#TXAway: Escape the Bustling City to Discover Austin’s Scenic Sweet Retreat

by Leean Vargas on January 19, 2023 in Living Texas, Travels,
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Just because the holiday season is over doesn’t mean you don’t deserve an after-holiday staycay or vacay. Whether you’re staying in town temporarily or looking to experience Austin in a new way with a hotel that makes you feel worlds away, Hotel Viata is perfect for just that. You’ll escape the hustle and bustle of Austin for a sweet retreat filled with relaxation and tranquility. 

Located in the upscale West Lake Hills area, the scenic Hotel Viata is situated on 38 acres with sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country. The 194-room property features 38 suites, meeting space, state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor pool with private cabanas, and offers authentic northern Italian cuisine as well as luxury spa services. 

The property was formerly known as Hotel Granduca but just recently rebranded to Hotel Viata. 

They may have changed their name, but this hillside oasis still offers the same sweet experience. Hotel Viata is the definition of the sweet life, with sweeping hillside views, scrumptious indoor and outdoor dining, in-room wine, and to top it off, a prime location.

Touches of Tuscany and Texas inspire this luxury living, nature spot. You’ll start to feel a distance away from the city even though you’re just fifteen minutes from it. 

The Sweet Life

Elevate your stay at one of the spacious Suites with southern charm that really gives into the beauty of Texas. Photo courtesy Hotel Viata.

Take a break from the bustle of Austin within one of the gracious guest rooms and suites for a great escape. Each suite and room mix chic modernism and comfort. Stay in the Deluxe Room, a standard room with lovely views of the hill country and surrounding property. You’ll have relaxing views of the hill country over your balcony to take in that sweet nature moment. 

Each guest room at Hotel Viata includes a bottle of Trinitas Cellars wine upon arrival, custom robes and slippers, as well as complimentary WiFi. Courtesy photo.

Lay your head on the comfy king bed for some sweet relaxation time, or freshen up in the spacious bathroom with a walk-in shower. Elevate your stay in one of the spacious Suites with southern charm that really gives into the beauty of Texas. Each guest room at Hotel Viata includes a bottle of Trinitas Cellars wine upon arrival, custom robes and slippers, as well as complimentary WiFi.

From comfy dog beds to an organic menu of pup-approved meals and snacks, your best friend will be all wags, living the sweet life just like you. Photo courtesy Hotel Viata.

The hotel is also super pet-friendly, so no need to leave those furry friends at home. From comfy dog beds to an organic menu of pup-approved meals and snacks, your best friend will be all wags, living the sweet life just like you! 

Soothing and Tranquilly at Spa Viata 

From a Himalayan salt stone massage to a brightening facial to a full-body detox, Spa Viata will have a treatment for your specific needs. Photo Jane Yun.

Located on the 2nd floor is where you’ll find the tranquility among the trees – Spa Viata. From a Himalayan salt stone massage to a brightening facial to a full-body detox, this modern take on luxury Italian wellness will have a treatment for your specific needs. 

The Pennybacker Massage is designed to release tension – and I most definitely felt my tension relieved. The massage therapist told me my piriformis was tight, which I found to be very helpful since massage therapists don’t usually tell you what’s tight or what to do about it.

Located on the 2nd floor is where you’ll find Spa Viata; try The Pennybacker Massage- designed to release tension. Courtesy photo.

The healing massages and refreshing facials are perfect for a rejuvenating visit to chase away those holidays-are-over blues.

The eight treatment room facility includes a designated couple’s suite as well as a private spa suite complete with a hydrotherapy tub and experiential rain shower. In addition to the massages, facials, and amenities such as a relaxation lounge, there’s also men’s and women’s locker rooms complete with a steam room and sauna to take your relaxation even further.

The retail shop at the Spa features products from a variety of organic and sustainable skincare lines from around the world – including an exclusive partnership with the elite Italian-based clean beauty skincare line, Furtuna. Photo courtesy Hotel Viata.

Not only will you get an exceptional treatment, there’s also a retail shop where you can buy the products and try them out yourself. The shop features products from a variety of organic and sustainable skincare lines from around the world – including an exclusive partnership with the elite Italian-based clean beauty skincare line, Furtuna, whose products are mostly olive oil tree derived and full of antioxidants. 

Escape with Exquisite Italian Eatery 

Be sure to check out the artisanal Italian fare that awaits you at the newly renovated Laurel Restaurant. Photo Jane Yun.

Exquisite cuisine plays a huge role in providing you the best Texas Hill Country escape, so it’s a must to check out the artisanal Italian fare that awaits you at the newly renovated Laurel Restaurant. Escape into a culinary adventure that’s simple, yet sophisticated with time-honored Italian traditions, bringing together undeniable distinctive Italian coast. 

In the middle of the restaurant is a tree surrounded by green chairs and white marble tables, blending together nature with modern luxury. The open windows allow for beautiful views of the outside greenery. (It’s even more relaxing when it’s raining!) I enjoyed dining on delicious Italian cuisine while watching the rain fall graciously. 

Escape into a culinary adventure that’s simple, yet sophisticated with time-honored Italian traditions, bringing together undeniable distinctive Italian coast. Photo courtesy Hotel Viata.

Start with the Caesar Salad which had heavenly homemade croutons I couldn’t get enough of. (We won’t blame you if you ask for more). Pick your poison of pizza or pasta. The Margherita pizza was super juicy because of the fresh heirloom tomatoes. It’s a little messy so you may want to eat it with a fork. The Spaghetti and Impossible Meatballs had flavorful San Marzano tomato sauce and basil that tasted even better the next day for leftovers. For those who want to escape the pizza or pasta, you can also check out the Joyce Farms Bone In Chicken Breast, Chilean Salmon, or Meats by Linz Steakhouse Burger. Wash it down with one of Laurel’s Libations like Shipwrecked or the Italian Side of Austin. If you’re wanting something closer to dessert, I suggest the Lil’ Pick Me Up. 

Wash down that Italian fare with one of Laurel’s Libations like Shipwrecked, which includes Bacardi Rum, Cruzan Pineapple Rum, turmeric-infused coconut cream, and lime juice. Photo courtesy Hotel Viata.

Sip on a glass of wine or cocktail on the outside patio while soaking in the hillside country views or warm up by the fire. Watch the sunset by the sparkling pool. Grab a seat and take a deep breath at the Courtyard – a stress-free zone meant for relaxing with a glass of wine and good company. (The courtyard also makes for a great photo opportunity.) Fool your friends into thinking you just took a visit to sweet Italy! 

Grab a seat and take a deep breath at the Courtyard – a stress-free zone meant for relaxing with a glass of wine and good company. Photo courtesy Hotel Viata.

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Cover photo courtesy Hotel Viata.

Leean Vargas is the Highlight Reel newsletter editor at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She is a concert enthusiast who loves traveling, photography, good food, and discovering new hangout spots in her beloved city, Austin, Texas.