Where do I start with Lake Austin Spa Resort? Well I think it is only fair to say from the outset that Condé Nast Traveler are right in voting Lake Austin Spa Resort the #1 Destination Spa on the Condé Nast Gold List. It is stunning, in so many ways.
You are made to feel completely at home
I wish Lake Austin Spa was my home, I really really do. From the moment you arrive the staff are super friendly, informative and polite. It seems their main purpose is to ensure you relax and really nothing is too much trouble. The rooms are so cosy that you could happily spend the winter hibernating amongst the scatter cushions and Afghan blankets. The designers really have thought through how to marry luxury with the comforts of home. The rooms (or really cabins) each have a private porch with lounge chairs which look out on to the lake, a small private garden at the rear and fresh cut flowers placed in the bedroom each day. The bathroom was an absolute joy with “Lavender Fields” products exclusive to the resort and a huge bath tub which looks out on to private garden. For a lady with long hair I have so much appreciation for hotels that have a hand held shower attached to a bath tub (I get to soak in a bath and have freshly washed hair!?)
And thank goodness you can happily swan around the resort in your bathrobe because they are quite possibly the most luxurious item of clothing I have ever worn.
I really could have spent all day in there but the rest of the resort and the activities on offer were so enticing that I did want to leave my room to explore. In fact many guests I spoke to left their room in the morning only to return for bedtime.
The activities are nicely balanced
Lake Austin Spa as you can guess from the name is next to Lake Austin with most of the rooms having a view from their bedroom window. The lake really is part of the resort with many activities taking place if not on the water as close to it as possible. Unfortunately, being there in early February meant I didn’t take advantage of the water sports but I did manage to get out on the resort’s boat for a lovely 45 minute tour of the lake. The resort really has made fantastic use of the lake with its walking trails along the water’s edge and its yoga deck and dock area.
If water isn’t your thing there are loads of indoor activities with a gym, various classes (including yoga, pilates and spin) and personal instructors. There are also lots of interesting educational classes throughout the day. I attend a class on nutrition, another on astronomy and also a wine tasting course, all of which were run by very knowledgeable instructors.
As a guest you can do as much or as little as you like. There really is no pressure to take part in any of the activities. In fact there are lots of areas in the resort where you can sit with a good book, enjoy the view of the lake or just relax. The resort has something for everyone.
Where health meets gourmet
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included in the room rate along with snacks throughout the day. There is also a non-alcoholic beverage bar featuring coffee, lemonade, and herbal teas available at all times. As with everything else in the resort the food has been really well thought through. The lunch and dinner menu changes seasonly. There are a variety of specials each day and the desserts options are fabulous. The food is incredibly healthy, the portions are small but and I must stress this – the food tastes wonderful. The flavour combinations work perfectly, the ingredients are incredibly fresh (the home grown herbs are a lovely touch) and if you do want seconds, you can simply ask your attentive waiter for some more. There are five courses on offer in the evening and the wine list is also excellent.
The dining experience is very relaxed with the odd guest wearing their spa robe to dinner. During my stay the atmosphere was lovely with a few big groups of friends chatting away and couples spending quality time together. I was most impressed with the ‘friendship table’ set up by the resort for solo travellers to sit together (if they wanted to) and enjoy each other’s company.
Room service is available throughout the resort if guests prefer to spend time back in their comfy room.
Just a stones throw away from the main resort building is the spa. The building is a beautifully designed space with wonderful art work, comfortable relaxation areas and 20 treatment rooms with state of the art amenities. In addition to the private treatment rooms the spa also has larger rooms for groups or couples to take spa treatments together. I was booked in to have the ‘Tour of Texas’ treatment which after touring most of Texas and beyond was very much needed! I was escorted to the changing area, handed an extraordinarily comfortable spa robe and slippers and told to take my time before making my way to the ‘blue room’. Both sets of changing rooms have separate wet areas with hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms that look out onto private, stone-walled gardens. Guests can spend hours enjoying the amenities just in the changing rooms!
I finally made my way to the blue room, which is a great space to wait for your therapist to call you for your treatment. Again lots of thought has been put into making the room as relaxing and inviting as possible. I didn’t have long to wait until I was called into my treatment room. I can’t describe the next two hours other than to say that I was in a floaty paradise someone off the coast of Texas. I’ve been to quite a few spas in my time and I can honestly say this was, bar none, the best spa treatment I have ever had.
The spa also has a junior olympic-length heated lap pool housed in the grand Pool Barn and an outdoor pool for the warmer months. You can spend hours at the spa, in fact they really do encourage guests to make the most of all the amenities, including the Astor Cafe which has complimentary beverages and snacks throughout the day.
So you might not expect a spa resort to particularly cater for business travel but you would be wrong. Well sort of. The spa actually has a well designed meeting space with all the equipment you would expect. There is complimentary wifi throughout the resort and lots of space to work peacefully for a few hours if needs be. But you don’t really come to somewhere like Lake Austin Spa Resort as a place to lay your head in between meetings you come here to get away from the stress of business.
A few years ago I was booking constant flights to Houston for an organisation in the oil and gas industry, many of my Executives travelled to Texas sometimes once or twice a month. If I had heard of Lake Austin Spa Resort at the time I would have told so many of them to add a few extra days to their trip, hop on a directly flight to Austin (half an hour by plane from Houston) and spend three days in the wonderful surroundings of Lake Austin Spa resort.
In fact there is now a direct flight from London to Austin so I would recommend skipping any unnecessary business trips and going directly to Lake Austin Spa Resort.
Why book the Lake Austin Spa for your boss? If you book vacation time for you manager I would thoroughly recommend Lake Austin Spa for them. It is in a beautiful location, the resort is wonderfully accommodating, the food is fabulous and the spa is just stunning. It truly deserves its status as the number one spa destination in the States. For those outside of the USA this is a hidden gem. If you suggest this to your manager they will never stop thanking you!
Lake Austin Spa Resort: 1705 S. Quinlan Park Road Austin , Texas, 78732
Practically Perfect PA received complimentary accommodation at the Lake Austin Spa Resort. Opinions are entirely our own. Advertised minimum rate for a three night package $1,720 per person.