Meeting in an idyllic, natural setting doesn’t mean you have to give up a dynamic urban energy –at least not when you’re gathering in The Woodlands, a charming community located less than 30 miles from Houston and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The town boasts a full social calendar, as well as all of the conveniences found in a more metropolitan locale. But it is shaded by acres of heritage trees, surrounded by neighborhood parks and centered around the sparkling waters of Lake Woodlands and The Woodlands Waterway. 

“The Woodlands is infused with a hometown feel, yet also has world-class entertainment, a spirited arts community and a vibrant restaurant and shopping scene. Your group will be charmed by our small-town hospitality and impressed by our more sophisticated services and amenities,” says Josie Lewis, Director of Sales for Visit The Woodlands.

One of the community’s premier spots to meet is The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. Located along the European-style, path-lined waterway that leads into the lake, the hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2020 and features 345 redesigned, modern guest rooms and over 70,000 square feet of event space. The largest of its spaces, the Town Center Exhibit Hall, stretches more than 37,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 4,500 guests for a reception. Additional spaces include the 18,000-square-foot Waterway Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 2,400 guests. There are also conference rooms, pre-function space and breakout rooms to choose from for board meetings, conference workshops or smaller groups. 

The hotel features the full-service Spa at the Waterway, which offers everything from massages and facials to pedicures and hair services. A fitness center and pool are on-site, as are a bar lounge, restaurant, and coffee shop.

One of the appeals of The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel is its location in the heart of The Woodlands. Your group will be steps to some of the town’s hottest restaurants and nightlife in Waterway Square. Crossing a skybridge, visitors will find themselves at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, a world-renowned amphitheater which has welcomed the talents of artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Lyle Lovett and Dave Mathews. 

When the meetings are done, there is plenty to do in The Woodlands. Get the lay of the land aboard a Town Center Trolley which will ferry you, free of charge, to dining or shopping hotspots, like Market Street, The Woodlands Mall, Hughes Landing and The Woodlands Waterway.

For the art lovers in the group, Glade Gallery showcases contemporary artists in a bright, glass-framed, light-infused space. The gallery includes a wine-tasting experience at its Mercury Bar on select evenings and hosts weekly live music. Throughout The Woodlands, you’ll also discover one of the largest outdoor art collections in Texas with more than 100 sculptures, art benches, mosaics and murals. The town hosts an annual arts festival each spring and open-air music concerts are a regular occurrence in local parks.

For outdoor adventure, your attendees can head to Riva Row Boathouse or Lakes Edge Boat House and rent a paddleboard, kayak or water bike to explore the area by water. There, they’ll find that The Woodlands hospitality isn’t landlocked—fellow rowers and paddlers are likely to greet them with a friendly hello and a smile. 

You would expect a place named The Woodlands would offer plenty of opportunities to explore trails and this town doesn’t disappoint, boasting 220 miles of biking and hiking trails and 4,445 acres of open space. The 1,700-acre George Mitchell Preserve, named for the entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded The Woodlands in 1974, offers opportunities to spot migrating birds and wildlife or just take in the serene surroundings. 

For a little team building, take your group to The Preserve’s neighbor: Texas TreeVentures. The recreation destination is an outdoor aerial, three-level adventure course. Or head indoors to The Woodlands Escape Room, where your group can have exclusive use of the venue as they try to beat one of the puzzle rooms, ranging from an Old West bank heist to a submarine piloted by a dangerous captain.

“We pack a lot of adventure and appeal into our small town,” says Lewis. “Come meet with us and see why we are consistently rated one of the best places to live.”

 

 

Incorporating the host city into the framework of the meeting is an effective way to enhance the content of the conference.

Host in Local Hotel
While attendees might flock to flag hotels, consider a boutique hotel as overflow to showcase the destination. In Lubbock, the DoubleTree by Hilton offers a local flair through design and cuisine; meanwhile, just a few streets over, the Cotton Court Hotel pays tribute to the area’s cotton history. 

 

Located in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, Hotel Drover, an award-winning Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriott, focuses on simple pleasures and genuine hospitality. Kick-off your boots and stay awhile with 200 rustic-luxe rooms and suites. When ready, grab a hand-crafted cocktail or cold beer and wander outside to The Backyard at Hotel Drover, an outdoor oasis, with creekside seating, outdoor games, and seasonal live music.

 

Plano, Texas is truly the land of plenty. Blending historic charm with modern luxury, the city brims with attractions and amenities. With nearly 60 hotels of various price points, 1000+ restaurants, world class shopping, a lively arts and nightlife scene, abundant natural beauty, and four walkable districts, Plano is the perfect city for a meeting of any size.