Everything’s Bigger in Texas

written by | Posted on October 19th, 2011

San Antonio's bustling riverwalk.

This fall, the Lone Star State is living up to this old saying with a slew of events, hotel packages and several new—and newly improved—hotel properties.

Hot Hotel Digs Since it was first built in 1968 to bring the World’s Fair to the city of San Antonio, the Hilton Palacio del Rio has long been an iconic part of the city’s skyline. Situated just two blocks from the historic Alamo, the property is in the midst of a $33 million renovation, which already included updates to all 482 of its guestrooms. Accommodations now feature hacienda-style decor, complete with dark hardwood floors in the entries, local artwork and hand-carved headboards. Other updates include expanded bathrooms and 37-inch HDTVs.

Hilton Palacio del Rio is located walking distance to most downtown attractions, including HemisFair Park and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. For more information, including nightly rates, visit palaciodelrio.hilton.com.

Over in Dallas, visitors can check out the new Omni Dallas Hotel, a LEED-certified property slated to open Nov. 11. Located in close proximity to plenty of restaurants and shops, Omni Dallas Hotel will feature 1,001 guestrooms—including 67 suites and three presidential suites—the full-service Mokara Spa, a fitness center and rooftop pool terrace. Dining options include Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Texas Spice—an innovative farm-to-table restaurant—and the Owner’s Box sports bar.

For more information, visit omnihotels.com.

Enticing Deals If your clients are looking for a ladies-only retreat, send them to Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine to enjoy the property’s Girls’ Getaway package. Priced from $303 dbl per night, this package includes VIP check-in, a cheese platter upon arrival, chocolate martinis, full daily breakfast, VIP admission and two appetizers at the Glass Cactus restaurant, unlimited use of the fitness center, 20 percent off select spa services at Relache-The Spa at Gaylord Texan, and 20 percent off at all resort retail shops. This offer is valid through Dec. 31. For more information, visit gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-texan.

For travelers with romance on their agenda, suggest the Texas Wine Trail package at the Star Of Texas Bed & Breakfast in Brownwood. With this package, guests will receive 2-night accommodations, breakfast in bed each morning, a picnic lunch and a special dinner of handmade pizza with chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary bottle of Texas wine with both lunch and dinner. Rates run $549 for two nights. For more information, visit star-of-texas.com.

Adventurers, meanwhile, can head over to the Alden Houston for the ultimate explorer’s package that allows guests to discover the best of what downtown Houston has to offer. Priced from $149 per night, the Alden Houston Explorer package includes accommodations in a king guestroom, free downtown transportation within a 3 mile radius of the hotel (based on availability), two all-day light rail passes and an in-room Happy Hour Kit to create guest’s own favorite cocktail (they can also opt for a bucket of beer if that’s more their style). For more information, visit aldenhotels.com.

Fun Fall Events Whether it’s a family-friendly afternoon or a cultural affair, Texas is always abuzz with events. Here are just a few your clients can check out this fall and winter:

• Wursfest, a 10-day celebration of German culture, will kick off Nov. 4 in San Antonio’s Landa Park, as well as other venues throughout New Braunfels and Comal County. Here, guests will find a variety of entertainment options, including a polka contest, games, rides, food and drinks.

• Sundance Cinemas Houston will open next month in Houston’s downtown theater district, offering a diverse line up of movies, special filmmaker screenings and exclusive events for film buffs.

• “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice,” a family-friendly exhibit showcasing the mysterious world of dinosaurs, will run through Jan. 16 at the Austin Children’s Museum.

• The popular musical “Wicked” will return to Austin at the Texas Performing Arts Bass Concert Hall, playing Jan. 25 to Feb. 12.

For more information on travel to Texas, visit the state’s official tourism website at traveltex.com.