Sprawled on a bluff overlooking Lake Grapevine, the newest addition to the Gaylord Hotels portfolio, a 150-acre oasis of Texas charm, hospitality, and full-service amenities, held its grand opening May 7 to 9.

Dallas and Fort Worth are just 20 minutes away, but the folks at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center have made certain that you needn't go there if you don't want to. Consider these stats:

  • 1,511 guest rooms, including suites and rooms with balconies

  • 400,000 square feet of dedicated convention, meeting, exhibit, and pre-function space. This includes 70 breakout rooms, three ballrooms, a 180,000-square-foot exhibition hall, and a two-acre event lawn for outdoor functions.

  • On-site audiovisual department, decorating company, and technology staff

  • A glass-enclosed, 4.5-acre atrium, complete with a rambling river and beautiful foliage

  • Six restaurants and seven lounges, including Texas Station, outfitted with 40 plasma screens ranging in size up to 50 feet by 14 feet

  • A full-service spa, fitness center, and numerous shops — including an Office Depot

While these details are impressive, I found the most remarkable element at the Gaylord Texan is the 2,000-member staff. From banquet events to customer service, the Wow! factor is standard practice. Even during the resort's grand opening weekend, when staff were working 15-hour days, they were full of smiles, graciousness, and energy.

The opening dedication, held in the spacious atrium, featured an orchestra and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Other gala activities included a black-tie dinner on Friday night and a swinging poolside Texas Barbecue on Saturday. Altogether, it was indeed a true Texas-style grand opening.