Airport hotel changes the way Aussie skiers travel

If you’re skiing in Colorado you might want to consider flying direct to Dallas thanks to the Grand Hyatt.

International airports can be dreadful places filled with travel weary folks worn down by delayed and cancelled flights with more bags under their eyes than on the carousel.

When Qantas introduced the Sydney Dallas route on the A380 last year it opened up a whole new world for Australian skiers and boarders looking to head to Colorado. No longer did you have to fly through LAX then Denver to get to resorts such as Telluride which have direct flights from Dallas.

The Grand Hyatt hotel at Dallas Fort Worth airport rises skyward from terminal D. After close to a fifteen hour flight and then some time in customs I simply entered an elevator and arrived in the lobby for check in.

Airport hotels have long had a bad rap. Cardboard food, lumpy beds, thin walls and the sound of a thousand jumbo jets screeching on the run way simultaneously.

But let’s remember this is the USA where service is key and everything comes with a ma’am and a sir and have a nice day.  The front desk experience can set the tone for your entire hotel stay and most folk checking in here are already low on tolerance from time zone changes and sweaty from a night on a plane.

My check in was seamless and quick and the fact that I had foolishly cancelled my credit cards in Sydney thinking I had lost my wallet at the airport only to discover that of course it was where I had put it all along, in my bag was no problem to the hotel staff.

“Just let us know when they have been unblocked again and we’ll sort it out then.”

It would be remiss of me not to reveal that the hotel is practically on the runway, any closer and it would have wings and wheels. I had ear plugs packed in my luggage though I never needed them. The glass windows are as thick as an elephant hide and keep the engine jets at bay.

Lounge had mammoth flat screen tv and a business nook
Lounge had mammoth flat screen tv and a business nook

Let’s be honest, airport and good food rarely go together and airport hotels and fine dining are a rarity. What impressed me the most at the hotel was the cuisine offerings. The Grand Met is a mix of high brow comfort food and American finer fare or you can choose from a sushi bar in the Grand Met lounge.

The chef’s motto here is ‘food thoughtfully sourced and carefully served’ with organic produce and gluten free options. I went for the meat and lots of it.

Angus beef tartare with quail egg and roasted bone marrow and mustard seed was like caviar to the boxed plane food I had consumed at my last meal. I was pleasantly surprised by Grand Met, it is a restaurant that deserves to either be in the CBD or surrounds but really it just throws down the gauntlet to other airport food offerings. If we can do it, so can you.

I chose to have breakfast in my room the next morning. Oatmeal and an omelette with complimentary yoghurt shots delivered with the meal. All were excellent and a good start to what would turn out to be a delayed and cancelled and rescheduled flights day due to an ice storm hitting the region.

 

The Grand Hyatt also offers a rooftop pool for warmer months, an extensive health club filled with the latest workout equipment and a day spa for serious jet lag reduction, though I fear I snored through my Urban Relaxation Massage designed to rejuvenate cramped plane travel bodies.

If you have a long layover in Dallas and only need a day room the hotel has these. They also offer a Business Plan guest room that comes with the usual pillow top Hyatt Grand Bed (you will sleep forever on these they are that good) and free wifi but also offers one shirt or blouse pressed per day, full breakfast, newspapers, long distance calls between USA, Canada and Hawaii, local and 1800 phone calls all within the room rate.

My final verdict? Flying to Dallas makes such an easy option for those wanting to hit Telluride and the Grand Hyatt airport hotel takes the sting out of the serious long haul Aussies have to endure to get to their favourite Colorado resorts.

SnowsBest was a guest of The Grand Hyatt

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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