Hotel Announcement: Renovations Are Now Complete!

Moody Gardens is back and better than ever

In case you haven’t already heard the long-awaited news, our renovations are now officially complete. It’s been a long journey, but we’re confident that we’ve created the finest hotel in Galveston—and one of the finest places of lodging anywhere in the state of Texas. At the same time, we’ve remained committed to taking care of the details and ensuring that our guests have a seamless, unforgettable experience.

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Our Renovation Project by the Numbers

Our recent renovation project was among the largest that the Texas Gulf Coast has seen this decade. If you’re keeping track, some key figures include:

•    24 months from start to finish
•    About $20 million invested
•    428 individual room renovations and decor upgrades
•    One upgraded restaurant and one completely redesigned restaurant

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New Highlights

While the headline numbers are impressive enough, they only begin to tell the story of our renovation. Before they even enter our doors, arriving guests come face-to-face with a beautiful “living wall” and stunning signage. Inside the lobby, new floors, furniture, lighting, televisions and water features foster a luxurious atmosphere. We adhered to a “bring the outside in” theme throughout, adding natural-colored carpeting and fixtures. We also created a completely new restaurant concept called Cafe in the Park. Since its March debut, the eatery has earned nothing but rave reviews.

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Old Favorites

Of course, we’re big proponents of sticking with what works. To that end, we’ve kept many of the features that made Moody Garden a standout among Galveston Hotels. Our 242-acre tropical garden remains intact and will be periodically upgraded with new plants and exhibits. Our huge pool, including a massive swim-up bar, remains just as it was before the renovation. We still offer best-in-class amenities like 24-hour room service, a fitness center, three pyramids with family-friendly attractions and an award-winning golf course. Simply put, you can find everything you crave—and much more—at Moody Gardens.

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Discover Why Moody Gardens Stands Apart From Other Galveston Hotels

We wouldn’t have undertaken this massive renovation project if we weren’t serious about giving our guests every opportunity to enjoy their stay. Now that we’ve got a fresh new look and exciting new amenities, we feel confident enough to say that you won’t find a better experience at any other Galveston resorts. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it. Visit our reservations page or call us directly at (888) 388-8484 to book an unforgettable stay in the heart of the Texas Gulf Coast.

Moody Gardens is the Coolest Holiday Destination in the Southwest with Ice Sculptures Event Featuring SpongeBob SquarePants

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Moody Gardens will transform into the premier holiday destination with the debut of ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures featuring Christmas with SpongeBob SquarePants on November 15. Being the only holiday ice exhibition on the Gulf Coast, this vast and amazing display of magnificent ice creations will add a frosty new addition to the Festival of Lights and other holiday attractions this year.

A skilled team of 20 professional ice carvers from Harbin, China will take 900 tons of ice and transform them into majestic marvels ranging from holiday-themed sculptures to a wide range of scenes featuring the beloved underwater characters from SpongeBob SquarePants.

Chilled and held at a temperature of 9 degrees, you can witness these works of art within a 28,000 sq. ft. insulated tent structure located on the property. This holiday treat for the whole family will be open through January 4 as Galveston makes its holiday transition into a Winter Wonder Island.

“We are very excited to bring such a unique experience to south Texas,” said John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO, who added that carving giant ice sculpture scenes and holding them at 9 degrees outside on a sub-tropical island is a significant logistical challenge. “Our guests are in for a special surprise. There is no other venue in the Southwest that offers such a diverse range of activities and amenities for a complete holiday experience.”

Admission to the exhibition is $26.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors and $15.95 for children. For a list of peak, non-peak and group blackout dates, please click here.

Once you return your courtesy parkas from ICE LAND, you can enjoy Moody Gardens 13th annual Festival of Lights packed with holiday magic. Beginning November 15 through January 3, start a tradition with the largest holiday lighting event on the Gulf Coast with more than one million lights, the area’s only outdoor skating rink and the thrilling Arctic Ice Slide.

Admission to the Festival of Lights is $8.95. With the purchase of a Festival of Lights ticket, tickets to the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, holiday MG 3D film, holiday 4D Film, Artic Ice Slide and Colonel Paddlewheel Boat can be purchased for only $7 each.  Ice skates are available to rent for $7 or guests can bring their own. Special holiday packages are also available at the Moody Gardens Hotel, including the Christmas Dinner and Show with Master Illusionist Curt Miller Dec. 18-27.

For more information, please call 800-582-4673 or visit moodygardens.org.

Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.

Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks Receives 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence!

Award-winning dining in Galveston’s fabulous resort

Visiting Galveston Island is a wonderful adventure in itself. To make it even better, visit Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks for an extraordinary dining experience that you won’t soon forget. Exquisite cuisine, upscale ambience, superlative service—Shearn’s offers all this and so much more. It’s why the restaurant has earned so many accolades, including its most recent award, the prestigious TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Based on the ratings and reviews of travelers, the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence makes it quite clear why diners return to Shearn’s again and again.

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The Shearn’s experience begins the moment you arrive. Step into this restaurant, elegantly ensconced on the ninth floor of Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, and you immediately understand why it’s considered the premier destination for Galveston diners. First, there’s the unparalleled service as you’re greeted, seated and served. Then the array of delectable fare is truly mouth-watering, including such hors d’ oeuvres as sesame-encrusted ahi tuna, grilled baby Portobello mushrooms and gruyere tart with micro herb salad, among other delicious selections. Meanwhile, with the variety of entrees, from incomparable steaks to daily fresh seafood to vegetarian plates that include grilled vegetables, baked potato gnocchi or Pappardelle pasta, it’s no wonder that Executive Chef Urs Schmid has gained such renown.

After all, when you find a restaurant that has equal appeal for locals and vacationers alike, you know you’ve found something out of the ordinary. That’s Shearn’s. Yet, with all its posh atmosphere, Shearn’s is as perfect a setting for a romantic dinner as for a family celebration.

fine dining galveston island

Whether you’re vacationing at Moody Gardens or just here for an evening of fine dining, it’s easy to see that Shearn’s fits perfectly in the overall setting of the resort. Tropically landscaped on 242 lush acres, Moody Gardens has something to offer every family member. Championship golf, a heated pool with a swim-up bar and Kids Crew are among the many activities. Add to them a ropes course, zip lining and Paddlewheel Boat to round out the outdoor fun. The indoor attractions include three pyramids—Aquarium, Discovery and Rainforest—of themed entertainment. There’s always something to do!

If you enjoy fine dining as part of a great family vacation, Shearn’s is the perfect place. When you’re heading to Galveston, give us a call for reservations or details. At Shearn’s, we look forward to serving you.

And the 2014 Pinnacle Award Goes to…Moody Gardens Hotel!

Galveston Resort Hotel is honored for being a top business meeting destination

Successful Meetings Magazine gives out Pinnacle Awards on an annual basis to hotels, meeting places and conference centers that showcase the very best in service and amenities. The 2014 award winners were recently announced, and the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center was honored with our fifth Pinnacle Award for providing a high-quality destination for events and meetings. We’re pleased to be recognized for our commitment to our business guests, and we’re looking forward to having the opportunity to compete for our sixth Pinnacle Award next year.

What Exactly Is a Pinnacle Award?

A wide variety of industries utilize a Pinnacle Award to honor people and organizations that have achieved the highest level of quality and success. For example, the Country Music Awards has handed out two Pinnacle Awards during the last nine years to artists who have made a long-lasting contribution to the musical genre. Although Successful Meetings Magazine gives out Pinnacle Awards every year, they’re still extremely limited in quantity, and this means that only the very best in each category will earn the right to call themselves a Pinnacle Award winner.

What Sets Moody Gardens Apart?

Moody Gardens caters to business meetings, events and non-business guests, and our attractive facility is located within 242 lush tropical acres. We’re well equipped to handle the needs of a wide variety of companies and industries due to our combined meeting and convention space of 103,000 square feet. Your attendees will be able to stay on-site for the duration of your meetings or convention due to our luxuriously appointed 428 guest rooms, and we have 18 hospitality and junior suites to help meet everyone’s needs. When you combine these factors with our dedicated customer service and top-notch amenities, it’s no wonder that Successful Business Magazine has selected our establishment for five Pinnacle Awards to date.

What Amenities Can I Expect?

Whether you choose to stay at Moody Gardens for business, pleasure or a combination of the two, you’ll have access to a heated tropical pool, multiple dining options, a full-service spa, free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, 24-hour room service, an activity room with billiards, and the Moody Gardens Golf Course. Our property also contains several on-site attractions such as a zip-line, and we offer a complimentary shuttle service to make it easy to explore the Strand Historic District and the beach.

Are you interested in receiving more information about hosting a meeting or convention at a resort hotel in the Galveston area? Contact us today at (888) 388-8484 to discuss your options.

Join Us in the Garden Chatter Coming This Summer 2014

Summer fun in a garden resort

This summer, if you’re looking for a resort where every member of the family will have an equally great time, Galveston Island may well be the place for you. Gorgeously landscaped and peacefully situated, Moody Gardens offers everything to make your family vacation a spectacular one. You’ll have plenty to do and enjoy even if all you want to do is lie in the sun.

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Once you’ve experienced the dining, accommodations and entertainment at Moody Gardens Hotel, you’ll understand why it’s such a popular destination on Galveston Island. For outdoor enthusiasts, the myriad onsite activities are the draw. On 242 lushly landscaped acres, championship golf is a major attraction. If golf is not your idea of a good time, perhaps the exhilaration of a ropes course is. With two separate courses, one for adults and another for children, the whole family can enjoy this challenge to your endurance and agility. Or zip lining may be more your style, injecting an element of adventure into your vacation as you soar through the air and enjoy a panoramic view of the island. Of course, no summer vacation is complete without some time in the water. Whether it’s an excursion on the Paddlewheel Boat or a trip to the beach, the refreshing ambiance of the water beckons to everyone.

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Package deals can make your time at Moody Gardens extra special. If you want to experience all the attractions, try our Explore Moody Gardens package with two-day passes to all the onsite attractions, complimentary weekend yoga and valet parking for a night. Or, for couples, the Romantic Escape package includes champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries along with room service or a buffet breakfast amid the alfresco ambiance of the Café in the Park. Another great way to relax is to opt for the Spa package, which offers a full Swedish massage and hydrotherapy bath or sauna. If you’re looking for something a little more active, the Stay and Play package offers everything to augment your golfing, from a round of golf at the Moody Gardens to a golf cart and bucket of range balls. Naturally, each package includes a guest room that provides luxurious comfort along with wonderful coastal charm.

Spending carefree time together as a family is one of the best parts of summer. If you’re considering Galveston for your next vacation, let Moody Gardens be your choice. Making your family vacation exactly what you dreamed of is our specialty.

Moody Gardens Is the Place to Be for a Memorial Day You Won’t Forget

Let someone else do the entertaining this year

If your Memorial Day traditions include firing up the backyard grill and playing host to the neighbors, it’s time for a change. You need a break, and we’ve got everything planned for a Galveston Bay weekend you’ll never forget. Mark May 26 on the calendar, and make your break for Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center. We’ll entertain the family and prepare great meals while you relax in style.

Pirates, Ropes and Crews

Start your adventure at the Discovery Pyramid Museum with a journey through the world of Real Pirates. Explore treasures recovered from the sunken ship Whydah, and marvel at nautical artifacts from the 1700s. With this kind of inspiration, you’ll be ready for the Gulf Coast’s tallest steel rope course, so swing over to the Sky Trail for high-flying zip line thrills. Back at the hotel, treat the little ones to play time with the Kids Crew. They’ll really dig hunting buried treasure, romping in bounce houses and jumping into pool coin dives.

galveston resort

Delicious Dining All Day Long

Breakfast in bed is always an option, but our Cafe in the Park gets every morning off to a bright start. Sip world-class coffee, linger over a fluffy omelet, and plan your day. Satisfy everybody’s lunchtime appetite at the Pool Bar where we cook the burgers while you soak up the sun. Cool off at Blossoms with waffle cone creations featuring Texas’ famous Blue Bell ice cream. Go Gulf Coast gourmet at Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks, and enjoy 4-star dining with generous servings of breathtaking views overlooking Galveston Bay.

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Relaxation Around Every Corner

It’s a holiday, and that calls for well-deserved downtime, so soothe your soul with a stroll through island pyramids. Watch Amazon river otters at play, smile at penguins showing off their tuxedos, and sail the bay on a paddleboat cruise. Float down a lazy river, or just pull up a lounge chair along Palm Beach. It’s all yours inside the glorious glass pyramids of Moody Gardens. Work on your tan at our hotel’s Texas-sized heated pool, and indulge in personal pampering at our elegant spa.

Moody Gardens Hotel looks forward to offering our very best this Memorial Day weekend, and we’re even throwing in a special resort credit with your two-night stay. Give us a call at 1-888-388-8484 for details about this $50 offer when you book your holiday reservations. Make your plans, pack a few bags, and set your sights for fun on beautiful Galveston Bay.

The Unveiling of “Café in the Park”

Don't miss a dining experience the whole family will love at Cafe in the ParkBeautiful Galveston Island is the ideal destination for family vacations. By offering diverse activities and entertainment on one island, Galveston makes vacation planning simple. But Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center is what makes a vacation special. Bright, contemporary and delightfully indulgent, the newly renovated Moody Gardens is the luxury hotel that offers you fun and relaxation in lush surroundings. Whether you want energetic, action-packed days or serene days of lolling away the hours poolside, Moody Gardens has it.

The stunning setting will get your vacation off to a great start. Tropically landscaped, our 242 acres are the perfect backdrop for all the posh amenities offered in this resort. From a full-service spa and heated tropical pool with swim-up bar to championship golf and Kids Crew, Moody Gardens appeals to every member of your family. Its 428 luxurious new guest rooms along with 24-hour room service could easily entice you to remain in your room throughout your entire vacation. But then you’d miss all the pleasures of being there.

Indoor entertainment, for example, offers three pyramids—Aquarium, Discovery and Rainforest —that contain themed attractions, while the activity room offers large-screen TV’s and billiards, among other activities. Zip lining, a ropes course, the Paddlewheel Boat, and of course, the beaches, join golf among the outdoor diversions. And these are just the beginning!

Dining at Moody Gardens is a sensory experience. The Café in the Park, for instance, is definitely a venue you don’t want to miss. Formerly The Terrace, this casually elegant restaurant is the result of a recent renovation, creating a park-like ambience with live trees and plants that underscore your feeling of dining al fresco. With a new menu to highlight this fresh atmosphere, Café in the Park serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The wonderfully memorable weekend fare, with omelet and waffle bars as well as buffets, will have you feasting at every meal. Meanwhile, casual attire makes this a delightfully comfortable place for the whole family.

Having so much available to you in one location means those family trips plagued by long lines in hot amusement parks can now be over. For more on Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, check our website’s home page or give us a call at (409) 741-8484. We’ll be happy to take care of all the details for you. Then all you need to do is come enjoy your getaway!

Impress Your Palate at Shearn’s 4-Diamond Restaurant

Fine dining among the pyramids of Galveston Bay

Shearn's is one of the finest dinning experiences available at Moody GardensGalveston’s irresistible charm is a wonderful mix of romantic history and contemporary excitement. French pirates were the first to settle here, but they never imagined that the island would eventually be crowned with glass pyramids. As you cross the causeway from Houston over Galveston Bay, Moody Gardens welcomes you with its breathtaking signature structures. There’s so much to explore at this unique resort including a fine dining experience set nine stories above the bay.

Delicious Standards

Winning AAA Four Diamond recognition for excellence in dining is an extraordinary accomplishment. Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks lays rightful claim to 10 of these coveted awards. Located on the ninth floor of the Moody Gardens Hotel, this world-class establishment serves the finest cuisine in the region with all the extras you expect. Premium service complements a beautiful dining room graced with stunning views of sunsets over the bay. Moody Gardens Hotel General Manager, Garvin O’Neil, credits the appreciation of guests as well as the restaurant’s high standards for the past decade of awards and accolades.

Delectable Classics

White table cloths and sparkling crystal set the tone in this upscale venue, but you don’t need a tux to be seated. Well-dressed casual reigns, and island chic is always welcome. The culinary talents of chef Urs Schmid celebrate both fresh seafood and prime steaks with delicious flair. Enticing appetizers range from jumbo Gulf shrimp cocktails to heavenly lump crab salads. The best reason to never dine alone at Shearn’s is simple: You don’t have to choose between the blackened red snapper or Chateaubriand. Sharing is the best way to savor the entire menu, but if you do fly solo, the decadent desserts are all yours.

Island Adventures

While you enjoy a classic cocktail at Shearn’s lovely piano bar, reflect in the soft lights of the pyramids that beckon just beyond the picture windows. Each one showcases a special theme with guest adventures centered around tropical rainforests, beautiful aquariums and interactive science exhibits. Call it an evening, retire to one of the hotel’s 428 luxurious rooms, and plan on a bowl of Shearn’s legendary shrimp gumbo or silky lobster bisque for lunch. With more than 420 lush acres to roam, you’ll be glad you fortified yourself for all the adventures you’ll find in this extraordinary location.

Whether you’re conducting business or escaping for a weekend, Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center welcomes you to Galveston. Soak up the sights, explore the pyramids, and satisfy the gourmet in your soul with the finest dining on the island at Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks.