As you whiz down Stemmons Freeway in Dallas -- or crawl, depending on traffic -- you probably don't picture sunbathers sipping sangria back behind the giant Hilton Anatole hotel.
Its new JadeWaters resort offers an attractive, fun new hideaway in the summertime. It's only open to customers who are staying at the Hilton Anatole hotel, though that exclusivity means less-concentrated crowds.
The 1,600-room Anatole, opened in 1978, is one of Dallas's top business and conference hotels. It's known for its big private event spaces that host wedding receptions and lavish charity balls. The hotel is now attracting guests in a less formal way with JadeWaters, a 3-acre, resort-style waterpark that opened in 2016.
JadeWaters can serve as a family retreat, a romantic hideout or a beach party bonanza. If "romantic" and "resort waterpark" don't match-up with your logic, drink to this: There's a designated "adults only" area featuring a large pool with a swim up bar and in-pool cocktail tables with submerged seating (yes, you read that correctly).
Try the watermelon margarita, made from chunks of fresh watermelon that are soaked overnight in tequila. Or step into the open-air poolside spa for a scalp massage and mask or a coconut milk Foot Quench.
Your kiddos won't be left in the shallow end. A kid's concierge -- nice, right? -- hands out games, snacks and info about fun events like craft workshops, duck races and family bingo. There's also a kid's happy hour with snow cones. Both kids and adults can eat at JadeWaters Grill + Bar, which serves more sophisticated fare like ceviche with octopus and shrimp on the menu and stuff for the young at heart like funnel cake fries.
But those two 180-foot, curvy waterslides and a 7,000-square foot "activity bay" complete with basketball goals and spraying fountains means the young ones won't be worried about what mom and dad are up to. (They're in the 630-foot lazy river, most likely.)
Attendees can rent cabanas with TVs, fans and refrigerators stocked with juice and water. Some even come with rather elaborate, oversized daybeds. They cost $325 to $425 per day.
Next time you're stuck in traffic on I-35 and you look over to see the looming Anatole hotel, just think: Urban escape is an exit ramp (and the cost of a hotel room) away.
JadeWaters at Hilton Anatole hotel is located at 2201 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas. It's open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Entrance to JadeWaters is included in the price of a hotel room. Customers get two wristbands for a king bed room and four for queen or double bed rooms. Up to two additional wristbands can be purchased for $25 each per day.