Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas
First as a fishing camp in the 1940s, and later as a rodeo ranch in the 1970s, the stretch of Texas Hill Country that is now the Lake Austin Spa Resort was a haunt for hardened locals for decades. But under the curatorial eye of designer and co-owner Mike McAdams, who acquired the property in the late 1990s, this formerly rough-and-tumble hangout on Lake Austin has made a smooth transition into Texas’ premier spa retreat.
The Lake Austin Spa Resort’s once-dusty site is now a lush refuge that retains a certain Texan charm—minus the cowboy kitsch. McAdams decorated the property with antiques and artworks that he collected in his travels, including the leather ottomans from Morocco, antique trumeau mirror from France, and blue-ribbon quilts from the State Fair of Texas displayed in the LakeHouse Spa’s relaxation room. The two-story, 25,000-square-foot spa is the centerpiece of the resort, with indoor and outdoor treatment areas and an Olympic-length "pool barn."
The property’s 40 cottage-style guest rooms feature handmade afghans and porches lined with fragrant star jasmine. Guests can also retreat to lakefront hammocks in the shade of cypress trees, while those staying in the resort’s Lady Bird Suite can enjoy the area’s natural beauty in a private wildflower garden.
The 1,000 varieties of spices, herbs, and vegetables growing in the resort’s organic garden dictate the dishes executive chef Terry Conlan selects for his seasonal menus. Guests can dine in the main restaurant or at the LakeHouse Spa’s Aster Café. But if you find yourself craving a culinary experience that is a bit rougher around the edges, Conlan will send you and your meal to the dock, where you can dine while the lake laps at your feet.
Lake Austin Spa Resort, 512.372.7300, www.lakeaustin.com
A lush 19-acre site on Lake Austin, 30 minutes west of downtown Austin by car.
The 40 lakeside cottage-style guest rooms include the Lady Bird Suite, which offers a sitting room, a fireplace, a private wildflower garden, and a hot tub.
The main dining room and the spa’s Aster Café serve healthy cuisine prepared with produce from the resort’s organic garden.
A visit to the LakeHouse Spa—with its more than 30 treatment areas and 100 treatments—is a must.
Kayaking, canoeing, and hydro-biking on Lake Austin; yoga and Pilates classes; cooking, gardening, and writing classes; and daily guided hikes and nature walks.
$1,555 to $3,675 per person for a three-night package.