If one of your objectives is to host a signature outdoor event with your next program, remember: everything is “bigger and better” in Texas. Particularly for corporate events hosted in fall, winter, or spring – temperatures in the 60s, 70s, and 80s make being outside in the evening incredibly pleasant. It’s the kind of climate that makes your planning timeframe easy.
We’re also partial because we have some extraordinary new and unique outdoor event spaces and destinations to offer up. Our growing footprint in the Lone Star State includes four properties (three new) that offer innovative outdoor spaces, each offering something very different: a rooftop pool deck with a panoramic view in College Station, just across the street from Texas A&M’s famed Kyle Field (the property just opened in September); an elegant patio and upstairs terrace along the most scenic stretch of San Antonio’s historic River Walk; two stunning outdoor meetings spaces above the endless green fairways of two golf courses in Texas Hill Country 20 minutes outside of San Antonio; and a huge green and pool complex, complete with massive outdoor video screen at our exciting new property in Allen, near Dallas that just debuted in 2019.
Plus, if you book a new meeting at one of our Benchmark of Texas hotels by March 31, 2019, for a date between now and December 31, 2019, you’ll receive a complimentary Chef Stephan Pyles–inspired Texas barbecue and deliver a truly authentic and memorable Lone Star culinary experience to your attendees. Below, we help you see whether one of these meeting venues is right for you with a breakdown of the unique outdoor space, the culinary offerings, and other highlights.
Little Venice in San Antonio
The Property Hotel Contessa (San Antonio, Texas)
The Outdoor Space Imagine hosting your event on a San Antonio River–level patio overlooking the most beautiful section of San Antonio’s famous River Walk. With barges slowly passing by and greenery everywhere, it can feel like a little Venice in the heart of Texas. A beloved cypress tree that was planted over a century ago formed a small island just off the hotel’s patio, on the water, and is now known as Marriage Island – a favorite spot of guests for weddings and photo ops. For a little more privacy (and space), upstairs on the second floor, the river view terrace is perfect for dinners and receptions. There’s plenty of room, plus comfortable seating, and a spectacular view of the River Walk at this outdoor event space.
The Essentials 265 rooms (all suites); capacity downstairs on the patio: 60, though it’ll be tighter for a sit-down meal; capacity upstairs on the terrace: 75. 10,000 square feet of meeting space in total.
On the Menu: New Texas Inspiration Hotel Contessa’s new banquet menus focus on the unique cultural influences of San Antonio and have traditional Texas staples like prime cuts of locally sourced beef, seafood direct from the Gulf Coast, and opportunities to feature wild game. Plus, with strong Hispanic influences in the region, there are also touches of Latin American culture present, too. It’s that blend of inspiration that makes South Texas cuisine so special.
Dinner on the River To really put a flourish on your outdoor event, enjoy a river cruise dinner aboard a barge as you glide down the San Antonio River. It gives you the chance to break up one larger group into several smaller ones, making for a more intimate experience, as you enjoy conversation over dinner and the River Walk slowly passing by.
Making a BIG Splash at The Pond
The Property Delta Hotels By Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center (Allen, Texas)
The Outdoor Space The Pond, as Delta Hotels Dallas Allen’s pool is known, is surrounded by the patio and big, open green space (about 8,000 square feet of usable space), with cabana-style seating, fire pits, and a large, 11-by-18-foot video screen display – perfect for kicking back and watching drive-in movies, football in the fall, and showcasing company brand anthem videos. The lush and expansive space is like its own tropical island, set among the six- and seven-story buildings surrounding it, which turns an afternoon and evening event into a surreal outdoor escape amid the urban downtown of Allen.
The Essentials Opened in January, 2019. 300 rooms and suites; The Pond capacity: 450; a total of 90,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, making it the largest venue in the region.
On the Menu: Elevating Tex-Mex with Stephan Pyles Celebrity Chef and “Father of Southwestern Cuisine” Stephan Pyles is moving his famed Stampede 66 restaurant from downtown Dallas to the hotel, bringing his spin on elevated Tex-Mex with him. Think: his famous honey-injected fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and brisket tacos. The result is meals for corporate groups infused with a sense of the destination that will also garner rave reviews from your VIP attendees. The property also balances Stampede 66 with two additional, more casual restaurant options.
Road Warriors Welcome The hotel’s communal spaces and rooms were designed with the business traveler in mind. Free, fast internet, complimentary bottled water, and incredible in-room workspaces (with outlets and USB chargers in the desk itself and even in the lamp faces). You can work in the chair, at the desk, or on the bed – there are outlets everywhere in the room. Think of it as “the bare maximum” – all the things that make sense for your attendees to manage their email and other tasks quickly and efficiently, so they can be fully engaged for all your big events.
Your Corporate Event, 96 Yards from Kyle Field
The Property Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center (College Station, Texas)
The Outdoor Space Every fall, Kyle Field erupts with the yells of 102,000-plus Aggies cheering on the Texas A&M football team with an almost religious fervor. On Texas A&M Hotel’s expansive second-story patio and rooftop pool deck, your group can be less than a football field away from the stadium. While the college football season only runs for a slice of the year, the second-story outdoor space at Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center offers a customizable canvas year-round. The L-shaped space is anchored by the sparkling rooftop pool (which, appropriately, has the A&M logo at the bottom). Poolside cabanas back up to an Astroturf area (lawn games, anyone?), and the multilevel Block T Bar feeds directly onto the deck for indoor/outdoor opportunities.
The Essentials Newly opened in September. 250 rooms and suites. A total of 35,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space. Astroturf and pool deck capacity: 200; indoor/outdoor capacity using the multilevel T Bar as well: 350.
On the Menu: Texas Farm-to-Table Pyles is this hotel’s chief culinary advisor, so as you might imagine, the culinary options at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center (via hotel restaurant Brazos – Proper Texas Kitchen) have a strong Texas influence, with farm-to-table innovations using ingredients from Texas suppliers and inspired by the full spectrum of Texas cuisine.
Experience College Station Like an Aggie College Station is not just a town with a college in it; Aggie affability, pride, tradition, and experiences make this one of the most in-demand “howdy” destinations in Texas. And when your group is at the hotel, if you are looking for an insider Aggie recommendation, all you have to do is ask the staff – 53 percent of hotel staff comprises current and former Aggies! They’ll help direct you to some of the spots full of Aggie lore and traditions, such as Bottle Cap Alley and the campus statue of “Sully” stacked with students’ good-luck pennies. In short: When you’re a guest here, you’re a guest of the campus, and they roll out a welcoming howdy and the metaphorical “maroon carpet” for you.
Texas Hill Country on Display
The Property La Cantera Resort & Spa (San Antonio, Texas)
The Outdoor Space There’s plenty of options when you have 115,000 square feet spread across a dozen flexible indoor/outdoor meeting spaces. When it comes to taking in the beauty of both Texas Hill Country and the twinkling skyline of San Antonio at La Cantera, the two best spots are the breathtaking 6,500-square-foot foyer and terrace that’s connected to the property’s grand ballroom and the 3,100-square-foot Palo Duro, next to the Resort Clubhouse. With the resort’s two championship golf courses unfurled in front of you, encircled by the ambling Hill Country beyond, they’re the kind of spaces you might never want to leave.
The Essentials 495 rooms and suites. 115,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space, including two outdoor meeting spaces (3,100 and 6,500 square feet each).
On the Menu: Refined Southern Cooking With views like those on display in every direction, Texas-style favorites are clearly front and center. Favorites like Texas-style gumbo, smoked cheddar whipped potatoes, and a Hill Country barbecue let everyone roll up their sleeves. But your options don’t all have to come with an extra pile of napkins – La Cantera also offers plenty of delicately refined dishes such as seared sea bass with a white bean ragout.
For a limited time through March, book a new meeting at one of our Benchmarks of Texas hotels to be hosted in 2019 and receive a complimentary Texas Barbecue inspired by celebrated James Beard awarding-winning chef, Stephan Pyles.