Just a 30-minute drive from Austin proper, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is where my wife Machin and I found a retreat amongst the trees, treats and trails. The spring Texas morning began cloudy but warm, perfect for coffee and a leisurely stroll down the breakfast buffet lineup, where I happily discovered flavors both savory and sweet—migas, biscuits, yogurt and fresh fruit compotes—and Machin was thrilled to see gluten-free pancakes on the menu. After putting an honorable dent in the enormous stack of fluffy, banana-topped deliciousness and crisp bacon, we finished our coffees and began exploring the extensive grounds.
The wide sidewalks surrounding the resort make it easy for the speed-less bicycles that are available to guests to coexist with running kids and others out and about for a morning stroll. We wove around the pool area towards the spa, located across from Wolfdancer Golf Club. On the far side of the resort, we stumbled upon alpacas and butterfly and hummingbird gardens. We threw down our kickstands to greet the wildlife. The natural landscaping and local foliage smelled like sunshine. We took in the water features and smiled to see children young and old delight in the colors and sights of the flowers and butterflies. Hyatt Lost Pines boasts that it has “countless cures for nature deficit disorder,” including hiking, biking, birding, Frisbee golf, tennis, and tetherball. All the activities are perfect ways to spend your days, since they are available and free as part of your stay. You can fill an afternoon with scheduled crafts, archery, rock climbing, horseback riding or kayaking, thanks to seasonal activities and the resort’s partnership with McKinney Roughs Nature Park.
Machin and I kept it low-key but not without one little classic Texas adventure: a photo op with real Texas longhorns! We couldn’t miss the chance to sit atop T-Bone, the 3-year-old, nearly 2,000-pound steer that had lumbered over to the back lawn for this moment. It’s obvious we weren’t the first to do this, as he is clearly famous around the resort. Learning about the animals from real cowboys truly added to our experience. Par for the course around these parts, Lost Pines does an incredible job of marrying pre-Republic of Texas history and style with the polished luxury and impeccable service you would expect from a Hyatt Resort.
Don’t let the valet service and golf tournaments give you the wrong idea—this place is all about family.
It was easy to make plans to bring our families here for a future stay. My folks would love the mix of golf and spa, nature and gourmet meals. As we hope to be parents in the next few years, we could imagine ourselves bringing little ones here to learn the joys of exploring the woods, water and pony rides in such a well–thought-out environment. We could literally spend days exploring the 18 miles of trails around the resort and the adjoining 1,000 acres of McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Special needs of any kind are met without hesitation, whether they be physical, dietary or otherwise. From multiple points of pool access to a variety of menu options, it’s clear that the folks at Lost Pines want everyone to feel welcome and relaxed and truly enjoy themselves. In fact, their tagline, “you’re more than welcome,” was embodied throughout our stay. We were never singled out, the staff was never confused by our status as a couple, and we were greeted with genuine warmth by everyone we met. Even other guests were exceptionally friendly—a nod to the peaceful, old-days community fostered by the culture of Lost Pines.
They genuinely have thought of everything. Families with kids a bit older could take advantage of Wolfdancer’s “Wolf Pack” package, in which four family members can spend an afternoon out on the green. When the moms or dads need some time to rejuvenate on their own, they can indulge in Spa Django, the adult-only pool, or simple rocking chairs with a view while the kids enjoy Camp Hyatt, Horse Camp, or a treatment of their own at the Wild Hare Youth Spa. Once everyone’s feeling nice and relaxed, the whole troupe can head over to the family-friendly pool that features lawn chairs in the sand at one end and a volleyball net at the other. A hot tub, splash pad, and easy access to food and drinks complete the oasis.
Even in our one-day stay, we took it upon ourselves to soak up as much as possible—rays by the pool, Blue Bell ice cream and house-made fudge at McDade’s Emporium & Ice Cream Saloon, and a 60-minute Duet Couple’s Massage as the cherry on top. We headed back to Austin calm, more in touch with nature, with ourselves and with one another, wishing we could stay, promising to return.