#TravelTuesday: The Reserve at GreenLeaf — S’more Than Just a Yurt

by Brook Benten Jimenez on March 2, 2021 in Living Texas, Austin, Travels,

Picture a mecca of rolling hills in wooded nature with hiking trails and a river running through it. 

You’re far from the hustle and bustle of life in major Texas cities—yet only an hour from Austin, two from Houston or San Antonio, or three from Dallas—amidst 230 acres of natural beauty in Lost Pines, TX.  

On The Reserve at GreenLeaf’s property, you can get lost in the pines and prairie land or opt to block out the outside world and crawl into the plush bed with feathery down comforter and snow white duvet. 

Get lost in the pines and prairie land at The Reserve at GreenLeaf. Photo Brook Benten Jimenez

What Exactly is a Yurt?

You’ll be torn between the options of exploring nature versus collapsing in your luxurious yurt. Here’s what “yurt” means and why you’ll want to say yes to it.

The Lantana at The Reserve at GreenLeaf is a luxurious yurt cabin with a king-size bed and ensuite private bathroom. Photo Brook Benten Jimenez

A traditional yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins. What we’re talking about here in Central Texas is a modern, glampified version of the yurt. There are four of these mini home-away-from-homes at The Reserve. Each of the yurts has its own unique decor, but there’s a common theme of charm and modern luxury.  

Owners Bubba and Jeanne Clardy purchased the yurts as a kit from Freedom Yurt Cabins, which manufactures in the USA. The Clardys then upgraded each yurt by replacing the standard flooring with custom floors and adding on a gorgeous attached bathroom. (Bubba laughed as he said that Jeanne wants things done right. The old adage, “happy wife, happy life” came to mind.) 

Yurts at The Reserve

We stayed in The Lantana. The king-sized bed, decked out with 540 thread count sateen sheets, was heavenly. I literally think it may have been the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on, which is exactly what we “glamping types” are in it for. As for design, the Clardys adapted the modern trend of a sliding barn door to access the bathroom. 

The 450 square foot open floor plan of the Lantana is filled with natural light thanks to the high lodgepole pine ceiling and skylight. The full-size private bathroom offers a walk-in shower with teak flooring. Photo Brook Benten Jimenez

The bathroom itself had a spacious shower with a rain shower head. Bliss. Their locally-sourced soaps are handmade in Bastrop. 

We found the yurt’s mini-fridge stocked with an assortment of beverages and fresh half-and-half… which was just what I needed to top off the delicious locally-sourced coffee provided for brewing in the French press. Tea drinkers, never fear—there were plenty of hot tea options, too. As for the welcome basket, it was stocked with a very welcome assortment of goodies. Even including bags of s’mores’ ingredients: Hershey’s bar chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.

Adventures by Day, S’mores by Night

By day, we hiked the nearly 6 miles of trails on property. If hiking isn’t your jam, you can cast a line in a catch and release fishing pond, enjoy outdoor games like Corn Hole, Ladder Ball and Giant Jenga, or sit back and read a book in one of two wooden chairs resting on a deck with a peaceful view. 

The Reserve at GreenLeaf also offers kayak rentals, which they transport to Lake Bastrop or the Colorado River. During the summer, Bubba and Jeanne welcome guests to their private estate for a dip in their expansive pool complete with a 40-foot waterslide.

By night, roast s’mores in the fire pit and relax in the spacious hot tub swim spa. Photo Brook Benten Jimenez

By night, we roasted our s’mores in the fire pit and relaxed in the spacious hot tub swim spa.  The swim spa had LED lights and was bluetooth-enabled, so keep that in mind if you like to prepare a well-curated playlist. Or, you can scratch that and just enjoy the soothing sounds of nature and running water through hot tub jets.  If you’d like to throw some meat or veggies on a grill, a gas grill is provided in the same general vicinity as the fire pit and hot tub.

A Warm Texas Welcome

Part of what makes The Reserve at GreenLeaf so special is the hosts who have poured their hearts into it and treat each guest like family. It’s the Clardy’s first venture into a hospitality business. “Jeanne has the gift of hospitality, and a little has rubbed off on me over the years,” says Bubba. He is the fourth-generation of the family in Bastrop descendant and loved growing up in the small town. 

The Reserve at GreenLeaf owners Bubba and Jeanne Clardy, pictured with their 7 children plus spouses, and 3 of the Clardy grandchildren. ““One of our greatest desires as people, parents and proprietors is to share something we love and enjoy with others,” says Bubba. Courtesy photo

Their ecotourism venture is close to the Clardys’ hearts. “One of our greatest desires as people, parents and proprietors is to share something we love and enjoy with others. Our biggest joys are seeing our guests fully enjoy what we have created here at The Reserve at GreenLeaf and see them return again and again.” 

Editor’s Note: Read more about Bubba and Jeanne’s story, and the background to the The Reserve in our recent #TXVoices article.

Although the yurts are welcoming for the whole family, and an ideal location for family reunions which could occupy all four yurts, there is something really special here for couples. There’s a visceral feeling of peace and tranquility that envelops you. Whether a getaway for newlyweds or a re engagement retreat for old married folks, the romance at The Reserve at GreenLeaf is good for the relationship and good for the soul.

Rates: $230-250/night; 2-night minimum.
Book direct or use the promo code TEXASXHIPCAMP for a $10 discount on your Hipcamp reservation. (No expiration.)

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Cover photo courtesy Photo courtesy Peter Zuniga Media

Brook Benten Jimenez, M.Ed., a contributing writer to Texas Lifestyle Magazine, is well known for her (mega-hard, we want to die) workout videos. Benten Jimenez’s first book, “Sweat Like a Mother” will be released this year. It’s full of humor, personal stories, and workouts. Follow her at brookbenten.com or on Instagram to stay abreast of details.