By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein
I’ll admit, I got a few confused looks upon telling people that my husband and I were taking a long overdue romantic vacation to Austin, Texas. I’m sure they were expecting me to say Cancun or St Barths or something. And while I admit to having a personal connection to the city – having gone to graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin – I can honestly say that I would travel to Austin regardless of my predisposition for saying “hook ‘em horns.” St Barths has nothing on this truly awesome vacation destination
This past April, my husband and I spent 4.5 fun-filled, relaxing, sunny days in Texas’ capitol city. I managed to take a lovely stroll down memory lane while introducing my husband to some of my favorite Austin traditions. We hit all the best hotspots (www.antones.net for some live blues music), ate at amazing restaurants (www.fondasanmiguel.com for authentic Mexican cuisine), enjoyed some Texas must-haves (www.saltlickbbq.com in Round Rock, http://www.chuys.com Tex-Mex and http://www.eastsidecafeaustin.com), and we may have even spent a couple of hours at http://www.hippiehollow.com (but I’ll neither confirm nor deny that ;-)
But it was where we stayed that truly made our romantic getaway complete.
Lake Austin Spa Resort
If you’ve ever done a search for the ‘best destination spas’ in the country, Lake Austin Spa Resort is usually one of the first ones listed – and for good reason. Located about a half hour away (and a gorgeous drive) from downtown Austin, this charming spa getaway is situated right on the water, facing lush trees and blue skies. The décor could best be described as bohemian beach and country chic with a rustic splash of Texas. Each and every room made me want to redecorate my own home with rich upholstery, distressed furniture, creamy white paint; oil rubbed bronze hardware and antique chandeliers.
The food was delectable. An all-inclusive but very health-conscious meal-plan allows you to enjoy the many farm-to-table food options without overdoing it (unless you want to of course – I couldn’t resist sampling almost everything on the menu). And unlike other destination health spas, Lake Austin Resort offers soda and wine too. Accommodations were delightful, equipped with a flat-screened television, mini-fridge, and deep soaking tub overlooking your own little zen garden. The concierge was truly wonderful as was the entire staff.
The LakeHouse Spa is beyond extraordinary. There is no shortage of exotic treatments from which to choose – from the Pear and Fig Body Polish to Cranio-Sacral Therapy. I had the pleasure of experiencing their signature treatment, The Tour of Texas. The ‘tour’ began with an exfoliating scrub featuring prickly pear, a plant native to Texas and rich in skin replenishing benefits. The next ‘stop’ featured an Aloe Vera wrap to moisturize, remineralize, nourish and soften my skin. Then, while swathed in soft linens, my face and scalp (ooooh) was thoroughly massaged. Finally, I ‘struck oil’ with a heavenly 50-minute massage using essential oils. It was all I could do not to utter a blissfully relaxed ‘yee-haw.’
Virtually anyone looking for some peace, tranquility, delicious but healthy food and one of the best spa experiences you’ll ever have would send Lake Austin Spa Resort to the top of their list. Whether I was cuddling with my husband on a hammock, witnessing solo travelers connecting with one another at the Aster Café’s ‘friendship table,’ lounging by the outdoor pool or swimming laps in the lap pool, I was in a constant state of happiness. There are plenty of fitness, art and cooking classes in which to participate and visitors will love going on the boat cruise and water biking on the lake.
It was so nice to relax and rejuvenate with my husband alongside me but I’m looking forward to visiting Lake Austin Spa Resort again with a few of my favorite girlfriends, my mom and even by myself. Trust me when I say you won’t feel alone there. Visit http://www.lakeaustin.com for more information.
After one quick and rather inexpensive nonstop flight from NYC, you could be basking in the sunshine so characteristic of Austin, Texas (Fall and Spring being my favorite seasons there). I cannot wait for my next visit to the Lone Star State. This is one girl who fully intends to ‘mess with Texas’ again soon.