Promising, but needs work A review of Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott
We visited the hotel in late October with a large golf group, including wives and kids. The hotel facilities were nice and new, but not complete. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful.
First impressions are the most lasting, and when we pulled into the resort off the main road, we were struck by the unfinished and unkempt look of many of the properties leading to and surrounding the hotel, including a large field that looks as if it is being used as a landfill for construction waste. Not a very attractive welcome. We were surprised that Marriott does not require the resort to do a bit of sprucing up. The view from our lake view room further revealed the blighted nature of some of the adjoining properties and landscaping. If the Marriott and the resort cannot cajole adjacent property owners to attend to some of the dead trees and haphazard landscaping surrounding the adjacent ponds, the hotel should at least plant some screening landscaping of its own to shield guests from the unappealing sight.
Once we ventured out to experience the rest of the "resort", we found a rather dowdy infrastructure, a poorly managed and maintained group of facilities, and a general feeling that the "resort" is not quite ready for prime time. We were dismayed by the number of speeding cars along the resort streets. We did not feel safe walking with young children along the entrance road, or the road leading to the marina and resort spa, because cars were traveling very fast along those routes. Speed bumps should be installed.
The resort clubhouse has a very pretty pool adjacent to the lake, but the pool sides looked in need of a good cleaning, and the surrounding shelters could use a thorough cleaning as well (many unappealing insect webs under the roofs). Many of the controls for the jets in the large hot spa area were not functional. When we arrived at the resort clubhouse we asked to speak to the manager to address some of our concerns, (his name was Ron). He was not receptive to our suggestions and was dismissive, not an acceptable attitude for someone in his position.
Our visit to the marina restaurant for lunch revealed adequate food, a reasonably priced wine selection, and a willing (if uninformed) staff, but again was marred by the general outdated, unkempt appearance of the place. The televisions in the bar area look as if they have been there for ten years or more.
Food at the hotel was typical of that at any Mariott facility - decent, but not exciting.
The golf group we were with (some of whom flew into the adjacent private airport) reported that the courses were interesting, but needed maintenance. That fit in with our general impression of the whole resort.
One of our group, an amateur astronomer, bemoaned the fact that the hotel and resort do not use dark sky friendly lighting, as the general area is excellent for viewing the heavens.
We ventured into Marble Falls for dinner one evening, and found a gem of a restaurant nestled in the middle of the town called "Café 909". Food was excellent and adventuresome, service was knowledgeable, and we highly recommend it. We also ventured out to Llano one afternoon, and had lunch at Cooper's Pit Barbecue, reputed to be one of the best Texas has to offer for that fare. We were not disappointed.
If Marriott wants this property to succeed, it had better pay attention to detail, particularly with the surroundings. We will give it another try, but they really need some major improvement.