It’s a three-hour drive from my home in Henderson, Texas to the north side of Houston where I had a meeting on a Friday afternoon. I knew I could drive back home on the same day, but I decided to spend the night at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center instead. I wasn’t disappointed with my decision.
The Woodlands (the city) is located about 15 minutes north of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, just off I-45. It started as suburban development and bedroom community in the early 1970s, but soon attracted corporations. Today the population is more than 100,000.
The mastermind behind the community was American businessman George P. Mitchell. With the closest hotel located almost 45 minutes away, Mitchell’s first order of business was to build a local hotel where he could host investors and corporate partners. Here they could experience firsthand Mitchell’s concept of living and working in a natural environment. The Woodlands Inn opened down the street from the community’s first neighborhood, in the Village of Grogan’s Mill, in 1974.
For anyone looking for a weekend getaway, The Woodlands offers some 200 specialty and family restaurants and upscale shopping. There is—according to the city website—“7,790 acres of green space, 130 neighborhood parks, 205 miles of hike and bike trails, 200-acre Lake Woodlands, golf, tennis [and] kayaking.”
As impressive as the city is, so is the resort. When I arrived, I was more than pleased with its serene setting.
In addition to beautiful rooms and public space, the resort has two 18-hole golf courses, a full-service spa, an amazing outdoor pool area including a lazy river, and a tennis center.
Although there are three restaurants, and an outdoor café during warmer months, I chose to eat from room service because I don’t care to eat in restaurants alone. On Friday I ordered lunch and dinner, and breakfast on Saturday. In all cases the food was excellent and arrived quickly. Room service menu items are a sampling of what is offered at the restaurants, so I am confident in saying that the restaurants are excellent as well.
With free Wi-Fi and the beautiful view out my patio door of the resort’s natural setting, I was quite content to hang around the room and get some work done. It was unseasonably warm, so I took several breaks to roam the grounds and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Sometimes you just have to take a break from your own surroundings and enjoy beautiful accommodations, wonderful meals you wouldn’t necessarily make for yourself at home, and reflect on the beauty of nature.
If you go:
The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center is located at 2301 North Millbend Drive, The Woodlands. Room rates start at $169. For more information or special promotions, call (800) 433-2624.