We were looking for a weekend golf escape with a good golf stay and play package that was close to Dallas and the Westin Stonebriar in Frisco turned out to be perfect. We love Westins and have enjoyed them from St John in the US Virgin Islands to Hawaii. They're like McDonalds - very consistent and you know what you'll get. In the case of every Westin we have enjoyed, we've gotten: excellent service, good accommodations, great amenities, excellent food, and those Heavenly beds.
The Westin Stonebriar is located just north of Dallas in Frisco, which is one of the nations fastest growing and most dynamic cities in Texas. Frisco is loaded with award winning dining, plenty of boutique to department store shopping, sports complexes, fun nightlife, and excellent nearby golf courses. And the Westin is close to all of it!
When you enter the Westin you know you're in for a special treat - an impressive lobby with handcrafted pecan and walnut woods and an upscale motif throughout the hotel which offers an elegant but casual and comfortable feel. Original western paintings and period pictures adorn each of the walls contributing to the Texas rustic elegance. It's easy to see why the Westin was the winner of the coveted AAA "Four Diamond."
With 5 floors, the Westin has 301 "Texas sized" guest rooms including 13 suites with balconies. The higher level rooms have sweeping panoramic views - our room on the 5th floor had a view for miles and overlooked the golf course and huge homes in the Stonebriar community. Our room was well appointed with art work, two chairs and a small table, a workstation with an internet connection, a huge flat screen TV, a safe, mini fridge, and a good sized bathroom.
It's The Little Things
It's the little things that quickly add up to make a stay at the Westin very special. The service is impeccable - very personal and passionate. For example John, who checked us in was not only polite and courteous and called us by our first names, he was a wealth of knowledge about restaurants, shopping, the golf course, nightlife and more - all of which seemed like it was from first hand experience. He went out of his way to help and make sure we had enough information to make some well informed decisions on live music, restaurants, and a couple other things to see and do.
But best of all may have been when we returned to our room after a good meal at Ernies to find a tray with a bottle of red wine and a plate of delectable chocolate - covered strawberries, rum filled chocolate balls, and a fabulous chocolate swirl shell filled with whipped cream, strawberries, and two white chocolate straw twists. After quickly devouring all of that on top of a very filling meal, I was ready to jump in the Westin's Heavenly Bed.
The bed is to die for - Westin's exclusive pillow top mattress contours to your body, plush goose down pillows cushion your head, and crisp cotton sheets (100% Egyptian 600 thread count cotton) and a fluffy duvet and 230 thread count (ever wonder who actually counts threads?) 100% cotton down blanket keep you warm and cozy. And unique for a hotel, the Westin's air conditioners are quiet and actually cool the room to the temperature you set on the thermostat!
The next morning, the aroma of a cup of fresh in room Starbucks brought me to attention. I grabbed the supplied kimono style Terry Robe, made with 100% plush cotton, turned on the news on the 37 inch flat panel HDTV, pulled a chair up to our "fresh air balcony" on the 5th floor overlooking some of the Stonebriar Country Club Golf Course holes, and began planning my course management strategy to par each of the holes I saw - I was a little worried about that big lake around a couple holes!
After a cup of coffee (in room coffee was Starbucks Africa Kitamu!), it was off to oversized bathroom for a shower, which has those fantastic Westin custom designed dual shower heads (more power and wider water coverage - always helpful for us wide bodies) which blasted my body with warm water. Even the soap is special - white tea aloe, which is the same as the shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion. And you can't find any better towels than the Westin's 100% Brazilian combed cotton. Well rested, clean, and loaded with caffeine, I was ready for breakfast and then a round of golf.
Stonebriar Country Club
After such a good nights sleep, several cups of coffee, and a great breakfast plus some Advil and all of that course planning, how could I not have a good round of golf? The Pro Shop is on the ground floor of the Westin and after chatting with Travis East, the head pro, about the course and some tips on how to score well ("stay in the fairway"), we were anxious to tee off on the Tom Fazio designed Stonebriar course. Turns out that all the planning I had done from looking at the course from our room was in vain - I was looking at some of the holes on the private Stonebriar Country Club!
Tom Fazio designed a masterpiece as his first North Texas golf course - he moved tons of dirt and planted trees and landscaping to create contoured fairways, mounds, lakes, interesting green complexes, and plenty of his signature strategically placed and treacherous steep and deep bunkers. I can attest to how challenging the bunkers are - I took lots of sand home with me in my hair, pockets, and shoes!
The front nine is fairly straightforward and traditional with some great holes. The back nine is outstanding with some fun and memorable holes with a little bit of everything that makes golf both fun and frustrating - elevated tee boxes, risk reward opportunities, water, sloping and tight fairways, and those nasty bunkers. Read our review of Stonebriar Country Club Fazio Course to learn more. The Westin Stonebriar has a very good stay and play package that included rental clubs, range balls, and a cart for $59 - a real bargain for such a great course.
Dining at the Westin Stonebriar
Golfing always makes me hungry - could it be due to all those strokes and effort searching for lost balls and raking sand traps? - and one of the other things that we love about Westins is the food is consistently excellent and we have never been disappointed. The Westin Stonebriar didn't let us down. To satisfy our appetite the Westin Stonebriar has several choices:
Before our round of golf we loaded up on the carbs for breakfast at The Legacy Grill. They have a full breakfast menu as well as a great breakfast buffet which includes an egg and omelet station and lots of other tasty choices.
After checking in we started our stay with drinks and appetizers in Ernie's Bar playing a round of dominos and watching the Rangers go down in the first playoff game. One side of Ernie's has a conservatory feel with soft comfy couches and leather chairs centered around a fireplace and bookshelves. The other side has a cool bar and a sports bar feel with several flat screens playing the Rangers game - a perfect place to settle the bets after golf, enjoy a drink and appetizer, and catch the latest scores.
We were so comfortable in Ernie's, that we decided to go ahead and have dinner at our table since the menu is the same as what is served in the more formal dining room at Legacy Grill. We started with the bacon wrapped jumbo shrimp appetizer - tasty citrus segments and jumbo shrimp stuffed with caramelized onions and horseradish,. wrapped with bacon, and covered with a spicy chipotle maple drizzle. Wow, delicious and they were gone before I remembered to take a picture! There were several other choices for an appetizer, like a soup of the day, feta artichoke spinach dip, chili con queso, red hot buffalo wings, jumbo lump crab cake, and more.
For entrees there were several interesting items some of which included: soups and salads, lobster sliders, smoked turkey wraps, a seafood and gemelli pasta, NY style thin crust pizza, and a "cowboy" spiced half pound black angus cheeseburger (it was huge) plus the chef's specials. The specials change each week but our choices were lobster vol au vent (lobster, portobello mushroom, and fresh tarragon in a puff pasty topped with a lobster cream sauce - (another Wow which we quickly devoured), dragon roll (cream cheese with shrimp tempura topped with avocado and eel sauce (sounds unique), artichoke stuff shrimp, grilled filet of beef, and my choice which was a 16 ounce perfectly cooked cowboy bone in rib-eye covered with a delicious blue cheese demi glaze plus sauteed asparagus and boursin mashers. After dinner we had plans to head over to the nearby Shops at Legacy to check out the bars and nightlife, but we were so full and satisfied that we waddled back to the room, jumped in the heavenly bed, and were snoring within a few minutes. We must be getting old!
The next day, we did find some time to enjoy the pool where you can order lots of good stuff from the Aqua Bar, for example: pan asian chicken salad, BLT wrap, cajun shrimp tacos, half pound burgers, pizzas, and more. But best of all may be the signature drinks like African Safari (rum, coconut cream, pineapples, and banana), bloody Maria (tequila, tomato juice, fresh lime and Mexican hot sauce), or the lemon berry mojito with bacardi limon, simple syrup, fresh mint, squeezed lime, plus splash of soda plus mint and blueberry garnish. A few of those and you may end up back in the Heavenly bed or snoozing on the comfortable pool chaise lounge chairs.
For Your Enjoyment
Speaking of the pool, it is another one of the things that we like about Westins - the amenities are typically first class. Some of the amenities at the Westin Stonebriar include:
Other Things To Do
It's virtually impossible to not find something nearby that suites your fancy. Frisco and Plano are loaded with everything that you could ever want to see and do - and if you can't find it there, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington are all less than 40 minutes away. Here are just a few things to check out:
Bottom Line - for a business meeting, wedding, reunion, golf stay and play, or weekend getaway, the Westin Stonebriar is perfect - good amenities, outstanding food, excellent golf, first class service, and lots to see and do nearby. Have fun.