Arrival Experience: This is a classic hill country resort that comes with all the amenities expected of a family-friendly, conference-focused resort. It is on the outskirts of town, but most guests come here to explore the grounds or enjoy the spa. Still, a daily escapade into the city’s Riverwalk is easy to organize. What is surprising is the elegant twist that is exhibited throughout the property. This resort goes beyond your typical convention powerhouse to become more of a destination focused on making a grand, Texas-sized impression. Soaring windows, regional pine wood, and crackling fireplaces mark most of the public areas. Guests can take in some of the sprawling grounds from rocking chairs on the spacious verandahs. Local artists were tasks with decorating much of the public space, and the friendly staffers are often proud to show it off.
Dining: The lobby peers down into a lower level where the main bar is located. It spans a lengthy swath to cater to the frequent conference groups that can crowd its space. Fireplaces, outdoor seating areas, and quieter conversation spaces are available. On either side are dining options. One is a sports-focused bar and restaurant that can be used by meeting groups, but often a lively spot used by all when games are being shown. Its 120 foot long screen is the showpiece of this casual spot. The other is the resort’s popular show-kitchen restaurant, Cibolo Moon, preparing innovative southwestern fare. Many of the herbs, fruits, and vegetables on the menu are grown on the resort grounds. An amazing breakfast buffet incorporates local cheeses, hand-made salsas, and fresh pastries. Lunch and dinner are also served here with a similar menu designed to impress. Meeting goers have Marriott’s standard Starbucks partnership to rely on as they pass through the main shopping area (a FedEx shipping shop is also in house). At the clubhouse, 18 Oaks serves prime cuts of meat, fresh seafood, and delicious salads.
Rooms: Accommodations come in classic Marriott colors and feature pillowtop mattresses and thick pillows to help guests slumber well. Sitting areas, desks with easy access power, flat-screen cable TVs, and safes come standard. All feature wireless high speed Internet (free for loyalty program members) and the ability to connect devices via TV power ports. Furnished balconies overlook the grounds from most rooms, but all have peaceful views of the golf course, pools, and main buildings. Bathrooms are stocked with plentiful towels and Aromatherapy Associates toiletries. Suites are especially popular with living areas adding to the square footage. As one of the largest hotels in town, walks to most rooms can be lengthy, but signage is excellent and views of the pool, golf course, and surrounding hill country are beautiful from balconies.
Amenities: Stained glass flowers designed by a local artist dangle from the ceilings in the meeting areas. Free wireless Internet runs standard throughout the property. Guests love the full fitness center that is nicer than many big city health clubs. An adjoining spa features a variety of spa and beauty treatments plus relaxation areas with hot and cold plunge pools, relaxation areas, steam rooms, saunas, and experience showers. Of special note is the Native American influence, which includes the ability for all spa goers to tie a ribbon, which represents one of their current stresses that will hopefully represent an alleviated concern after one’s treatment. Recreation is a highlight here with outdoorsy activities readily available. Outdoor swimming centers around the lazy river pool although there is plenty of space for adults-only relaxation. Staffers circle round to take orders for everything from cocktails to afternoon snacks. Two PGA Tour Tournament Players Club golf courses entertain duffers. Special meeting and important social functions love the 1,200-sq-ft, free-standing Sunday House, once a second home for German-American farmers and ranchers came to town for provisions and Sunday worship. With comfortable rooms, oversized pools with waterslides and lounge chairs, a huge spa and plentiful meeting space, this is an ideal spot for conference groups and vacationing families alike.