S’mores by the campfire and mango mimosas by the pool — Hyatt Regency Hill Country dishes up treats for all ages. Simple pleasures abound at this historic ranch turned charming Texas resort.
Sunlight streams through the leaves of towering live oaks, as black-bellied whistling ducks land on branches and call to bird friends still circling in the air. A goose waddles down the pea gravel path, loudly announcing its arrival. Squirrels and grackles draw near, and kids in pajamas start to get excited about the paper cups they’re holding, full of dried corn.
It’s 8 a.m. on a Saturday and it’s wildlife feeding time at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.
This is what it’s like at the charming San Antonio getaway — all the joy and wonder of a working ranch, with none of the actual work. Just small delights like coffee on your balcony as the sun rises, followed by a stroll past butterfly-laden Texas shrubs on your way to feed some wild ducks.
Tucked away on 300 acres of the historic Rogers-Wiseman family ranch, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa makes old-fashioned fun easy. You can borrow a bike to ride paths lined with Texas mountain laurels and agaves, autumn sage and yellow lantana. Or join organized activities, like a campfire talk with a ranger or noodle hockey on the stretch of grass called Aunt Mary’s Lawn.
I’m not from Texas, but it’s easy to imagine I’m visiting a wealthy relative whose sprawling Hill Country ranch has enough rooms for all the cousins. The accommodations are homey and welcoming.
The resort’s guest rooms and suites have all been recently redecorated, as part of a $50 million renovation. The new decor includes wood floors and a cozy rug, brightly painted Texas landscapes and “Remember the Alamo” artwork, plus beautiful tiles in new walk-in showers.
Free-Range Kids and Happy Adults on the Ranch
Kids who meet here become fast friends and run off to play tetherball, chase each other on the playground or build a sandcastle on the beach. Friendships blossom as they make plans to meet up again in the evening, for fireside s’mores and a family movie on the lawn.
On a recent visit, my husband and I were happy to let our daughter try the two-story water slide with her newfound friends. It allowed us to choose a more mellow activity — tubing the resort’s winding lazy river.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country’s 5-acre water park is a favorite of ours, with waterfalls, a grotto, pools and a giant hot tub. The 950-foot lazy river is its crown jewel. Shaded by a canopy of giant live oaks, you drift slowly along, pushed gently by the current. And if that current pushes you over to the riverside bar, you can order a beverage to take along for the ride.
Unwind With a Spa Treatment in the Red Barn
If you’re looking for an even quieter spot to relax, Windflower Spa is an indoor/outdoor haven. Built with materials from 23 salvaged buildings — including an abandoned drug store in Austin, a whiskey distillery and the Timber Peanut Mill in Brady, Texas — the spa is a series of interconnected buildings, including a refurbished red barn.
Book a service, like a glow-time facial or a hot stone massage, or pay $20 to enjoy the amenities for the day. Women and men have separate areas, each with a whirlpool, sauna and eucalyptus steam room. And there are coed spaces, too, including a large outdoor pool with hammocks.
Grab a complimentary pecan cookie — or two or three — a blueberry mini muffin and a flavored mimosa (your choice of peach, mango, orange or strawberry) or wine. Sip and munch in an oversized swing on the spa’s back porch, and order lunch to be delivered poolside. You’ll probably want to stay a while.
Plan Your Next Visit to the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort
Fall is the perfect time to visit this San Antonio resort. The air smells of woodsmoke and yellow leaves drift down to dot the Ramblin’ River. Hearty Texas flowers bloom and the resort grounds are uncrowded. All the pools are open year-round.
Visit the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa website for rates and current promotions.
Cover Photo Courtesy Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
Heidi Gollub is an editor who lives in Austin with her family. She grew up bouncing around the globe and now enjoys sharing her love of travel with her own children.