This New Downtown Fort Worth Hotel Mixes The Old and New of Cowtown
See full Paper City Magazine article by Megan Ziots here.
Opened in the 101-year-old Farmers and Mechanics National Bank Building, the Kimpton Harper Hotel brought 226 modern rooms and suites, an Italian restaurant, and a chic penthouse bar to downtown Fort Worth in June 2021. Busy with life in Dallas, it had been a while since I had ventured over to Cowtown for a staycation. So I packed a bag and checked into the new hotel for an evening.
First Glance: Kimpton Harper Fort Worth
When you arrive at the Kimpton Harper (and after valeting your car), you must take an elevator up to the 24th-floor lobby to check in. The elevators are original to the historic building and are just the beginning of the well-preserved touches you’ll notice.
Built in 1921 by local architecture firm Sanguinet & Staats, the former XTO Energy office building has been transformed into a beautiful, contemporary destination in the middle of downtown Fort Worth.
When you check in, you’ll notice an old rotary phone sitting on the desk. The Champagne Phone is picked up by the front desk when a guest presses a “Champagne button” on their phone in-room. It’s available for any champagne emergency one might find themselves in. In partnership with Veuve Clicquot, for $200 guests can opt for a champagne experience in-room.
We stayed in a King suite on the 20th floor that offered great views of the city. Designed by Cynthia Forchielli of Forchielli Glynn Interior Design, the hotel has an overall contemporary, mid-century vibe. The suite comes with a spacious living room and separate bedroom boasting handcrafted furniture and local art. If you peek in the closet, there’s a black panther figurine — a nod to Panther Island.
The Little Things
Each suite boasts a soaking tub inside of a large shower area with Atelier Bloem bath products and robes. There’s also Frette Luxury bedding, Bluetooth speakers, and a large TV in each room.
Eating and Drinking at Kimpton Harper in Fort Worth
Around 5 pm, we headed back up to the lobby for the hotel’s daily complimentary wine/cocktail hour. After we grabbed our sample, we headed over to the Refinery 714 bar on the other side of the floor. This bar also offers sweeping views of the city and will one day add on a rooftop bar that you can access by an elevator — currently a “mystery elevator” you’ll find between the lobby and bar areas. There’s also a private room for events like cocktail classes.
Before heading downstairs to il Modo for dinner, we tried a couple of cocktails made by mixologist Zak Reynolds. I don’t know exactly what he put in it, but order the Espresso Martini — just do it. With a hint of orange, it is unlike any other iteration of the classic cocktail I’ve ever had. A few other signatures are the Texas 75, Smokey Oakley (mezcal and pineapple flavors), and Tipsy Tori — a vodka, benedictine, grapefruit juice, orgeat, lime, orange, and cranberry concoction.
We then headed down to the ground floor for a dinner reservation at il Modo. Led by chef Greg Pawlowski, the modern Italian spot offers some great meatballs made with dry-aged beef, spicy pomodoro, basil, and parmesan. We also ordered the Agnolotti — a sweet and savory mix of roasted squash-filled pasta and sage brown butter. And if you’re not in the mood for house-made pasta (which you can view the process through a glass window into the private dining area), the restaurant offers entrees like short rib, chicken, salmon, and steak.
By the time we got done with dinner, I wish we had saved room to test out the Champagne Phone, but we were stuffed. Next time.