For High-Class Accommodations, JW Marriott San Antonio Texas Hill Country Shoots Below Par
By Max Hartshorne
Located just 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa and is a high-class getaway for those looking for a luxurious escape in the heart of Texas.
Purchased by Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, in 2018 for around $650 million, the resort offers guests an exceptional experience with top-notch amenities, exquisite dining options, and endless activities to enjoy.
It’s the kind of place the guys who make the big bucks at Blackstone like to go. High class all the way.
Big like Texas
Walking through this massive property, what is surprising is that every room is so big…BIG, like Texas!
Upon arrival at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa, guests are immediately greeted with stunning views of the Texas Hill Country, characterized by rolling hills and lush greenery.
The resort boasts 1,002 spacious guest rooms and suites, all beautifully appointed with stylish furnishings and modern amenities.
The giant water park surrounded by a river full of people on floats caught my eye as I walked out onto the large patio in my giant room. For golf lovers, how about these bonafides: Greg Norman designed the Oaks Course and Pete Dye designed the Canyons course.
A High-End Spa
The Lantana Spa is a great place to unwind. Spanning over 26,000 square feet, the spa offers a range of treatments and services, including massages, facials, body treatments, and salon services.
Guests can also enjoy the spa’s indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, saunas, and state-of-the-art fitness centers.
The food here doesn’t disappoint, and it’s not cheap. But it’s the JW, so you’ll choose from seven restaurants and lounges offering unique culinary experiences.
Cibolo Moon is a Tex-Mex restaurant serving authentic Texas flavors, while 18 Oaks offers a fine-dining experience focusing on locally-sourced ingredients. High Velocity Sports Bar is perfect for casual dining and drinks, with over 120 TVs showing live sports games.
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the resort’s two championship golf courses, designed by PGA Tour legend Greg Norman. The courses offer a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels, with breathtaking views of the Hill Country landscape.
I played the main course, and it was one of the most well-kept courses I’ve ever seen. Sadly, I lost all six balls over the course of 17 holes but still enjoyed my round and the well-manicured fairways and greens.
In addition to golf, the resort also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including tennis, hiking, and biking. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the resort’s multiple pools, lazy river, and water slides. The resort’s River Bluff Water Experience is a must-visit attraction, with multiple water slides, a 1,100-foot-long lazy river, and a 650-foot-long rapid river ride. That’s what I was looking down at from my suite.
The JW Marriott is also an excellent high-end venue for weddings and events, with over 265,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. The resort’s professional event staff can assist with every detail, from catering and audiovisual needs to décor and accommodations.
The resort offers something for everyone with its top-notch amenities, exquisite dining options, and endless activities.
And with Blackstone’s recent acquisition, the future looks bright for this iconic Texas resort.
Tyler Henritze, Head of US Acquisitions for Blackstone Real Estate, said, “This property is a truly exceptional destination that offers guests a unique and authentic Texas experience.
We look forward to investing in the resort’s growth and development and working with the JW Marriott team to deliver outstanding experiences for guests.”
Meanwhile, Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President and Global Brand Leader for JW Marriott expressed confidence in the resort’s future under Blackstone’s ownership. “As one of our most beloved and iconic properties, we know the resort is in great hands with Blackstone, and we look forward to seeing this exceptional property’s continued growth and success.”
Dinner 18 Oaks
I enjoyed dinner sitting at the bar at 18 Oaks restaurant. The bartender was the perfect blend of friendly, forthcoming, and professional, keeping the drink orders going efficiently.
Their menu includes the Hill Country Quail Knots with bacon jam and jalapeño jelly, and the Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with fig compote and brioche toast.
The Charred Octopus with chorizo and romesco sauce is also a popular choice.
For entrees, the restaurant’s menu features a range of meats, including the signature 18 Oaks Ranch Texas Wagyu Beef, which is dry-aged for 32 days and served with a choice of sauce and side. The Grilled Lamb Chops with roasted garlic and olive oil is another standout option, as is the Pan-Seared Duck Breast with blackberry demi-glace.
Seafood includes Grilled Gulf Red Snapper with roasted tomato and olive relish, or Seared Sea Scallops with butternut squash puree and apple cider reduction. Vegetarian includes the Wild Mushroom Risotto with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese or the Grilled Vegetable Plate with quinoa and tomato-basil vinaigrette.
The restaurant offers a selection of treats for dessert, including the Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with raspberry coulis and Chantilly cream and the Pecan Pie with bourbon vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
This part of the Texas Hill Country has much to offer; here are some of the highlights nearby.
The Shops at La Cantera: This upscale outdoor shopping mall is located just a short drive from the resort and features a variety of high-end retailers and restaurants, as well as a movie theater.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas: This popular amusement park is located about 20 minutes away from the resort and offers a range of thrilling rides, shows, and attractions for all ages.
The River Walk: Located in downtown San Antonio, the River Walk is a picturesque network of walkways along the San Antonio River, lined with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
The Alamo: One of the most iconic landmarks in Texas, the Alamo is a historic site located in downtown San Antonio that offers tours and exhibits about the state’s rich history. There are four other impressive missions you can visit nearby as well.
More Golf Courses: The resort is home to two championship golf courses, the AT&T Oaks Course and the AT&T Canyons Course, both designed by golf legend Greg Norman. There are also several other golf courses in the area, including the TPC San Antonio, which is right next to the resort.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Natural Bridge Caverns: Located about 30 minutes from the resort, the Natural Bridge Caverns offer guided tours of underground caves and a variety of outdoor activities, including ziplining and a maze.
These are just a few of the many attractions and activities in the area surrounding the JW Marriott. Whether you’re looking for shopping, culture, history, or outdoor adventure, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of Texas.
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