• Texas M+E Best of 2018 Winners

    Our readers have spoken and the votes have been tallied: Congratulations to the outstanding winners and runners-up of the Texas M+E Best of 2018 reader's choice awards!

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Plano Event Center

  • Texas M+E Best of 2018 Winners

    Our readers have spoken and the votes have been tallied: Congratulations to the outstanding winners and runners-up of the Texas M+E Best of 2018 reader's choice awards!

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Brazos Hall

  • Texas M+E Best of 2018 Winners

    Our readers have spoken and the votes have been tallied: Congratulations to the outstanding winners and runners-up of the Texas M+E Best of 2018 reader's choice awards!

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Topgolf

  • Texas M+E Best of 2018 Winners

    Our readers have spoken and the votes have been tallied: Congratulations to the outstanding winners and runners-up of the Texas M+E Best of 2018 reader's choice awards!

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    32 Degrees Rooftop Bar

  • Texas M+E Best of 2018 Winners

    Our readers have spoken and the votes have been tallied: Congratulations to the outstanding winners and runners-up of the Texas M+E Best of 2018 reader's choice awards!

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Jenny DeMarco Photography

  • Texas M+E Best of 2018 Winners

    Our readers have spoken and the votes have been tallied: Congratulations to the outstanding winners and runners-up of the Texas M+E Best of 2018 reader's choice awards!

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    III Forks

The 2018 Winter Olympics are just around the corner, in the spirit of good, clean competition we present the following companies that have worked hard to earn your trust and your business. Every year we give our readers the chance to reward the hotels, restaurants, service providers and venues that have done their best to make a positive impression.

BEST MEETING/EVENT VENUE (IN DFW METRO, NO HOTEL)

AND THE WINNER IS: Plano Event Center

The Plano Event Center is an 86,400-squarefoot facility featuring an exhibition hall, a master stage, street-level move-in access and 14 breakout rooms. The exhibition hall is 21,600 square feet of column-free carpeted event space. The venue is ideal for group events, from small meetings and retreats to large conferences and trade shows accommodating up to 2,500 attendees. Additional amenities offered by the Plano Event Center include ADA accessibility, a business center, complimentary parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, on-site catering and audio-visual services.

RUNNERS-UP
» George W. Bush Presidential Center
» Billy Bob’s Texas

BEST MEETING/EVENT VENUE (OUTSIDE DFW METRO, NO HOTEL)

AND THE WINNER IS: Brazos Hall

Brazos Hall is a converted turn-of-the-century grain mill and warehouse in the heart of Austin’s hotel district. The event center situated at the corner of 4th and Brazos streets offers more than 11,000 square feet of event space in two distinct areas. The 8,400-square-foot Main Hall reflects the building’s industrial beginnings with rustic steel beams, wood rafters, brick walls and restored pine floors and can accommodate up to 999 standing guests or 550 seated guests. The covered Roof Deck at Brazos Hall provides 3,400 square feet of open-air event space with views of the downtown Austin skyline. The Roof Deck can host up to 450 standing or 280 seated guests. Its separate entrance is ideal for smaller events not requiring the Main Hall. The venue offers full-range audio speakers on both levels and catering prep kitchens are available.

RUNNERS-UP
» Rough Creek Lodge
» Beaumont Ranch


JW Marriott San Antonio Hall Country Resort & Spa

BEST RESORT VENUE

AND THE WINNER IS: JW Marriott San Antonio Hall Country Resort & Spa

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is nestled among 600 acres of tree-covered Texas Hill Country and features 1,002 guest rooms and suites, two 18-hole golf courses, multiple restaurants and bars, the Lantana Spa and the River Bluff Water Experience. The nine-acre water park offers multiple pools and water slides, the rapidriver ride and a 1,100-foot-long lazy river. The resort offers 267,000 square feet of total indoor and outdoor event space. The largest space is the Grand Oaks Ballroom, which boasts 40,500 square feet with a reception capacity of up to 6,300 people. Outdoor venue space totals 88,000 square feet, including the Sunday House and the 5,000-square-foot River Bend Pavilion for group meetings and events. The resort offers a short commute to downtown San Antonio, while still making guests feel secluded on the property.

RUNNERS-UP
» Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
» Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

BEST COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY VENUE

AND THE WINNER IS: Univeresity of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin offers a variety of venues for University departments and affiliated organizations, such as The Texas Union, the Student Activities Center and the San Jacinto Meeting Rooms. Non-university groups may only use the Texas Union. Both the Texas Union and Student Activities Center feature theaters and ballrooms and catering is available through approved providers. The San Jacinto Meeting Rooms include a 6,000-square-foot meeting room that is divisible by three; four conference rooms that can be combined; an HD audio-visual system; access to Cypress Bend deli, market and grill; and close proximity to the Brazos parking garage.

RUNNERS-UP
» Texas A&M University
» Southern Methodist University

BEST HISTORIC OR CULTURAL VENUE

AND THE WINNER IS: The Alamo

The Alamo in San Antonio is an iconic symbol of the city and a world-renowned representation of Texas pride. This historic landmark is visited by 1.5 million people each year and provides a truly one-of-a-kind venue for private events. While the Alamo Church, which is in the early stages of a preservation project, is unavailable for private events, the Alamo complex does offer five different venues. The front of the church, Alamo Hall, the Alamo Hall patio, the South Gardens and the Cavalry Courtyard are available for group events of up to 200 guests.

RUNNERS-UP
» George W. Bush Presidential Center
» Sixth Floor Museum

BEST HOLIDAY PARTY VENUE

AND THE WINNER IS: Plano Event Center

Each holiday season, the 86,400-square-foot Plano Event Center is decked out with a 16-foottall tree, plenty of lighted garland and wreaths, and a plethora of other decorations and figures. The facility features the 21,600-square-foot column-free Collinwood Hall, which can accommodate up to 1,500 guests, the 3,556-squarefoot Windhaven Room, the Garden Terrace, and 14 breakout rooms. The venue is ideal for group events, from more intimate meetings and retreats to large conferences and trade shows accommodating up to 5,000 attendees. “With an award-winning chef leading the inhouse catering department, complete in-house audio-visual capabilities, professionally decorated pre-function spaces, and complimentary parking, Plano Event Center is the ideal venue to host a holiday party,” says J. Mark Jarrell, manager of the Plano Event Center. “Groups from 50 to 1,500 are easily accommodated in the newly renovated Plano Event Center, where holiday wishes are our command!”

RUNNERS-UP
» Brazos Hall
» JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa 


Adolphus Hotel

BEST RECENTLY RENOVATED VENUE (WITHIN LAST TWO YEARS)

AND THE WINNER IS: Adolphus Hotel

The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas was built in 1912, and until recently, had not seen a major renovation since the 1980s. The hotel has now completed a more than $85 million remodel including all guest rooms, The French Room restaurant, a full service luxury spa and fitness center and a 19th floor ballroom. The Adolphus features 24,000 square feet of flexible meeting space in 22 rooms, including the Century Ballroom, which boasts 4,440 square feet of event space and the 5,304-square-foot Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 800 people. The hotel offers 58 executive suites and seven luxury suites, some with large private terraces that are suitable for entertaining.

RUNNERS-UP
» Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas
» The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center

BEST NEW VENUE

AND THE WINNER IS: Westin Dallas Downtown

The 326-guest-room Westin Dallas Downtown occupies 10 floors of the 32-story One Main Place tower on Main Street in the heart of downtown Dallas. The hotel offers more than 31,000 square feet of flexible event space in 20 property venues located on the plaza level and the second, third and 32nd floors. The 5,000-square-foot Willow Pavilion is located on the ground floor plaza. The penthouselevel Pecan Ballroom boasts 6,720 square feet of event space and can accommodate up to 650 guests. Three additional meeting rooms, a 24-hour fitness studio and a heated indoor pool are also found on the 32nd floor. The Westin Dallas Downtown is within close proximity of the American Airlines Center, Belo Garden, Dealey Plaza and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

RUNNERS-UP
» Filament, Deep Ellum
» Westin Austin Downtown

BEST ROOFTOP VENUE

AND THE WINNER IS: 32 Degrees Rooftop Bar

Located on the third-floor of the Urban Crust restaurant in the heart of Downtown Plano, 32 Degrees Rooftop Bar is true to its name: The beer is poured from the tap at a constant 32 degrees. This hip and casual bar features DJ Grooves, an ice bar, happy hour specials and a patio with great views of downtown Plano. Urban Crust will also host events in its private wine room for up to 50 guests.

RUNNERS-UP
» Brazos Hall
» Reata Restaurant

BEST TEAM-BUILDING VENUE

AND THE WINNER IS: Topgolf

With event spaces available to rent and nine locations throughout the state of Texas, Topgolf brings team-building to a new level. Topgolf offers competitive golf games for all ages, climate-controlled playing bays, a topnotch food and drink menu, and private spaces for groups of any size. Its signature room has a capacity of 250 guests with 3,000 square feet alongside hitting bays for easy team-building.

RUNNERS-UP
» Plano Event Center
» JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

BEST AUDIO-VISUAL PROVIDER

AND THE WINNER IS: PSAV

PSAV has roughly a dozen locations across the state of Texas, not to mention more than 1,200 locations around the world. The talented staff of PSAV provides top-notch service, along with advanced technology and the latest equipment, to make any size event a success. In addition to outstanding audio-visual and production assistance, PSAV offers a variety of services including creative, digital, event décor, staging and network services.

RUNNERS-UP
» BEYON
» Plano Event Center

BEST DÉCOR/FLORAL PROVIDER

AND THE WINNER IS: Bella Flora of Dallas

The full-service floral and event design studio, Bella Flora of Dallas, takes pride in creating innovative and unique corporate and group events. An experienced team of professionals provides more than 17 years of industry experience and attention to detail to ensure that each event is executed to its full potential. With a passion for colors, flowers and great design, Bella Flora will make your group event a memorable one.

RUNNERS-UP
» Bouquets of Austin
» Lizzie Bee’s Flower Shop


Lagniappe Productions

BEST ENTERTAINMENT (PERFORMER OR TALENT AGENCY)

AND THE WINNER IS: Lagniappe Productions

Lagniappe Productions, founded in 1978, is an award-winning western entertainment company specializing in old west comedy productions, team-building events, stunt shows and comedy murder mysteries. Lagniappe provides cowboys, saloon girls and other Western characters, as well as its own portable stunt show and set called Tumbleweed Crossing, to create unique and memorable live productions. The company has produced more than 15,000 shows with experienced and professionally trained actors.

RUNNERS-UP
» Bravo Entertainment
» Matchmaker Band

BEST PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY

AND THE WINNER IS: Jenny DeMarco Photography

This years’ winner, Jenny DeMarco Photography, is a previous runner-up on the Best of 2016-17 list and no stranger to industry accolades. She has been named one of the top photographers in Texas by several publications and organizations. Jenny’s personable approach and refined style has made her one of the region’s most sought-after photographers. Clients from Texas, and throughout the U.S., Europe and Caribbean, have put their trust in Jenny DeMarco Photography to capture their special events.

RUNNERS-UP

» Amy Zumwalt
» Steven Tippett Photography

BEST CATERER (ON- OR OFF-SITE)

AND THE WINNER IS: Plano Event Center

The in-house food and beverage service at the Plano Event Center makes an event planner’s job just a little easier by giving them one less thing to worry about. The venue’s award-winning chef and caterers understand each event has unique needs. The catering staff takes pride in working with each client to create a delicious menu to fit your style, taste and budget. The quality, presentation and taste of the food at the Plano Event Center will leave your event attendees wanting more.

RUNNERS-UP
» Royal Fig Catering
» The RK Group

BEST HOTEL WITH MEETING/ EVENT SPACE (FEWER THAN 200 GUEST ROOMS)

AND THE WINNER IS: The Joule

The Joule in Dallas features 160 guest rooms, including four penthouses, each with a unique design and layout ranging from 1,350 to 2,500 square feet, and all are available for events. The boutique hotel offers 16,000 square feet of outdoor space and 14,000 square feet of flexible indoor space, including several ballrooms, breakout rooms and a rooftop terrace complete with a climate-controlled glass pavilion. The largest indoor venue at the hotel is just over 5,078 square feet and can accommodate up to 420 guests. The hotel’s largest outdoor space is 15,000 square feet and holds up to 700 guests. The Joule is located in the heart of the Dallas Central Business District and within walking distance of the Dallas Arts District, offering many activities for off-site group adventures or attendees’ free time.

RUNNERS-UP
» NYLO Plano at Legacy
» Hotel Saint Cecilia


Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

BEST HOTEL WITH MEETING/ EVENT SPACE (MORE THAN 200 GUEST ROOMS)

AND THE WINNER IS: Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

The Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center is truly a Texas-sized venue. In fact, it is one of the biggest in the state by room count. Boasting 4.5 acres of indoor gardens, a seasonal waterpark, indoor and outdoor pools, and great views of Lake Grapevine, there are numerous fun possibilities for attendees. The meeting and event space has 62 event rooms covering 407,489 square feet with up to 67 breakout rooms. The catering staff, rentable audio-visual equipment and more will help make your event memorable.

RUNNERS-UP
» JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
» Four Seasons Hotel Austin

BEST RESTAURANT WITH PRIVATE DINING SPACE

AND THE WINNER IS: Winner: III Forks

With three locations in Texas, including Austin, Dallas and Houston, III Forks serves the ultimate in Texas cuisine. The steakhouses aim to embody the Texas lifestyle, which combines great food, service and a sophisticated atmosphere for groups. The steakhouses can accommodate from 45 to 120 people, depending on location, making it perfect for everything from large group gatherings or scaleddown board meetings.

RUNNERS-UP
» Truluck’s Seafood Steak & Crab House
» Reata

BEST GOLF RESORT

AND THE WINNER IS: Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

Next time you’re in Dallas for an event, be sure to throw in your extra golf clubs and athletic gear to make use of the award-winning 18-hole, par 70 TPC golf course or the par-71 Cottonwood Valley course at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. Event groups can schedule lessons for eight to 24 golfers, or planners can customize a team-building tournament for up to 200 players. Additional amenities at the resort include a driving range, a practice sand bunker, a pro shop and putting greens.

RUNNERS-UP
» JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
» Barton Creek

BEST CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (AREA MORE THAN 25,000 POPULATION)

AND THE WINNER IS: Visit Plano

Plano’s unique attractions—like the Southfork Ranch, spirited night life, walkable districts and restaurants for nearly every discerning palette—is what makes it one of the most popular meeting and leisure destinations in the region. Visit Plano’s seasoned staff know the city inside and out. With more than 5,100 hotel rooms and something always going on, you will never be bored.

RUNNERS-UP
» Austin CVB
» Dallas CVB

BEST CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU, VISITORS CENTER OR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (AREA FEWER THAN 25,000 POPULATION)

AND THE WINNER IS: Bastrop Visitor Center 

The City of Bastrop is about 30 miles southeast of Austin along the Colorado River in the Lost Pines region. Situated at the corner of Main and Pine streets, the Bastrop Visitor Center is conveniently located and is open daily. The visitor center serves as the one-stop informational hub of this historic town. While in Bastrop, enjoy the century-old structures housing antique shops and specialty stores, or take in a show at the Bastrop Opera House.

RUNNERS-UP
» Town of Argyle
» Uvalde Convention and Visitors Bureau

BEST MEETING/ EVENT PLANNING COMPANY

AND THE WINNER IS: Hello! Texas

Hello! Texas is focused on providing professionals who will listen to your needs and work vigorously to craft your company’s vision. Services include transportation, hospitality staff, customized themed events, entertainment, tours, activities, team-building and access to Texas’ premier venues. Whether your company is hosting a team-building activity or conference, Hello! Texas will ensure a great event.

RUNNERS-UP
» Pearl Events
» Ultimate Ventures

BEST RENTAL COMPANY

AND THE WINNER IS: Premiere Events 

Austin-based Premiere Events is one of central Texas’ most sought-after event rental providers. With an inventory including everything from linens and chairs to buffets and tents, Premiere Events is certain to meet your needs. Premiere offers an extensive virtual showroom and three physical showrooms in the Austin metro area, along with staff who are prepared to go the extra mile to make your event a success.

RUNNERS-UP
» Ducky Bobs
» M&M Event Rentals

BEST TRANSPORTATION

AND THE WINNER IS: Premier Transportation Services 

Premier Transportation provides a variety of vehicles, from shuttle buses to limousines. The company, founded in 1996, has received many local and national awards, including an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Premier staff provides exceptional customer service in any of its chauffer-driven vehicles.

RUNNERS-UP
» Elegant Limousine and Charter
» Uptown Valet and Transportation

Utilize multiple venues to get your guests moving and enjoying their host location.

 

Give your group a backstage pass to some of the most famous artistic venues around the state. 

 

Resilient Houston rebounds after what can only be called one hell of a year.