San Antonio, Houston, Austin: They all have what it takes to grab your group and keep participants happy. Two Omni hotels have gone through extensive renovations recently, and a new Thompson property should debut in San Antonio by the end of the year.
• At the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion, an 8,800-square-foot meeting space that previously was used as a backup venue for outdoor events, has been turned into a permanent structure with the addition of heating, air conditioning and a sprinkler system. The resort features 27 holes of Arthur Hills-designed golf, the Windflower Spa, and six dining and cocktail outlets.
• Renovations are complete at the 99-room Mokara Hotel & Spa, an Omni Hotel. The work tackled the lobby and meetings spaces, with designs paying homage to the building’s former life as the L. Frank Saddlery Building. New is the Tejas Boardroom, a 222-square-foot space, and the property now has a total of 4,500 square feet for meetings. Also on-site are a 17,000-square-foot spa, a heated rooftop pool with a café, and a seafood restaurant called Ostra.
• Opening by the end of the year is the 162-room Thompson San Antonio Hotel on the River Walk. The property promises more than 5,000 square feet of riverfront meeting space.
• Expected to open this spring in the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus is Savor, a new student-run restaurant. Part of the city’s popular Pearl district, the open-kitchen eatery will focus on modern-American cuisine made with local ingredients from Texas farmers and ranchers. There will also be a full bar, as well as curated wine and beer lists.
This winter, a baby King penguin hatched in the Aquarium Pyramid at Moody Gardens
on Galveston Island. The parent penguins are 20-year residents at the attraction, both born on a research vessel and brought to the island in 1998. The 428-room property also features a Rainforest Pyramid, as well as 109,570 square feet of event space.
The city has more than 14,000 downtown hotel rooms. Top properties include the 1,003-room Grand Hyatt San Antonio, 1,001-room Marriott Rivercenter, 629-room Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, 512-room San Antonio Marriott River Walk, 485-room Hilton Palacio del Rio, 473-room Westin Riverwalk and 410-room Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk.
Just outside of town are the 1,002-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, 500-room Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, and 498-room La Cantera Resort.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group’s new venue finder.
In the historic King William neighborhood, the Villa Finale Museum & Gardens began life as a private home in 1876. The place is now filled with fine and decorative items collected by its restorer, Walter Nold Mathis. The gardens can host up to 250 guests for outdoor events.
Lunch, dinner and late-night tastes are the bill of fare at On the Bend Oyster Bar & Lounge on the city’s famed River Walk, the newest option at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio. A two-tiered patio offers water views; groups of up to 200 will enjoy the raw bar, Creole gumbo, jalapeño-cucumber margaritas and more.
• A $12 million renovation has begun on Discovery Green, the plaza in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Improvements will include a new gateway, more lighting and new landscaping. Work should finish in the fall.
• The 378-room Omni Houston Hotel reopened following a $30 million renovation and expansion. The property now has more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space.