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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

The annual Best of Awards are designed to honor the cream of the crop in the regional meetings and events industry. The awards are a celebration of the hard work and above-and-beyond service of suppliers who help planners be at the top of their game.

Voting closes August 25 so make sure to vote today!

 

The Highland Lakes Region extends from Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin to 100 miles outside the city to Lake Buchanan. The chain of seven lakes formed from a series of dams along the Colorado River offer opportunities to boat, kayak, fish and swim while taking in the Texas Hill Country. 

It’s a “serene environment,” says Salina McCullough, sales and programs manager at Canyon of the Eagles, “away from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

 

In the up-and-coming east Austin area in Texas, ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants is building a new boutique hotel. Located on the corner of East 6th and Chicon St., this will be ARRIVE's second location. The new hotel will have 83 rooms and will open in the spring of 2019.