Culture / Travel

The Allure of Auberge

The High-End Resorts Collection is on a Roll in Texas With Two Glamorous New Hotels Opening in 2026

BY // 03.11.24

Houston automobile tycoon and film producer Dan Friedkin, who became chairman of the California-based Auberge Resorts in 2013, has launched an impressive rollout of Texas properties, including the acclaimed Commodore Perry Estate in Austin and Bowie House in Fort Worth, which opened in December. Mirasol Springs, a 1,400-acre conservation project currently under development in the Hill Country, is envisioned by Steve Winn’s Mirasol Capital and features an Auberge Resorts Collection hotel. The Birdsall in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood will open in 2026 with hotel interiors by noted New York design firm Roman and Williams, which has also designed Nomad Hotel, London; Le Cou Cou, NYC; and Gwyneth Paltrow’s California residence.

But The Knox hotel and residences in Dallas, some two years away from completion, just might be Auberge’s most glamorous property yet.

The Knox's hotel entrance.
The Knox’s hotel entrance. (Courtesy Auberge Resorts)

The Knox, an Auberge Resorts Collection hotel in Dallas

Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, best known for his maximalist makeover of Annabel’s iconic members-only nightclub in London, has been enlisted to imbue The Knox hotel with elegant flamboyance. Dallas design favorite Chad Dorsey has been tapped for the residences.

Auberge is known for putting stylish resorts in some of the most beautiful places in the world (Napa, Aspen, Telluride, Hudson Valley, Newport, Santorini, Florence), but there is a growing focus on urban, club-like properties such as The Knox in Dallas — intimate city stays with a hyper-local emphasis on design and food. This strong sense of place permeates everything Auberge does.

“The first thing you have to do is appeal to the locals,” says Auberge CEO Craig Reid, who moved to Dallas in 1998. “The Knox hotel will resonate with Highland Park, Preston Hollow, and Uptown families, be it for a special occasion, honeymoon, birthday parties, celebratory get-together for friends, to host someone coming to town.” In other words, their personal pied-à-terre.

A rendering of The Leather Bar at The Knox
A rendering of The Leather Bar at The Knox designed by Martin Brudnizki. (Courtesy Auberge Resorts)

With 140 guest rooms, The Knox is smaller than most luxury hotels in Dallas, Reid notes.

“It starts on the second floor. The idea is that it has a little bit of a private club feel, but open to all,” he says. “The entrance is small and discrete; it will almost be like visiting an elegant Dallas home.”

The entry features a winding staircase leading to a series of spacious living rooms and outdoor lounges. There will also be event spaces, an outdoor pool bar, a fitness center, spa, and movement studio. A restaurant comprised of two smaller rooms is intended to feel like you’ve walked into a private cocktail party rather than a boisterous restaurant. “The hotel should resonate with the community, but it should also be design forward, a little bit theatrical,” he says. “We want it to be a surprise — an Instagrammable moment.”

326 Martin Brudinski Portrait USE THIS HIGH RES VERSION
Designer Martin Brudnizki. (Courtesy Auberge Resorts)

Who better to carry out this design mandate than Martin Brudnizki, the internationally acclaimed design star whose opulent flourishes can be seen on Aquavit, Le Caprice, and The Ivy in London; Splendido in Portofino; Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s and the new Fifth Avenue Hotel in NYC; and Le Grand Mazarin in Paris, to name a few. Brudnizki says, “The design DNA will feel inherently Dallas, but will also take guests to otherworldly places. The goal is to create an internationally recognizable interior that caters to visitors, while also becoming a second home to Highland Park and the broader Dallas community.”

The color palette is inspired by the adjacent Katy Trail with greens, tans, rich reds, and warm gold tones; materials will be rich and tactile to reference the outdoors. “We will also collaborate with makers across the globe to mix in locally sourced pieces that create an international feel, whether it be custom embroidery, plaster reliefs, or local leatherwork,” he says.


A rendering of The Knox residences in Dallas.
A rendering of the Residents’ Lobby at The Knox. (Courtesy Auberge Resorts)

The Knox Hotel Residences

The Knox residences will be designed by interior designer Chad Dorsey, who has offices in Dallas and Los Angeles and has previously designed homes for several clients who have purchased apartments in the building. Dorsey has served as co-chairman of Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas for three years, is the creator of Strike stone fireplace surrounds, and has a collection with Aria Stone and an upcoming collaboration with Ann Sacks that launches later this year. His first book, published by Assouline, will release in May.

“The residences will have a relaxed, subdued sophistication with refined millwork and casing that feel residential,” Dorsey says. “A lot of the towers in Dallas are quite sleek and modern, like art galleries, but what we are doing feels more like a home. And, in Dallas, we think about homes in a different way — the scale is bigger.”

Dorsey’s sumptuous take on the lobby focuses on a moody vibe with fumed oak walls and French limestone floors, unique for the stone’s hints of olive, coral, and gray hues. Intimately scaled, the lobby feels personal — “like coming home,” he says.


the knox hotel in dallas by auberge resorts collection
Rendering of The Knox. (Courtesy Auberge Resorts)

Dallas… “It’s Quite a Show”

On any given Sunday night, you’ll find Craig Reid strolling through Dallas’ Highland Park Village with his young grandsons. “We walk around to look at all the cars — people bring out the really nice cars, ones they might only take out for a joy ride on the weekend. It’s quite a show,” he says. In a parking lot bumper-to-bumper and gleaming with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Lexus logos, Sundays in the Village rumble with the throaty roar of hand-built Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and Bugattis. 

It’s this rarefied air of a typical Sunday night in the heart of Highland Park (never mind the breathtaking array of designer boutiques rivaling Rodeo Drive) that helped convince Reid that Dallas was ready for an Auberge hotel — the kind of five-star, ultra-indulgent stay favored by the well-heeled and well-traveled. Downtown, the Arts District, and Uptown were all carefully considered as possible locations for an Auberge, but it wasn’t until Reid met with the team behind The Knox that he realized he’d found the location of a lifetime. With easy access to Central Expressway, adjacency to the Katy Trail, and a bustling neighborhood of shops and restaurants, The Knox development has unrivaled proximity to one of Texas’ most coveted neighborhoods.

“You could throw a baseball into Highland Park,” he says. “For me, Highland Park is the powerful connection that makes it work.”

the knox hotel in dallas by auberge resorts collection
The Knox development, slated to open 2026. (Courtesy Auberge Resorts)

Slated to open in 2026, The Knox is a joint venture between BDT & MSD Partners, Trammell Crow Company, The Retail Connection, and Highland Park Village Associates. Once completed, it will total 1 million square feet of mixed-use space with an ultra-luxury hotel and residences, both managed by the Auberge Resorts Collection. It also includes a nine-story office, a separate multifamily building, two stories of retail and restaurants, and a half-acre park connected to the Katy Trail.  The massive four-acre project broke ground in December with $619 million in financing from Plano-based Beal Bank.

Allie Beth Allman & Associates is the listing agent for The Knox Residences, which feature 48 condominiums ranging from 2,500 to more than 15,000 square feet. Buyers are almost all from Dallas — mostly long-time Highland Park and Preston Hollow residents who want to continue to live large within the ease of high-rise living, and they are snapping up multiple units to create homes that are 8,000 square feet or more. Prices start at $4.5 million, with many already fetching eight figures — a record in Dallas for condo sales by a wide margin.

Few places in the world can support a real estate project like The Knox, says Sabrina Gleizer, a managing director of merchant bank BDT & MSD Partners, a driving force behind the project. “It’s going to be one of the most important mixed-use developments in the country, rivaling anything in New York, Miami, Los Angeles,” she says. Approximately 10 additional acres are at their disposal in the Knox neighborhood, although there are no specific plans to develop them yet.

In February, Auberge announced a strategic partnership with BDT & MSD that will inject significant capital towards acquiring and developing new hotels and residences around the world under the Auberge brand. Based in Mill Valley, California, The Auberge Resorts Collection has a current lineup of 27 properties worldwide, with more than a dozen new hotels and resorts planned, in spots like Florence, Italy; Kiawah River, South Carolina; San Francisco; and Florida.

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