Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

Southern Texas

Hotels and venues in the Lone Star State have been revamping, reopening and debuting, and are ready to host your next gathering.

Why Southern Texas for Your Next Meeting or Event?

Remember the Alamo? It and all the other iconic Lone Star destinations are ready to see your groups again. New hotels are opening their doors just in time, such as two Thompson properties: one in San Antonio, near the former mission, and another in the state capital. 

After Gov. Abbott lifted all pandemic restrictions in the state, mayors in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and other cities reiterated that masks must be worn in such city-owned spaces as convention centers.

Austin

Recent Updates to Hotels and Venues for Meetings and Events
  • The 613-room Austin Marriott Downtown, with more than 60,000 square feet of meeting space and an event terrace by the rooftop pool, debuted in early March. The property features four spots for food and drink: Zanzibar on the rooftop, the signature Corinne restaurant, the two-story Lobbyist cocktail bar and the in-house grocer Loaf + Vine.
  • The 162-room Moxy Austin–University has opened at the University of Texas campus, the first of the brand to debut in the state. An outdoor venue, the Backyard, hosts up to 30 people for an event.
  • The expansion of the Austin Convention Center has been put on hold, as the city couldn't afford the land targeted for the project, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The center has achieved GBAC Star accreditation for its cleanliness and safety practices.
  • Scheduled to open midyear, the 212-room Thompson Austin will be part of a mixed-use development downtown. The ground-floor restaurant will be an Austin outpost of a Savannah, Ga., eatery, and a fourth-floor deck will feature two bars, a pool and private event space. For groups, there will be a 3,500-square-foot grand ballroom, a junior ballroom and three breakout rooms.
  • Greater Austin features more than 39,000 guest rooms. Major downtown hotels include the 1,048 Fairmont Austin Hotel, 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin and 801-room Hilton Austin.
Group Venues 
  • Put fun on the agenda with a visit to Zip Lost Pines. The adventure park features long side-by-side zip lines so friends can ride together. For those who don’t want to fly, access to McKinney Roughs Nature Park and its 17 miles of trails is included.
  • A gorgeous bar marks the front lounge of The Eleanor, a fun 3,750-square-foot space for a night out in Austin. The main room at the back doubles as a dance floor when the music’s just right.

Travel Essentials

Convention Center:Austin Convention Center; exhibit space, 247,052 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 54

Airport Transit:Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, about 8 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $28; by shuttle, $12; Uber and Lyft start at about $25

Taxes: Room tax, 9%; sales tax, 8.25%; total tax on rooms, 17%

CVB:Visit Austin

Local Topper
Arrange for your VIPs to get the gift of a lifetime — an authentic custom-made felt or straw cowboy hat from Catalena Hatters near College Station in Bryan. A range of styles and colors (from white and beige to grey and black) are available, along with a variety of braided or belted décor options.

College Station

Recent Updates to Hotels and Venues for Meetings and Events
Group Venue
  • When Texas A&M’s Aggies aren’t at home, groups are welcome to use Kyle Field for events. The stadium’s Ford Hall of Champions offers an expansive 30,000 square feet of space.

Travel Essentials

Airport Transit: Easterwood Airport, about 4 miles from downtown. Most hotels offer shuttle service.

Taxes: Room tax, 7%; county and state tax, 8.75%; total tax on rooms, 15.75%

CVB: City of College Station

San Antonio

Recent Updates to Hotels and Venues for Meetings and Events
  • The 162- room Thompson San Antonio, part of a mixed-use development on the River Walk, was unveiled in March. For food and drink, the hotel offers Landrace, led by James Beard Award–finalist Steve McHugh; a 20th-floor rooftop restaurant, the Moon’s Daughters; and the fourth-floor Cenote pool deck and bar. Also on site are a 5,000-square-foot full-service spa and 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.
  • Coming in May is the 195-room Canopy by Hilton Riverwalk. The Civil War-era Alamo Fish Market has been integrated into the hotel’s 20-story design. The restaurant will offer an outdoor terrace overlooking the River Walk.
  • Last July, the Omni La Mansion del Rio completed renovations to all 338 rooms. Added were smart TVs, dedicated WiFi internet access for guests and an RFID door-lock system.
  • Group properties include the 1,003-room Grand Hyatt San Antonio, 1,002-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa and 1,001-room Marriott Rivercenter.
Group Venue 

Seven signature beers and outdoor space for mingling are available for up to, yes, 18,000 people at the expansive Alamo Beer Co.

Travel Essentials

Convention Center:Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center; exhibit space, 514,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 70

Airport Transit:San Antonio International Airport, 8 miles north of downtown. Transfer cost to downtown by taxi, $29; Lyft and Uber start at $17

Taxes: Room tax, 16.75%; sales tax, 8.125%; total tax on rooms, 16.75%

CVB: Visit San Antonio

2020 Stella Award Winners