Austin’s Wilderness Escape, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa

Unplug and escape to Texas at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, just 13 miles from the Austin Airport and 2 hours from Houston.  Post a $6-plus-million enhancement, this rural Austin hotel has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a couples retreat or a family vacation. This Texas hotel is in the Lost Pines area between Austin and Bastrop. Literally a river runs through this property as the Lower Colorado River intersects the resort and adjoins the McKinney Roughs Nature Park expanding its outdoor options.

Entrance to the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort

Entrance to the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort

Call it digital decompression or call it a vacation, but once you arrive at this 405-acre destination resort in the Lost Pines Regions of Bastrop County, you’ll not want for anything.  It’s a playground overflowing with outdoor activities, courtesy of its primo location. Pick from kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, trap shooting, hiking, golfing, and a water park, but you can escape the Texas heat with indoor options including full service spa, multiple food and beverage selections and a multitude of indoor space.

Arrival

Located between Austin and the up-and-coming town of Bastrop, take Highway 71 east of the airport to the Hyatt Lost Pines. Once you turn off the highway, you’ll enter this resort oasis via a 3-mile winding road edged by pine trees, scraggly ancient oaks, thick foliage, and colorful Texas wildflowers. Your first surreal sign of entering the quiet zone is the speed limit, a quirky 19 mph sign, reminding you to slow down and decompress on the short drive. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch glimpses of deer grazing and other wildlife. You’ll pass the rustic, lodge-like Renegade Trailhead, where guests can take advantage of horseback riding.  To the right is the resort’s spa while to the left is Wolfdancer Golf Club. Turn right onto another foliage-edged road to the motorcoach entrance.

Entry into the Hyatt Lost Pines is overflowing with sprawling oaks, shrubs, flowers and manicured lawns.

Entry into the Hyatt Lost Pines is overflowing with sprawling oaks, shrubs, flowers and manicured lawns.

Check-in

The Hyatt Lost Pines is a sprawling resort with the main building housing the reception and the dining, while the wings are reserved for the spacious accommodations. The architecture is reminiscent of a park lodge and an expansive Texas-style ranch, and the lobby sets the tone with an invitation to the outdoors with its vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows. The center entrance feeds to the backyard which is a Texas-style courtyard leading to the hiking trails, the Colorado River and adjoining the 1,100-acre McKinney Roughs Nature Park and you can’t help but unwind from the daily grind. To the left is the reception desk. I arrived on a Sunday afternoon, along with several families, but although there was a short line, check-in was completed within 5 minutes.

Lobby of the Hyatt Lost Pines

Lobby of the Hyatt Lost Pines

Listen closely to the directions to your room, or better yet, take advantage of the bell staff as you will need a map to navigate this expansive resort. The walk to my room was a solid 5 minutes of winding hallways and elevators.

In addition to leisure vacations, the Hyatt Lost Pines is also a hot spot for meetings with an abundance of indoor and outdoor space.

Accommodations

I regretted declining the bell staff’s assistance after a couple of wrong turns before finally arriving at my room, but the wind down had already begun. The renovation updates included the rooms, and the natural light and new pecan-and-pine color schemes enhanced the spacious accommodations. I’m not usually a hotel carpet fan, but my eyes were drawn to the twig-inspired carpet, a nod to the woodsy exterior, which was enhanced by the splashes of bright color on the king bed’s throw pillows and the desk chairs.

Lots of space in the Hyatt Lost Pines accomodations.

Lots of space in the Hyatt Lost Pines accomodations.

In addition to leisure guests, this hotel does cater to the corporate and meeting world, which always makes me happy as the work space is always more than adequate and comfortable. Complimentary WiFi is available in the room, another bonus whether traveling for business or pleasure.

My routine is to immediately open the windows, and although my view wasn’t the best (part parking lot and glimpse of golf course entrance), I could open my patio door and step onto the nice-sized balcony.

The first trip back to the lobby was a series of missed turns. However, I did learn that each of the buildings has a direct outdoor access allowing me to bypass the 5 minute winding walk and head directly to the lobby.HyattLostPinesColoradoRiver

Dining

You’ll not go hungry at the Hyatt Lost Pines with several dining options. Recently renovated Firewheel Café serves three meals a day with views of the resort grounds via its surrounding floor-to-ceiling windows, including a handful of Texas wildflower stained glass. Order off the menu or fill your belly with several buffet options. Our first night was Italian themed, while breakfast buffet included my favorite – omelet station.

Shellers Barrelhouse Bar is a casual restaurant and bar, perfect to gather at the end of the day for dining with cowhide club chairs and family-style dining benches and farm red dining chairs. Grab a beer or cocktail and challenge your friends or families to game of billiards.

Take the family to the library-like Scribes Club. Play Scrabble, curl up with a book, and just relax in front of the hearth. There’s also a coffee-shop near the reception desk serving light breakfast and sandwiches.

Amenities

The resort offers a full slate of opportunities to get out and do something – and the cool part is there is no resort fee. Recreational activities are as massive as the resort’s acreage: horseback, archery, trap shooting at Renegade Trailhead; kayaking, rafting and floating on the Lower Colorado River; over 18 mmiles of hiking and horsebacking riding trails within the McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Of course, there’s also Camp Hyatt children’s programs.  Hyatt_McKinneyNaturePark

When the sun sets, make your way to toward the Colorado River to enjoy complimentary fireside s’mores. Or sign up for the new 60-minute Stargazing (just $5), a guided tour of the stars including an awe-inspiring look at Saturn and other constellations through a high-powered telescope.

Soak up the Texas sun at the Crooked River Water Park with multiple pools (including an adult pool). Float in the lazy river, splash in multiple pools (including an adult pool), or sunbathe. There’s also a pool bar to order sandwiches or enjoy a poolside beverage, but you don’t have to leave your chair as attendants will take your order poolside.HyattLostPinesCrooked River

Don’t miss an opportunity to swing your club at the Audubon-sanctioned 18-hole course, Wolfdancer Golf Club designed by Arthur Hills. Book an early tee-time to avoid the heat. Wolfdancer is a challenging but playable course, and I recommend playing it twice.

Signature hotel, Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Lost Pines

Signature hotel, Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Lost Pines

 

Summary

The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa defines destinations resort, and the primo setting for unplugging and unwinding. The size of the resort is both a benefit and a disadvantage as you do have to hoof it when leaving yoru room. Although I’m not fan of resort fees ($25 per room here), I was impressed with its menu of amenities, so you will get your monies worth! You’ll not hear nor say “I’m bored” at the Hyatt Lost Pines, and you’ll be unable to resist getting outdoors and enjoying everything this Texas-sized resort offers.

For room rates, check the hotel’s website. You can also compare rates at Travelocity.

The Omni Parker House provided my accommodations, but the review is strictly my opinion. Photos courtesy of Diana Rowe & Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa.

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