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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marriott Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay, Texas

Tucked away in Texas' Hill Country, this Marriott Resort is a wonderful retreat if you are within driving distance. It was well worth the 4 hour scenic drive, but I don't think it would be worth spending the money on airfare if you have to fly in.

While this property is not new, Marriott does a good job keeping it up to date. The lobby is very attractive with a nice gas fireplace, free wireless internet, and nice comfy chairs. The bellmen, front desk staff, and all other staff I encountered were very friendly, professional, and went out of their way to ensure a pleasant stay.

The food was fabulous! I had read some reviews saying the food wasn't very good, so I was worried, but it was wonderful! I hate spending the high prices hotels charge on mediocre food, but while the prices were high (it's a Marriott resort after all), the food was worth it. The service was also very good. The manager of the main restaurant (Lantana Grill), James, went above and beyond to ensure satisfaction. I especially enjoyed the tortilla soup and fresh salads.

The Spa was the best part of the whole experience. Getting a massage is my guilty pleasure, but I usually pay $50 for 60 minutes. Here, they are $144 for 50 minutes (including tip), so I really debated whether to get one or not. For the price of 1 here, I could have 3 massages back home! Well, I gave in --- and it was WORTH IT!!!!!!! I can not tell you how much I enjoyed the spa and massage. I spent the whole day at the spa: working out (loved the fitness center), swiming in the gorgeous resistence pool, and relaxing in the hot tub and then the sauna. I then changed into my robe and slippers and waited in the outdoor relaxation lounge for the massage, which was worth every penny of $144. Afterwards, she gave me a hot compress for my neck and I lounged in the indoor relaxation lounge while enjoying the complementary citrus water and honey granola. At the end of the day, I was able to take a shower and get ready because all the necessary shampoo, etc. were available in the locker room. LOVED the Spa!!!

I also enjoyed just walking around the grounds and sitting out by the hotel pool and on the man-made beach by the lake. They really kept everything nice for as old as the property is.

OK, so the downsides to this Texas Oasis:

1 -- the bed was AWFUL!!!!!!!!!! I stayed 3 nights and checked out early because I couldn't handle sleeping in that bed one more night. After the first night, I called the front desk and they sent someone up to flip the mattress for me. It helped, but it was still pretty bad.

2 -- The pina coladas were $9! I know, I know - I've already mentioned how I expected the prices to be high at a resort. But $9 for a poolside Pina Colada!?!?

3 -- The guests in the room next to me brought small little dogs who barked in that annoying, high pitched yelp all day and also activated my allergies. I called the front desk and asked if pets were allowed. She said no, that the dogs were service dogs. I explained they were affecting my allergies and the barking was constant. She said she would move me to a different room, or move them. Well, apparently neither of us ended up being moved (although I don't know why). And, I don't mean any disrespect, but when I finally saw the guests staying next door with the "service" dogs, they didn't look like they needed service dogs. So I guess the moral of this story is perhaps you can bring your furry friends along!

All in all, I had a pleasant 3 days here. If you are within driving distance, I would definitely check this place out!

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