gosh! A quick sniff revealed the truth. It’s real. A rarity these days — especially indoors, where fire-hazard restrictions seem to be a dime a dozen. (Even my apartment complex encourages faux. Le sigh.)
But further research sealed the deal: Yes, dear reader, if you want to see the best Christmas tree in town, make haste to the Adolphus.
And here’s why:
The 20-foot concolor fir hails from Manton, Michigan.
Nine gents were required to hoist the massive tree into the hotel.
Those men then spent three hours covering the tree in 8,000 lights.
Then, only then, came the ornaments — all 750 of them. We’re told those creative minds at Dr Delphinium had something to do with the decoration direction.
All resulted in a total installation time of 10 glorious, holly-jolly hours.
My 7-footer can’t hold a candle to the Adolphus’ beauty — hence why I’ll be planning more than a few holiday cocktail meet-ups right in the hotel’s lobby.
Festive. Not faux. And just the thing we all need to make our hearts sing.