Some folks are campers. Some like a comfy accommodation. Some are OK with grub fixed over a fire but some like to be served a gourmet meal on their vacation. Within this venn diagram, there exists the ideal glamper.
For the glamper, there’s a hidden gem, tucked deep into the Texas Hill Country, near Wimberley. Collective Hill Country, recently nominated for Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2021 is “socially distanced by nature.” In a time where most of the world’s travel destinations were hit hard, Collective Hill Country rose to the top of the hill (country). Folks flocked to this upscale glamping hideaway to experience gourmet dining, star-gazing at its best, and their own space on this expansive ranch.
Once you’re shown to your hand-stitched glamping tent (there are 12 on property) with private bath connected, you’ll hunker down for an overnight adventure. With privacy and relaxation being a 10 out of 10 here, there’s also a luxe vibe that creates the perfect blend of outdoor nature and comfort, sprinkled with artistic talent coming from the kitchen team.
One of the features that makes this getaway a World’s Best is their culinary program. Chef Ezra Lewis creates a banquet fit for royalty, from dawn till dusk. Breakfast is included and you can purchase lunch a la carte. Dinner is one of three options: chef’s tasting with two choices ($150 per person); a barbecue box ($120 for two people) that you grill; or their recent addition of Supper Club on select nights. This special event offers 25 seats during two dining time slots (5pm–7pm and 8pm–10 pm) for $150 per person + $50 pp wine pairing option.
Seven Course Supper Club
Supper Club wows with seven courses in addition to welcome cocktails and amuse bouches to kick off the evening. The creative menu showcases local, seasonal ingredients iconic to the Hill Country region. As an example, the menu might include cocktails like the CampFire Fizz (mezcal, Topo Chico, burnt honey and lime) or the Lemon Kiss (sage syrup, lemon vodka and limoncello); bites such as Pimento Cheese Profiterole or Sweet Sichuan Pickle. Courses such as Crispy Squash Blossom, Lady Peas, Pickled Shallot which features flowers and herbs forged from the property follow.
Not to mention the showcase of their flair for smoked/charred/roasted with the Braised Pork Belly, Cauliflower, Cinnamon, Green Apple. Or, a 16-hour Beef Shoulder, Red Mole and Marigolds or Texas Antelope from a local farm. And it all ending with desserts like Blackberry Sage Sorbet, Smoke Salt and Sunflower Seed Oil. These healthy farm-to-fork tastings are all expertly paired with Texas wine choices.
One of the signature activities at Collective Hill Wimberley is Bubbly & Branding where you get to brand your own cutting board, followed by the outdoor enjoyment of your own charcuterie board of cheese and crackers paired with champagne, Texas wine or a local craft beer.
Another unique activity is the Axe & Arrow Club ($250/couple) where you’ll work with an expert thrower to learn the basics of axe and knife throwing, bow and arrows and other javelin-like throwing concepts. Whether you’re looking to burn some calories or some aggression, this might be your thing! But my favorite part came after, when we were treated to a CR box full of yummy goodies like hummus, olives, watermelon salad and Topo Chicos. Pro tip: Schedule one of these activities right before mealtime to enjoy its foodie bonus!
The new Collective Wellness program offers outdoor healing sessions including yoga and pilates, live sound bowl restorative healing, and other classes for the body and mind. The property is ripe for self-guided hiking, and it’s dog friendly, although there’s a fee for that and you must kennel the dog when it’s not with you.
Work From Tent
And, if you don’t feel like you can get away for pure relaxation, instead of WFH, go Work From Tent for the best of all worlds. Tents start at $379/night on weeknights (more expensive on weekends). Collective Hill Country is open from September to June (due to the Texas heat).
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Cover photo courtesy Marika Flatt
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career with Austin Woman Magazine when it premiered in the fall of 2002. Now, she can be seen on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips, in addition to her long-running “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard.