As a Marriott Rewards Platinum Member, my wife and I spent 4 nights partly for a conference and partly to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Prior to our arrival, I emailed the hotel and Jason Clark from customer service got back to me. He was kind enough to upgrade us to a Deluxe Suite for our stay. The suite had a living room, dining table for 6, separate bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom wasn't huge but was very nice. The living room and dining area each had a small balcony that overlooked the Atrium which was very cool. If travelling with kids this suite would offer a great retreat for the parents in the King bedroom while giving the kids an area to spread out in the living room. Mr Clark also offered us complimentary pickup from the airport. When we got off the plane, Loyd was standing at baggage claim with a sign that had our name on it. Loyd was great! He told us all about the hotel after grabbing our bags and escorting us to one of their Suburbans. Note: When we left the hotel we asked for a cab and they directed us to the transportation desk. The transportation desk charged us $30 and we went to the airport in another black suburban. The receipt said "Price Match" so it looks like you can get their transportation instead of a cab for the same price as a cab. I'd highly recommend that. We checked in at the Platinum desk after a short wait. Marista gave us a couple maps of the hotel and pointed out some key things like restaurant hours for each venue, pool hours, etc.... Off to our suite we went. About 3 minutes after getting to the suite, a complimentary bottle of champagne and some cake balls (truffles?) arrived. Again thank you to Jason or Marista... whoever arranged that. It was a nice little snack on the balcony after a long day of travelling. The first night we ate at Zeppolle which is the Italian restaurant. They say "Coastal Italian" so there isn't a ton of pasta on the menu but is more fish and meat. I had the lamb chops and my wife had the sea bass. both were excellent! Service was a bit slow at one point when our server had a large part with 18 separate checks. Only thing she could have done different here was to let her other team members know she would be tied up... We flagged down someone else and they were quick to get us what we needed. Management should probably watch for this too and pitch in when this happens. There are two places that require a shuttle (unless you want to walk)... Paradise Springs water park and The Glass Cactus Nightclub. In our visits to and from these venues we never had to wait for a bus and when we got on a bus they left quickly. We made two visits to Paradise Springs. The second day we rented one of the Frio Cabanas. That was awesome. We were at the park for 9 hours! This included a little nap in the cabana after turning on the ceiling fan and closing the curtains in the afternoon. Our server, Raina, was very helpful and seemed to know the perfect balance between asking when we needed something and letting us relax. The lazy river was great with tubes for singles or doubles. The zipline was pretty small but still fun. This might seem pretty obvious but from the number of people running around maybe not..... It's 100 degrees in Texas. Concrete gets hot!!!! We visited the hotel pool a couple of times. This pool was great and we never saw it really crowded. This pool (and paradise springs) have plenty of areas of full sun and of shade. Our server here was Katie (who we also saw at the Glass Cactus). She was great too! One tip on service hotel wide: If you want or need something, ask for it! I saw several people who seemed to think service was bad.... Most of these people who would be the same people who might get mad if the server came by too often! The Glass Cactus was great. As others have mentioned, it is mainly a 35 and up crowd which was fine by us. The deck overlooking lake grapevine provided a great sunset view and area to watch the Friday night fireworks. We made a reservation on OpenTable prior to going which go us a nice reserved table inside where we could watch the band. The band was great and the people watching was even better. The music was all stuff that the crowd (ie people 35 to 50) could sing along to... Along with some current stuff thrown in. After our 9 hour waterpark day, we came back to our room the find a card that thanked us for spending he day at the waterpark as well as 2 bottles of FIJI Water and some lotion.... A nice touch I thought. We then had dinner at the Old Hickory which was fantastic! The steaks were prepared as ordered. Sauces were excellent and surprisingly one of the best things was the cream corn. It was piping hot (temperature) with a little kick to it and the corn tasted like it was fresh off the cob with a little crunch to it. As a Platinum member we received free upgraded internet (though they have 3 levels and we chose the fastest and they charged us $6 for two of the 4 days....). Perhaps the middle level was actually free. Also, Platinum members get access to the Spa Steam room and Sauna. I visited the steam room one morning and it was a great refreshing start to the day.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write, in such detail, about your recent travel experience jfgunner! Without reviews as part of the forum anymore, it's wonderful to see folks taking the time to write-out their experiences like this, for the community see!
Also, congratulations on the anniversary.