What: From the moment you step foot on Travaasa Austin’s grounds, you’ll be overcome with a sense of calm and well-being, thanks to the wonderfully warm and down-to-earth staff. Each of the 70 guest rooms offers a private patio, some overlooking a stretch of lush Hill Country landscape. The ultrasoft organic cotton robes and down comforters adorning the rooms’ luxurious queen beds make relaxing as easy as merely sinking in. And amenities such as tiny homemade pecan pies and fresh kettle corn delivered to your door are just a tasty preview of the cuisine Travaasa has to offer.
Jean’s Kitchen truly encapsulates the farm-to-table concept, with 3.25 acres of land supplying more than 80 varieties of organic produce and fresh eggs, as well as herbs and botanicals that are also used in Travaasa’s spa. Dinners begin with chef Benjamin Baker’s 167-year-old sourdough starter and local olive oil. The gluten-free-friendly menu, which changes almost daily, captures the taste of Texas with perfectly grilled grass-fed meats and regional accompaniments such as charred corn and griddled chipotle polenta cakes. End your meal with desserts such as Travaasa’s coconut buttermilk pie or fresh Texas peach ice cream with flaxseed cracker.
When: Opened in May of 2011, Travaasa Austin is the newest experiential resort and spa in Texas. While the Texas Hill Country boasts sunny weather almost year-round, the best times to visit are March through June and October through November — before and after the hotter summer months. Spring and fall are ideal times to take advantage of the hiking trails and outdoor classes at Travaasa, when the weather is often still warm enough to swim in the resort’s beautiful infinity pool overlooking the scenic hills.
Where: Situated on 210 acres of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve overlooking Lake Travis, Travaasa is a blissful, eco-conscious retreat, which feels worlds away from urban living — yet it resides just within Austin city limits. And with plenty of classes and workshops to choose from, this experiential resort and spa can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you choose. Additionally, Travaasa allows you to choose from either an all-inclusive rate or a customized àla carte pricing option.
Why: Unlock a few of the secrets behind the resort’s healthy and delicious cuisine with a cooking class led by the Travaasa culinary team. Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways to work off those wisely consumed calories. In addition to the large variety of yoga, Pilates, meditation and exercise classes, Travaasa colors outside the lines with fun and unique offerings such hula hooping, geocaching scavenger hunts, and country music-infused mechanical bull fitness.
Bring home a taste of Texas by learning to two-step or salsa, or even take part in Travaasa’s equine program. Equine Encounters teaches you how to use a focused, non-verbal approach in communicating with horses, while cowboy-led trail rides take you on a scenic horseback adventure. Travaasa recently implemented a farm education program as well, and now offers hands-on classes in seed germination, plant identification, composting and chicken keeping, among others.
At the end of a long day, unwind in the hot tub before indulging in a healing spa treatment such as shiatsu, sacred stone massage, or a clay wrap — all of which use organic plants and botanical oils. The Western Sky room is designed especially for men (complete with wood paneled walls using reclaimed Douglas fir and a rawhide chair) and features special treatments such as What Ales You, a package that begins with a massage and a peppermint foot treatment, and then ends with an organic Texas ale. After the sun sets, the fun continues — take a Cocktails and Crafts class, learn a new board game, participate in a wine tasting, or simply fall back into a hammock and soak in that big Texas sky full of stars.
Photos Courtesy of Travaasa Austin