Omni Dallas bedzkqWhether traveling alone or with my family, I love that moment when I’m standing outside the hotel room door, ready to insert the key card, for the sound of the lock click so I can enter. Outside my room at the Omni in Dallas, Texas anticipation builds as I push open the door to reveal what’s behind door-number-whatever. 

I enter and before my eyes can adjust to the natural light streaming in from the windows, I hear soft music playing in welcome. I’ve only crossed the threshold and already I’m feeling a little giddy. I already like what I hear. Will I like what I see?

I love clean

What I love the most, and am also the most critical of, is the cleanliness of a hotel room. It not only has to look clean, it has to smell clean, and not in a piney or lemony way, and certainly not in a stale, no-one-has-been-here-for-weeks kind of way—just clean. Omni Dallas delivers.

The bedroom is a gallery

The neutral colors of the bedding, the walls, and the furniture together create a modest background that accentuates the original artwork displayed throughout the room. That’s just one of the personal touches Omni Dallas I look forward to waking up each morning of my stay surrounded by beautiful, expressive art.

Omni Dallas toothbrushLittle things make the biggest difference

Staying at a hotel while working a conference, especially a family travel conference, means I spend more time coming and going than actually staying in the hotel room. I pop in to drop stuff off, brush my teeth and head back down to the conference floor.

Then, at the end of the day, I return to my room, tired, ready to fall into bed and sleep until the insanity starts again the next day. So, little things really can really make a difference in how I feel at the end of a long day. At Omni Dallas, it was discovering my toothbrush incorporated into the folds of washcloth “art” that made my day end with a smile.

If I could change one thing

My room at the Omni Dallas only lacked only one thing – a convenient place to plug in chargers for my cell phone and tablet. The only easy to reach outlet was at the entrance, just behind the door where the coffee bar was set up. I tend to use my phone as my alarm clock, and I like to plug it in before I go to bed, preferably on the night stand. Unfortunately, there were no open, easy to reach outlets by the bed.

Geeky coolomni welcome zkq

Remember that music I mentioned at the beginning? It was emanating from the flat screen monitor attached to the wall above the built-in desk. Displayed on the screen was a personalized welcome message from Reception to me. Using the remote, I could scan messages, find out what was going on at the hotel, listen to music, or simply watch TV. And, while that was all very cool, the streamlined television display incorporated into the mirror of the bathroom wins the cool-factor award. Imagine soaking in the tub while watching your favorite show on TV? What kid, mom, or dad, young or old, is not going to like that? It’s not just cool, it’s geeky cool. 

I was a guest of this hotel as part of the Family Travel Conference. My room fee was included in the conference fee. Opinions expressed are my own.

Z. Kelly Queijo is founder of, a college-visit traveling planning and college search portal for college-bound teens and their families. She is also a freelance journalist focusing on higher education, technology, travel and college visits. Follow her on Twitter @zkellyq and @collegevisit.