It was a brisk Thursday night when a friend and I arrived at the grand opening party for the new Canvas Hotel in the Cedars. We came in through a side door, nearly missing the official entrance where satin-gloved hands were doling out champagne from behind a gold curtain. Luckily, it was hard to miss. Two photographers clad in painter’s coveralls snapped pics of guests as they grabbed flutes from the arms moving in time with the music. A brief lapse of the curtain revealed it was, in fact, two grown men passing out the bubbly with remarkable finesse. This was the first pleasant surprise that the night had in store.
Frankly, I didn’t expect to like Canvas. Other than the Adolphus and the Joule, the majority of hotels in Dallas have failed in their attempts to become a regular hangout for locals. Even The Statler, with all its bells and whistles, feels like it missed the mark as far as the “cool factor.” So, when I got word that NYLO South Side Dallas was being rebranded as an art hotel, I was skeptical. But that Thursday night, as I found myself immersed in jewel-toned furniture at the poolside Gallery Rooftop Lounge (formerly Soda Bar), I was struck with an unusual feeling: I might actually be coming back here soon.
As soon as you step into the lobby, the space is energetic, fun, and approachable. The hotel relaunched with a mission to become part of the Cedars’ burgeoning arts community, and it enlisted SemosMauldin Bespoke Art Consultancy to see it through. The duo, gallerist MK Semos and interior designer/gallerist Jen Mauldin, curated trendy, Instagram-friendly spaces, complete with art from notable locals like Haylee Ryan, Kyle Steed, Jeremy Biggers, and Riley Holloway. Almost all of the artwork is for sale, and some of the more extravagant hotel packages actually include a consultation with SemosMauldin and credit toward a purchase. Several of the artists included in my “Where To Buy Art in Dallas” story are featured in the hotel’s collection.
It’s an ideal space to shop for art (less stuffy than a gallery), or simply a nice place to grab a drink and soak in the scene. Once the weather warms up, I predict that the remodeled rooftop pool bar, with its skyline view, infinity pool, and rotating art gallery, will attract as many locals as it does hotel guests.