Prior to having children, I would take an annual girls' trip. Now that most all of us have little ones, we seek out destinations with family-friendly activities. On the lower banks of the Colorado River, about an hour east of Austin, TX, is an upscale ranch-style resort that checks everything on the family fun list: comfort, scenery, and device-free entertainment.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is an unbeatable destination vacation for the whole family.
About six months ago, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines completed a multi-million dollar complete renovation of the resort's 434 guest rooms at 56 suites. Every room features neutral tones with accents of rich burgundy and bright blue tones, reflective of the Texas summer sky. The standard rooms have beautiful leather headboards, new paisley carpet, contemporary lighting fixtures, and a hearth with large flat-screen television. But the junior suites, patio suites, family suites, and VIP suites offer a whole new level of luxury for those traveling with children, because these suites separate the bedroom from the spacious living area, where kids are perfectly fine sleeping on the sofa bed- in fact, they prefer it.
A VIP Suite is a stylish pad to hang your hat. Photo courtesy Hyatt Regency Lost Pines.
What's really appealing for vacationing with kids is accommodations at the renovated Litton House. It's a 2,000 square foot cottage, separate from the main resort. The freedom of space to let kids be as loud and rowdy as clowns beats having to shhhhhh them while on vacation. Let loose and let the children run amok when lodging at the Litton House.
Hyatt Lost Pines offers 405 sprawling acres of merriment for those who enjoy the great outdoors. Animal handlers open the gates daily for guests to pet the resort's "mascots," which include longhorns, goats, pigs, and alpacas. These animals arrive on property when they're wee little lads and it's the hill they'll trek all of their days- they have tons of space to roam, healthy treatment and food, and new daily guests to oooh and aaah over them. In terms of the animal high life, they won the lottery.
Meet Honey and Maple, two of the resort's mascots.
McKinney Roughs Nature Park backs the property and offers 18-miles of hiking. If you're carrying kids, a 0.7 mile out-and-back route from property may be a better option.
When you return to property, you may experience the vision of cows from across the bend, dipping into the Colorado River to take a cool sip.
My kids are 9 and 4, but my daughter's legs atrophy at the mere mention of a hike, and my son's complaining commences, like clockwork, at a 1-mile marker. Towing the twosome- and for sure carrying at least one- the 0.7 mi McKinney Roughs trail was right for us.
Crooked River Water Park features a 1K-foot lazy river, a two-story water slide, an activity pool with volleyball + sandy beach, a kiddie pool, adults-only pool, and a splash pad. This is one of the notorious amenities at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. It was, in no small part, a reason for this destination and where we spent most of our time, as Sheryl Crow sang, "Soaking Up the Sun."
A limited number of Crooked River Water Park day passes are available through ResortPass for non-overnight guests. Photo courtesy Hyatt Regency Lost Pines.
There are wooden rocking chairs that overlook the main entrance to "people watch" as guests enthusiastically arrive, and reluctantly depart. Kids can play billiards, just behind the balcony chairs (which may mean using their hands and placing balls in holes-- but so long as they weren't disturbing us in our rocking chairs, their pool game, their rules).
Wooden rocking chairs are a great place to rock and relax-- or cuddle, as my nephew did with my brother.
The resort offers complimentary cruiser bikes for the whole family during daytime hours. A nostalgic stroll around the property was my, personal, most entertaining part of the stay. The cruiser bikes are well maintained with a full-time repair team on-the-ready when a tire goes flat or a chain needs attention. To be expected, when you have littles on wheels, accidents are bound to happen. We witnessed a little boy take a fall to a bloody knee- like clockwork, an employee rushed over with a first aid kit, ready to render aid. As a fit family, we are grateful that these occurrences probably happen on the daily, yet Hyatt Regency Lost Pines keeps the bike program- and without a slew of waivers.
Cruiser bikes are fun for kids of all ages at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines.
Spa Django is the resort's spa, offering a full menu of facials, massages, and body treatments. If you can ask, beg, or pay another adult in your party to watch the kids, slip away for a relaxing treatment. The resort also offers a kids' camp with activities and crafts- additional fee applies ($100 for 5-hours).
With spa treatment rooms like this, it's easy to see why Spa Django is award-winning. Photo courtesy Hyatt Regency Lost Pines.
Like many other fit mothers, I eat healthy and minimally processed food. But I also appreciate good food, company, and entertainment over dinner that I have no hand in cooking. Stories is an AAA Four Diamond-rated fine dining restaurant. With seating on the spacious patio, we were comfortable bringing the kids- as many other guests did, as well- unabashedly, make a reservation with kids' menus, boosters, and/or high chairs on the patio. But Stories is a story with no secrets- it is much buzzed about in the area. If you'd like to secure a table during your stay, make an advanced reservation.
Make an advanced reservation for Stories and request the patio. Photo courtesy Hyatt Regency Lost Pines.
If you plan on entertaining a large group, rent the LBJ Pavilion or Wildflower Pavilion. Both are rustic, elegant, spacious, and are equipped with floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls for indoor and outdoor functionality, year-round.
Just searching for a comfortable place to get away, relax, and let the kids pet animals, run around, make s'mores, and cannon ball into the pool? A couple of nights in one of the newly renovated rooms at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines will hit the spot.
Photographed L-R: goat, other goat, Davis (nephew), Cassi (sister-in-law), Chamberlan (brother), Patrick (nephew), me, hubs, Julie Anna (daughter), Hayes (son), shy goat, Brewer (nephew)
Ribeye and T-Bone, in the back, tried to avoid a photo bomb.
For more information or to book a stay at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, visit www.hyattregencylostpines.com or call 512-308-1234.
Brook Benten, M.Ed. is a wellness and fitness professional in Austin, TX. She has been a fitness educator, spokesperson, fitness model, workout video choreographer, and Executive Director of Healthy Living. Now, primarily answering to "Mom" (pronounced "MOM!"), she freelance writes for Prevention Magazine and keeps this blog to Help Other Mothers Lift the Motherload.