You'll reconnect with your friends while being pampered.
Mary Margaret Chambliss, Meg McKinney
Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, TexasI discovered an Eden-like slice of paradise tucked away in the Texas Hill Country, complete with all the ingredients for a great vacation. Located just a few miles outside Austin's city limits, Lake Austin Spa Resort sits on the shores of a pristine lake. Intimate and perfect in size, the resort has just 40 guest rooms that pamper women like me--stressed out and in desperate need of some rest and relaxation.
Staying at this lush resort almost feels like being at your best friend's lake house, except my best friend isn't a gourmet cook, Master Gardener, masseuse, activities director, or manicurist. My pals and I discovered that we could relax at one of the three pools, indulge in spa treatments at the stunning new LakeHouse Spa, experience an exercise class, or just hang out in our beautifully decorated room, reliving old memories and making new ones.
Before the trip, we had worried about the food. Would it be too spalike? All tofu and sprouts and such? No way. Executive chef Terry Conlan brings bright colors and flavors together in healthful, incredibly satisfying dishes. The culinary selection is truly amazing: gingerbread pancakes with maple syrup; crispy pizzas; corn-and-green chile soup; grilled shrimp. All delicious. And my favorite thing? Choosing between the two flavors of fat-free frozen yogurt available each day.
I think apart from the facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages that we indulged in (starting at $40), my pals and I most enjoyed the boat ride along the lake. We took a 50-minute cruise and learned about the beautiful 22-mile-long body of water and its inhabitants, including the blue herons and other wildlife along the way. We had the wind in our hair, sun on our faces, and something else that we had been missing--happy, relaxed smiles.
Lake Austin Spa Resort: www.lakeaustin.com or 1-800-847-5637. Rates: start at $1,400 for three nights, which includes gourmet meals, exercise classes, and activities. For groups of six or more, discounts of up to 40% may apply.
Don't Miss at Lake Austin Spa Resort
- Ride a Hydro-bike, or go sculling on the lake.
- Indulge in the 3 p.m. healthy snack in the Living Room.
- Enjoy the nightly popcorn while you and your friends watch a movie.
- Take a cooking class.
- Experience the wine-and-cheese tastings.