After 25 years of vacancy, the historic Mercantile Commerce Building in Dallas has reopened as downtown’s first dual-branded hotel. The 193,265-square-foot space at 1712 Commerce Street will house both an AC Hotel by Marriott and Residence Inn Marriott.
“Having both hotels under one roof allows us to cater to our guests to help make their stay as comfortable as possible,” says Kellie Adams, general manager at the hotel. “The historic Mercantile Commerce Building is a gem, and we embraced some of its original artistry and architecture while implementing the dual-branded hotel’s contemporary environment and modern-day conveniences.”
Before Dallas-based hotel management and construction company NewcrestImage swooped in to create this 249-room, 21-story double-hotel, the building first opened in 1956 as a 15-floor office building for the Spartan National Life Insurance Company.
Adams recalls it once being called the Vaughn Building, named after Spartan board chair and prominent Texas developer, Jack C. Vaughn. The structure’s original designer, architect Wyatt C. Hedrick, is also known for numerous other contributions to Texas skylines including Fort Worth’s own Texas & Pacific Station and Will Rogers Memorial Center.
Named after founder and hotelier Antonio Catalan, AC Hotels are inspired by busy, creative travelers and aim to mix European sensibility with functional design. “The AC Hotel celebrates the beauty of clean, simple, and modern design with European-inspired decor and contemporary textures,” says Adams.
In fact, the hotel chain’s first Texas location boasts a collection of commissioned art pieces from around the world, all inspired by the fibers of a piece of “Texas rope.” Design for both hotels was done by Duncan Miller Ullman.
Amenities in the 128-room AC Hotel include:
- AC Lounge – Sells local craft beers, signature cocktails, specialty wines and a selection of tapas-style plates.
- AC Kitchen – Serves up a European take on “continental breakfast” with options such as croissants and egg tarts.
- AC Library – Provides an ample amount of reading materials and complimentary computers and printers.
- AC Lobby – Features “Kallpods,” which allow guests to immediately request a staff member’s attention.
- Meeting Spaces – The executive boardroom includes seating for up to 12 guests and two “media salons” seat five and six guests.
Both hotels may be under the same roof — with different lobbies, to boot — but Adams says Residence Inn is designed specifically with extended stay travelers and apartment-style accommodations in mind. “Every guest room is a suite with choice of studio or one bedroom options that afford guests a more spacious and functional living space,” she says. “Each suite is complete with fully-equipped kitchens.”
In terms of design, Residence Inn shoots for a hyper-local sense of style.
“While AC Hotel embraces an international flair, the Residence Inn spotlights Dallas’s signature landmarks and welcoming southern charm,” she says. “Custom-made pillows reveal an abstract of the city’s majestic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, headboards mimic the stitching of cowboy boots and lighting fixtures display the beautiful city skyline.”
Standout amenities in the 121-room Residence Inn include:
- 24/7 self-serve food and beverages in The Market
- Free grocery delivery
- Complimentary breakfast buffet
- The Residence Inn Mix – a happy hour offering premium and local beer three times per week.