Pros: Top-drawer luxury in surroundings, food, and service.
Cons: Well ...ya gotta be able to afford it. Maybe one trip instead of two..??
When I volunteered at my workplace to travel out of state for special training I had no idea of the sweet perquisites that would come with it.
Traveling to the Dallas area and staying at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas was the best part of the experience. If only that annoying 'workplace training' nonsense had not kept getting in the way of really enjoying myself..!!
The Gaylord Texan is one of four colossal U.S. resort facilities operated by the Gaylord Hotel corporation. At their website, the company's founding and ongoing business philosophy is said to be recognized as the "only multi-property hospitality company guided by a single focus: extraordinary meetings and conventions."
With 1500-plus rooms it might seem it would be easy to feel that you would be lost as an individual guest. But I never felt that way. Every question or need I had was met with prompt and helpful answers or solutions. I am sure part of that was simply the fact I was but one guest sponsored by a much larger local corporation that provides hundreds of guests per year at six nights each. It surely represents a business niche worth protecting.
The corporate website tries to play up the "sumptuous surroundings" their rooms offer. But hey, all I needed was a comfortable bed ...*check*, a coffee maker that works ...*check*, and a reliable alarm clock and wake-up service ...*check*. The rest are all basics we expect from any commercial hotel room.
OK, OK ...there was an ironing board and iron ...like I would know what to do with those. Oh, there was also an electronic 'room safe' large enough to hold valuables and laptop/recharger.
The Gaylord Texan is not about the rooms. The Gaylord Texan is about its resort opportunities. With the 1500 rooms arranged in three inter-locking multi-story wings, a huge glass dome covers a multi-story atrium. It is really an impressive place. A 'river' runs through it and there are numerous walking paths winding throughout the enclosed area. There are at least four full-sized restaurants, a large fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, numerous shopping opportunities, a health and beauty spa, meeting rooms, gourmet coffee shop, wine bar, a kids' entertainment area, and numerous other entertainment and resort appointments. You truly could spend several days experiencing new things and never need to leave the Texan premises.
The important thing to remember about the Gaylord Texan is that it is expensive. Well, at least for my working-man budget. The room I was in was a normal rate near $200 a night. Uhmmm, no, not within my normal travel budget. The food was great in the restaurants I visited, much better than fast food and priced that way.
While looking at reviews 'elsewhere' on the web I noticed some customers complaining about noisy kids and thin walls with drunken neighbors. Perhaps because my stay was Sunday through Thursday I noticed none of that. But it would seem highly unlikely to me. Just saying.
Other drawbacks are high on-site parking charges; a luxury resort fee for each day which, to be honest, is buried in the fine print; and a 'sameness' to the experience that would not be felt for a shorter stay.
The Bottom Line
I cannot speak to their meeting the needs of corporate meetings and conventions.
But would I pay the money out of my own pocket for a stay here..?? Yeah, I would ...for that special, special getaway I likely would. I would also carefully check out the special packages available through the hotel. There is a current one for a Teachers' Holiday Getaway for only $109 per night that is a steal at that price. If you are a teacher or an educator in the area, check it out.
If you can afford steak instead of ground beef then Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas would be a great choice for a special getaway weekend.
Certified 'lean-n-mean' review.
Check out the 2009 write-off here: Lean-n-Mean VIII
This is also an entry in fellow user texas-swede's Texas+Sweden Write Off.