The Gaylord Texan was kind enough to treat me to a complimentary night’s stay in exchange for sharing my experience with you guys. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
I visited Dallas back in July for a friend’s wedding and as usual, I had to seek out the most interesting places to stay in the area! If you’ve been reading for a while you know I tend towards small, quirky hotels, but in this case I went BIG. That photo above? That’s taken INSIDE the hotel. Most of the rooms are situated around a giant atrium that not only towers above you but also stretches on and on and… you get the idea. You can stroll through more than four acres of landscaped gardens without worrying about the Texas summer heat, pop into stores to pick up unique souvenirs, or dine at one of the nine restaurants and bars without ever stepping outside of the hotel.
Image via Marriott because my exterior shots look mediocre in comparison.
You could seriously spend an entire afternoon just wandering around the atrium, checking out the cool artwork and architecture.
I believe the exhibits rotate, but during my visit there was Texas-themed art on display all over the resort, most by Texas artists. It’s a perfect space for art since you can fit oversized pieces that would be out of place elsewhere:
If being surrounded by so much cool art inspires you to create some of your own, you can sign up for a group painting class and make your own masterpiece:
Despite the absolutely massive size of the atrium, it’s pretty easy to navigate, especially with helpful signs to point you in the right direction.
The layout of my room was pretty traditional – two queen-size beds, a work desk, and entertainment center. (The TV has Hulu and Netflix, but you need to have your own account to use them.) There were a few notably cool design touches – I absolutely loved the detail on the side of this custom-designed desk:
Now that I almost always work while I’m traveling (ah, the joys of freelance writing!), I’ve come to really appreciate a good work desk, especially one like this with a bunch of built-in outlets.
The double vanity area is separate from the bathroom and includes four outlets, a really cool lighted mirror, and a convenient stool to sit on.
I’m always happy when hotels have Gilchrist & Soames products! These smell so good and were crafted in partnership with the on-site Relache spa.
The balcony was the coolest part of the room:
It’s a little hard to hear me over the atrium fountain. You can only see about 1/3 of the entire length of the atrium here!
The hotel also has a large fitness center with a nice variety of equipment:
In addition to the full-service restaurants, they have some fantastic grab and go options!
AND two on-site Starbucks locations. Clearly they understand my needs.
There’s an indoor pool and an outdoor pool…
But there’s also an entire water park that’s only open to guests of the resort! Since I only stayed one night and most of that was taken up by the wedding, I ran out of time to go check it out. The ten-acre Paradise Springs Water Park features a lazy river, water slides, a huge lagoon-style pool, a toddler pool, a zip line, and more. Knowing how expensive regular water parks can be, booking a room at the Gaylord Texan could be a really budget-friendly choice if you’re traveling with kids who want an afternoon to splash around and enjoy the sun!
Parking is one of the few areas where I feel like the resort could really improve. Valet parking is available for $31 per night, and self parking is $22 plus tax for an overnight stay. (Just parking for an hour or two starts at $19.) Hotel guests do have in and out privileges from the parking garage, which is nice since I had a moment of despair when I realized that I needed to leave the resort to go to my friend’s wedding about four hours after checking in, which would have otherwise meant spending upwards of $40 for parking. Having a covered garage that keeps the Texas heat off your car is definitely a nice perk, but it seems out of character for such a nice resort to tack on a pretty hefty charge when it’s not located in a downtown area where space to park is at a premium and guests are likely already spending quite a bit of extra money at the on-site restaurants and shops. (Most hotels in downtown Dallas seem to have similar parking charges, but the Gaylord Texan is almost half an hour out of town and on its own fairly expansive plot of land.) The garage is about a two or three minute walk from the lobby which isn’t bad at all, but not exactly the most fun you can have while carrying 3 bags on a 93 degree day. Just be sure to mentally add an extra $20+ per night to the room rate when making your vacation plans if you’re driving or renting a car and need to stick to a vacation budget!
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the Gaylord Texan and wished I’d had an extra day to enjoy all that the resort has to offer. The Grapevine area is fun and historic and offers tons of things to do, and this is the perfect place to stay if you’re planning a day of wandering the cute boutique shops and historic sites nearby. Traffic in the Dallas area is absolutely nuts, so having so many dining and recreation options right at the hotel is a huge plus. I’d especially recommend this hotel if you’re just passing through the area and want to soak up a lot of Texas feeling/atmosphere in just one night.
Thanks again to the hotel for making my stay so great, and allowing me the opportunity to share my experience with my readers!