Hyatt Lost Pines

I recently visited the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa to refamiliarize myself with the property. Located between Austin and Bastrop, Texas, this 405 acre retreat is brimming with vacation promise and possibility. I’ve photographed a few events there over the years, but was hired to write some text for Destination Hyatt and wanted to get a glimpse of how it had changed since my last visit. And due to a $6 million “soft” renovation, it’s changed quite a bit.

What is a soft renovation, you ask? (Actually, I asked Jill Williams, Public Relations Coordinator for the resort, the same question.) Think of it as the facility getting an entirely new wardrobe: carpet, furniture, fixtures, beds, drapes, and a host of other things that make it feel fresh, clean, and modernly comfy. This is the lobby, and I can sum up my impression in two words: Chevron rug. Sure, the orange sofa (Hook ‘Em Horns!) and the cow pillows give a nod to the local flavor, but the rugs absolutely make the room.

This isn’t a great view of the hotel itself; it’s the back side of one of the wings. The day was chilly and windy, and I was on a golf cart, but I wanted to offer a small glimpse of accommodations.

February isn’t the greatest month to photograph the resort, because many of the trees are bare and winter is just winding down.  But it was the only month that worked with my deadline.  Try to imagine full, green branches, swaying in the wind. The property is stunningly gorgeous when everything’s in bloom.

This course got a mention in Golfweek, meaning it’s pretty decent as far as resort golfing goes. (I wouldn’t know. Golfing is my idea of punishment.)

I’m probably not saying this right, but each wing of the hotel has wings of its own. In addition to the one you can see, there are hallways to the right and left of the medallion. Let’s just say there’s plenty of room.

There’s an invitation to linger at every turn.

This is the activities desk, and let me tell you, the resort has plenty of activities to choose from. See the painting of the cardinals? Hyatt Lost Pines hosts an annual Christmas Bird Count, an event that was started by the National Audubon Society (in 2011 participants reportedly identified 112 species.) Other popular events are the Zooma Texas Half Marathon and 5k, and the resort’s New Year’s Eve Family Celebration. Listen up, parents! If you’re anything like I used to be (when my kids were younger), you’re always on the lookout for something to do on New Years Eve that’s both festive and family friendly. Look no more — that is, if you’ve got cash to spare. For $509 a family of four (two adults, two kids) can check in on December 31, enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner, attend the New Years Eve Jamboree (which features a carnival with real rides, music, dancing, face-painting, balloon artists, a moonwalk jump house and s’more roasting), champagne and Shiner Bock toasts for the grownups, a deluxe fireworks show, and a breakfast brunch. Apparently it sells out every year, so get on it if you’re interested. Other popular activities at the resort include horseback riding, tennis (with two lighted courts), basketball, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, horseshoes and disc golf. I could go on and on…

Spa Django was listed as one of Conde Nast Traveler’s “75 Hot New Spas” in 2007. They had me at the strawberry lime water, but I took a look around nonetheless.

The aqua walls and amber light create a killer ahhh-mbience.

Think green. 

This amenity is probably why a lot of people vacation here. Lost Pines has a mini-water park, featuring the Crooked River Pool and a large water slide. The pool winds around in a very large loop, and a current carries swimmers (and tubers) round and round.

Ignore the leaves. It’s February and no one is swimming. 

I love this: the resort has mascots. There are oblivious longhorn steer in the distance, but Boo Boo the alpaca noticed me right away. In fact, he came running when I called him.