Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Offers Prime Stay for Solar Eclipse

On April 8, the U.S. will experience a rare astronomical event as the moon completely blocks the sun. The last total solar eclipse occurred in 2017, and the next one won’t take place until 2045. This year’s event promises to be even better than 2017’s, lasting almost twice as long and passing over some of the country’s more populated regions. One of the best places to view the eclipse — while enjoying some down-home hospitality — is Plano, Texas, about 20 minutes north of Dallas. And one of the best places to stay during your celestial outing is the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West.

Sitting lounge at Renaissance Dallas features illuminated shelving with Asian decorA wall of longhorn skull sculptures decorates the lobby of the Renaissance Dallas Plano

West Meets Zen

The Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, which opened just days after the last solar eclipse in 2017, is part of the Marriott brand of hotels. It is located on Legacy Drive at the intersection of Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121 — an easy 20-minute Uber ride from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

The AAA Four Diamond 15-story glass hotel boasts a fusion of Western attitude and Zen-like Asian aesthetics that’s immediately noticeable upon entry into the spacious lobby. Sleek lines, contemporary furnishings, and organic materials such as bamboo, rattan and wood are complemented by a wall of artistic longhorn skull sculptures, cowhide pillows, and cowboy-themed artworks.  

The look continues in the 304 guest rooms and suites. Textured earth-toned wallpaper allows red accents to pop. A maneki-neko (lucky cat) sits on the room desk next to a straw cowboy hat decorated with a metal longhorn hat band. And two bolster pillows on the bed announce “cowboy” and “samurai.”

I stayed in a King room on the 12th floor. The room was spacious and clean, and the bed was extremely comfortable. There was plenty of room to set up my suitcase on the rack without tripping over it, as is usually the case, and the desk offered a surface large enough to work and eat on at the same time. The room also included a safe, a flat-screen TV, and a mini-fridge. It did not, however, have a coffee maker. While that’s not a problem for me, as I don’t drink coffee, it could be irksome for those who need that jolt of caffeine first thing in the morning.

King bedroom at Renaissance Dallas Plano features white linens, red accents and wall of windows  

On-Site Amenities

There are two on-site restaurants. Oma offers breakfast and brunch. And Whiskey Moon, the stylish lobby bar, serves lunch and dinner. Before heading out for the evening, stop by Whiskey Moon for the “punch ritual.” Every week day at 6 p.m., a gong is sounded and the mixologists serve up complimentary cups of the punch of the day. Just looking for a quick afternoon refreshment? The Texas Teahouse & Market has coffee, teas, bubble tea, bottled drinks, and light bites.

While I did not dine in the hotel, I did order room service for an early-morning breakfast prior to checkout, and the service was quick and the food hot and fresh.

The hotel also includes 30,000-square-feet of conference space, a fitness center, club level with lounge, and an amenity deck with a heated pool, outdoor bar, grill, and event space.

Server behind counter at Texas Teahouse in Renaissance Dallas Plano

What’s Near the Renaissance Dallas

The area surrounding the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West hotel is home to corporate headquarters for a number of worldwide businesses, including Toyota, JC Penney, Frito-Lay, FedEx Office, and telecommunications company Ericsson. But don’t let that fool you. There’s also plenty for visitors to see and do, all within walking distance.

If you forget any toiletries or just want to stock up on bottled water or soda, there’s a CVS right next door. And just steps to the east and stretching north for about a half mile is Legacy West. The open-air shopping district lined with luxury brands, trendy restaurants, and a popular food hall that offers just about every international cuisine you could imagine. And a bit more east and across the Dallas North Tollway — but still within easy walking distance — is the Shops at Legacy North, another shopping center with more restaurants, a luxury spa, beauty and lifestyle salons, and more.

The area also is peppered with green spaces, parks, and soothing water features, offering miles of pathways for walking, biking, and just enjoying the fresh air.A photographic triptych featuring cowboys on horseback overlooks a quite corner seating area at Renaissance Dallas Plano

Stay at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West

On-site and valet parking are available for a daily fee. However, the hotel’s central location makes it ideal for ride-shares, which are plentiful — during my stay, I never had to wait more than 5 minutes for an Uber.

If you plan on visiting Texas for the celestial event, the hotel is offering stargazers a solar eclipse package that’s valid on bookings through April 30. It includes a 1 p.m. late checkout. And on the day of the eclipse, the hotel will be hosting a special viewing party for guests. Additional packages are available on the hotel’s website. You can also check Expedia for rates outside of the eclipse and reserve a room from there.

You can also view the eclipse in nearby Dallas. For some great places to stay, check out our reviews of hotels in the Big D.

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