Nobody does Texas style and hospitality better than Texas, and the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Conference Center does Texas BIG, another Lone Star sprawling property and recent addition to Marriott Rewards program.  Located in Grapevine, just 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and six minutes from the DFW Airport,  you’ll quickly arrive at your destination, the Gaylord Texan, the official hotel of the Dallas Cowboys!

Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan

Arrival
Enter the property of Gaylord Texan and you could get lost. Our shuttle dropped us at the front entrance, but then you climbed the stairs (or took the elevator) to the first level to check-in.  The receptionist desk is down a long hallway, a quick minute walk. However, we checked in as VIPS, which was separate room near the reception offering cold drinks, coffee and snacks while you wait. Friendly staff greeted us, and our wait was brief, before we were directed toward the Tower accommodations.  Then be prepared for a walk as this hotel is massive.

Grapevine’s Gaylord Texan does the holidays BIG with its Lone Star Christmas.

The Atrium
Literally it was a 5-10 minute walk to our accommodations in the Tower. However, the main reason could be the Gaylord’s signature and distracting, climate-controlled glass atrium overflowing with the Lone Star extravaganza of holiday celebrations.

From Santa Claus to his sleigh and soaring 1-story replica of is boots, to a gingerbread house and twinkling lights, the atrium was jam-packed with holiday-themed decorations and equally festive guests walking through the displays.

The 4 1/2 acres of indoor gardens and wining waterways was mind-boggling, and surrounding the atrium, guests could browse shops , check out the 25,000 square foot day spa and fitness center, choose from a selection of restaurants, including live music and dancing at the Glass Cactus nightclub.

Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Texan
From November 8 t January each year, the annual Lone Star Christmas events takes over the Gaylord Texan, from the inspirational ICE!™ attraction  with its 2 million pounds of carved ice sculptures (2012  the  DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar!  The atrium is also a winter wonderland during Lone Star Christmas, Additionally, with its 1.5 million holiday lights, a 52-foot rotating Christmas tree, a life-sized Gingerbread House, 12,000 ornaments, and Santa Claus himself.

Gaylord Texan puts on the popular holiday show, ICE, as part of its Lone Star Christmas.

Accommodations
Gaylord Texan offers 1,511 guest rooms including 127 suites. Each room offers high-speed Internet, two phones, in-room coffee service (a must!) and refrigerators. The in-room safe is built for laptops, and you can even charge your laptop while in the safe!

Gaylord Grapevine

Lots of elbow room in the Gaylord Texan rooms.

Through the atrium to the other side was the the entrance to the Lone Star Tower Guest Rooms. My accommodation was a corner suite, another long walk to the end of the Lone Star Tower rooms above the Riverwalk area. My oversized room was designed in copper and tan colors, but somehow the décor came across 70’s dated, yet it was clean with a chair, small desk/work space, and seprate shower/bath and sink. The glass doors and windows overlooked the atrium, and although it was a gorgeous view, if you wanted to go to sleep, the noise from below would be distracting.

Business Travel and Corporate Meetings
The Gaylord Texan is a business travel and meeting work-horse, with 400,000 square feet of the most technologically sophisticated hotel in the Southwest.  However, I visited on a weekend, with few business guests, and definitely a leisure guest clientele, attracting families for the holidays.

Gaylord Texan

The Gayloard Texan serves up TexMex at the RiverWalk Restaurant.

Dining
In addition to room service, Gaylord Texan restaurants and dining options have you covered from romantic to casual. Choose the signature Old Hickory Steakhouse serving Harris Ranch Choice Beef and an extensive wine list, or go Italian at the courtside Zeppole. The Texan Station is sports bar casual — and the official bar of the Dallas Cowboys! Dine open-air at the Riverwalk Cantina with its Tex-mex menu – and excellent breakfast!  Order Japanese –style sushi at Wasabi’s, in the Lone Star Tower.  Late night, you’ll find the energy of the nightclub Glass Cactus exciting with its four bars and two-story deck overlooking Lake Grapevine.

The Riverwalk Cantina proudly displays a Tequila Bottle Christmas tree

Summary

Despite its sprawling size, once you maneuvered the property, the Gaylord Texan  offered a super-sized fun experience, and well worth a visit to Grapevine, especially during the holidays.

Book online through Priceline or Hotels.com or directly through Marriott International.

Accommodations courtesy of Gaylord Texan and Grapevine.

Photos Courtesy of © Diana Rowe and Gaylord Texan.