A few months ago, I mentioned to my friend Katie over dinner that we met fifteen years ago this August. She suggested we celebrate our fifteen year frieniversary with a spa weekend and we chose Gaylord Texan, as Relache Spa is one of my favorites in the Metroplex.
If you’ve never seen the Gaylord Texan before, you’re in for a treat. Located in Grapevine, Texas quite close to DFW Airport, the Gaylord is a sight for sore eyes. The stunning atrium will make you feel like you’re outdoors, with its lush landscaping, fountains, waterfalls, and rock formations. The hotel’s exquisite theming will make you feel like you’re walking around the famous San Antonio riverwalk without having to make the trek south. With several restaurants on sight, a ten-acre water park, a night club, tons of daily family-friendly events, and one of the best Christmas extravaganzas DFW has to offer, there’s so much to see and do at the Gaylord.
In my opinion, one of the top reasons to stay at the Gaylord simply is to walk around the gorgeous atrium and explore each and every turn. In just two days, we went on four meandering walks to enjoy the flora and fauna.
We got an atrium-view double queen room on the eight floor, right across from the Italian restaurant Zeppole. I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures of the room! Luckily I did a full room tour in this week’s episode of The Rose Table which you can watch here:
We have a very large flat screen TV and lovely room of the atrium, which comes alive at night with all sorts of colors.
Relache Spa never disappoints. I had multiple spa weekends here in my twenties. The Dreamcatcher massage is one of my favorites, but on this particular weekend, I chose the Deep Recovery massage with eucalyptus and peppermint oil. My troubles melted away in the hands of my capable massage therapist. Katie also thoroughly enjoyed her seasonal massage before we met back up to enjoy a leisurely steam. (Relache Spa also has a sauna.) Afterwards we hit the showers, spritzing the loveliest eucalyptus shower spray. It’s normally available in the spa gift shop but was sadly sold out!
We wanted to have lunch at the Riverwalk Cantina, but sadly, it was closed, so we opted instead for Texas Station. We were thrilled to get one of the coveted outdoor tables with a view of the fountain. I ordered chicken tacos with chips and salsa (how Texan can I get, really?) and Katie got really good chicken tenders with perfect french fries. We shared tacos and tenders before heading over to the spa.
It was a tough choice between the Hickory Steakhouse and Zeppole but we decided to have dinner at Zeppole, an Italian restaurant with open-air seating in the atrium. We sipped on refreshing lemony cocktails (called the Sicilian Kiss) before diving into focaccia, grilled octopus, and grilled halloumi arugula salad. The octopus tasted exactly like chicken and the salad was a nice way to start the meal.
The real show-stopper was my chicken marsala, which is one of the best chicken dishes I think I’ve ever had. And that’s saying a lot because you all know that I’m a major chicken snob. I could write a love sonnet about this dish. The marsala sauce is absolute perfection and words don’t even do the crispy, juicy chicken justice. If you don’t live in Texas, it’s worth a plane ticket. If you do live in Texas, what are you waiting for?! Go order it!
Brunch the next morning was served at Texas Station and luckily, we somehow again got one of the few atrium tables with a fountain view. Yay! The $30 brunch buffet includes a fantastic omelet station, pastries, fresh fruit, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and waffles, potatoes, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, grits, and more.
I was so excited to finally experience the Gaylord’s ten-acre waterpark for myself but unfortunately, the weather had other plans. A massive storm blew in on Sunday so we decided to head home right after brunch to beat the storm. I’m delighted to report that it didn’t start storming until after I was safely at home, but I’m bummed to have missed a pool day. I’ve been to the Gaylord many times in the winter, both for the ICE exhibit and for my birthday, but I’ve never actually been in the summer so this would have been my first time. We decided we’ll just have to go back next summer!