If you want to recharge the batteries but don't necessarily want to make a long drive, check out the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. You can get there in about 45 minutes max from this part of the metroplex.
This hotel is nothing short of magnificent! Rhonda and I are very fond of southwestern architecture, so it was no surprise we fell in love with it the first time we saw it. The craftsmanship in stonework and travertine marble flooring throughout the resort is just mind boggling. You really feel like you have left the Dallas area for a New Mexico or Arizona vacation.
The common areas are beneath a massive glass canopy so you are safe to visit any time of year. Water falls and 40' tall dancing fountains are located all throughout the huge atrium. The sounds of falling water tend to cancel out the people noises, so we like to open our balcony door at night to bring it into our room. The atrium is just as spectacular at night as it is during the day.
The Gaylord Texan will remind you of old Mexico, the San Antonio Riverwalk and even the Alamo. The plantings are perfectly maintained and the hotel is always changing out the color. The plants are all real and thrive in the controlled environment.
The hotel offers shopping in their specialty stores, but it is best known for its dining, namely Ama Lur. This is one of world famous, Stephan Pyles' restaurants. Of course, it is very pricey, but the southwestern cuisine is the best we have ever had. There are four or five other restaurants scattered throughout the resort, some located on the the winding river.
There is always something for the kids too, especially at Christmas. The hotel always seems to have a train set or two running somewhere. You will also often find jugglers, balloon artists, and even a petting zoo. Kids can also enjoy the outdoor pool and grille.
We were told that Summer is their off-season, so that is when you can get a good deal on a room. We recently stayed on a Friday night for $139, which really surprised me. This was a great room about nine floors up overlooking the atrium. We have paid as much as $400 for a double room suite in the winter, so their summer rates are significantly lower than their peak seasons with conventions.
While you are there, you might want to visit the Bass Pro Shop, Outdoor World, White River, and Tracker Boats stores. They are all connected and right down the street from the hotel. Even if you aren't a hunter or fisherman, it's a lot of fun just to walk around.
And Right down the street from the Gaylord is Outdoor World and Bass Pro Shops, a huge outdoor sports store. You can spend hours in the store looking at the boats, fish tanks, and outdoor camping and hiking equipment.
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