Tucked away in the lovely Texas Hill Country about an hour from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott is a welcome addition to the 30-year-old, family-run Horseshoe Bay Resort. The duo, which joined forces when the Marriott opened its doors a few years ago, works particularly well together in catering to group events, as guests at the 349-room, AAA Four Diamond Marriott are encouraged to take advantage of the resort’s many attractive amenities.
“We offer a seamless experience for customers with the hotel and resort, such as dining at The Yacht Club, which is part of the resort, but the meal can be charged to the room,” says Mark Woelffer, general manager at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott.
He adds that this “seamless experience” is evident in the execution of group events, since the Marriott property consistently ranks within the top 25 percent of monthly Marriott-brand event satisfaction surveys.
“Planners rank the hotels based on comfort, meeting rooms, F&B, billing—we’re very proud that we really do group business well,” he says.
Down to Business
Ideally secluded away from action-packed Austin, the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott is perfectly situated for focused meeting agendas. The ideal group size, according to Woelffer, is from 250 to 300 people.
“This size enjoys all of the resort, which becomes an oasis for the group,” he says, adding that 80 percent of booked group business comes from within Texas. “We also see a good amount of business from Minneapolis, Chicago, Mexico, and Canada.”
The hotel, which boasts some 51,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, provides endless options for everything from education sessions to rollicking receptions. Indoor space includes more than 21 meeting rooms, namely the 12,000-square-foot formal Granite Ballroom, and outdoor space includes pool and lawn areas, and a 3,000-square-foot pavilion.
“Plus, at each golf course there is an area for a reception after play,” Woelffer notes. “Bringing groups to a resort environment means doing pleasurable business, plus pleasurable options when they’re not meeting.”
While it’s a relaxing and picturesque drive through Hill Country to the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott, particularly during peak bluebonnet season, there is a way for small groups coming from either Dallas or Houston to arrive about an hour earlier. The Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Airport and Jet Center sports three luxury jets, including one with 15 leather seats, making it similar to an airborne limousine.
“For an executive-level experience, groups can bypass security at the airport and get on the golf course faster,” Woelffer says. “It takes away the drive from Austin.”
For golfers in the group, this will be very good news, as the Horseshoe Bay Resort has long been a favorite spot for hitting the greens, with three championship courses—Slick Rock, Apple Rock and Ram Rock—designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.
The Horseshoe Bay Resort also offers the multimillion-dollar Whitewater Putting Course, one of the most sophisticated miniature golf courses in the country, complete with waterfalls and live Chilean flamingos.
“Guests can play Whitewater day or night,” Woelffer says. “A lot of groups use it for team building and arrange for best score, hole-in-one and other prizes.”
Another popular resort amenity enjoyed by Marriott guests is the Bayside Spa and Fitness Center, where they are welcome to indulge in a little pampering. They are also invited to dive into one of four pools, participate in lake activities such as wave-running, and dine at the Marriott’s on-site Lantana Grill and Bar, where tortilla soup and a shot of fire-spiced tequila is recommended.
“Planners work with the hotel as their one-stop shop,” Woelffer says. “The options serve a group’s varied personal interests—20 may choose to jet ski, 20 may choose to putt-putt, 30 may choose the spa, and 40 may want to golf.”
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