Our hotel for the Dallas trip was the Gaylord Texan, a vast building some 8 storeys high with something like 1,800 rooms, a glass, high domed central atrium, 5 eating places (including a 24 hour coffee shop), swimming pool, shops, ‘outdoor’ seating, four and a half acres of indoor gardens including fountains, rivers, flower beds, trees, model railways etc etc. Attached to it, and accessible via a link from the main hotel so that we did not need to go out into the big wide world, was an enormous convention centre with enough space to house a small town! It had every facility a conference/convention could possibly need – vast rooms, large rooms, small rooms, restrooms… There was an outside pool, but the water was on the slightly chilly side for a swim, and it was almost the only outside space available for guests to use.
There really was absolutely no need to venture outside at all, but after being inside for 24 hours, I craved fresh air, and the windows in the bedrooms didn’t open, in fact I can’t remember seeing any opening windows anywhere. The temperature inside the three atriums (or should that be atria?) was climate controlled and the whole thing was like being in a hermetically sealed bubble – just like I used to imagine a futuristic moon city might be like when I was a child. It was all rather surreal to be in this rarified atmosphere, but with buildings that looked like they should be outside.
I tried to take some photos that would do it justice, but they don’t capture it completely because they cannot give the sense of space and accompanying sounds (mainly water fountains). I also thought I had taken loads more photos of inside, but sadly not. Here are a few that might give you an idea of what it was like: