Best Menu
GERALDINE’S AT HOTEL VAN ZANDT, AUSTIN

This unique third-floor restaurant provides fantastic views of Lady Bird Lake and the downtown Austin skyline. From heirloom tomato salad to grilled summer squash, fresh local ingredients take center stage in the chef-driven contemporary menu at Geraldine’s. The shared plates and intriguing seasonal variety invites guests to enjoy an upscale yet relaxed communal dining experience. Round out your meal with a selection from the extensive wine list or splurge for dessert. I recommend the lemon buttermilk pie. geraldinesaustin.com; 512.476.4755

Best New Meeting Space
HENRY B. GONZALEZ CONVENTION CENTER

A $325 million expansion of the convention center is the largest capital improvement project in San Antonio history. The newly transformed convention center gained approximately 270,000 square feet of new exhibit space, numerous breakout rooms, an expansive new main lobby, a cantilevered classroom and a 54,000-square-foot Stars at Night Ballroom. The convention center was originally constructed for the 1968 World’s Fair, and with the demolition of the western side of the building, the adjacent Hemisfair park will be expanded to create additional outdoor event opportunities. sahbgcc.com; 210.207.8500

Best New F&B Trend
AVOCADO TOAST AT CENTENNIAL CAFÉ, HYATT REGENCY DALLAS

Centennial Café is located in the garden atrium of the Hyatt Regency Dallas. The menu draws its inspiration from the varying flavors of the five regions of Texas. The Centennial Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a variety of contemporary items like jalapeno mac ‘n cheese, along with classics such as Atlantic salmon. One of the more unique dishes is the avocado toast, featuring avocado smash on rye bread with pickled shrimp and onion, capers, cilantro and arugula. dallas.regency.hyatt.com

Best New Private Meeting Space
THE FORD CENTER AT THE STAR

The 510,000-square-foot, 12,000-seat indoor athletic and event facility in Frisco serves as the centerpiece for the Dallas Cowboys 25-acre world headquarters and training facility. The venue offers flexible space for many different kinds of events, including corporate meetings, trade shows, client entertainment, holiday parties and team-building. The Ford Center at The Star also features one of the largest video boards in the area, which can be paired with audio-visual packages for your event. The complex offers a total of 58,000 square feet of usable meeting and event space. Plus, Dallas Cowboys—need I say more? thestarinfrisco.com/ford-center; 972.497.4800

Best Meeting Space with a View
THE WOODLANDS RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER

The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center is situated within 28,000 acres of natural forest and features 406 contemporary guest rooms and more than 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Most of the property’s 33 meeting rooms have windows to take in great views of the lush grounds, the well-manicured golf course and the peaceful waters of Lake Harrison. The balance of modern finishes and accents with a connection to the outdoors creates an exhilarating and refreshing environment for productive meetings and group events. woodlandsresort.com; 800.433.2624

When it comes to meeting at the Austin Convention Center, the numbers are forever in your favor. Let’s start with six. That’s how many full city blocks the convention center extends in the heart of the downtown business district. Or 12,000—the number of hotel rooms within a two-mile radius of the venue. Twenty-thousand is how many wireless devices that can be simultaneously connected, ensuring all of your guests won’t miss a meeting, Zoom call, presentation or email.  

 

 

Keep your eye on the skyline of Austin. The sustainably focused hotel brand, 1 Hotels, is coming to a mixed-use hotel, residential and retail project currently under construction at the meeting of Waller Creek and Lady Bird Lake. The property will be the tallest tower in Texas and will overlook the historic Rainey Street district.  

 

South by Southwest (SXSW) returned live this year! The 35-year-old festival infuses on average $16-plus million of consumer spending into the Austin music scene over the course of nine days. The festival returned in March after its cancellation in 2020 and virtual show in 2021. Both the cancellation and virtual show were prompted by health and safety concerns due to the pandemic.