Get Together at a Resort in the Hill Country
Sometimes it’s hard to get family members to agree on a simple evening outing, so choosing a vacation spot can be a real challenge. Everyone wants to do something different — golf, go hiking, lay out by the pool, get a massage. Fortunately, there are resorts scattered around the Hill Country that provide everyone with the vacation they want most. These full-service resorts boast some of the finest facilities in the country, offering award-winning golf courses and nationally recognized dining experiences.
We’ve rounded up a few notable examples. Take a look — when you feel the need to get away, you may find the perfect retreat just down the road.
With all these options, how do you choose?
He wants to go golfing, and she wants to be pampered. He’s looking for a five-star meal; she wants a margarita by the pool. Where do they go? They can stay right here — the Texas Hill Country will provide.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
Athletes will find more than enough to do at the Hill Country Hyatt. Spend an afternoon or a whole weekend on the 27-hole, 200-acre golf course that made this resort the "#1 Texas golf destination" according to Condé Nast Traveler. Swim, splash, dive or play a game of water volleyball in the four-acre water park. Spend a few hours in the 24-hour, fully-stocked fitness center to tone and trim your body, or take one of the many classes offered, including yoga and water aerobics.
While the athletes are busy, the rest of us can relax. Float along the Ramblin’ River, a lazy, 950-foot stream that will carry you away from the rest of the world, or just hang out by one of the two swimming pools. Spend an hour or a day at the Wildflower Spa, enjoying facials, massages and body treatments, or indulging in a pedicure or manicure. After a day of recreation or repose, everyone can meet over dinner at any one of seven cafes, bars and restaurants, including the AAA Four Diamond-rated Antlers Lodge.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
Some prefer the social life, while others prefer solitude. Both can find the perfect getaway at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort. Making friends on the golf course is easy, and this may be the best place to pal around with the pros. Two 18-hole golf courses, designed by Pete Dye and Greg Norman, are the newest addition to the Tournament Players Club network of golf resorts, and are available exclusively to resort guests. In the summer, the center of the social life is the 1100-foot lazy river where you can float alongside families and friends. Kids will love the 650-foot ride of rapids and the 315-foot slide, and little tykes will enjoy playing in an extensive water fountain and splash pool.
But if solitary is more your style, you can find plenty of space — and exercise — in the miles of hiking and walking trails that wander throughout the resort. For the ultimate introspective experience, visit the Lantana Spa to enjoy massages, facials, body treatments and a remarkably well-equipped fitness center. Dine alone or with your whole social set at any of six restaurants, featuring everything from super-healthy spa fare to the finest modern American cuisine.
Barton Creek Resort and Spa
A day, a weekend or a lifetime? Some want the occasional retreat. For others, the good life is a way of life. Both can find everything they need at the Barton Creek Resort and Spa. Four 18-hole golf courses offer unique challenges and spectacular scenery, from the cliffs, caves and waterfalls of Fazio Foothills to the rolling hills and easy contours of Crenshaw Cliffside. The Barton Creek Golf Academy uses advanced technology to analyze your swing and improve your technique. But if golf isn’t your thing, Barton Creek is also one of the best places in Central Texas to play — and learn — tennis. Club pros teach novices and experts how to refine their swing with individual and group classes, and the tennis center also offers camps for kids. The fitness center boasts some of the most cutting-edge equipment around, with classes on everything from aqua training to prenatal yoga. Spa treatments will renew, relax and replenish you after hours spent in the hot Texas sun. Your visit wouldn’t be complete without a meal at one of the three restaurants or some lighter fare at the poolside cabana. But a trip to Barton Creek doesn’t have to be a vacation — this is also Barton Creek Country Club, where members enjoy all these opportunities year round.
Lake Austin Spa Resort
A spa can serve many purposes, and with all the activities available at Lake Austin Spa Resort, you may have a hard time deciding what kind of retreat you want to have. Some come to rest and de-stress, and the calm, flowing waters of the Colorado provide a perfect backdrop for soothing spa treatments and gentle, restorative yoga and meditation. Some come to invigorate their bodies and make a new commitment to their health. Cardio, strength, flexibility and balance classes are all on the menu, and guests receive inspiration, guidance and motivation to carry with them into daily routines. Speaking of menus, the chefs at Lake Austin Spa Resort are known for creating sumptuous yet healthy meals with an understanding that all things are good — in moderation. Whether you come to rest or recharge, after a few days wrapped in the cocoon of Lake Austin Spa, you may just emerge as a better version of you.
Westin La Cantera Resort
Some vacation to see the world, while others retreat by exploring the inner self. Both are possible at the Westin La Cantera. If you want to capture some of the finest views of nature in all the Hill Country, play a round of golf at either of the 18-hole courses. The Palmer Course, designed by the master himself, includes the signature fourth hole, where dramatic waterfalls line the green. While you improve your game you can enrich your spirit with the magnificent views afforded by the 80-foot cliffs separating the fairway and the green on the seventh hole of the Resort Course. There are also plenty of inspiring landscapes waiting for those who take to the hiking trails surrounding the resort.
Vacationers in search of the self can shed their outer layers at the Castle Rock Health Club and Spa, then spend an afternoon of reflection at any of the six swimming pools. Eight resort restaurants will provide plenty of reasons to get out of your room and indulge your inner epicurean.